After last week’s tough NBL1 return our Dandenong Men & Women will be ready to rebound in Round 12, taking on a huge double-header weekend starting with tonight’s Eltham Wildcats matchup on the road.
We’ll then come back home for our Indigenous Round event, honouring the traditional owners of the land across both games as we take on Launceston & NW Tasmania.
RANGER WOMEN PREVIEW
Our Ranger Women stumbled out of the gates last week against Albury/Wodonga and were never able to full claw back the lead, fighting up but missing the sharp play they had before the break.
Getting the full week to return to training and prepare for this back-to-back weekend should do our players well, giving some of our younger Rangers without much NBL1 experience the chance to gel with our veterans. Part of that sharpness comes from chemistry and we’re certain that the play of Emilee Harmon, Alison Downie and Tenaya Sooalo will all be boosted by more time with our younger NBL1 stars.
They’ll first head to Eltham High School tonight for a clash with the Wildcats and some very familiar faces, with former Rangers Bec Pizzey and Anneli Maley awaiting our Dandenong Rangers. Stopping Maley will be especially important for the Rangers with the Wildcat playing incredibly this season, averaging 17 points & 23 rebounds per game. This will definitely be a good test for our Dandenong stars to see where we are at and how we stack up against one of the NBL1 South’s better teams.
Our Indigenous Round event will kick off with our Women taking on the Launceston Tornadoes, the league’s second best team with two WNBL stars, Kelsey Griffin & Keely Froling. Both are having superb seasons that have propelled the Tornadoes up the ladder and stopping them will be a tough task. Should the Rangers want to take this one they’ll need to perform well as a team defensively and get strong offensive performances by Emilee Harmon & Tenaya Soaalo.
Tenaya will be particularly important with her playmaking key to getting the Ranger offense going. If Tenaya is back to her sharp-self we’ll be right in this one, likely needing to match the Tornadoes in a fast paced shootout.
RANGER MEN PREVIEW
It’ll be a similarly tough weekend for our Ranger Men in Round 12 but they’ll have their eyes locked on a W tonight, taking on the 2-11 Wildcats who sit just below the Rangers on the ladder.
We only sit above them due to our Men having played less games, so a win today will be huge for either club if they’re to make a finals push. Our Rangers should be motivated after last week’s performance against Albury-Wodonga, a solid showing despite falling to the Bandits. We played some strong defense as a team and moved the ball well, if our shots start falling we’ll be right in both games this weekend!
Both teams on Saturday night should be pumped up after a big Welcome To Country performance by our local Indigenous community but that could be bad news for our Rangers, battling against the league’s second best team who are performing similarly to their Launceston counterparts.
Their success has largely been a team effort with no player averaging over 20 points. They’ve instead launched it from deep consistantly with six players shooting more than 35% from 3PT range. They’ve also played fantastic defense throughout 2021, part of their greater team philosophy that has pushed them to 9-3 for the season.
To take this one our Rangers will have to beat them up inside the paint, needing Ollie Hayes-Brown and Venky Jois to have big games at home. Ollie Hayes-Brown did not appear his pre-lockdown self last week and if he can flip that this week and overcome the Thunder’s center Paul Campbell this game could be close, giving us a real chance to pip past an elite NBL1 squad at home.
THIS WEEK’S NBL1 EVENT – INDIGENOUS ROUND
Event Date: Saturday July 10th
Doors Open: 5:00PM
Women Tip Off: 6:00PM
Men Tip Off: 8:00PM
Tickets: Available now via Intix