NBL1 South Players of the Week – Round 10

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 South competition is rapidly reaching the conclusion of its 2024 season, but the massive performances are still in abundance.

Round 10 of the fixture saw another huge batch of games from the span of Friday to Sunday, and with just four weeks remaining until the postseason, the ladder changes very frequently, with the final month of play set to go down to the wire.

The big guns were fit and firing across the men’s and women’s competition over the weekend, highlighted by another 50-point performance.

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, Mason Forbes and Amy Atwell were the best of the bunch, with the latter delivering one of the scoring showings of the season.

Mason Forbes (Waverley Falcons) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles

29 points, 14 rebounds, one assist, one block

Forbes was instrumental as the Falcons held on for a five-point win over the Eagles when the two sides clashed at Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness Centre on Saturday night in a tense encounter.

The visitors were in control of proceedings after storming out of the gates with an emphatic opening term, leading by eight points and immediately put Diamond Valley on the back foot. However, the Eagles steadied in the second and third periods to make it a two-point game at the final change, but the Falcons kept the opposition at arms’ length when it mattered most to claim a 102-97 victory.

Forbes posted a big double-double to prove a powerful force in the paint for the Falcons, standing up down the stretch to produce some big plays in the win.

He shot an accurate 14/16 from the field to make every post a winner en route to a game-high 29 points. Forbes did all of his damage inside the paint, going to work with his back against the basket and proving a handful for the opposition defenders.

His ability to get first hands on the ball was crucial in the context of the match, producing several putbacks in the first quarter to set the tone, before pulling down multiple defensive rebounds in the decisive fourth period.

Forbes finished the match with 14 rebounds, splitting them evenly on both ends of the floor and getting front position more often than not. It was a towering display from the American big man, who was pivotal as Waverley claimed a thrilling victory on the road.

Amy Atwell (Bendigo Braves) vs. Knox Raiders

50 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block

Atwell could not have done much more in her team’s tough loss at the hands of the Raiders to the tune of two points when the two sides went head to head at Knox Basketball Stadium on Sunday evening.

In an enthralling battle, the two sides traded blows all game, with momentum changing hands frequently and the match going down to the wire in a magnificent way to close out the round. In the end, a pair of free throws to Emily Fisher late in the piece proved the difference, as the Braves could not answer in the final seconds and fell by just two points.

Atwell was a one-woman army for Bendigo in the tight loss, doing whatever it took to drag her side over the line in a brave showing.

Remarkably, the Braves superstar accounted for 50 of her side’s 85 points in a simply superb solo display, putting Bendigo on her back and nearly producing a heroic match-winning performance.

Bendigo’s offence ran through her and it was an inspired strategy, with Atwell shooting 19/35 from the field and proving reliable when it came to finding the bottom of the net.

Although she did not quite find her rhythm from behind the arc (5/17 3PT), she was tremendous inside the arc, using excellent handles to create space and generate her own score at a consistent rate. Whenever the Braves needed a basket, Atwell was the answer.

Although she could not quite drag her side over the line, it was still an inspired performance from Atwell, who produced one of the best individual performances in any league in 2024.

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