D3M: Two Bays Cup Showdown

02.07.2009

BIG V SEASON 2009 WEEKLY PREVIEW:

DIVISION THREE WOMEN

Here is a head-to-head preview of the Division Three Women’s games in round fourteen this week.

GAME OF THE ROUND

Western Port Steelers V Mornington Breakers

Sunday July 5, 2.00pm @ Somerville Recreation Community Centre

The SteelerDome should be packed to the rafters on Sunday afternoon when Western Port hosts Mornington in the latest installment of the Two Bays Cup.

The Cup is decided on aggregate for both women’s and men’s games between the Mornington Peninsula rivals, with the Breakers currently holding and eight point advantage.

The Breakers are sitting nicely on top of the table with a five-game winning streak, while the third-placed Steelers are coming off two losses last weekend.

The absence of Keira Beswick was a major reason for the Steelers’ defeats and the star forward, who is leading the league in scoring with 18.1 points per game, will be desperately needed to counter the influence of Rachael Wansbrough and Jenny Maher.

Wansbrough and Maher were standout performers in the Breakers’ crucial win over Camberwell last week and have been dominating opposition front-courts all season, although Melanie Stewart will be no pushover on Sunday.

The visitors’ backcourt is also starting to look potent with captain Ange Heigh returning and Ash McSweeney developing by leaps and bounds, meaning the Steelers are going to have their hands full as they seek to lure the silverware to Somerville.

 

Western Port Steelers V Chelsea Gulls

Saturday July 4, 6.00pm @ Somerville Recreation and Community Centre

Western Port’s home-double tips off against the struggling Chelsea Gulls on Saturday night.

While the Steelers might be tempted to look ahead to their tantalising Two Bays Cup clash with Mornington on Sunday, a win against the Gulls will be vital to their playoff aspirations after dropping two games last weekend.

The Steelers have only faced the Gulls once this season, winning by 11 points in Round Seven with Keira Beswick lighting it up with 19 points and 18 boards and Melanie Stewart posting her usual double-double.

Chelsea guard Jessica Chard was outstanding last week with 25 points, however the Gulls have won just four games this season and will need the likes of Kate Miller and Janelle Hunt to be at their best if they’re to silence the locals.

Camberwell Dragons V La Trobe University Eagles

Saturday July 4, 6.00pm @ Waverley Basketball Centre

Camberwell can continue its bid to reclaim top spot when it hosts La Trobe University on Saturday night.

The Dragons will be breathing fire after being beaten by fellow heavyweight Mornington last week, which doesn’t auger well for the visitors.

However, the Eagles are coming off a successful weekend where they defeated Western Port and Chelsea, meaning they’ll be chock full of confidence as they seek to wreak havoc on teams vying for finals positions.

Melissa Carter will be hoping to repeat her stellar Round 13 form – she averaged 17.5 points in her best weekend of the season – while Krystal and Nikki Calvert are always dangerous.

A tantalising match-up will take place in the paint between Erin McCutcheon and Zanelle Marama. McCutcheon is the league’s most prolific rebounder with 15.5 boards per game, while Marama always provides a massive presence close to the basket and will take some beating.

The Dragons have beaten the Eagles twice this season, including a remarkable defensive effort in Round Seven where they held them to just 26 points, and with Claire Trevorrow in excellent form the home side should be too strong on Saturday.

 

Darebin Giants V McKinnon Cougars

Sunday July 5, 2.00pm @ Darebin Community Sports Centre

If last week’s clash between these sides is any indication, McKinnon will have a fight on its hands as it seeks to edge closer to a finals berth against Darebin.

The Cougars trailed by 14 points at half-time last Sunday and got out of jail after some wasteful free-throw shooting from Darebin and a heart stopping buzzer-beater from Emma Butler.

The visitors are still within reaching distance of Western Port and Altona, however they’ll probably have to win at least five of their remaining six games to have any chance of playing in August.

It may sound like a difficult task but the Cougars have a favourable draw ahead of them, playing just one top-four team compared to Western Port who has to play Mornington twice and as well as Camberwell.

Brooke Ary will certainly do her best to make it possible after posting an excellent double-double of 15 points and 13 boards last week, while the Cougars will have to be wary of Hayley Lloyd who has been in ripping form for the Giants.

 

Altona Lady Gators V Chelsea Gulls

Sunday July 5, 3.00pm @ Altona Sports Centre

Altona Lady Gators made history last week and can now focus on the big picture: securing a finals berth.

The Gators’ one-point victory over Darebin on Saturday night was their tenth win of the season and the first time in club history that their win column has reached double-figures.

David Maxwell’s side was unable to follow it up with a victory over Mornington the next day, meaning a few more wins are still required to ensure a spot in the playoffs ahead of the lurking McKinnon.

Jayne-Maree Sant continues to shine with an average of 20 points and 11.5 rebounds in last weekend’s games, while Maxwell has described Jackie Gibson and Nicole Eames as the “rocks” of the team in the absence of Ashleigh Richardson and Sarah McKay.

The Gulls will be hoping the likes of Chard and Miller can throw a spanner in the works, however the home side is clearly on a mission and will be tough to beat.


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