Pioneers continue winning way

Pioneers continue winning way

The OneFortyOne Pioneers women are sitting second on the NBL1 South ladder just behind Keilor Thunder following a solid victory over the Nunawading Spectres.

The Pioneers hosted the Spectres on Friday night at Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre, taking the win 80-63.

Mount Gambier took the court in front of a good crowd after having suffered their first and only loss a week earlier.

The side’s determination was evident early on, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the first three minutes of play.

The visitors rallied to level scores at 12-all within three minutes, before Pioneers captain Isabella Brancatisano landed a three pointer to push ahead, with vice captain Haliegh Reinoel sending down another three to finish the quarter up 20-14.

Brancatisano led by example in the second quarter, sending down three three pointers.

The Pioneers steadily stretched their lead to be up by 10 half way through the stanza, but the Spectres rallied again to cut the buffer back to four.

Mount Gambier stepped up a notch in the last five minutes of the term, blowing the lead back out to finish the quarter ahead 49-34.

The third stanza was a more even affair, with both sides going basket for basket.

Nunawading got back to within nine points, but the Pioneers held their ground and outscored the visitors 18-16 for the quarter to be up 67-50 at the last break.

The final quarter was low scoring, with only two points knocked down in the first three minutes.

The sides traded baskets with plenty of up and down play and missed shots, before head coach Matt Sutton cleared his bench in the last minute to finish off the game with local youngsters Mackenzie Burke, Cara Nulty, Ava Collins, Tenielle Human and Keryl Ousey closing out the match.

Both sides only managed 13 points for the quarter, with the Pioneers taking the win 80-63.

Reinoehl top scored for the Pioneers with 24 points, making it a double double with 15 rebounds.

Sherrie Calleia also notched up a double double, scoring 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Brancatisano chipped in with 20 points, with Zitina Aokuso contributing 12.

Speaking after the game, Ousey said she was pleased with the win and how her game was developing.

The 21-year-old returned to the Pioneers this season after playing in Canada.

“I think it was a really great team effort, but there are things we need to work on,” she said.

“I think we have still got a bit of keeping ourselves disciplined, we are working on getting things to a standard we are happy with, I think sometimes we drop our standard against different teams.”

Ousey said there was a general feeling there was still room for improvements in the team.

“I reckon we had pretty high hopes for the group, last season we did pretty well, we have got no injuries at the moment, I think we think we’re doing really well,” she said.

“Playing at home the fan support has been awesome, it’s a great atmosphere at Wulanda.

“I feel like I’m getting better and better every training with the girls.

“I’m loving my time with the Pioneers, it was 100% worth coming back from Canada for.”

Ousey said she was enjoying sharing the court with local young players whom she’d known for years.

“It’s been awesome playing with some of the local youngsters, it’s been so cool seeing everyone develop to the place they are where they can hit the court, it’s really special,” she said.

“I’ve grown up with them.”

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