Saints take it up to Blasters

Alpine Observer - - Sport - CBL By JUSTIN JEN­VEY

SEY­MOUR proved too strong for Myrtle­ford in both men’s and women’s Coun­try Bas­ket­ball League fix­tures on Satur­day night.

Look­ing for their sec­ond win in the com­pe­ti­tion the Saints women let a first half lead slip while the men were out­classed by last year’s con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons.

Strong play from Amie An­tonello, Paige Zam­per­oni and Rac­quel Stevens saw Myrtle­ford with a 24-22 first half lead against the Blasters.

How­ever, the Saints couldn’t con­tinue on after the break, and with Sey­mour find­ing their range they were outscored 41-18 in the sec­ond half in a 42-63 loss.

“We just couldn’t put the ball in the bas­ket in the third and fourth quar­ters,” coach Les Stevens said.

“They had one very big player that stopped us from get­ting inside, size plays a big part down the stretch and we’re a pretty small team so they re­ally blew us out late.”

Rac­quel Stevens led Myrtle­ford with 13 points while An­tonello and Zam­per­oni each fin­ished with 10 points.

In a fast-paced opening quar­ter Myrtle­ford went toe to toe with Sey­mour in the men’s clash, with the dif­fer­ence just three points at the end of the first.

The Blasters gained the as­cen­dency in the sec­ond to lead by 14 points at the break and ex­tended their ad­van­tage to 21 points three and a half min­utes into the third term.

A young unit of Jalen Barker, Ry­ley Bouker, Char­lie and Ryan Crisp and Tawhiti Pahina helped cut the mar­gin to 13 points and then 10 points early in the last be­fore Sey­mour again pulled away.

Myrtle­ford scored the last six points of the game as it ended 66-79.

De­spite a third straight loss for the men Stevens said a real pos­i­tive was the play of their teenagers.

“We want to get th­ese young guys out there on the court and when they were they showed no fear, kept the in­ten­sity up and were mak­ing bas­kets,” he said.

“We mixed up our ro­ta­tions a lot bet­ter this week and were re­ally com­pet­i­tive, we rat­tled them a bit, they had a cou­ple of their good play­ers foul out.”

Jalen Barker scored a game­high 28 points with 14 of those com­ing in the third quar­ter.

Myrtle­ford is back at home on Sun­day against Shep­par­ton.

“Shep­par­ton will be tough for both teams, in the men we may go 0-4 but a win is just around the corner,” Stevens said.

“Marnie Dood­e­waard and Bronte Burgess will be back for the women, we were a bit short on guards against Sey­mour so they will be wel­come re­turns.”

The men will re­gain Greg Dood­e­ward and Lachy West while Matt Dy­ball is un­avail­able for another week.

The week­end’s matches get un­der­way at 12pm and 2pm.

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