NBL1 North Players of the Week – Round 8

THE action kept rolling in the National Basketball League (NBL)1 North over the weekend, with the eighth round of action seeing some dominant performances from a team perspective.

With action taking place over the span of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Queensland and the Northern Territory saw some massive blowouts as the sides in contention for the title began to flex their muscles as the fixture rolled on.

Given there were so many big wins, the massive individual showings were frequent as well, with plenty of players performing strongly on both ends.

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, Sam McDaniel and Samantha Bowman caught the eye with their astounding statlines.

Sam McDaniel (Brisbane Capitals) vs. Cairns Marlins

34 points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals

Producing the rare 5×5 game, McDaniel was the star of the show as the Capitals produced an impressive 13-point win over the Marlins when the two teams went head to head at Auchenflower Stadium on Friday night in the first game of the round.

The Capitals had control of the match for the first three quarters, jumping out to an 11-point lead in the first term and holding on to keep it at double-digits heading into the last. However, the game had a twist to come as Cairns stormed home to erase the deficit and force overtime, but the Capitals reigned supreme in the extra period and snagged a 110-97 win.

Playing in the same town as his NBL club, McDaniel was outstanding on both sides of the ball in the overtime win, leading the way as the Capitals got the job done.

Shooting 62 per cent from the field (13/21), the forward was the game’s leading scorer with 34 points, helping the team get going in the opening term and playing a crucial role in closing the game out as Brisbane ran over the top of the opposition.

McDaniel often does his best work with his back to the basket, and often sought mismatches before backing down his opponent and finishing at the rim.

Although he was extremely impactful offensively, he was a tremendous disruptor on the defensive end, maintaining active hands to record five steals and create plenty of transition plays for Brisbane.

The Capitals were given a massive boost by the performance of McDaniel, who showed his class and workrate with a stirring showing.

Samantha Bowman (Rockhampton Cyclones) vs. Darwin Salties

31 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, four steals

The Cyclones delivered a massive performance in their clash against the Salties, and Bowman was at the forefront as Rockhampton emerged 30-point winners in the clash at Bravus Arena on Saturday evening.

The signs were ominous early for Darwin, as the Cyclones stormed out to an 18-point lead in the first term after restricting the Salties to 12 points in the first term in an indication of how the remainder of the game would go. Despite an improved performance in the second and third periods, Darwin managed just five points in the fourth term as the Cyclones cruised home to a 96-66 win.

Although there were plenty of impressive contributions from a Rockhampton perspective, Bowman was clearly the standout with an enormous double-double.

Offensively, she led from the front with 31 points on 13/27 shooting from the field, finding plenty of success scoring the ball near the rim. She was the go-to option for the Cyclones on the offensive end and rewarded the faith with consistent scoring plays.

On the glass, there was no equal to her work, particularly on the offensive end, with 10 of her 17 rebounds coming after a Rockhampton miss and consistently resulting in a second chance score. The Salties simply could not box her out, which was a factor that played a big part in the result of the match.

Bowman was a machine as both a scorer and rebounder, and her dominance was reflected of how well her team performed against Darwin.

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