It was great to see our NBL1 Rangers back on the court on Saturday but we didn’t get the results we wanted in Kilsyth, as the Cobras managed to pip our Dandenong Men & Women in two nearly identical games.
Our opposition got off to hot starts in each contest which forced our Rangers to play catch-up throughout the night, using up a lot of energy before important fourth quarters.
This was particularly the case for our Rangers Men who managed to tie things up after falling behind 25-13 in the first quarter, finding themselves drawn 60-60 at 3QTR time. Our Men fought hard inside the paint to get extra looks and extra possessions on the offensive glass and used their advantage inside the paint to fight the hometown Cobras, putting the brakes on Kilsyth’s offense through three quarters.
But it was outside the paint that proved to be the difference in this one as the Cobras shot an outstanding 14-29 from deep including 6 3PM in the fourth quarter. We also shot a woeful 6-20 from the free throw line, hampering our effectiveness on solid offensive plays.
These will no doubt be points of contention for our Men’s coaching staff, knowing that the difference between a win and a loss was likely a few simple mistakes.
While the scoreline was similar for our Ranger Women the result was a bit more understandable, having lost yet another player to the US College system. Now without Amy Baum, in addition to Dallas Loughridge, Gemma Potter, Elly Morgan & Kodie Myszka, the 2021 Ranger Women’s team looks very different now to the start of the season, lacking the chemistry seen earlier on.
That’s not to say we didn’t fight hard throughout the contest. We saw very strong showings by Ranger veterans Emilee Harmon and Tenaya Sooalo, who combined for 50 points on the night and worked in tandem to keep our offense humming along. We also saw a strong outing from Sherry Glennie who battled hard against the Cobras bigs in her 18 minutes.
Unfortunately it was former Ranger Lauren Scherf who proved too much to handle on the night, picking up 20 points and 14 rebounds including 4-4 3PM. While we slowed her down inside the paint on offense her ability to pick & pop from deep hurt the Rangers and opened up the floor for the Kilsyth guards. She also managed to lock down the key on defense, swatting four Ranger shots and contesting many more.
While we didn’t get the results we wanted in our return to basketball both teams have a chance to pick up two W’s in Round 16, taking on Ringwood on the road before coming back to Dandenong Stadium for a clash with the Sandringham Sabres.
Be sure to tune in to each NBL1 Livestream while spectators aren’t allowed in to stadiums, our Rangers want to hear you cheering them on from home before their full return (hopefully!) next week!