Im­proved Olympians look to test Saints

BAS­KET­BALL

Kalgoorlie Miner - - SPORT - Neale Har­vey

Saints coach Scott Man­ton is acutely aware that records can be de­ceiv­ing as his squad pre­pares to take on Olympians tonight in men’s divi­sion 1 bas­ket­ball.

Olympians are last in the fourteam stand­ings after nine con­sec­u­tive losses to open the sea­son.

The red and whites, how­ever, dis­played vast im­prove­ment in a loss to CBC a week ago.

The mar­gin was three points, but the score­line re­verted back to 20-0 in the Col­le­gians’ favour after Olympians took the court with a player not on the score sheet.

For Man­ton, Olympians’ dis­play was proof they would be dan­ger­ous op­po­nents tonight.

Third-placed Saints are com­ing off a 101-50 drub­bing against the Lou Causer-led The Fran­chise.

“We’re try­ing to build con­sis­ten- cy and this time of the year, that can be hard be­cause peo­ple have other com­mit­ments and with one eye on the Christ­mas break,” Man­ton said.

“Our com­pe­ti­tion is such that on any given night, any team can beat any­one else, out­side The Fran­chise who will most likely go into each game as hot favourites.

“But you still think you can be com­pet­i­tive and Olympians pro­vide a gen­uine dan­ger game for us.

“I ref­er­eed the Olympians-CBC clash last week­end and bar­ring a tech­ni­cal­ity, Olympians cer­tainly could have won that game.

“It’s taken a lit­tle while to put to­gether a com­pet­i­tive team. But again, all four teams can eas­ily pro­duce any upset, if you want to call it that.”

Man­ton said Saints’ loss against The Fran­chise re­flected the tri­als and tribu­la­tions of a largely young group. “The Fran­chise are un­bea- ten for a rea­son,” he said.

“They’ve been to­gether a long time with ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers and cer­tainly the (flag) favourites for a rea­son.

“With our team, be­ing a younger group, the big­gest chal­lenge is find­ing con­sis­tency and we were to­tally out­gunned on the night.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing be­cause you al­ways want to be com­pet­i­tive.

“But some­times with a young group, things can get out of hand quickly, as far as the wheels fall­ing off on a given night. We’re still pos­i­tive though.”

Also tonight, The Fran­chise chase a 10th straight win against CBC.

Fix­tures in the top women’s divi­sion started last night with two games. Tonight, Olympians play Saints at 7.15pm and Zaros op­pose CBC at 8.30pm.

CBC went into the round on a 10game win­ning streak.

Olympians’ Del­tyn Beau Te Puke and CBC's Jor­dan Hooks.

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