CABL Round 3 Preview
We are back with Round 3 of CABL for Season 2014. Looks like some close games in the Women's side this week, I am expecting 4 close games, and 1 blow out. The mens features some interesting match ups, that will give a broader indication of where some teams are at.
Sturt (6th 1-1) v North (2nd 2-0)
Sturt have played the best and the worst in the space of 2 weeks. Losing to the undefeated Flames convincingly, then beating the struggling Mavs by a similar margin, so gauging their success is difficult at this point. Richards has continued her 2013 form, leading the Sabres with 17.5ppg @ 76.2% and 7.5rpg, supported by McPhail (13ppg) and Spalding (13.5ppg). Last time these teams met was the 2013 preliminary final, with the Rockets making the big dance, winning by 16 points. North have played 2 sides that look like battling for 5th-7th this season, and took care of the Warriors comfortably, before having a scare with the Bearcats. Led by the forever young Hill (17.5ppg, 7.5rpg) and her partner in crime Peris (16.5ppg, 13.5rpg), the Rockets will be determined to make the big dance again this year. Sturt won both regular season games last year, however do not have the same personnel to repeat that this year.
North by 7.
West (5th 1-1) v South (3rd 1-1) - Match of the Round
Important game for both sides, as I predict they will battle it out for 5th spot come later in the season. West pushed North to the limit last week but couldn't get over the line, but managed to get past the Mavs in Round 1. South have had one of their best starts in seasons, beating the Eagles by 20, then downing the Warriors by 1 in OT thanks to a Howard three ball. West have seen strong contribution from Sheirlaw (16.5ppg @ 50%), Nairn (11ppg @ 55.6%, 7.5rpg) and Langenbrinck (11ppg @ 60%). South’s success has been delivered in the form of league leading scorer and rebounder Janae Howard (34ppg @ 46.2%, 14.5rpg), league 2nd leading scorer Kinross (23.5ppg, 7.5rpg) and league leader for assists Mahony (15ppg, 12.5apg, 6rpg). However South’s starters have seen huge minutes and responsibility in the first two games, and one has to wonder what impact this will have as the season goes on. West seem to have shaken the rust from Round 1 off, but South will continue to ride the momentum.
South by 5.
Centrals (10th 0-2) v Norwood (1st 2-0)
The Lions couldn’t close the gap to the Tigers in Round 1, then fronted the full force of the Eagles in Round 2, with not much joy in sight. The Flames continue to steam roll the opposition, seemingly untouchable by all of those around them. The play of Wedding (8.5ppg, 8rpg), Onaca (12ppg @ 50%) has been promising, however their line up seems too inexperienced to provide many challenges this year. The Flames have been on song, now undefeated since the 2012 preliminary final. Lewis (19ppg @ 55.6%) Good (14.5ppg, 7rpg) and Ireland (12.5ppg) shoulder the load, in what has been a well rotated list so far. The result isn’t in question, however the margin certainly is.
Norwood by 52
Southern (7th 1-1) v Eastern (9th 0-2)
Southern have also faced the best and the worst in the space of two weeks, and look unconvincing against the Lions, and mediocre against the Flames. The Tigers have had solid contributions from Fisher (17ppg @ 56.3%, 5pg, 4apg), Quintrell (18.5ppg @ 53.8%, 5.5rpg) and Barber (11ppg @ 47.6%, 10.5rpg). Whilst the Mavs have faced two middle of the road sides, and looked competitive against West in Round 1, but were beaten easily by Sturt in Round 2. The Mavs have been led by Tarran (15ppg, 6.5rpg) and league 2nd leading rebounder Hooley (12.5ppg, 13.5rpg). The Tigers have been shooting the ball better this season; however have thrown 64 turnovers to the Mavs 41. Very difficult game to call whom will get the W here, with my head telling me Southern, but very hard to count out the Mavs.
Southern by 3.
Forestville (4th 1-1) v Woodville (8th 0-2)
Forestville dropped their Round 1 game, in what can only be described as a shocker, by 20 points to the new look Panthers. Sharon rallied the troops for a walloping of the Lions last week, and certainly won’t take the foot of the gas. The Warriors lost in a heart stopper last week, in a game that they should have won. This followed from a sound loss to the Bearcats, sees them sink to a familiar place and record. However I believe the Warriors should not be overlooked. Propped up by the effort of Perkas (15ppg, 7.5rpg) and Reynolds (16ppg, 8.5rpg), plus the work of Griffiths (19pts @ 88.9%, 4reb) last Round, the Warriors have the ability to compete with most sides on their night. The Eagles have been led tirelessly by Fergus (18ppg @ 50%, 8rpg) and Johnson (19ppg, 4rpg), they looked back to their fierce best last week. The Eagles are always dangerous, and if they play to their best, will finish top 5. The Warriors will be close in most games this year, but may not see enough wins to see some post season action.
Eagles by 11.
Sturt (4th 2-0) v North (9th 0-2)
Don’t let North’s undesirable start to Season 2014 trick you into thinking that they are not a force to be reckoned with. Playing two fellow contenders back to back, shows that the Rockets are off the pace with the best in the League. The Rockets have struggled offensively, managing just 55 against the Warriors, and 58 against the Bearcats, however have been sound defensively giving up 80.5ppg. Vasiljevic has struggled with his stroke, knocking down only 23% of his looks, for 8ppg. In fact the entire Rockets squad has shot poorly making only 34 from 150 attemps, a grim 24%. Collins has been the standout with 12ppg at 71%. North’s senior players need to step up, with the likes of Mapunda (5.5ppg), Rowe (4ppg), Franceschinis (6.5ppg) significantly down on their usual output. Sturt on the other hand, have had a reasonable start to the year, downing the Flames in OT in Round 1, then taking care of the Mavs last Round in a game that was closer that most thought. Young star Hamish Burns has been exceptional (15ppg, 9rpg), with support in the way of import Dexter Moore (15ppg, 5.5rpg), and Tim Klaosen providing the offensive intensity and efficiency he is known for against Eastern. Their line up bolstered by the off season move of Shane and Stuart Breheny, brings an intimidating work ethic and rebound tenacity to this side, coupled with the acquisition of Brett Maher to the head coaching role, makes this Sabres side an interesting prospect. North will be starving for a win, and after taking both games last season; Sturt will be hungry for revenge.
North by 5
West (2nd 2-0) v South (10th 0-2)
The Bearcats look to feast again this Round, taking on the last placed Panthers. West dispatched Eastern and North with ease by a 20 point buffer, and look to build on that this week whilst running the bench for some minutes late in the game. Truslove looks in impending form, landing 13.5ppg and leading the league with 13rpg, whilst shutting down North’s biggest weapon in Pero last week. Braithwaite has been a fire starter on the offensive end, with 19ppg @ 48%, however his ever dangerous three ball seems elusive so far. Supporting cast featuring Dawson (13ppg, 5apg, 4rpg), Phillips (12ppg) and Spadavecchia (10.5ppg, 6apg), West look very good early in the season. South Adelaide, not so much. Smashed by the Eagles Round 1 by 36, then pasted the week after by the Warriors by 22, now West and then Sturt the week after, the Panthers would be scrolling the fixture to find an easier game. Surely this start to the season would give most sides the collywobbles. Shane Boal has been South’s best (20ppg @ 48% 6rpg), with centre Bradley Reid (10.5ppg, 9.5rpg) contributing well. A crucial component in how this team performs is the play and development of Robertson (9ppg, 4.5rpg), who is capable of putting up good numbers, and shouldering the load.
West by 26.
Centrals (6th 1-1) v Norwood (7th 0-2)
Another early season game, that holds long term importance. Norwood are looking to stay in touch with the pack, and another loss here will make the push to the top 5 difficult. Losing to Sturt in Rd 1 in overtime by 2, then the Tigers in Rd 2 in regulation by 2, the Flames would be desperate to register their first win of the season. Familiar names in Krause (15.5ppg, 10.5rpg), Matthews (18ppg, 6rpg, 4apg) and Webber (13ppg) have taken on most of the responsibility, with O’Boyle (17.5ppg @ 48%) providing an offensive spark. Centrals have again regained the services of Kyle Miller, for the third consecutive season, and look to improve on last years Semi Final loss to the Warriors. Upset in Round 1 by the up and coming Tigers squad, the Lions bounced back to a 20 point beating of the Eagles. Miller has been outstanding leading the league in scoring and assists (29.5ppg @49%, 9apg, 5rpg), as well as quality outings from Clausen (23.5ppg, 7.5rpg), and cameos from Atkins who is leading the league in 3pt % (14ppg). However the Lions need to share the load to ensure that when oppositions lock down their studs, they have options to go to. Norwood will be desperate to avoid going 0-3, but their last visit to StarPLEX saw them on the end of a 20 point loss.
Centrals by 14.
Southern (3rd 2-0) v Eastern (8th 0-2)
The Southern Tigers men’s squad continues to grow and develop, looking to make a push to see some finals action. After handling fellow top 5 contender the Lions in Round 1 by 15, then holding on to get over the line against the Flames by 2, this Tigers squad, mentored by Rashad Tucker, looks poised to feature heavily as the season progresses. Led by the ever evolving Sam McDaniel (18.5ppg @ 60%, 11rpg), Sam Johns (15.5ppg 46%, 7apg), and Codey Ellison (11pg, 10rpg), this team will continue to make in roads, whilst probably dropping a few winnable games, and giving up leads to experienced sides (Norwood last Round). The Mavericks saw their hearts ripped out in the off season, when the Brehenys jumped to the Sabres side, the Mavs required a rebuild, and whilst performing valiantly, haven’t been able to taste success yet. Pushing Sturt last round harder than all expected, is promising signs for this inexperienced outfit, led by their point guard Curtis Scipio (20.5ppg @ 50%, 4apg), plus contributions from Giles (9ppg, 7.5rpg), Nyembo (12ppg), Shorne (10ppg, 7.5rpg) and Dearman (14ppg), this side will provide more contests that initially thought. However whilst they may provide some reality checks for teams trying to cruise past them, they won’t taste to many W’s this year.
Southern by 18.
Forestville (5th 1-1) v Woodville (1st 1-0) - Match of the Round
The last time these sides met was in the slaughter house of the 2013 preliminary final, with the reigning premiers Forestville downing the Warriors by 42 points. However with line up changes, and a sense of reinvigoration down at St Clair, this game is shaped up to be a cracker. The Eagles took care of business Round 1 hunting the Panthers down by 36, before being unable to contain the Lions at the Plex, going down by 20. There is no conceivable way that the Eagles would have had a light trot on the training park this week, looking to make a statement against this seasons favourite. Jake Rios started the season a man on fire, dropping 33 points on 6-13 three balls, before being dumped in the Lions ice bath, shooting 1 of 14 for 4 pts. He still leads the Eagles with (18.5ppg), with quality beside him in Fildes (13.5ppg, 8.5rpg), Mottram (11.5ppg @ 68%, 7rpg), and Oakley (9ppg, 8rpg). Howe-Tipene has big shoes to fill with the depature of Adam Doyle to SEABL, and his ability to distribute the ball and penetrate having a large impact for the Eagles. The Warriors have been as good as everyone has hyped them, smashing the Rockets round 1 by 28, then soundly beating the Panthers by 22 last week. Newcomer Alex Starling has been tremendous, coming 2nd in the league for PPG (26ppg) @ 58% and 2nd for Assists (12apg). Supported very well by Sims (22ppg, 5.5rpg), the experienced outfit of Pilkington, Ng and Wilson, provide security down the stretch. The Warriors took both regular season games last year, however couldn’t beat the personnel bolstered Eagles side in the finals, losing both the Qualifying and Preliminary final.
Woodville by 9.