Cyclones romp to big home win
THE courage of captain Chandrea Jones and the razzle dazzle of star import Nicole Michaels combined to inspire the Frenchville Sports Club Rockhampton Cyclones to a 102-62 win over Northside yesterday afternoon.
It was said before the start of the QBL season that Rockhampton has arguably the deepest and most talented roster in the league.
It has been firing start for the 2014 runner-ups with it all coming together again in a performance that will make rivals sit up and take notice.
The stirring victory came in front of a near-capacity home crowd at Hegvold Stadium, on the back of three QBL wins in last weeks triple-header.
Michaels was unstoppable in her 25 minutes on court scoring 20 points and pulling down 10 boards in a masterful display.
Jones also fired with a game-high 24 points while swingman Rebecca Haynes (21 points and 13 rebounds) also contributed.
"They were stand outs today, they really showed their class," Cyclones coach Chris Muggeridge said.
"It was CJ's first hit out for the season and she was outstanding. She was coming off a high, premiership win for the Finnish Catz Lappeenranta and that really showed on the court."
"Nicole and CJ have played together previously at a college level so they can read each others game."
Haynes hit three out of five attempts at three-pointers in what seemed a promising start for Rockhampton.
But the visitors struggled to settle, with the Cyclones leading 55-26 at halftime.
The lead ballooned to 33 points during the third term as Rockhampton began to pull away from the Wizards.
"I was very pleased we performed the way we did. The girls gained a lot of confidence from last weekend," Muggeridge said.
"We dominated them all the way."
The confidence grew with every basket and the home side 88-51 early in the fourth term.
Samantha Norwood found her touch late in clash to help further the Cyclones margin to 40 points.
"Sam did all the dirty work inside for us. She handled WNBL player Nadeen Payne well," Muggeridge said.
"The Wizards were understrengthed, missing both their imports, so we aren't getting too far ahead of ourselves."
Vice-captain Alex Brady struggled with a reoccurring knee injury while Katrina Clifford tested an ankle sprain.
"We've had a few niggles since our first trial match but we are giving all the girls the necessary time to recover," Muggeridge said.
"Katrina rolled her ankle in the second game last weekend but she seemed to be back at full strength playing a close-to 30 minute game."
The Cyclones will come up against the Townsville Flames in Round 4 at Hegvold Stadium on Friday, 6.30pm.
QBL ROUND 3
At Hegvold Stadium
N Michaels 20p
S Muggeridge 4p
C Jones 24p
C Morrow 5p
A Brown 4p
R Haynes 21p
S Norwood 11p
K Clifford 13p