ALL CLASS: Point guard Aaryn Ellenberg has been leading by example for the Rockhampton Cyclones.
ALL CLASS: Point guard Aaryn Ellenberg has been leading by example for the Rockhampton Cyclones. Chris Ison ROK180518ccyclones2

Cyclones building to full force, says coach

BASKETBALL: Coach Chris Muggeridge says the Rockhampton Cyclones are starting to run into form as they prepare for the local derby against Gladstone.

The Cyclones have won two of their opening four games to be sitting in the middle of the QBL ladder and are confident of adding to their points tally with a strong showing on their home court tonight.

Muggeridge said the team was improving with each game and star import Shanavia Dowdell, who is on the comeback trail from a knee reconstruction, was inching closer to top form again.

Cyclones player Christina Boag in the team's win against Mackay last weekend.
Cyclones player Christina Boag in the team's win against Mackay last weekend. Chris Ison ROK180518ccyclones3

"It's a brand new team so it's taken the start of the season for the team to gel and build some rhythm,” he said.

"We were definitely underdone for Round 1, now come Round 5 we've hit our straps and the girls are definitely getting familiar with each other's style of play.

"Our game last Friday night (against Mackay) showed it's starting to come together and we've put a few other teams on notice that we're here to compete this year and try to win a championship.

"Aaryn Ellenberg has come out and dominated so far, and Chris Boag is definitely a crucial part of our team and is in some very good form.”

Muggeridge said the Cyclones would be keen to get one back on Gladstone, who got the better of them last season.

"I'm super excited about this game. It's a local rivalry and it's a game that we want to win every year,” he said.

Cyclones player Katrina Clifford on court against Mackay at Hegvold Stadium.
Cyclones player Katrina Clifford on court against Mackay at Hegvold Stadium. Chris Ison ROK180518ccyclones4

"We're under no illusions - they're a very tough team. They are mentally tough; they do not give up and they play right to the last second.

"We fully expect it could be a grind-out game and to be very close but in saying that I'm confident we can get the win.

"We're bigger than them, we're faster and stronger than them.

"It's all about making sure we stay focused, we play with high energy and we make the right decisions on offence.”

The game starts at 6.30pm at Hegvold Stadium.

The Rockhampton Rockets hit the court against Gladstone at 8.30pm.



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