Saints set to build in CBL

Alpine Observer - - Sport -

the first time we didn’t re­ally know how we would fare but go­ing for­ward play­ers now know what to ex­pect.

“I think the big­gest pos­i­tive is the num­ber of youth com­ing through, we had a lot of young play­ers this year and there’s only go­ing to be more youth fight­ing for spots in the future.”

Myrtle­ford’s young tal­ent cer­tainly shone for much of the sea­son par­tic­u­larly late in the cam­paign for the men’s team when it was ev­i­dent, some of the best line- ups were those made up en­tirely of teenagers.

The team’s three lead­ing scor­ers Jalen Barker, Jack­son Townsend and Char­lie Crisp were no older than 17.

Stevens said hav­ing the right mix of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence was im­por­tant though, and un­for­tu­nately both teams were with­out vet­eran lead­ers for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time.

“Two of our cap­tain’s missed games be­cause of in­jury, Bec (Pi­azza) go­ing down hurt the women badly and Ben McIn­tyre was limited to only eight games for the men,” Stevens said.

“We fin­ished ahead of Echuca on the lad­der but lost to them the first time with­out Skinny ( McIn­tyre) and also lost to Wal­lan in over­time with­out him.”

The Wal­lan loss was one of three games the men lost by four points or less.

De­spite not yet recom­mit­ting to coach next sea­son, Stevens knows where the Saints can im­prove.

“If we can find an­other two talls for the women’s side we’ll be right in the mix, we just lacked height a lot of the time, es­pe­cially when we didn’t have Bec,” he said.

“For the men I think there are a few de­fen­sive things we can change while con­tin­u­ing to work on our of­fen­sive game.

“That’s one area we got smarter at and im­proved in the more guys played with each other.”

Lastly Stevens said every­one in­volved with bas­ket­ball in Myrtle­ford should be proud of what both teams achieved this past sea­son.

“The peo­ple that got this off the ground have started some­thing that has a very bright future,” he said.

“The sup­port from the com­mu­nity was in­cred­i­ble and we look for­ward to hav­ing the big­gest home crowds again next year.”

This week­end’s North East con­fer­ence grand fi­nals will be con­tested be­tween Wal­lan and Wan­garatta in the women and Sey­mour and Wodonga in the men.

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