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    Jeremiah McKenzie. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Horsham Hornets back on track

By Colin MacGillivray

Horsham Hornets shook off a disappointing round seven Country Basketball League road trip by more than doubling Ararat’s score when the teams met on Saturday night.

A week earlier the Hornets, playing shorthanded, had been humbled by both Millicent and Mount Gambier, and came out in Ararat with a point to prove against the Redbacks.

With leading scorer Jeremiah McKenzie back in the fold, Horsham scored freely.

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McKenzie and his brother Austin scored 12 of the Hornets’ first 14 points as the team raced to a big lead early.

A pair of three-pointers by Ararat pair Rhys Burger and Blake Thomas brought the margin back to 18 points just before quarter time, but it was clear the home side was outgunned and outmatched.

The Hornets continued to build their lead throughout the game, finishing with a 129-60 victory.

Austin McKenzie led all scorers with 26 points, and Jeremiah was just behind with 23.

Tim Pickert, 22, Damien Skurrie, 17, Jake Hobbs, 15, and Matt Lovel, 11, all helped blow out the final margin.

For the Redbacks it was DJ Woods, 20 points, and Adan Wisby, 15, who shouldered the bulk of the scoring load.

While the Hornets were able to put their feet up and turn their attention to this weekend’s road trip to face Geelong United, the Redbacks had to regroup for a showdown in Colac against the Kookas on Sunday.

The Redbacks seemed to be staring down the barrel of consecutive losses when they trailed by nine points at quarter time, but a strong fightback saw them retake the lead early in the last quarter.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Josh Fiegert inside the final four minutes broke Colac’s back and set up an 85-73 final score.

The result keeps Ararat in the thick of the finals race with four wins and six losses.

Stawell Wildcats were no match for Millicent Magic when the teams met in South Australia on Sunday.

The Magic led for the entirety of their 122-57 win, with Frazer Bradley and Jordan Robertson each scoring 31 points.

Stawell was led by Joel Freeland, 16 points, and Aidan Marr, 11 points including three three-pointers.

The Wildcats will travel to Ararat to take on the Redbacks at 7pm on Saturday night before the Magic makes a trip to Stawell on Sunday at 1pm.

Horsham Lady Hornets will return from a week off in the women’s south-west conference to complete a two-game road trip, with a clash against ladder leader Warrnambool on Saturday night and Geelong United on Sunday afternoon.

The entire December 4, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!