2018 ROUND 2 REVIEW
The Wollongong Rollerhawks have consolidated their spot on top of the ladder with an unbeaten record while Queensland Spinning Bullets and the Be Active Perth Wheelcats sit comfortably inside the top four at the end of Round 2.
Queensland fought out an intriguing three-game series over the weekend against the Kilsyth Cobras, winning the first and third encounters while the Cobras got the best of them in the second meeting.
Leading by only three points at half-time on Friday night, the Spinning Bullets received a big performance from Tom O’Neill-Thorne (34 points, eight rebounds, five assists and seven steals) while ten players hit the scoreboard including Nicholas Radovich and Kurt Thomson added six points each off the bench to run out 17-point victors.
The following night, Kilsyth stepped up their defence, holding Queensland to 28% shooting to reverse the previous result and win by nine points.
Damon Fent tallied three steals while Tristan Knowles (25 points, six boards, seven assists) and Jontee Brown (nine points, 16 rebounds, four assists and two steals powered their offence.
That set up a fascinating clash on Sunday and once again Rollers team mates O’Neill-Thorne (30 points, six rebounds, seven assists, six steals) and Knowles (27 points, six assists) went head-to-head.
Brown had another double-double of ten points and 13 rebounds for the Cobras but the visitors could not contain Queensland’s spread of scorers again as Jake Fulwood (eight points) combined with Matt McShane (who averaged 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, ten assists and four steals for the weekend) to carry the Spinning Bullets over the line.
Wollongong took advantage of an undermanned Sydney Metro Blues team, cracking the century mark in two games while winning by 72 points in the third meeting.
Brett Stibners tallied three straight triple-doubles to average 31.7 points, 13 rebounds, 12.3 assists, 3.4 steals and a block which follows his performances from Round 1 which earned him Player of the Week.
Shawn Russell (33 points, 10.7 rebounds, four assists, 3.7 steals and a block per game) and Brad Fisher (12.7 points per game) also starred with Fisher starting the second game while Luke Pople recorded an incredible triple-double of 19 points, 11 assists and 11 steals in the third clash.
Sydney Metro were paced by Georgia Munro-Cook’s nine points per game while Josh Meoli notched double-figures in the second meeting with 12 points on 6-7 shooting.
However, with key personnel still missing from their team the Blues have now slumped to an 0-7 record.
The Wheelcats got the better of Adelaide Thunder in each of their three meetings this weekend as well although Adelaide closed the final margin in each game after falling by 30 points in their first contest.
The arrival of Luke Watkins helped the Thunder, collecting ten points, nine rebounds and nine assists in his debut before recording a huge double-double of 23 points, ten boards and six assists on Sunday.
Adam Roocke also kept the scoreboard ticking over with an average of 17.3 points but turnovers proved the issue for Adelaide with Perth owning a +35 edge overall in points off errors.
Shaun Norris was the instigator with three triple-doubles to average 37.3 points, 14 boards, 11.7 assists and 3.7 steals for the weekend which included a 44-point, 17-rebound game on Saturday night.
Andrew Dewberry (14.3 points) enjoyed a strong weekend as did Kayl Jefferey (7.7 points) while Thomas McHugh scored 10+ on two occasions.
The NWBL pauses for the Kevin Coombs Cup which will be run concurrently with the Under-18 Australian Championships in a fortnight’s time with games resuming on May 4.