Cool hand Luke is red hot for Pirates It was nice to be able to hit a few threes. ’
YOU CAN almost taste finals.
Another win or two would lock it down.
The Echuca Senior Pirates are in the middle of their best season yet.
And they have compounded that with a win against one of the competition’s best.
On the back of the hot hand of Luke Rosendale, the Pirates torched Castlemaine by 31 points.
Rosendale dropped seven threepointers in his 23 points on the night, as Castlemaine fell to third on the CBL ladder.
For the Pirates, it was a major achievement to beat a side that had previously beaten them by 28 points.
‘‘We took it a bit personally to get spanked earlier this season,’’ Rosendale said.
‘‘So it had that extra element of getting the result on our floor. It also shows that we are learning and improving, which is really important at this point in the season.’’
Rosendale was only too happy to contribute to his team’s performance.
‘‘It was nice to be able to hit a few threes,’’ he said.
‘‘But we got there through a team effort, we moved the ball well and were able to find the open spots on the court for each other to put up shots, and that’s what got us over the line.’’
Coach Leo Tennace said it was good to turn the fixture around.
‘‘To get a win against a side like Castlemaine, and to do it by a similar score to what they did to us, it does mean a bit,’’ he said.
‘‘It shows that this team is continu- ing to improve, we are getting even better, and these victories matter because it reminds you that you can beat anyone.
‘‘Our systems are better, our processes are working better and that is making us into a better side overall, so that makes a huge difference.’’
Tennace also said that the Pirates’ home court advantage played a role.
‘‘I think it made us more comfortable, not being on the road it allows you to prepare for the game a bit better, and now we are seeing the results.’’
Echuca now has four matches remaining in the season, and with two at home, it shouldn’t be hard to lock up a finals berth.
‘‘It would be great for the team to get there,’’ CBA president Phil Candy said.
‘‘For one of our teams to play finals would be huge for basketball in Echuca, and that is now starting to look like a reality.’’
DANGEROUS FROM DISTANCE: Luke Rosendale drained seven three-pointers against Castlemaine.
GOING UP: Matt Kellett makes a jump shot.
LOOKING FOR OPTIONS: Riley Clarke prepares to inbound the ball.