What We Learned from Round Eight of the Premier League Competition.


Unsung Hero

When you talk about the Sturt Sabres, you always mention Chelsea Brook and you obviously should. Brook had 25 points and 11 rebounds on the weekend, but Brook has had some help this season. Kayla Mathews is one of those players for example, and what a help she was in Round Eight. Mathews had her hand on a bit of everything against the Lions on Saturday night, finishing with 20 points, six rebounds and five assists while also having three steals. The Sabres ended up beating the Lions by nine points to continue their impressive start to the season.


The Power of the Bench

Chelsea Roberts has not started on the bench this season until last weekend. When a player gets benched, they can either sulk about it or get the job done. So, naturally, Roberts went and got the job done. She ended the night with 22 points, six rebounds and one block from the bench. The Flames ended up having 34 bench points while the Mavericks had five. The bench play by Roberts and the Flames was a leading contributor to the win.


This Eagle Can Fly and Maybe be a Marathon Runner too?

When you average 14 rebounds per game like Olivia Thompson does you obviously must be able to fly, right? What does that say when you play a massive 40 minutes like Thompson did this past weekend? Not only did Thompson (along with Stamatelopoulos) lead the scoring with 17 points each, but she did it by playing a massive 40 minutes and pulling down 11 boards. The seven-point win over the reigning Premiers is an enormous win for the Eagles that could be their stepping stone for the back end of the season.


Rockets Can Rock It

What else can you say about the Rockets that hasn't been said before? This past week is not a thing we've learnt week for them. We know how good they are, we know how deep they are, and we know they keep performing. Metcalf and Defrancesco had big games the past week. Metcalf had 19 points, five rebounds, seven assists and a massive seven steals, while Defrancesco had 31 points. The Rockets as a team scored 50 points in the paint, and when you score that many inside the key, you don't lose many games.


Tahlia Fejo Must Have a Target Finder

32 points on 62/85/80, those were Tahila Fejo's shooting splits. Fejo could not miss, she could have hit a ball with a barn door. The Bearcat not only could find the target of the basket but she could find the Panthers' pocket, as she added eight steals to her name. The Bearcats ran out big winners and have been on quite the roll recently. They sit fourth at the moment and have set their sights on the way up after moving from seventh in the last four weeks.


Protecting the Paint, a Problem for Sturt?

Giving up high percentage shots can be a problem on the hardwood for teams across the league with Sturt being no exception. Sturt walked off the floor with the win after a dominant opening term giving them a slight edge to start. The Sabres were fortunate enough to not chalk up another ‘L’, after a lifting 34-point performance from their bench, helping them hold their lead. Defensively, the visiting Sabres gave up a huge 42-Points In The Paint which could have been detrimental to their advantage, but the Sabres were able to keep Central Districts big Ricardo Martin at bay, with a minimal 13-points (4-17), 6-rebounds and 0- assists compared to his season average 19.6, 9.2 and 3.6 respectively. Nonetheless, Sturt held on the for their 3rd victory of the season after another great performance from youngster Daniel Nash (24-points and 4-rebounds).

Another Day, Another Flaming.

Not much has changed over the years for the club donning the red and blue, as the Flames add another ‘W’ to their collection. A big 2nd and 3rd term for Norwood helped solidify their lead heading into the final term with it being enough to finish victorious. One notable aspect was the defensive efforts placed upon the current scoring leader Jake Rios. Rios, averaging a whopping 30-points an outing was held to a low 14-points throughout the night. Defensive attention appeared to not only be focused on Rios, but also William Wise III after he totaled 16-points of his own. The ability to lock down players may just be Norwood’s key throughout the latter stages of the season heading into the post season.

Who Can Slay the Tigers?

As we reach the mid-way point of the season, the Tigers have continued their undefeated run after toppling the 36er-studded Forestville Eagles. The Tigers have overcome everyone who has lined up across from them, but will that change this week against the reigning Premiers? The Tiger’s offensive weaponry was on full display last week with four of their starting five notching double-digit scoring figures. The Southern Tigers have chewed through their opponents after eight-games with a winning margin no less than an incredible 20-points, last week adding the Eagles to that feat by twenty-five. Sam Johns not only contributed to his team in timely manner but clocked up a whopping 40-minutes on the floor. Johns helped lift his side to victory by dishing 9-assists after struggling a little from the floor. Enough about the past (am I right?), let’s look forward to next week’s battle between the 1st seeded Tigers and 2nd seeded Bearcats at Morphett Vale to see who the best in the league may be.

North Adelaide Rocket into the Paint

The Rockets have been a handful for opposing teams in their time, boasting a range of offensive weaponry. Saturday night, some of that weaponry was on display after Hang Time cover athlete Alexander Starling flirted with a Triple-Double. Starling boasted a stellar 30-points, 10-rebounds and 7-steals in the victory although one interesting factor in the contest is their Points in the Paint category. North Adelaide demolished the Warriors in the paint, proving another place where teams need to cover prior to lining up, as they dropped fifty-eight inside. The incredible scoring inside was more then half of their total-points scored and indicated an area of focus for Scott Whitmore in the coming weeks.

Legan Leads, Again.

After the departure of Dee Oldham and their drought ending championship win, James Legan had quite big shoes to fill after his arrival. The season is no where near over yet, but Legan at this stage has helped keep the Bearcats in their winning ways. Saturday night was no different after he dropped 27-points (one-point shy of his Premier League high of 28), grabbed 7-rebounds and 4-assists in a 28-point blowout against Eian Davis and his South Adelaide Panthers. Despite Legan finding the bottom of the rim often, he and the fellow Bearcats have their claws full this coming week against the top of the table and undefeated Tigers. It will be incredibly interesting to see how these two teams’ playing styles match up. Catch all the action of this one live on Basketball SA’s Facebook, because this may just be match of the season so far.   

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