Getting the top seed to start the SEABL playoffs, Kathleen Scheer and the Hobart Lady Chargers will be looking to continue their strong recent run with an upset.
The Lady Chargers (14-12) play the Knox Raiders (23-3) on the road at the State Basketball Centre Saturday at 6 p.m. (local Australian time).
Hobart is on a four-game winning streak, but will need to play one of its best games to knock off the league’s top team on the road.
“Knox is super tough as they have a dominant guard in Kelly Wilson and a great post in Gabe Richards,” Scheer said. “Both of those girls were my old teammates at Bendigo. In order to beat them we will have to contain those girls. We have really quick athletic guards so we can definitely do that. I’m assuming I’ll start on Gabe although that isn’t for sure yet. They obviously have other good players too, but since I’ve played with these two they stick out the most in my mind.”
Wilson is key distributor with 7.1 assists per contest and also averages 17.6 points per game.
Richards leads Knox in scoring with 23.9 points and 13.8 rebounds per game.
“Offensively, we need to execute and get the ball inside,” Kathleen said. “We must value every possession. There isn’t a lot to it. We have to ball out. We are a different team since we played them last. We are more together and focused than we have ever been.”
The South East Australian Basketball League runs its playoffs a bit differently than many other leagues.
Knox is the top seed in the South Division while Hobart is seeded second.
The winner moves to the South Division grand final and hosts that game. The loser gets a home game next week against the winner of the other first-round game between the third-seeded Nunawading Spectres (14-12) and fourth-seeded Ballarat Rush (14-12).
Knox has lost just once in the South Division this year, falling by a point at Ballarat in Round 9, 82-21.
The other Knox losses came in Week 13 at Bendigo and Dandenong. In the East Division, the Bendigo Braves (21-5) are the top seed and will host the Sandringham Sabres (18-8). The other first-round game has the Geelong Supercats (16-10) visiting the Dandenong Rangers (17-9).
The Bendigo-Sandringham winner hosts the division grand final. The loser hosts the Geelong-Dandenong winner next week in a semifinal.
Scheer ranks third in the SEABL in total blocked shots at 36. She is fourth in the league in three-point shooting percentage at 40.9. Considering she missed eight games due to injury, ranking among the league leaders in those two categories is even more amazing.
Due to that injury, Scheer has played just one game against Knox this season, and it was the second contest back from that collarbone break. In that game, she scored 20 points with seven rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and two steals.
“I was fresh off my injury when we traveled to Knox and still a bit nervous with my arm,” Scheer said. “I’m definitely more confident now.”