Home court strengthens finals hopes

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Home court strengthens finals hopes

The OneFortyOne Pioneers women return to their home court this weekend for a double header as the NBL1 South conference season draws towards a close.

The Pioneers are coming off a devasting two losses on the road at the hands of Nunawading and Dandenong on the weekend and will be looking to return to their winning ways as finals approach.

Mount Gambier now sits in fifth position after last weekend’s losses, dropping from fourth spot.

They will face tough opposition on Friday night as Knox arrives in town, with the Raiders currently atop the ladder with only two losses.

Interestingly, Mount Gambier inflicted one of the Raiders’ losses in round 7, downing Knox on their home court 81-63.

The Raiders have only dropped one more game since then, while the Pioneers have had mixed fortunes, currently sitting on 12 wins and seven losses.

On Saturday night the Pioneers will host the Melbourne Tigers, who are in 14th spot on the ladder with seven wins and 12 losses.

Head coach Matt Sutton said his side was determined to refocus after not getting the desired results on the weekend.

“We are good, we have taken our lessons, the girls will be ready for training … and it’s just part of playing in a really good league, sometimes you get caught out and we got caught out,” he said.

“Obviously we are missing Z (Zitina Aokuso) our big and a player who has a really big impact on both ends of the court, we felt like we were undersized against a really, really good Dandenong team.

“A lot of players had some good moments here and there, we were really happy with the competitive spirit of our younger players and particularly in the second game where they played some extensive minutes at the end, they fought their way out and it was good to see them compete.”

Sutton said his side was looking forward to rounding out the minor rounds with three games at home, kicking off with a double header this weekend.

“We finish with three games at home, which is good, it’s a nice way to hopefully work towards securing a finals spot and building from there,” he said.

“I guess we are more focussed on regaining some of our form, we will be without Z again for this one, so we will have to have a different game plan than what we had last time we played Knox. We want to get a good week of training in and focus on some of the basics.

“It’s always good at home, the crowd does a good job of supporting us and we hope we can make them proud with our efforts.”

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