Cyclones player Grace McDougall is hoping for a strong performance in tonight’s QBL clash with Gladstone.
Cyclones player Grace McDougall is hoping for a strong performance in tonight’s QBL clash with Gladstone. Chris Ison Rokcbask

Big night of basketball as Rocky clashes with Gladstone

ROCKHAMPTON'S Hegvold Stadium will be rocking with basketball action on Saturday as the Rockhampton Rockets and Cyclones host Gladstone Power in two thrilling clashes.

After enjoying a big win over Bundaberg at Hegvold last weekend, the Rockets head into the contest full of confidence and sitting atop the Queensland Basketball League Ladder.

With eight wins to his squad's name so far this season, Rockets coach Neal Tweedy said he was looking forward to taking on an always fiery Gladstone opposition.

"The boys are looking pretty good, we had a great win against Bundaberg last week and are ready for the challenge of Gladstone who are always a tough side," Tweedy said.

The last time the Rockets fired up against Gladstone, fans enjoyed a see-sawing battle for the first three quarters before the Rockets proved their dominance in the last 10 minutes to secure the match.

Reflecting on the round one game, Tweedy said both sides had a changed line-up this weekend with the Power's addition of American Brayden Hobbs and the Rockets adding recruit Michael Kingma to their squad.

The Power will surely have the loss in their minds on the night, and coming off the back of a trouncing from Mackay last round would be keen to redeem themselves.

Tweedy said the Rockets would have to shut down the Power's leading scorers in Hobbs, Shaun Gleeson and Justin Baker and would be relying on their depth and support off the bench to assure the win.

In the women's competition, the Cyclones from Rockhampton's Frenchville Sports Club will would face a tough challenge from Gladstone Power.

Gladstone sustained the first loss of the season last week, going down 88-82 to Mackay while the Cyclones were hoping to put last week's narrow 78-76 loss to Bundaberg behind them.

The last time these two sides met, the Power kicked off their winning streak with a 94-67 defeat of Rocky and will look to key players Natalie Hurst and Jess Bibby and Rachely Pryor's sharpshooting this round.

Cyclones coach Heath Millar was not too worried though and said the Cyclones were keen to take on their southern rivals.

"The girls have been looking pretty good at training this week and are really keen to play Gladstone," Millar said.

"We really need to just get out there and execute better. Last time we turned over the ball about 30 times so we need to improve that."

With the side at full strength apart from Chaundrea Jones who has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury, Millar said the main aim would be to shut down an aggressive Gladstone attack.

The Cyclones versus Gladstone clash begins at Hegvold Stadium at 6pm tonight. The Rockets take to the court at 8pm. Both games are sold out.

QBL WOMEN'S LADDER:

(After round 8)

Team P W L PC won
Mackay 10 10 0 100.00
Gladstone 10 9 1 90.00
Ipswich 9 7 2 77.78
Brisbane 8 6 2 75.00
Cairns 8 4 4 50.00
Bundaberg 9 4 5 44.44
Rockhampton 9 4 5 44.44
Townsville 8 3 5 37.50
Northside 8 3 5 37.50
SW Metro 8 2 6 25.00
Toowoomba 9 2 7 22.22
GC Rollers 8 1 7 12.50
Suncoast Clippers 6 0 6 0.00

QBL MEN'S LADDER:

(After round 8)

Team P W L PC won
Rockhampton 9 8 1 88.89
Cairns 8 7 1 87.50
Brisbane 8 6 2 75.00
Northside 8 6 2 75.00
Mackay 10 6 4 60.00
Gladstone 10 6 4 60.00
Townsville 8 4 4 50.00
Suncoast Clippers 6 2 4 33.33
Ipswich 9 3 6 33.33
GC Rollers 8 2 6 25.00
Bundaberg 9 2 7 22.22
Toowoomba 9 2 7 22.22
SW Metro 8 1 7 12.50


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