WE’VE WON! Lady Pirates break lengthy drought
THE WILD seas are finally calm.
The Pirate flag is flying at the top of the mast.
A miserable journey has come to an end.
For the first time in close to two seasons, the Echuca Lady Pirates have broken through to claim victory in the CBL.
On an historic night for the Pirates basketball club that saw Echuca come away with wins in both the men’s and women’s competitions, this was finally the Lady Pirates’ moment.
The Shepparton Lady Gators threw everything they had at Echuca — both inside and outside of the rules — but could only watch on as the Pirates took the match by six points.
Lucy Higgins produced a dominant showing, dropping six three-pointers en route to her 27-point haul.
And finally, the Lady Pirates had the win.
‘‘We always felt like it was coming,’’ coach Simon Eishold said.
‘‘The girls are always working hard to get better, their skills are constantly improving and we knew they had this result in them.
‘‘The only issue they were faced with was that they lacked confidence. This group has been playing together for two or three years without results, so as much as they have improved, there was an element of not believing it. So for them to finally win, it makes a huge difference.’’
Eishold held extra praise for Higgins’ performance.
‘‘She caught fire during our game,’’ he said.
‘‘She showed in junior Pirates her ability, so having her in this team and now working to our system, it was only a matter of time before she produced at this level.’’
The win did come at a cost, with Meg Eishold leaving the game with knee issues after an incident on the court.
The severity of the injury is not known, though it is expected she will miss a number of games as a result.
The Lady Pirates’ weekend wouldn’t end on the same result, with the Pirates going down by 12 to Myrtleford on Sunday.
Eishold admitted the journey was a challenge.
‘‘After a physical contest on Saturday night, to travel for three hours and come up against a side that didn’t play the day before is a big challenge.
‘‘It does have a major impact on the team’s energy and in the end we just ran out of legs.
‘‘I think we might need to look at the schedule when a team plays twice in a weekend. It’s something we have benefited from on occasion, but I think the league should look at it in the future.’’
But the result of Saturday cannot be doubted.
It’s only the one victory, but Echuca has their win, and basketball in the twin towns is the best it has been in a long time.