Pioneers thunder to victory

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Pioneers thunder to victory

The Castec Rural Pioneers are back on the winner’s list after their win over the Keilor Thunder on Friday night.

The win has the Pioneers third on the ladder in the NBL1 South Conference with a record of 10-4.

The Pioneers’ first quarter was a high scoring affair as the offence kicked off the game strong.

Mount Gambier did well late in the quarter to pull away with a solid nine point lead.

Nick Marshall got off to a hot start for the Pioneers, dropping nine points in the first term.

The consistent scoring continued for the Pioneers as they did well to hold their lead in the second term.

Defensively the Pioneers were great as they continued to hold Keilor to 18 points for a second consecutive quarter.

Off the bench Titus Robinson was excellent in the second period, scoring six points in the paint.

Heading into the half time break the Pioneers held a 12 point lead.

The third term was a lot more competitive as the Thunder rallied to slow down the Pioneers.

Although the Pioneers were not as dominant on the scoreboard in the third term they were still defensively switched on as they held the Thunder to 18 points for another quarter.

Christian Peevy was dominant early on in the quarter, scoring seven points in the first three minutes, and heading into the final term the Pioneers held a 13 point lead.

The scoring dried up in the final quarter as both sides only combined for 23 points.

But it was the Pioneers who were once again great defensively as they held Keilor to just 10 points.

In the final term the Pioneers shared the ball well with everyone getting involved, however a continuing issue was their three point shooting.

In the first half they were solid as they knocked down four threes, however in the second half they struggled, going 0/9.

But Mount Gambier refused to allow those struggles to impact their play and they continued to be strong defensively, holding Keilor to 64 points.

Mount Gambier defeated Keilor 80-64

It was an all round solid scoring night for the Pioneers as they had five players in double digits.

Nick Marshall was once again impressive, leading the team in points, rebounds and assists with 18 points, 13 rebounds and four assists.

TALL TITAN: Castec Rural Pioneers’ Titus Robinson uses his height in a bid to stop Keilor scoring machine Kyle Zunic.

Off the bench Titus Robinson provided some great minutes, finishing with 16 points, five boards and two blocks.

Head Coach Richard Hill was impressed with his side’s performance.

“They averaged 96 points per game and we kept them to 64 so that was very pleasing, we were very good on Friday night,” Hill said.

“We did not shoot the ball well but outside of that it was as good we could play.”

Hill thought that everyone on the team contributed well in the win with everyone doing their part.

“Right across the board we were pretty good, Nick Marshall did not have his best shooting night but he played really well, Titus (Robinson) probably had his best game of the year and Akech (Aliir) was very good, he had the better of Deng Acouth who is probably going to be playing in the Olympic games for Sudan,” he said.

“But seriously right across the board we were pretty solid, we did not have anyone have a bad game.”

After the win Hill reflected on what can still be improved on.

“We’re still getting better, if we can bring that sort of defensive intensity and attention to detail to every game then that would be good, but it does not work like that unfortunately but that would be our goal to be able to bring that all the time because you have got to be able to win games when you do not shoot well, because shooting is one of those things where you do not always end up shooting the ball well,” Hill said.

“So you want to be able to win when you do not shoot well and that was the most encouraging thing from my point of view.”

The Pioneers have back to back away games this week as they play the Kilsyth Cobras on Saturday night and the Diamond Valley Eagles on Sunday afternoon.

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