ROUND 12 of the Country Basketball League season was held last weekend at Castlemaine with the Echuca Pirates going down 76-62 to the fourth-placed Cannons.
The visitors matched Castlemaine in the two and three-point shooting departments but gave up 27 fouls to 17 and then watched the Cannons convert 21 of those 27 foul throw opportunities.
The Pirates could only convert three of 17 — meaning that if all had gone in from the charity stripe, there would have been at least a drawn contest at full time and thus overtime played.
Lachie Tenace (13 points) and Dan Newman (12) top scored for Echuca, but Newman has also picked up one of the least-wanted records in the competition.
He averages 4.56 personal fouls per match so far this summer.
The lady Pirates went down by just a point to Castlemaine, 49-48.
Madi Higgins played a pivotal part in the last 53 seconds of the match for Echuca.
After tying the scores with a two-pointer — and taking her own tally to a team-high 14 points for the match — Higgins fouled Cannon Kate Blake. Blake sunk the subsequent free throw with 28 seconds on the clock to win it for the locals.
Higgins still ended the afternoon as the most accurate from the free throw line for either side, putting through six, double the amount of any other player.
Throughout, the two-point shooting from the Pirates and Cannons was near-identical but had the visitors been able to nail even one from the perimeter at any stage, it could have tipped the scoreboard in their favour.
On Saturday night Echuca travels to Wangaratta to meet the Warriors for round 13 action.
For the last-placed Pirates combinations, it’s a chance to meet a rival sitting seventh on the ladder in both competitions.