After suffering a devastating ACL injury last season, Canberra Nationals star Kate Gaze will lead the team in their Semi-Final clash against Norths this weekend.

After sitting on the sideline for over a year, Gaze made her return to the court in late March where she was limited to just ten minutes per game. Now at the tail end of the season, Gaze has been invaluable for the side, leading the teams young core in its Quarter-Final victory over Sutherland last weekend.

Gaze was just shy of a triple double posting 17 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists, draining back to back threes late in the third quarter to take control of the game. Heading into this weekends game against Norths, Gaze says she is confident the team can perform well.

“We’ve got our whole squad together this weekend, the last time we played Norths we didn’t have our whole squad because Keely was away and the game before that I was away,” said Gaze. “So we are definitely ready for Norths and either Newcastle or Hornsby after that.”

Norths will be a tough matchup for the Nationals, having defeated them in one of their last road games of the season.

“Norths are really good inside and they’re quite tough and physical, their guards are really smart so they are quite a good team,” said Gaze. “They are pretty strong across the board so it will be a great team match up for us because our strengths are pretty much the same as theirs.”

Following a string of injuries towards the end of last season, the Canberra Capitals Academy missed out on a SEABL Finals appearance which Gaze says is something the team is looking to redeem this year.

“The girls have been great this year, we have a really young squad but we’ve come together so well especially at this end of the season,” said Gaze. “We just play so well together so it’s been fantastic to be a part of and it’s a fun style of game to play.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming 2019/20 WNBL season, Gaze says she is happy to be returning back to Townsville and that her main focus is getting her body right for a higher level of competition.

“It took me a while to get going and last week was probably one of my better games,” Gaze said. “It has been a challenge to come back after having a year off with the knee and to trust my body again and get fit so I hope I’m coming good at the right time of the year and I’m excited for the weekend to come.”

Waratah League Finals

Gunners Academy v Illawarra – 1pm

Nationals v Norths – 3pm