Women's Previews - Round 18
North Adelaide Rockets (14-3, 2nd) v South Adelaide Panthers (2-15, 10th)
Saturday August 4, 8.15pm at Hillcrest
The North Adelaide Rockets and South Adelaide Panthers will have the opportunity to try some new ideas when they face off on Saturday.
The Rockets cannot move out of second position, while the Panthers are already guaranteed of the wooden spoon. The Rockets knocked off Centrals 79-57 last week, with Jo Hill (18 points), Jamie-Lee Peris (15 points) and Lauren Mansfield (14 points) once again at the heart of the offence.
The Panthers were beaten 38-57 by Sturt, with Lauren Gibbons (14 points) their top-scorer. The Panthers were right in the game at half-time, but only scored one point in the third quarter, which cost them dearly.
Back in Round 9, Peris scored 21 points in another 79-57 win for the Rockets. Jess Hansberry had 17 for the Panthers.
The Rockets have had 10 wins in the 10-30 point range and this could quite well be another to add to their collection.
Eastern Mavericks (10-7, 6th) v West Adelaide Bearcats (3-14, 8th)
Saturday August 4, 6.30pm at Adelaide Hills
The Eastern Mavericks are in an intriguing position ahead of their final regular season clash with the West Adelaide Bearcats.
Essentially, the Mavericks have done all they can in order to make the finals. They are currently level on wins with the Southern Tigers and have won the head-to-head series 2-0. However, both teams are only one win behind the Central District Lions.
If the Mavericks and Tigers both win this week, there will be a three-way tie for fourth. The Tigers would be 2-0 over the Lions, while the Lions are 2-0 over the Mavericks. Therefore, the fourth and fifth seeds could come down to points-split - the Lions are currently +25, with the Tigers +2 and the Mavericks -27. This means the Mavericks must realistically rely on the Lions beating the Tigers in order to complete their fairytale.
The Mavericks received an early scare from Woodville last week, before winning for the fifth time in as many games. They led by just a point at half-time, but outscored the Warriors 38-21 thereafter. Tess Madgen was once again outstanding with 36 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals, while Jemma Thacker (15 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals) was also prominent.
The Bearcats may have lost their last six games, but their efforts against the Tigers and Flames the last two weeks suggest they are not an opponent to be taken lightly. The Bearcats came within just nine points of the top-ranked Norwood Flames last week. Narelle Van Leuven (21 points, 5 rebounds), Meg McLeod (18 points, 5 assists) and Kate Shierlaw (14 points, 11 rebounds) were all very good.
Last time they met, Madgen had 28 rebounds and 27 points as the Mavericks overcame a three point half-time deficit to win 71-63. McLeod and Ashlea Vordermaier scored 13 each for the Bearcats.
The Mavericks are in great form and should make it 6/6 – will it be enough though?
Norwood Flames (15-2, 1st) v Forestville Eagles (12-5, 3rd)
Saturday August 4, 6.30pm at Mars
The Norwood Flames and Forestville Eagles will be playing for a mental edge when they go head-to-head at Mars.
The Flames have the Minor Premiership locked away and a straight run to the Second Semi Final with it. The Eagles will finish third and play North at Hillcrest in next week’s Qualifying Final.
For all the Flames’ dominance the last two seasons, with or without Carla Borrego, the Eagles have beaten them three straight times. Thus, the Flames could really do with a W to give them some confidence, should they come up against the Eagles in a Semi, Preliminary or Grand Final.
The Eagles got back to their best against an under-womaned Southern Tigers team. Olivia Thompson (31 points, 20 rebounds), Georgia Minear (22 points, 5/8 3FG) and Jess Fergus (19 points) led the way to a 98-49 victory.
Anyone’s game here!
Southern Tigers (10-7, 5th) v Central District Lions (11-6, 4th)
Saturday August 4, 8.15pm at Morphett Vale
In the Match of the Round, the Southern Tigers will have one last crack at a finals push when they host the Central District Lions.
The Tigers have lost five of their last eight games, the most crucial of which was a 71-76 setback against the Eastern Mavericks in Round 13, whose star player Tess Madgen lasted barely 12 minutes before leaving the game injured. A win there would have almost secured a finals berth for the Tigers, but that loss means their fate will be decided this very weekend.
In Round 17, the Tigers were without Alexandra Ciabattoni, Simone Nelson and Teresa Kinross, and their loss of key personnel showed with a big defeat to Forestville. Madeline Cunningham and Ashleigh Spencer combined for 31 of the Tigers’ 49 points, and 38 of their 70 field goal attempts.
The Tigers can take plenty of confidence from their 65-50 Round 9 victory over the Lions. Kinross starred with 23 points, while Mahony scored 16 for the Lions. The Lions have been the better team since these teams last met, and would probably prefer to play the Mavericks in the Elimination Final, having beaten them twice this season, rather than potentially come up against a Tigers team they are winless against.
The Tigers will no doubt play with plenty of aggression and intensity, but it will take a dramatic recovery for them to save their season.
Sturt Sabres (5-12, 7th) v Woodville Warriors (3-14, 9th)
Saturday August 4, 8.15pm at Pasadena
The Sturt Sabres will be hoping to end their improved second half of the year with a victory when they tackle the Woodville Warriors at Pasadena.
The Sabres picked up their fifth win of the season in Round 17, with the South Adelaide Panthers their prey. An astonishing 21-1 third quarter keyed the Sabres’ victory. Jess McPhail top-scored with 14, while Caroline Burgess provided another 11.
The Warriors were on the end of an eighth straight loss, going down to the Mavericks 50-68 at St Clair. Claire Christie (12 points) and Tara Buttress (10 points) were the two Warriors in double-figures.
The Sabres have been in the better form of late and should end a difficult season on a high.
By James Woite