Cyclones blow Gladstone away in 'slick performance'
BASKETBALL: Coach Chris Muggeridge had a smile on his face from start to finish as the Rockhampton Cyclones scored a commanding win in the local derby against Gladstone on Friday night.
Hegvold Stadium was buzzing as the Rockhampton Rockets also got the better of the visitors, reversing their pre-season results to beat Gladstone Port City Power by 10 points.
The Cyclones came ready to play, hitting 33 points in the opening quarter to lay the platform for the 107-67 victory.
They were dominant across the court, dynamic in attack and rock-solid in defence, in what Muggeridge described as a "slick performance”.
"I'm pretty stoked with that result,” he said on Saturday.
"I think last night it all came together and the girls played extremely well, especially against such a tough opponent.
"I thought it showed class and character to get the win in the way that we did.
"For us it was just about concentrating on what we do best, trying to get our game right and making sure we dictated the tempo.
"We wanted Gladstone to know that if they wanted to compete they had to get to our level, and obviously we were just too good.”
Muggeridge said star imports Shanavia Dowdell and Aaryn Ellenberg showed their class.
Dowdell, who is coming back from a knee reconstruction, led the way with a game-high 40 points and 11 rebounds, while Ellenberg scored 30 points and finished with six rebounds.
"Shanavia was absolutely back to her best last night,” Muggeridge said.
"It definitely helps having such a fantastic point guard in Aaryn Ellenberg to open Shanavia up and get her the ball.”
Power forward Chloe Morrow produced a quality performance in her 150th game for the Cyclones, while Chris Boag was the team's best in defence.
The Cyclones have won three of five and head to Mackay this weekend, keen to build some momentum.
"For us to get a win like that over one of our biggest rivals is definitely very pleasing and very rewarding,” Muggeridge said.
"I've got no doubt that we can win this competition; we just need to take it week by week and make sure we take care of who's in front of us at the time.
"We can't go along and be happy with just beating teams, we need to make sure we're improving as well and getting better at what we do.”