There has not been much to smile about for the Sandringham Sabres this season but Brittany Smart has put together a year that is MVP worthy, with the Sabres 1-17 record perhaps the only thing standing in her way.
Despite dropping a 13th consecutive match on Saturday night, Sandringham showed some real fight against Frankston in the 75-77 loss.
They owned a four-point lead half-way through the final term with Bridget Deery (16 points) and Monique Lyth (12) aiding Smart, who top-scored with 33. That assistance has been absent for most of the year though and a lack of scoring options has been the main issue for the Sabres.
Smart has scored at least 15 points in every match this season while averaging a league best 24.6. With Sandringham only scoring 67.7 points per game, she has accounted for more than a third of the team’s total while also attempting a quarter of all shots taken by the team.
She has hit the most free throws in the league (69) at an 82% clip while also draining the most three-pointers (48) at the fourth best percentage (39%).
Adding to her MVP credentials, the 174cm point guard has recorded seven double-doubles with her work on the offensive glass especially impressive. In two consecutive games she pulled down nine offensive rebounds and her season total of 60 places her sixth in the competition.
Her all-round best performance came against Geelong in Round 4 when she shot 12-21 for 36 points, eight boards and seven assists. However, not even that stat-line was enough to get the Sabres over the line as they fell in overtime.
Without a great deal of help on the court, Smart should have received most of the focus when it comes to MVP voting.
She does have stiff competition in the likes of Jacinta Kennedy, Kelly Bowen and Mikaela Ruef but it will be interesting to see if the Sabres’ bottom ranking in the South Conference and a possible 1-22 season will impede Smart’s chances more.