Tough initiation for Stawell Wildcats team

STAWELL - Stawell Wildcats faced a tough initiation in their opening round of Country Basketball League matches last weekend.

Stawell travelled to Portland to play the Portland Coasters on Saturday night, losing 103-48 before returning home to take on Corio Bay Stingrays on Sunday.

Despite showing no signs of tiredness Wildcats were no match for Corio Bay, losing to the Stingrays 101-46.

Stawell coach Trevor Holmes admitted it was 'very tough' having to play two games first up.

"It was a bit of an eye-opener for everybody," he said.

In the first game, Portland put Wildcats under immense scoreboard pressure.

The Coasters opened up a 22 point lead at the first break and would not relent, pressing on to win by 55 points.

Holmes said his side was 'shell-shocked' following the first term.

"They didn't realise what sort of pace the game was played at. It took them a while to settle in," he said.

"In the third quarter, we matched them and only lost by two points which was a really good sign. It was a lacklustre last quarter but on the whole, it was a really good test."

Jarred OHayon was Stawell's top scorer with nine points while Zac Salmi and Joel Freeland added seven each.

Stawell returned to play Corio Bay at Stawell Leisure Complex on Sunday afternoon.

Signs were good early for the home side, who kept in touch with the Stingrays throughout the first term.

It was point for point in the second quarter, before Stingrays settled into the match and used a strong and skilful game that Stawell couldn't match.

Corio Bay's Ben Scannell with 27 points proved to be the big difference in the Stingrays 55 point victory.

Meanwhile Stawell's Jarred OHayon was again among the points, shooting 14 with Zac Salmi helping out with 10.

Holmes said the Wildcats need to improve on the offensive side of their game.

"We're up to the pace but our offences aren't up to scratch. We'll be working on making sure everybody is in the right spot at the right time," Holmes said.

"Our defence is pretty good and transition's not too bad down the court. We'll just keep working on it. They're new to this and just need to be aware of what needs to be achieved."

Stawell suffered injuries in Sunday's loss with Aiden Lee (twisted knee), Tim Hollis (ankle), Joel Freeland (ankle) and Michael Seeary (mild concussion) needing to use this week's bye to recover.

However in a boost for Stawell, former CBA player, Richard Hackwill has agreed to play a number of home games.

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