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Hornets fight hard to stay on track

Caitlin Story, Horsham Hornets vs Bendigo Braves.

SOLID START: Caitlin Story scored six of Horsham’s first eight points against Terang at the weekend.

By Colin MacGillivray
Horsham Lady Hornets kept themselves on track for a Country Basketball League south-west conference top-two finish with a pair of wins at the weekend.
The Lady Hornets dispatched Terang Tornadoes 82-62 on Saturday and backed it up with an impressive 90-58 win against Geelong Supercats on Sunday.
Terang was hovering near the foot of the ladder with one win and six losses entering the round, but burst out of the blocks to shock Horsham.
The Tornadoes amassed a 23-8 lead late in the first quarter before the Lady Hornets began to fight back.
Caitlin Story scored six of Horsham’s first eight points to keep the team in the game, and began to receive support from Georgia Hiscock and Faith McKenzie.
In the absence of leading scorer Ema Iredell, the three combined to put Horsham narrowly ahead by half-time.
In the second half Georgie Carberry got in on the act.
Carberry scored 16 of her 20 points in the third and fourth quarters, turning a tight game into a comfortable victory for the visitors.
Hiscock, Carberry, McKenzie and Story combined to score 75 of the team’s 82 points, with the remaining seven coming from Molly Lakin and Jess Cannane.
Horsham coach Damien Kilpatrick said the Lady Hornets had dealt with some ‘in-house issues’ following their loss to ladder-leader Portland in round seven, and were clearly distracted to start the game.
“We started off terribly,” he said.
“We didn’t come to play and it wasn’t until the second quarter when we made some adjustments and changed the tempo of the game that we got back into it.
“We started in a zone defence and the girls were standing still and being very reactive, so we went to man-to-man in the second quarter and things started to improve.”
Horsham lost guard Shannon Cross with a broken hand during the game, but regained sisters Ema and Maddie Iredell and Rebecca McIntyre for Sunday’s clash with Geelong.
Ema Iredell showed she was keen to make up for lost time against the Supercats, scoring 10 first-quarter points on her way to a team-high 30.
The Lady Hornets trailed briefly in the first quarter, but built a 27-20 lead by quarter-time and were never headed from there.
Hiscock buried three three-pointers on her way to a 20-point game, while others such as Story, McKenzie and McIntyre kept the Horsham scoreboard ticking over. Kilpatrick said the strong win helped the team put its off-court issues behind it.
“We had to fight hard the whole way through,” he said.
“The girls needed that mental boost – beating Terang is one thing, but beating Geelong at home where they hadn’t lost all year is another.”
Horsham will now host the dangerous Millicent Magic at Horsham Basketball Stadium at 6pm on Saturday in its final game before the Christmas break.
Men
Ararat Redbacks returned to the winner’s circle with a 103-82 win against Hamilton Hurricanes on Saturday, while Horsham Hornets preserved their place atop the men’s ladder with a pair of victories against Terang and Hamilton.
Ararat received a massive boost with the return of forward Jayden Wright and high-scoring guard Zac Dunmore.
Dunmore slotted straight back into the team with 24 points, and backcourt team-mate DJ Woods returned to form with 20 of his own.
Power forward Josh Fiegert was also handy with 22 points.
The team unleashed a barrage of three-pointers, with Dunmore hitting six and Woods three.
Toby Smith hit a pair of triples on his way to 12 points.
Horsham did not skip a beat despite missing three players on its second two-game road trip in a row.
The team was without swingman Ben Lakin and big men Damien Skurrie and Jordyn Burke, but turned to some of its younger players for answers in a 96-78 win against Terang. Austin McKenzie reveled in an increased role, filling Skurrie and Burke’s shoes admirably on the way to a season-high 24 points.
He and brother Jeremiah combined for 46 points and showed nice touch from three-point range.
The score sheet made for even better reading on Sunday, with every Hornet scoring at least four points in a 116-75 rout of Hamilton.
Veterans Tim Pickert and Matt Lovel paced the team with a combined 49 points, but the talent of the next generation of Hornets was on display.
Jeremiah McKenzie, 19 points, Mitch Martin, 13, Austin McKenzie, 13, Sam Breuer, 10, and Jake Hobbs, eight, showed they will be key contributors as they continue to develop.
Horsham will play its biggest home game of the season when it hosts the Mount Gambier Lakers at 8pm on Saturday.
Horsham narrowly defeated the short-handed Lakers in round seven, and would cement itself as the minor-premiership favourite with a win.
Ararat will travel to Warrnambool to take on the winless Seahawks on Saturday before returning home to host the Lakers at Ararat Fitness Centre at 1pm on Sunday.

The entire December 5, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Dec 5 2018

Posted by on Dec 5 2018. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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