What We Learned from Rounds Eleven and Twelve of the Premier League competition.
by Adam Jones
Eat. Top Score. Win. Sleep. Repeat.
It's crunch time in the Premier League and every win is essential for the Bearcats. West Adelaide are in a dogfight for the last spot in the top five, so with that in mind, Sky Langenbrinck showed her desire to play finals in back-to-back performances. On Saturday night, Langenbrinck top scored, scoring 16 points, five rebounds, three assists, four steals and the win. Less than 24 hours later, West’s captain topped the scoresheet in another big win, pushing the Bearcats a game clear of 6th and sitting in 4th on percentage.
A Dime By The Dozen
The North Adelaide Rockets tallied 41 assists in a weekend that saw them record their 11th and 12th wins of the season. The Rockets continue to work as a team in their awesome undefeated streak, showing how good they are at moving the ball. Not only did they have 41 assists over two games, but they also limited their opponents to a combined 22 assists over two matches. Import Leah Metcalf top-scored both games with 18 and 24 points, also managing a double-double on Sunday as she grabbed 10 rebounds.
Setting The Record Straight
There are two things you feel after a loss: bad, and hungry for another crack. The value in a doubleheader weekend is that you can get straight back on the horse, which is precisely what the Southern Tigers and the Norwood Flames did. After both teams had disappointing losses on Saturday night, the two sides came flying out on Sunday and earned critical wins that keep them in the finals hunt. Tigers put the Mavericks to the sword, recording a 25 point win, whilst the Flames got over the Lions in a thriller, winning by seven points.
Warriors Come Out to Plaaaay
The Warriors’ Nyre Harris was out in force over the weekend. On Saturday Night, Harris recorded 23 points and 14 rebounds, adding eight steals to her name in the win over the Lions. On the defensive end, Woodville were the first team to stop Central’s lethal Boone and Goff duo, keeping them to just 16 points between them. Then on Sunday, Harris showed up again. Harris scored 34 points in the 30 point win over South Adelaide, also accumulating six steals in the blowout victory.
Sabres Starters Have Bite Too
Saturday night produced quite a few thrillers, none more so than when the Forestville Eagles and Sturt Sabres faced off. After Katia Stamatelopolous forced overtime with a tying trey with just seconds remaining, the Sabres dominated the fifth period to secure a remarkable win. Sturt’s starters were the stars of the show, with four of the five scoring in double figures. Chelsea Brook played a staggering 40 minutes and 33 seconds, and she made every second count for her 19-point, 14-rebound double-double performance in the win. After the weekend the Sabres sit 2nd, two wins clear of 3rd and look to be a real threat come finals time.
by Benito Carbone
Hurricane Eian back on the radar
Twenty hours. Twenty matches. One performance. A whirlwind weekend for the Premier League was highlighted by another outstanding spectacle from the reigning Woollacott Medalist. Eian Davis’ 48 points were complemented by nine assists, seven rebounds and a steal, the enigmatic point guard scoring almost half of South Adelaide’s 100 points in a four-point victory over the Mavericks. Now two wins away from 5th, Davis will need some similar performances to force his maiden finals appearance.
Rejuvenated Warriors find their feet
Woodville were in damage control heading into last weekend, sitting 10th at a miserable 1-9. With pride on the line and without Jonathan Perry, coach Scott Whitmore decided to tinker with his starting five, to great effect. The Warriors were one of four teams to go 2-0, downing the Lions and Panthers to become the league’s latest surprise packet.
Brine can back it up
In what was a fight of the fittest this weekend, Brandon Brine showed us that he is every bit of the incredible athlete whose return was so highly anticipated by the Southern Tigers this season. Against the North Adelaide Rockets, Brine put up a strong double-double effort recording 16 points and 10 rebounds contributing to yet another W for the Southern Tigers. Showing us all his endurance and athletic ability, Brine showed up again on Sunday afternoon putting in another huge performance dropping 31 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against the Eastern Mavericks. With players of this caliber in your squad, it's understandable that the ball just keeps on rolling for the Tigers this season.
“Hillcrest, we’ve had a problem”
After suffering three losses in their past four matches, North Adelaide are in the midst of a mini-meltdown. The Rockets were humbled at home against the undefeated Southern, scoring just 57 points in their second heavy loss to the Tigers this season. It’ll be difficult for North to miss finals completely, though Alex Starling and his compatriots will have to do some serious soul-searching to stay relevant heading into the post-season.
Firing Forestville have fellow contenders saying ‘Deng!’
Majok Deng is back in the Premier League and, to be honest, we are all better for it. Over eighty minutes of basketball, the Sixers star put up 59 points and 24 boards in two dominant performances. Incredibly, he is the fourth 36er to play for the Eagles this season, but it was a relatively unknown youngster who stole the stage on Sunday. Born in 1999, Michael Harris showed character to score 34 on Starling and his Rockets. Keep an eye out on how this team suits up as the reverse fixtures continue.
Red-hot McGriff eying off Woollacott
Norwood’s Brian McGriff has been irresistible of late, averaging 35 points and 11 rebounds over his past three matches. 44 of those points came in an exhibition of pure court dominance over a resilient Bearcats side! The ridiculous vein of form coincides with Norwood’s strong recent run, which has seen them consolidate their spot in second as the side who could most threaten Southern in a Grand Final. With a squad full of players comfortable in big-game situations, the Flames would be far from outsiders in a final between these two sides. And fortunately for Norwood, the addition of McGriff is looming as the catalyst to propel them to the big dance again.