NBL1 Central Players of the Week – Round 7

LAST weekend saw another cracking batch of games from the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Central competition, as the fixture edges closer to the halfway point of the 2024 season.

Several sides are in contention after seven weeks of play, with some hard-fought contests likely to prove crucial later in the season. The big names have been consistently putting together strong outings, while newcomers are breaking onto the scene week in, week out.

Both the men’s and women’s divisions are goldmines for strong performances on a weekly basis, and Round 7 did not break that trend.

With that in mind, Rookie Me Central will be taking a look at the standout performances from both divisions, after some big numbers were posted over the weekend. This time, a pair of Norwood Flames stars take out the honour, with Jack Hemphill and Eva Langton delivering outstanding showings in Round 7.

Jack Hemphill (Norwood Flames) vs. Woodville Warriors

30 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal

It was a match-winning effort from Hemphill, who led Norwood past Woodville at St Clair Recreation Centre on Saturday night.

The Flames were in desperate need of a win after sustaining a tough losing streak over the past few weeks, and while the Warriors had been inconsistent, looked more likely than Norwood to snag a win. However, the visitors stormed out of the gates to take a 13-point lead into the first break, and came home strong to produce a 10-point victory and inject some life into their season.

Hemphill was undoubtedly the star of the show, delivering a game-high 30 points and proving the most reliable avenue to scoring that the team had.

From the field, he shot 11/18, and could find the bottom of the net from just about anywhere in the win over the Warriors. Whether it was turn-around mid-range shots, three-pointers or put-back lay-ups through contact, he was determined to keep his side’s score ticking over.

He was also impressive on the glass, in an excellent display of strength that could not be contained by the opposition. Hemphill pulled down an equal game-high 12 rebounds, and simply wanted the ball more than his opponent whenever he flew in for a board.

It was a tremendously important performance from Hemphill, who had a massive game and was a vital piece in Norwood’s win.

Eva Langton (Norwood Flames) vs. Woodville Warriors

35 points, five rebounds, seven assists, one block

Norwood had another massive performance as the women’s Flames side handed the Warriors a 99-69 loss at St Clair Recreation Centre on Saturday night.

The clash was looming as an excellent opportunity to break a run of losses for either side, so the stakes were certainly high. However, the Flames always looked a step ahead, jumping out to a double-digit lead early in the match and never surrendering their buffer on the scoreboard, en route to a 30-point win to get back on track.

Langton was an offensive force in the victory, looking unstoppable whenever she got the ball and looking too dangerous for the defence to handle.

Her game-high 35 points came on the back of 12/17 shooting from the field, but it was behind the arc where the superstar did her best work. She shot 9/14 on three-pointers, completely tormenting the opposition with her long-range shooting.

Langton looked to fire off a long-range shot whenever she caught the ball, setting her feet and putting up an attempt before the defence could contest her shot in what proved to be a winning formula.

It was an outstanding showing of sharpshooting from Langton, who had her eye in from behind the arc as the Flames blew out the Warriors.

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