WNBL Round 10 Preview

Credit Geoff Tripp for photography.

Melbourne vs Bendigo

Time: 3PM

State Basketball Center

Saturday 7th December

GAME IS TELEVISED ON ABC

Who's hot?

Melbourne: Tess Madgen - 25 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds - last week vs Adelaide

Bendigo: Kristi Harrower - 24 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds - last week vs Adelaide

1st placed Bendigo will play 3rd placed Melbourne in front of a national audience come Saturday afternoon. The trailing pack in the league will be hedging their bets on a Bendigo victory as a loss to the Boomers would increase the chances of teams outside the top 4 finding their way back in to these limited and highly-coveted positions. Kristi Harrower and Tess Madgen are both coming off productive weeks for respective teams with both having spectacular performances against an Adelaide side. With these two star performers potentially matching-up against each other and with Boomers coach Guy Molloy's tendency to mix-up his offense by charging Tess to run the point, be ready for an enthralling contest between two of the biggest stars in the league. Amber Hegge, Chelsea Poppens and even Rebecca Allen will be up against the three-headed dragon of Bendigo - that is, former Boomer Elyse Penaluna, Gabe Richards and Kelsey Griffin dominating the space under the rim. The three Bendigo stars have been dominating this season by grabbing rebounds and scoring points in the paint and, as such, the young Boomer talls will have the tough task of stopping them. However, if they can limit these three players' activity in the paint, Melbourne will go a long way towards winning this game. The fact remains that Bendigo is just too strong. Anyone on this talented Spirit team is both a threat on the offensive end and a presence on the defensive end (all able to make big defensive plays at any point of the game) and this will solidify their chances of winning against an inexperienced Boomer squad. Bendigo by 8

Sydney Uni vs Adelaide

Time: 7PM

Brydens Stadium

Saturday 7th December

Who's hot?

Sydney: Lauren King - 17 points, 2 blocks - last week vs Canberra

Adelaide: Laura Hodges - 18 points, 9 rebounds - last week vs Melbourne

Adelaide who are coming off 3 losses in a row (with 2 to Bendigo and 1 to Melbourne) will face Sydney, winners of their last 4 games in the beautiful new Brydens stadium. Sydney have been playing like a new side in recent weeks, letting other teams know that they aren't to be messed with. Sydney are getting production from all their starters and even deep into their bench. With Rohanee Cox, Katie-Rae Ebzery and Alicia Poto being the more dangerous of the Sydney players, all three able to put the offense on their back which is something that has given Sydney the edge over their opponents in the past 4 games. There is no one player on the Adelaide team that can successfully shut the Flames down, and instead, they must try to limit the impact each member of the Flames' starting five will make via a solid team effort. Adelaide continue to look like a one-woman show at the moment with Laura Hodges who surpasses her teammates in terms of talent and is by far the best player on the Lightning squad. However, Chey Shegog looks to change this notion quickly. The talented 196cm import with experience in the WNBA came into the Adelaide game against Melbourne last week straight off the plane to meet up with her new teammates, and even scored 12 points in just under 12 minutes. Adelaide will need this immense production from Shegog to take pressure off Laura Hodges, especially since they are looking to break a three-game losing hoodoo. At home and in the best run of form, Sydney should come out as victors for a 5th straight win. Sydney by 5

West Coast vs Dandenong

Time: 7:30PM

WA Basketball Center

Saturday 7th December

Who's hot?

West Coast: Antonia Edmonson - 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists - last week vs Townsville

Dandenong: Lellani Mitchell - 19 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds - last week vs Melbourne

When West Coast thought life in the WNBL possibly couldn't get any harder after being hammered by Logan and comfortably put away by Townsville, they face Dandenong, a team comprising of 5 WNBL experienced players. Club stalwarts Melissa Marsh and Kiwi Antonia Edmonson have put in defiant performances in the past few weeks. Also, with Natalie Burton recently returning from a long-term injury, it will be a much needed boost for the team under the rim. Unfortunately, these factors simply is not enough for West Coast to find themselves a win and Dandenong simply has to play their usual game. Stars Jenna O'Hea and Lellani Mitchell need to keep their team from succumbing to complacency where we've seen top teams in many different competitions be knocked off their spot because of overconfidence and having underestimated the opposition. Dandenong coach Mark Wright should be able to gallocate some minutes to the unfortunate Ranger lot that have been at the bottom end of the minutes scale this season. Names such as Aimee Clydesdale, Claire Papavs, Rebecca Mercer and Lauren Scherf might be able to pick up valuable minutes in what looks like on paper, a pushover game. Shani Amos' second week back is sure to help the Waves, but Amos alone isn't enough for the Waves to make what looks like a blowout game any closer. Rangers by 22

Logan vs Townsville

Play each other twice this week due to cancellation of game in Round 7

Time: 7PM

Logan Metro

Saturday 7th December

Time: 2PM

Logan Metro

Sunday 8th December

Who's hot?

Logan: Tegan Cunningham - 19 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists - last week vs West Coast

Townsville: Micaela Cocks - 22 points, 5 rebounds - last week vs West Coast

Both teams from the northern WNBL state must love being in the presence of each other this weekend, with the Thunder and the Fire facing off each other twice in less than 24 hours. Due to unforeseen circumstances in Round 6 where stadium issues halted the game less than two minutes in, both sides will find themselves with an extra important game against their rivals this week. Tegan Cunningham is coming off her best game of the season for the Thunder in which she filled up the stat sheet in spectacular fashion, coming 3 assists short of a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Moreover, a potential match-up with Kayla Standish awaits Cunningham, a duel that will be set to fascinate the crowd in both games with these two players tirelessly going at each other. However, these two games will be oriented for the guards. Rachael McCully and Kristin Veal will be sure to wow the crowd with superior playmaking ability, finding easy shots for teammates, while Micaela Cocks and Laurie Koehn will look to knock down shots for their respective sides. Crowds should be thoroughly entertained in these two encounters and I believe that the results will be split over the weekend. Saturday: Logan by 5, Sunday: Townsville by 3