The Weekly Advertiser Horsham
Finals in the balance
Wimmera men’s basketballers will enter the final weeks of Country Basketball League southwest conference with strong round 14 wins.
Portland Coasters challenged Ararat Redbacks on Saturday, but the Redbacks managed to come away with a five-point win.
A competitive first half had the Redbacks five points in front; however, the Coasters came out in force in the third term to place themselves four points in front. They couldn’t hold on and the Redbacks, led by Zac Dunmore had a nine-point turnaround in the final quarter.
Dunmore scored 45 points with support from Ethan Fiegert, 22 points.
The Redbacks will conclude the home-and-away season with a double-header against Millicent Magic and Terang Tornadoes.
The Redbacks sit comfortably second on the ladder, separated only by 1.6 percent from top-placed Mt Gambier Lakers.
Horsham Hornets began their return to the competition after the Christmas break with a four-point win against Warrnambool Seahawks at home.
The Hornets needed to win at the weekend to keep their top-four hopes alive before finals but looked to be in trouble in the first half.
Being nine points in arrears at halftime did not get the Hornets down and they bounced back in the third term and continued momentum in the last quarter to secure a win.
Mitch Martin scored 19 points while Max Bryan and Austin Mckenzie scored 18 apiece in a team effort.
Hornets went on to defeat Portland Coasters by 13 points on Sunday.
Mckenzie and Martin were again top-scorers with 49 points between them.
A bigger challenge awaits Hornets in round 15 when the team meets Mt Gambier, who has only lost two games for the season.
If Hornets, who are third on the ladder with nine wins, lose then Millicent and Portland, fourth and fifth-placed respectively with eight wins each, also need to lose remaining games for Horsham’s finals hopes to remain alive.
Horsham Hornets women’s team did not see the same success as their counterparts, however, they still have a shot at the top-four if they can pull off a win this weekend.
Horsham came up against Warrnambool Mermaids and despite a strong first quarter, they could not hold onto a lead and went down by 14 points.
The defensive pressure after halftime had both teams working hard to score.
Horsham’s scoring was spread evenly, with Ema Iredell, securing nine points, the team’s highest scorer.
The second game of Horsham’s double-header, against Portland Coasters, was closer — with an eight-point difference at the final whistle.
Iredell was again among the top-scorers with 21 points while Olivia Jones was also sinking baskets to score 21 points.
With one game remaining for Horsham’s home-and-away season, a win against Mt Gambier would be the only chance for the team to finish in the top four, with final standings dependent on other teams’ results.
This week: Men, Horsham Hornets v Mt Gambier Lakers at Horsham; Ararat Redbacks v Millicent Magic at Ararat; Ararat Redbacks v Terang Tornadoes at Terang. Women, Horsham Hornets v Mt Gambier Lakers at Horsham.