Hawks fly high to end Pioneer’s unbeaten run

The OneFortyOne Pioneers women’s basketball team was on the road again in round 4 of the NBL1 South conference.

First up the women faced up to the Ringwood Hawks at home and a game that would be tough.

Mount Gambier was full of confidence going into the match having not been beaten, while the home side had only lost one match going into the clash.

Pioneer Cassandra Brown won the tip off and Sherrie Calleia’s jump shot got Mount Gambier on the board early.

But a return play by Toni Farnworth equalled the scores a minute later before a Jacqueline Trotto free throw helped them take the lead.

However, the Pioneers only needed 20 seconds to regain momentum following a superb Shakera Reilly shot for three to send the Pioneers back in front.

It was a back and forward game with the Hawks being in charge at quarter time, but both sides’ defence dictated terms late in the second quarter to protect the home side’s small lead.

The Pioneers regrouped at the break and only needed 40 seconds to level the scores through Calleia, but Ringwood took back the lead thanks to a two-point lay up from Marta Hermida.

Neither side could gain much momentum for the majority of the game but the Hawks always had an answer for the Pioneers, with the visitors only leading for five minutes during the contest.

Mount Gambier’s Jasmine Howe, Calleia, Young, Brown and Reilly all combined well and dug deep, but it was to no avail.

The home side took the ascendency late in the last quarter and did not look back, with Marena Whittle and Digna Strautman guiding them to a seven-point victory.

In game number two for the weekend the Pioneers delivered an incredible 33-point win against Keilor Thunder in a great turnaround from Saturday’s narrow loss.

Despite the big margin, the side was pushed to the limits across three tight terms before opening the game up.

The scores were level with 20 seconds to go before quarter time until a Calleia buzzer beater sent the Pioneers into the lead.

The Thunder answered back in the second term to briefly steal the lead thanks to a Madeleine Garrick pull up jump shot for three.

But once again the Pioneers scraped out a three-pointer before the main break and opened a little bit of breathing space across the third term.

Mount Gambier then silenced the home crowd with a massive final term scoring 33 points to 10 to turn what was a close game into solid win.

The Pioneers were led by the in-form Brown who shot 27 points and was supported by Calleia and Young who both found the basket for 22 points apiece.

Tremendous team work was given from captain Jasmine Howe and her leadership showed on court with guts and determination.

It was all smiles after this game for the women and again a big weekend on the road with the side heading home for a clash against the Geelong Supercats this Friday night in a top of the table clash at The Icehouse.

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