Lady Pirates, and the men, picked off by Braves

November 10, 2016

Echuca's two Country Basketball League senior sides again suffered defeat on the weekend in round five action at home, losing in both the men’s and women’s competition to Bendigo.

The men again suffered from foul trouble and subsequently sent the visiting Braves to the charity stripe too often in the 89-54 defeat.

Matt Kellett fared the worst in the ill-discipline department for Echuca with five personal fouls while Dan Newman top-scored for the hosts with 18 points. Jack Lees added 10.

The Lady Braves muscled their way past the Pirates, shooting 41 points under the rim to run out big winners, 108-39. Madi Higgins scored 12 for Echuca while Lucy Eishold shot 11.

Lady Pirates coach Simon Eishold said it was simply a case of inexperience that would determine how the 2016-17 season panned out.

‘‘The circumstances we have are that we’re a very young team,’’ he added.

‘‘We have predominantly girls between the ages of 16 and 21. Two are in the older bracket, while the majority are 17 or 18.’’

Given that scenario, Eishold defined ‘‘the concept of what the Lady Pirates is’’ for the summer.

‘‘It’s to give girls an opportunity to play at the top level,’’ he said.

‘‘Success is secondary. I know people would say that if you lose you’re no good, but on the weekend our effort was exceptionally good in the first half. In the second half we deteriorated badly due to an inability to maintain our work rate and the class of the opposition told in the end. The score blew out and that was our lowest for this season. We’ve been playing some very good basketball and it’s all about learning adult basketball, new plays and new ways against much tougher, stronger and larger opposition.’’

Maintenance of a four-quarter effort was the main area of the game that Eishold intended to impress upon his players in the coming weeks.

‘‘You’ve got to remain actively in the game to win,’’ he said.

‘‘You’ve got to stop the opposition scoring and score yourself. If we’re not a threat to score we won’t stand up against teams that continue to score against us. We must remain a threat, offensively and defensively, and that’s a difficult task.’’

‘‘They’re a bunch of girls who really just want to play and they’re a credit to themselves on that basis,’’ Eishold said.

‘‘All I’m doing is managing the roster and directing them and they can teach themselves from there. No-one’s going to the Olympics from here. No-one’s going to the NBA. This is about learning the game. A win is a bonus and I’ll take every win I can and proceed down that path.’’

The Pirates men and women next play on Saturday night at Maryborough against the Blazers.

—Ben Carter

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