McSpadden’s Cyclones aim to put Wizards in a spin
The improvement of the Rockhampton Cyclones, headlined by Sydney Flames’ Lara McSpadden, over the past three NBL1 North seasons has been incredible.
In McSpadden’s first year with the club, the Cyclones finished second-last on the table.
But now, Rockhampton is just two wins away from winning the NBL1 North championship.
“For me personally, qualifying in the grand finals series has been a huge win after being with the club for three seasons and coming from second last on the ladder in my first year at Rocky,” McSpadden said.
“To be able to see the work we’ve done over the past three years come to fruition the way it has gives me the most pride.
“[As a group] we’re super excited as a club to represent our juniors, association and community as a whole at the NBL1 North grand final series.
“Our team is built on the support from the community and families of those who are linked to Rockhampton which makes wearing the Rocky jersey even more special in the decider.”
The grand final series 🆚 Northside tips off Friday.
— Sydney Flames (@TheSydneyFlames) August 1, 2023
McSpadden puts the Cyclones’ growth this campaign, which saw the finish with a 14-5 regular season record, to the group’s willingness to get better each and every time they stepped on the court.
“We’ve had a great group from the get-go, but the way we’ve improved and are still improving shows that we’ve had this potential all along and hopefully yet to play our best basketball in the grand final series,” said the Newcastle product, who was one of three finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year.
“Our girls have worked their tails off – no matter the circumstances and adversities we’ve faced, we’ve taken it in our strides and honestly I believe that’s what has made us such a tight group on and off the court.
“I believe I’ve played solid basketball this season – all the extra individuals, shooting and gym sessions have definitely paid off as I’m shooting at a great clip and I’m playing great defence as well.”
All that work will be put to the test in the Cyclones’ three-game grand final series against Northside at the Northside Indoor Sports Centre – tipping off on Friday night.
“We’re a young and fit team, so we plan to push the ball and run Northside off their feet while also applying consistent pressure up the floor on defence,” the 24-year-old said.
“We’re also bigger size-wise across the board so that will be extremely beneficial to us both offensively and defensively.”
McSpadden went on to admit how special it would be to raise the silverware over the weekend.
“To win a title at Rocky would mean the world to me,” the NSW junior said.
“I haven’t played for another club in NBL1 North so it’d be super special to bring the title home to the people who have not only supported my journey, but also the journeys of our other imports and our local girls who have represented Rocky since their junior years.
“Not to mention, we have the best fans in the league – to bring a title home to them would be the most fitting way to show our appreciation of them and say thank you.”