Thunder storms to home win

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Thunder storms to home win

The OneFortyOne Pioneers women slumped to their fourth consecutive loss on Friday night, going down by five points to the Keilor Thunder.

The Pioneers headed into the NBL1 South conference match with the knowledge they had inflicted top of the ladder Keilor’s only loss for the season when they met in round 4.

However, the Thunder had other ideas and refused to allow the visitors to stamp their authority on the match.

The Pioneers welcomed back Zitina Aokuso after her stint in China playing for the Opals in the lead up to the Olympics.

Mount Gambier’s Sherrie Calleia continued her purple patch, opening proceedings with a determined three pointer as the Pioneers jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first 90 seconds of the match, holding the hosts scoreless.

The Thunder got going to take the lead half way through the quarter, before the Pioneers rallied to draw even.

However, Keilor pushed again to get out to a six point lead, which the Pioneers whittled down to three to end the first quarter down 22-19.

The Thunder went on a 6-0 run before the Pioneers could answer, and then pulled out to a 12 point lead with just over four minutes left on the clock.

Try as they might Mount Gambier struggled to peg back that lead, being outscored 13-19 in the quarter, to head into the main break down 41-32.

BASKET BOUND: Sherrie Calleia muscles her way to the basket in yet another valiant on court effort.

The Pioneers regrouped at the break, but the Thunder leapt out to a 15 point lead in the opening 90 seconds of the stanza.

Mount Gambier dug deep, and in a determined push clawed the deficit back to three thanks to a 15-9 run half way through the quarter.

Keilor surged again, outscoring the visitors 8-0 to pull ahead by 11 in a 90 second scoring frenzy.

Pioneers captain Isabella Brancatisano hit a three in the last 60 seconds, with Keilor returning fire on the buzzer to retain a nine point lead at the last change.

Mount Gambier outscored the hosts in the final quarter but could not rein in the deficit, going down 73-78.

Aokuso marked her return to the side with a double double, recording 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Brancatisano also had 19 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists, Calleia 14 points, eight assists and five rebounds, and Haliegh Reinoehl 12 points and nine boards.

The Pioneers sit sixth on the ladder with a 9-5 record following the defeat and will hit the road again this weekend, playing Kilsyth on Saturday and Diamond Valley on Sunday.

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