Written by Eric McAlister. Photos by JDR Creative.
The Rip City women suffered a tough defeat to perennial powerhouse Southern Districts Spartans women in Round 1, dropping to the Spartans 98-92.
Point Guard Maddi Rocci finished with a game high 34 points and 10 rebounds while forward Carlie Smith finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds on the night.
In a game where 11 of 12 players saw action, 9 different players hit the scoring column for Rip City in a balanced effort. Youngsters Esther Fleming and Maddie Campbell had strong showings for the women in their Rip City debut’s, contributing across the stat sheet in their performances.
This week the women will take on the Northside Wizards in the NBL1 North Pink Round, supporting breast cancer awareness.
The Wizards host one of the most talented back courts in the competition this season, boasting WNBA draft pick and Opal Shyla Heal and Tiana Mangakahia, an accomplished international guard in her own right.
Mangakahia comes in off of a 28 point, 8 assist performance in Round 1 and Heal comes in off a 16 point performance in a win over Brisbane Captials.
The Rip City women will have to slow down the dominant backcourt of the Wizards and look to punish them inside.
Both Heal and Mangakahia pose significant offensive threats the Rip City’s defence, however the defence and limiting turnovers will be focal points for the women heading into the matchup.
Look for big games from the usual suspects and potentially a breakout game from American import Ashley Arlen who showed flashes of brilliance while battling foul trouble in round one.
Captain Liisa Ups will look to continue her form from Round 1, bolstering the defensive presence of the group. With a round of experience under their belt, the young talent of the Rip women will be more settled and confident in their approach as the season moves forward.
Support the women’s side as they play the late game at 7pm on Saturday, May 7. Catch the game on the NBL1 livestream or head on down to the South Pines Complex to support Rip City!