2021/22 WNBL: Team of the Week – Round 14
THE penultimate round of the 2021/22 Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) has wrapped, and there was plenty to take out of the weekend’s action. With finals just around the corner, there is plenty to play for in the last batch of games, and it was evident across the schedule. There were some fantastic individual outings, especially in the guard position, where a couple of players were able to produce season-best performances, while the competition’s premier forwards were reliably damaging.
Point Guard – Brittney Sykes (UC Capitals)
First up in Rookie Me Central’s Team of the Week is Sykes, who was simply outstanding in her side’s powerful win over the Lynx. The Capitals had the opportunity to steal top spot from their opponents this week with a win, and that is exactly what they did behind the magnificent efforts of Sykes. She poured in 32 points, six rebounds and a game-high nine assists as she went head-to-head with the next player in our starting lineup.
Shooting Guard – Jackie Young (Perth Lynx)
Perth’s import guard produced a stunning weekend of play, dominating the offensive end of the court in two of her three outings for the round. Young kicked things off with a terrific performance against the Lightning with 30 points, seven rebounds and five dimes, and while she was quieter when the two teams faced off again a couple of days later, she backed it up with a powerful outing against the UC Capitals. While her side couldn’t get the win, Young was a shining light with a game-high 36 points as she generated some much-needed offence for Perth.
Small Forward – Jenna O’Hea (Southside Flyers)
This one feels pretty fitting to be honest. In the same week in which she announced her retirement from the game, O’Hea was terrific in the Flyers’ two outings for Round 14. She kicked things off with a team-high 19 points in the slim loss to the Flames on Thursday night, before backing this up with 21 points, four boards and five assists in the blowout win over the Fire a few days later. One of the stars of the game, O’Hea looks set to finish her decorated career on a high.
Power Forward – Keely Froling (Sydney Uni Flames)
In a positive weekend for the Flames, Froling was a shining light in both of her side’s outings throughout the round. Her team really struggled for offence at times, but with performances of 18 points and nine boards in the win over the Spirit, and 21 points and 10 rebounds in the triumph over the Flyers, the Flames were in good hands as Froling steered her side to victory.
Center – Eziyoda Magbegor (Melbourne Boomers)
The Boomers only had the one outing for the weekend, but Magbegor made the most of her time on the court. In the blowout win against the Lightning, Magbegor produced 23 points and 14 rebounds in a powerful performance, controlling both the paint and the sky. With Melbourne primed for an upcoming appearance in the finals series, Magbegor will be pleased with this performance moving forward.
The first player on our bench is Maddison Rocci of the Southside Flyers, who was extremely reliable in both of her team’s outings this weekend. In the first match against the Flames, Rocci did it all with 13 points, eight rebounds and four dimes, before backing this up with 13 points, eight boards and six dimes in the win over the Fire.
The next bench player in our team is another Flyer in Rebecca Cole, who was at her sharpshooting best in Round 14. With performances of 17 and 20 points from two matches, she was one of the most damaging offensive players we saw this weekend.
We are going small in our lineup off the bench, with Sami Whitcomb of the Perth Lynx the next player in our team. Desoite playing shooting guard at times, we couldn’t leave Whitcomb out of the team thanks to her 38 points over two games against the Lightning.
The next forward in our lineup is Anneli Maley of the Bendigo Spirit, who impressed in the loss to the Flames on Saturday evening. She recorded another double-double of 14 points and 15 boards, as she continues her dominant form.
The final player coming off the bench in our Team of the Week is Alanna Smith of the Adelaide Lightning. Smith has been in some seriously good form of late, and this weekend marked no exception, emphasised by her 24-point, 17-rebound effort against the Lynx.