Southern Steel's 2018 season

Gina Crampton
Gina Crampton had a fantastic finish to the season. Photo: Supplied
Jeff Cheshire takes a look back over the Southern Steel's 2018 season.

Most valuable player: Gina Crampton

Tough one this, but it’s hard to go past Crampton’s form in the second half of the season. Her ability to feed her shooters quality ball and her composure in tough situations made her of huge value to this team. Honourable mention toTe Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, who was immense at times.

Most Improved Player: Jennifer O’Connell

Went from a young, inexperienced replacement for Jhaniele Fowler-Reid to a genuine threat herself. Her confidence increased through the season as she got better at using her size and strength to impose herself. This culminated in an outstanding second half of the season and it was much appreciated in the final.

Rookie of the Year: Courtney Elliott

Came in as an injury replacement days before the first game. By the halfway point she had won the starting goal keep bib and by the end was coming up with key plays at key moments. Brought energy and an uncanny knack of reading the attack to create intercepts and deflections.    

Best game: Win v Pulse 54-53 (final)
Still somewhat unbelievable. The Steel trailed 21-10, was still down by six with four minutes left and took the lead for the first time with 25 seconds to play. Not only that, it did not even look like coming back. But it found away and even after the game, no-one seemed to know what had just happened.    

Best performance: Win v Pulse 51-47

The season’s turning point. The Steel was coming off twolosses, while the Pulsehad been the team to beat. But the Steel brought intensity and fought for everything as it ground out the most significant win of the round-robin.    

Worst performance: Loss v Pulse 71-40

Another one against the Pulse. This time a rattled Steel was handed the worst loss in its history. It turned over ball and was powerless to stop arampant attack, as the physicality and intensity with which the Pulse played was too much for the Steel to handle.

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