Forward Courtney Wilkins will make her NBL1 debut this weekend when she takes to the floor against the Hobart Huskies at home on Saturday night before backing up on Sunday against the Hawks at Ringwood on Sunday.
The addition of former Frankston junior Wilkins is a timely boost for the Blues who enter round 8 with just a 2-6 record, four games outside the top 8. With the Blues’ playoff aspirations on the line, Jess May believes the team is heading in the right direction, with Shereesha Richards and now Wilkins rounding out her roster for the remainder of the season.
“We have had some tough games, and this weekend is out first double-header with games against Hobart and Ringwood,” explained May.
“Richards joined the team late and is providing us with some much-needed interior presence. But we are still small, and Wilkins can further help us in that area.”
Standing at 6’1 Wilkins has enjoyed a standout college career at Buffalo – the same program attended by her Blues team mates Steph Reid and JoAnna Smith. Her senior year was her best, averaging 6.3 points and 2.6 rebounds while connecting on 33.9% of her three point attempts and shooting a team best 94.7% from the charity stripe in 23 minutes per game. Her best outing came against 2019 NCAA Final Four school Oregon, where she scored 19 points, including five three pointers in a scintillating shooting performance.
Hosting the Huskies who boast two more wins that the Blues on Saturday night, May was confident that with two valiant performances against championship contenders Nunawading and Knox under their belts, the team was primed for a win.
“We are quietly confident about Saturday night,” added May.
“While I would rather we play Ringwood on Saturday and then the Huskies on Sunday, we know we have the ability to win both games. We will not leave out anything on the court and hopefully we can register two straight wins.”
The Huskies are led by the talented trio of Tayla Roberts, Ellie Collins and Sharna Thompson who all average 16 points or more per game. However they are coming off losses to Dandenong and last week Albury-Wodonga, and will be looking to return to the winners list.
Ringwood however pose a different threat on Sunday, currently boasting an impressive 7-2 record. However they too have lost their past two games straight, but will this weekend have the luxury of catching the Blues on the second-leg of their double-header weekend. They will be hoping the Huskies can make life very diffricult for the Blues on Saturday night. New Zealand star Antonia Farnworth and import Cassidy Mihalko have been at the forefront of Ringwood’s success this season. If the Blues can back up healthy from Saturday night’s game, they will like their chances to inflict a third straight loss on the Hawks.
With Steph Reid (22.5ppg & 6.2apg) brushing off her ankle injury last week, and Shereesha Richards back to her dominant best, the addition of Wilkins could well prove to be the impetus for a Blues winning weekend. There has never been a better time to get excited about the Blues over recent times, and this weekend could well be the tipping point from which success is borne.