NBL1 North Players of the Week – Round 5

ANOTHER round of National Basketball League (NBL)1 North action saw some of the competition’s biggest names deliver performances that had to be seen to be believed.

Now in the fifth round of the 2024 season, Queensland and the Northern Territory’s premier basketball competition was once again, with games taking place from Friday to Sunday with plenty of strong showings from the league’s stars.

It was a weekend of blowouts for both the Men’s and Women’s divisions, with the contending sides beginning to put space between themselves and the teams that are struggling to start the fixture.

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, Tyrell Harrison and Mikaela Ruef produced some astounding statlines and produced star showings as their respective sides recorded big wins.

Tyrell Harrison (Southern District Spartans) vs. Logan Thunder

30 points, 18 rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks

Harrison was an absolute monster in a massive win for the Spartans as they defeated the Thunder by 42 points at Rowland Cowan Stadium on Saturday night.

Southern District won all four quarters, with the final three coming in convincing fashion (28-12, 26-16, 23-13), and Logan simply had no answer. The Thunder could not get their offence rolling while the Spartans could not be stopped in transition as the home side snagged a 106-64 victory.

Harrison was one of the biggest factors in the match, with an undeniable presence proving too much for Logan’s interior defence.

He shot 12/18 from the field on his way to a game-high 30 points, going to work in the paint and proving too big and strong for the Thunder’s big men. Harrison also left some points at the free throw line, making just six of his 11 attempts, indicating he could have had an even bigger game.

Known for his rebounding presence both at NBL1 and NBL level, the big man pulled down a whopping 18 boards to record one of the biggest double-doubles of the 2024 North Men’s season. 15 of these came on the defensive end after putting pressure on as many of Logan’s shots as he could.

It was an enormous showing from Harrison, who stamped his presence on the match with a massive paint presence for the Spartans.

Mikayla Ruef (North Gold Coast Seahawks) vs. Ipswich Force

19 points, 30 rebounds, 10 assists, one steal

One of the biggest stars in Australian basketball delivered the most impressive statline of 2024, with Ruef leading the North Gold Coast Seahawks to a 32-point win over the Ipswich Force at JBS Stadium on Saturday evening.

After a tightly contested first quarter that saw the Seahawks snag a slim three-point lead, North Gold Coast put the foot down in the second term. The visitors outscored the Force 31-13 in a defining period of the match, and despite Ipswich’s best efforts, the Seahawks ended up cruising home to a 106-74 triumph.

Ruef was simply outstanding for the winning side, doing a lot of everything and proving to be the biggest factor of the match.

From the field, the talented tall shot 7/9 and a perfect 5/5 from the free throw line in an efficient scoring performance to finish the game with 19 points, all of which were crucial in the context of the match.

There has not been a better rebounding performance in any NBL1 competition this year than what Ruef delivered on Saturday. She pulled down a massive 30 rebounds for the match (22 defensive, eight offensive), which was more than the entire Ipswich roster.

The Force began to realise how much impact she was having on the game, and sent the double-teams in an attempt to quell her influence. However, Ruef’s touch and decision-making in exit passes resulted in 10 assists, which was also a game-high figure.

Ruef was everywhere for Ipswich with a monstrous statline in the home victory, in one of the best performances of her career.

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