Thursday, March 30, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Basketball fans turned out in force as the Mackay Metorettes and Meteors kicked off their NBL1 seasons last Friday night.
Welcoming Rockhampton to the Crater for Rivalry Round, it was the Meteorettes taking on the Cyclones first in what ended up an absolute thriller.
With each team taking the lead throughout the first quarter, the Cyclones took control of the game early, going into the first break with a 15-26 lead.
The momentum started to shift in an evenly matched second quarter, with the Meteorettes staying in the game at 35-44 at halftime.
Led by US import Davida Dale, who was hitting threes for fun and finished the game with 28 points, the home side hit back hard in the third quarter, taking a 65-59 lead into the final quarter.
The visitors started their fourth quarter strongly, with Samantha Bowman leading the way and finishing with 38 points for the match.
Tied up at 80-80 with eight seconds to go, the visitors were given free throws in the final four seconds to seal a hard-fought 80-82 win against an impassioned Mackay outfit.
“We had a pretty good start,” said Meteorettes Head Coach Jaimey Doevendans.
“We lost our way with ball movement for a little while and it could’ve come down to fatigue.
“Our crowd helped us in that third quarter, the girls responded, and we found our way a little bit.
“The girls played with character and that’s what we’re building our team on.”
The next match between the Meteors and Rockets started off in a similarly even fashion, a fast-paced first quarter finishing with the visitors in the lead 26-30.
The match remained in the balance throughout the second quarter, both teams scoring rapidly with the halftime score 48-49.
The home side started to pile on the points in the third quarter, with Isaac White finding his rhythm on debut and leading the team with infectious energy, finishing with 40 points for the match.
The home side went into the final quarter with an 87-76 lead, finishing the match convincing 106-90 victors over their central Queensland rivals.
“It’s always good when we get the win, against Rockhampton, particularly,” Meteors Head Coach Joel Khalu said.
“We’ve had a really good preseason, so that’s helped the personalities find a way to gel.
“If you can get guys to buy into the system and buy into each other, then it makes it a whole lot easier as a coach.
“We’re a group that have got different threats in different ways on the floor.
“Whitey (Isaac White) was outstanding tonight.
“I thought CJ (Christian) Maran was amazing.
“I thought his defence really changed the course of the game.
“Overall, defensively, while we gave up 90, I think, for the most part, we had a good day on the court.”
The Mackay teams return to the Crater tonight, Friday, March 31, to take on the Townsville Flames and Heat.
Basketball returned to the Crater last Friday