NBL1 West Players of the Week – Round 11

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 action continued out west over the weekend, with Round 11 seeing some massive numbers posted from both a team and individual standpoint.

With the end of the fixture suddenly approaching at a rapid pace, the teams in contention for a finals spot are starting to find each match is carrying more significance than ever, with the race for a postseason appearance set to come down to the wire.

With the competition currently stacked with high quality talent, there were another batch of massive showings from several players across the men’s and women’s divisions over the weekend.

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, Marek Nelson and Teige Morrell proved to be the best of the bunch with a pair of telling weekends.

Marek Nelson (Eastern Suns) vs. South West Slammers

36 points, two rebounds, three assists, seven steals

For the second week in a row, Nelson was the best player in the NBL1 West Men’s round, producing yet another powerful two-way performance as the Suns snuck past the Slammers by seven points at the Eaton Rec Centre on Saturday night.

With home court advantage, the Slammers looked well-positioned to claim an impressive win over the Suns after snagging a slim, but solid lead at the final change. However, Eastern simply kicked into gear in the final 10 minutes to completely change the narrative of the game, storming home with a 23-12 fourth term to claim an 83-76 triumph.

Nelson was the match-winner for the Suns with a second consecutive scoring explosion for his side, and truly announcing himself as one of the biggest stars in the NBL1.

Although his team stormed home offensively in the last, Nelson was consistent across all four quarters, proving a lone hand on the scoring front at times to keep Eastern in the game.

From the field, he shot 11/18, while also replicating those numbers at the free throw line after drawing plenty of contact. Had he made the most of his trips to the charity stripe, it could have been an even bigger showing.

His active hands were also a key part in the Suns wrestling back the momentum in the final term, recording seven steals in an extremely energetic showing on the defensive end.

Nelson has been the difference for his side for two consecutive weeks, and is now one of the best players in the competition based on current form.

Teige Morrell (Lakeside Lighting) vs. Perth Redbacks and Rockingham Flames

vs. Redbacks – 32 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals, three blocks
vs. Flames – 31 points, 18 rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks

It was a simply dominant weekend from Morrell, who stamped her authority on both of Lakeside’s outings to lead the Lightning to wins over the Redbacks and Flames throughout the course of Round 11.

Morrell and the Lightning started the round in thrilling fashion, claiming a one-point win over Perth at home after holding off a fast finishing Redbacks side.

The following night, Lakeside travelled to Mike Barnett Sports Complex to take on the Flames and were simply too good in the third term en route to a nine-point triumph to cap off a perfect weekend.

Morrell was a star in both outings, combining for 63 points across two matches and going to work in the low block, using clever footwork and excellent strength to get the better of the opposition in the paint on both occasions.

She was efficient in both matches, shooting 14/22 against the Redbacks before backing it up with numbers of 12/17 in the win over the Flames. She was simply too much for the defence to contain, with the Lightning eager to get the ball in her hands in post up situations any chance they could.

On the glass, she was particularly strong against Rockingham, pulling down 18 for the match and working her way to front position against the Flames and getting first hands on the ball more often than not.

Morrell had already established herself as a tough matchup each week in the NBL1 West Women’s, and lived up to that reputation with a pair of outstanding showings to lead the Lightning to a 2-0 record for the round.

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