St Francis De Sales is getting its first taste of Premier League playoff basketball with the Mavericks hosting the dangerous Pioneers in their Semi-Final fixture! In what is going to be another close battle, it is a fight to stay alive as 3rd and 4th play off. After toppling the West Adelaide Bearcats by only 2-points, the Pioneers will look to make a surge to the Preliminary Finals with their second victory over the Mavericks this season.
Splitting the season at 1-1, both the Mavericks and Pioneers were unable to acquire a margin of more than 10-points after their Round 10 and 11 meetings. Interestingly, in both these outings, the Halls Medalist for 2019, Carmen Tyson-Thomas left her mark on the floor by dropping 38 and 32-points in both games respectively. Although what must be highlighted was the Pioneers ability to bounce back from their first loss and get the win at home one week later. The difference maker was Pachiyanna Roberts on the offensive end who found form and finished with 22-points compared to six a week prior.
The key to the Maverick victory was their ability to score in the paint! During Round 10, the Mavs scored 44- points inside compared to Pioneers 28. The lack of pressure defensively was a large factor why the Pioneers were exploited in the paint and on the stat sheet. With the sides meeting again a week later, the Pioneers appeared to be a different team outscoring the Mavs in the paint and on the break. Pushing the ball up the floor and applying pressure on the Maverick defense was more than enough to help them get the win as they outscored them 31-11.
Ones To Watch:
Carmen Tyson-Thomas - Halls Medalist Tyson-Thomas is a threat on the floor and can never be ignored. Arguably one of the best offensive players to grace the Premier League in recent years, Tyson-Thomas averaged a double-double of 28.3 Points Per Game and 12.6-Rebounds Per Game. Combining her meetings for 2019 against Mount Gambier, Tyson-Thomas can be appropriately deemed a game changer and will be one to watch this weekend.
Amanda Frost - The ability to play full minutes and still be effective on the floor for her side is definitely a reason she is one to be watched. In their second meeting for the year, Frost flirted with a triple-double after notching 16-points, 9-rebounds and an astonishing 13-assists. Her ability to pass the ball as well as score shows her widespread skills and abilities when facing the Mavs.
Prediction: WIth this fixture having a good chance of going down to the wire, Mount Gambier will edge out the Mavericks by under 5-points if Eastern are unable to find another confident scorer to compliment Tyson-Thomas.