THE Echuca Senior Pirates have had a perfect start to their premiership defence.
On the back of 21 points from Tyler Phillips, Echuca picked up the 72-61 victory against Kyneton in their opening game on Saturday night.
Phillips hit from deep on three occasions, while also putting in six shots from the charity stripe as he completed one of his best individual scoring performances as a Pirate.
The Pirates also saw a better spread in their scoring, with Riley Clarke putting in 14 points of his own.
While the Pirates were able to easily account for the Tigers, coach Leo Tenace said his side still had some work to do to play their best basketball.
“We were good, but we were also a bit rusty at times,” he said.
“For the majority of the game were able to control play, we had it on our terms and were able to get out to a lead at different stages.
“Kyneton were able to pull us back in as we didn't shoot perfectly. We missed a few shots around the ring and a few from the line, simple things that start to come back to you as you keep playing a bit more.”
Tenace said in the absence of Luke Rosendale, last season's star, his team would have to spread more scoring throughout the team.
“We had both Tyler and Riley put up good numbers, but a lot of guys on the floor were able to make points,” he said.
“We're all aware we need to share the points a bit more, and we started to show really good signs of that on Saturday.”
Earlier in the night, the Lady Pirates fell by eight points to the Tigers.
Georgie Eishold led her side on return with 16 points, while Alexandra Tenace dropped 10.
Coach Lisa Baker said while the result was not ideal, she believed her side had shown a lot of growth.
“I was really proud of the effort for this game,” she said.
“Kyneton are a very good team, they were one of the better lineups in the competition last season and were regularly dominating sides.
“For us to only lose by eight points when we were regularly losing by far more, so we have already shown a lot of improvement on that front.”
Baker said her full side had contributed to the development of the team.
“Everyone was playing a part in the result,” she said.
“Alex and Georgie both scored well, Lucy Eishold was really good, Liv Taverna showed a lot of good signs. We will continue to add to the team in coming weeks, so we expect to continue to get better.”
Both Pirates' sides will be at home on Saturday night to Maryborough, before heading to Bendigo on Sunday.