McSpadden’s Cyclones lock in NBL1 North finals spot
Lara McSpadden’s Rockhampton punched their quarter-final tickets by defeating Red City 94-79 on Saturday.
In the victory, which moved the Cyclones to third with a 14-5 record, McSpadden tallied 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.
Rockhampton will now host Darwin for a spot in the final four.
In that loss for Red City, Lilly Rotunno added 19 points, three steals, one rebound and one assist.
One day later, her Roar lost again, this time to Mackay 84-77, with the Flames guard adding 28 points, four boards, four dimes and one steal – the club’s final game of 2023.
Another Flame that will feature in the NBL1 quarter-finals is Indiah Bowyer, whose Townsville outlasted USC Rip City 72-52 to claim eighth spot on the ladder.
In the triumph, Bowyer added 14 points, seven rebounds, six steals and two assists.
Bowyer’s Flames now take on minor-premiers Northside in the quarter-finals.
Despite playing with other services of injured Flame Maddy Allen, Southen Districts, who lost 70-57 to Logan in the final round, finished the season in fifth and will take on South West Metro on Saturday.
The NBL1 season is, unfortunately, over for Shaneice Swain and her Cairns Dolphins, despite defeating Rip City 94-88 in the final round – with the Sydney young gun contributing 25 points, nine rebounds, four assists and one block in the win.
The Dolphins finished the year in ninth with a 10-9 record.
Another Flame whose NBL1 season has come to an end is Kiera Rowe, after her Knox Raiders lost to both Kilsyth (71-66) and Bendigo (98-94) in the final round.
Across the two defeats, Rowe tallied 21 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists, eight steals and one block – with Knox finishing the year in 13th with a 9-13 record.
In NBL1 East action, Sydney smashed Hornsby 124-54 thanks to Jada Crawshaw (29 points, 15 rebounds, five dimes and two steals) and Vanessa Panousis (21 points, five boards, five assists and one steal).
The latter, featuring Flames’ Emma Donnelly, will head into that blockbuster clash on the back of a dominant 91-50 win against Penrith.
While Lauren Nicholson produced 32 of Sutherland’s 54 points in the Sharks’ 11-point loss to Manly-Warringah.
The Australian Opal also had four assists, three rebounds and three steals in the loss.
Sutherland will look to return to the winner’s circle against Canberra.
Moving out west and Emma Clarke’s Perry Lakes Hawks, currently sitting in eighth with an 11-8 record, had the bye in round 16 and will now take on Joondalup on Saturday to cement their post-season berth.
Hoops Capital stars @LaraMcSpadden, @SwainShaneice, @shaunbruce7 and @jaylin_galloway have been rewarded for their strong 2023 @NBL1 North seasons on the court by being shortlisted for respective awards 🏆
— Sydney Flames (@TheSydneyFlames) July 14, 2023
Shifting across to the Kings’ section of the Hoops Capital wrap and the 2023 NBL1 South season is still alive for Angus Glover and his Eltham Wildcats after two impressive final-round victories at the weekend.
They first defeated Diamond Valley 97-69 on Saturday, behind eight points, six rebounds and six assists by Glover.
Twenty-four hours later, Eltham downed Mount Gambier 95-88, with the two-time NBL champion exploding for 25 points (including six triples), five boards, four dimes and two steals in the victory.
These two triumphs secured Eltham fifth spot on the ladder, with a 14-8 record – setting up a home elimination final against Waverley on Saturday.
Moving to NBL1 North, who also wrapped up their regular season at the weekend, and Shaun Bruce’s Logan have finished second on the ladder – after splitting their two round 16 games.
The Thunder first lost 90-88 to reigning champs Gold Coast, despite 18 points, 11 assists and seven boards from Bruce.
They rebounded though, downing Southern Districts 87-78 thanks to 20 points, 11 rebounds, six dimes and two steals by the Kings guard.
These two results pit Logan against Darwin (featuring Sydney’s Makuach Maluach) in the quarter-finals, which will tip-off at 8pm AEST at the Bendigo Bank Cornubia Park Sports Centre.
Another King to qualify for the post-season is Kouat Noi and his USC Rip City, who finished eighth after splitting their games against Townsville (won 112-87) and Cairns (lost 123-102).
Across the two fixtures, Noi totalled 49 points, 20 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Rip City will now travel to Carrara Stadium for their quarter-final with Gold Coast – a replay of last year’s decider.
The other King to be in action during the upcoming quarter-finals will by Jaylin Galloway – fresh off a stint with Minnesota at the NBA Summer League – and his Ipswich Force, who will host Cairns on Saturday.
Shifting to NSW and the NBL1 East competition, who held their penultimate round of the NBL23 over the weekend.
Despite playing without Kings big man Archie Woodhill, the Comets edged Hornsby 84-72.
The final King to hit the hardwood over the weekend was Zac Gattorna, who added 14 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in Geraldton’s 99-89 win against Perry Lakes.
Stay up to date with all the club’s off-season news here.