As the SEABL Women’s competition approaches its closing rounds, some of the brightest prospects in Australian basketball recorded breakthrough performances. It was a weekend mainly highlighted by rising stars, though a couple of familiar faces also made their presence felt.
Nicole Romeo, Sandringham Sabres (33 pts, 7a, 6r)
Now an established player in Spain’s Division 1 competition, WNBL veteran Romeo answered an SOS from Sandringham coach Simon Giovannoni after his side ran into injury trouble. She is proving to be one of the league’s best scorers and is on fire from the deep, hitting 3-pointers at a crazy 57.1%.
Keely Froling, Canberra Capitals Academy (27 pts, 19r, 5a)
Averaging a double-double this season, Froling is one of the hardest players in SEABL to keep off the boards and in this game collected more rebounds than Nunawading’s entire starting five. She has also improved her passing this year, dishing out another five assists here. Froling ended the game with a plus/minus tally of +30 in a big win and looks set to play a larger role for the Caps next season.
2 of 27 points for Keely Froling.
Chloe Bibby, Bendigo Lady Braves (31 pts, 9r, 2st)
An excellent all-round player who can score inside and outside, Bibby has been getting to the line more than any other player in the competition. In this game, she hit 3/7 three-pointers and went 8/9 from the line on route to her second 30-point performance of the season. Having already seen some WNBL action, Bibby is headed for Michigan State University, a school expected to challenge for the National Championship.
A puzzling omission from the Gems squad which will compete in the U/19s World Cup, Horvat has continued to put up huge numbers at SEABL level and has the valuable ability to score in any number of ways. She shot 14/20 on 2-pointers and went 0/7 from 3-point range in this one, suggesting she will absolutely torch sides when the long-range shots start dropping.
A runner for Chantel Horvat, one of many shots in her arsenal.
Monique Conti, Melbourne Tigers (21 pts, 8 a, 4 st)
A real energiser bunny of a player, Conti was on the court for every second of this win over Frankston and continues to get to the hoop, dish out assists and generally be a blur of motion. It’s not hard to share the enthusiasm of her Melbourne Boomers coach, who told this site "She’s a terrific talent and a hell of a good kid. She is legit”.
Eve Braslis, Geelong Supercats (25 pts, 4 r, 2 st)
With Geelong stars Alex Bunton and Sara Blicavs sequestered in Phoenix for Opals training camp, Braslis seized the opportunity for more playing time. Averaging 5.3 ppg going into this clash with Launceston, the 17-year-old forward put up an efficient 25 points (11/15 FG), grabbed 3 offensive rebounds and had 3 assists.
In career best form, the Dandenong-bound Roberts again put up a monster stat line. While she wasn’t as efficient in this contest as she has been previously this season, her 17 defensive rebounds kept Launceston in the contest and were almost half the Torns total of 35.
Kathleen Scheer, Hobart Chargers (29 pts, 8a, 7r)
The Washington-born Scheer already has an WNBL stint and a SEABL championship-winning shot on her resume, but she’s making a good case for another call-up to the elite level with her play this season. This week’s stellar line, in an important close win over Geelong, was no anomaly – she’s one of the competition’s top five scorers (20.9) and rebounders (11.5).
Hobart Chargers star Kathleen Scheer goes to work from the elbow.
Lara McSpadden, University of Sydney Sparks (27 pts, 6r, 2b)
Still a WNBL free agent after playing for Bendigo Spirit last year, the South Australian born guard chose a good time to put up her best scoring tally of the season. Another Ballarat player familiar to WNBL fans, Joy Burke, also chipped in 23 points and 9 rebounds.