• Hor­nets grand fi­nal ac­tion

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Front Page - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Hor­sham bas­ket­ball lead­ers have quickly shifted fo­cus onto the next Coun­try Bas­ket­ball League sea­son after their elite teams fell short of clinch­ing pre­mier­ship suc­cess.

Hor­sham Hor­nets coach Cam Bruce and Hor­sham Lady Hor­nets leader Gareth His­cock con­firmed that plan­ning was al­ready un­der­way as part of a con­tin­ual im­prove­ment char­ter.

The Hor­nets fell short of up­set­ting South West di­vi­sion men’s favourite Mt Gam­bier by 10 points in a grand fi­nal at Hor­sham Bas­ket­ball Sta­dium.

The re­sult came after Hor­sham Lady Hor­nets came off sec­ond-best, 67-84 in a women’s South West play-off.

Hor­nets coach Cam Bruce, who has im­me­di­ately de­clared his will­ing­ness to lead the men’s team next sea­son, said while the re­sult was dis­ap­point­ing he was proud of how his team had per­formed in the show­down.

“Mt Gam­bier was the team to beat and it was al­ways go­ing to be a tough ask,” he said.

“It was dis­ap­point­ing to get so close, but there has to be a winner and loser.

“We played re­ally well but they just played bet­ter on the night.

“Who knows, on another night it might have been a dif­fer­ent re­sult.

“The ef­fort and in­ten­sity shown by the team was re­ally pleas­ing.”

Mt Gam­bier won the con­test 92-82 in front of a packed Hor­sham crowd.

Kane De Wit was shin­ing for the vis­i­tors with a game-high 28 points and en­joy­ing sup­port from Matthew Berke­feld and Sam Stafford.

Brett Goodgame was also on song for the Hor­nets, post­ing 27 points, ahead of Tim Pick­ert, 20, and Matt Lovel, 17.

Bruce said he felt the Hor­nets re­mained close to win­ning an elu­sive CBL ti­tle after get­ting close on three oc­ca­sions.

“We have a break up un­til Septem­ber and will play in the lo­cal A Grade com­pe­ti­tion to keep fit and main­tain touch with the bas­ket­ball,” he said.

“We’ll then see who puts their hand up, but I’m def­i­nitely in­ter­ested in coach­ing again – although that will be up to the as­so­ci­a­tion board.

“I feel we’re close and need to sim­ply work on lit­tle things, things we have to tighten up.

“We’re still de­vel­op­ing younger play­ers. They will only get bet­ter as they gain ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I would love this group to stick to­gether, but that will be tough con­sid­er­ing kids are al­ways on the move.

“We have a lot of ju­nior tal­ent com­ing through.

“The kids are just get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter.

“The fu­ture is def­i­nitely bright for Hor­sham bas­ket­ball.”

Re­cruit­ing

Gareth His­cock was happy in the knowl­edge that in four years the Hor­sham Lady Hor­nets had played in three grand fi­nals and a semi-fi­nal.

“Just like any other main­stream sport we’ve started re­cruit­ing al­ready,” he said.

“We can’t rest on our lau­rels and have some po­ten­tial re­cruits in place al­ready.

“The group will only get stronger, which it must, be­cause the com­pe­ti­tion is get­ting stronger ev­ery year.

“If we don’t look at our de­fi­cien­cies we will get left be­hind.

“We have to go out and con­tin­u­ally re­fresh our group.

“We will have the core of this year’s group and have high hopes that So­phie Alexan­der will come back.”

The Lady Hor­nets went close to win­ning back-to-back ti­tles but ul­ti­mately came off sec­ond best to a strong Co­rio Bay Stingrays team. “It came back to us miss­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties while they dropped their foul shots,” His­cock said.

“Re­al­is­ti­cally we don’t have to find a lot, we just need to pol­ish up on things.

“We shot poorly and you can’t win grand fi­nals if that hap­pens.

“They got an early break on us and had early mo­men­tum.

“We kept per­sist­ing to try to swing the pen­du­lum but it didn’t hap­pen.”

His­cock con­firmed as­sis­tant coach and vet­eran Sharon Fedke had re­tired.

“What Sharon has of­fered, par­tic­u­larly with the young list, has been in­valu­able,” he said.

On Satur­day night Alexan­der shot 14 points and Caitlin Story and Alexan­dra His­cock also made it into dou­ble fig­ures.

Jes­sica Mcdon­ald led the Stingrays as­sault, hit­ting 20 points and Te­gan and Tahli Tat­lock and Dusty Evans were also busy un­der the ring.www

Pic­tures: PAUL CARRACHER

AGAINST THE TIDE: Left, Hor­sham Lady Hor­nets player Ge­or­gia His­cock at­tempts to charge through Co­rio Stingrays op­po­nents dur­ing Coun­try Bas­ket­ball League women’s south west grand fi­nal at Hor­sham Bas­ket­ball Sta­dium. Be­low, Hor­sham Hor­nets star Tim Pick­ert was also on the move and in the thick of the ac­tion in a men’s grand fi­nal against Mt Gam­bier Lak­ers, also at the Hor­sham sta­dium.

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