While our players loved being back out on the court it was two tough outings for our NBL1 Rangers in Round 11, with both teams falling to sharp Albury-Wodonga teams at Dandenong Stadium.
Missing out on last week’s NBL1 action clearly hurt our Rangers on the night with the Bandits cleaner and smoother throughout both contests. The energy and excitement on the court was definitely there throughout for our Ranger squads but the chemistry was a bit off, allowing the border teams to take two important wins.
This was especially evident in our Ranger Women’s outing with a very new look team competing for the first time on Saturday night. With star guard Dallas Loughridge off to the AIS and Elly Morgan & Kodie Myszka both in the University of Evansville college program we featured a very new rotation, with Amy Baum & Makaela Zeldenryk stepping up into increased roles.
Both performed well but the team as a whole strugged to get things going offensive, missing the crisp shotmaking and chemistry featured before the break. Throughout the night Albury-Wodonga just looked more game-ready, having played last week and throughout the season with the same lineup.
We were especially hurt by Bandits guard Geraldynn Leaupepe who poured in 32 points on 55% shooting. The Rangers were not unable to find an answer for her defensively and no star could buoy us up offensively. Emilee Harmon fought hard to keep the Rangers close throughout the contest, putting up 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, but the Bandits double & triple-teamed her constantly which significantly slowed the Rangers down, leading to our 75-67 defeat.
For our Ranger Men it was a similar story as the Bandits appeared that bit sharper with the ball in hand, outgunning our Dandenong stars 99-74.
We welcomed back former Ranger Venky Jois for the rest time on Saturday who played well in his NBL1 debut, scoring 14 points and grabbing 8 rebounds on the night. But his return wasn’t enough to get the Rangers over the line with Albury-Wodonga constantly getting good looks on offense and consistantly hurting the Rangers from deep.
They shot a superb 44% from deep on the night with 11 makes, and shot 50% as a whole on offense. While they turned the ball over four more times than the Rangers they were able to control the paint throughout the night and kick the ball out to shooters whenever they found themselves open.
The Rangers were also outrebounded 46-33 on the night in a surprising result, usually one of our strongest areas of the game. Ollie Hayes-Brown did manage 19 points but only picked up 5 rebounds on the night, far below is usual average.
Offensively the Rangers appeared to make the right passes and moved the ball well but some shots just didnt go down, likely going back to that rust that will hopefully be shaken off for Round 12. This will likely apply to both Rangers teams as we look for a big return to form over a back-to-back weekend of competition.
Our Dandenong Men & Women will look to rebound in Round 12 as head to Eltham on Friday night followed by a home clash with the Launceston & NW Tasmania NBL1 teams.
This will also be our Indigenous Round home event for season 2021, with DBA set to honour the traditional owners of the land in collaboration with the Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-Operative.
Both games will feature a special Welcome To Country ceremony to tip off a huge night of action, so we encourage all patrons to get down early and experience what’s sure to be a special night at Dandenong Stadium!
THIS WEEK’S NBL1 EVENT – INDIGENOUS ROUND
Event Date: Saturday July 10th
Doors Open: 5:00PM
Women Tip Off: 6:00PM
Men Tip Off: 8:00PM
Tickets: Available now via Intix