Lady Pirates smooth sailing

By Andrew Johnston

ECHUCA's Lady Pirates have moved into the top two of the CBL North West's table following a 22-point win against Kyneton on Sunday.

Dominant showings from Zara Pearson (29) and Georgie Eishold (26) saw the Pirates claim the second game of their weekend double header, having fallen to Swan Hill by 10 points the night before.

Coach Lisa Baker found it near impossible to describe the performance.

“I was lost for words,” she said.

“We'd had a rough night Saturday, so there was a strong desire not to repeat the result and it really showed.”

Baker held high praise for the duo of Pearson and Eishold, but said her team's playing style was key to their building success.

“Everyone is taking to the court with purpose,” she said.

“They all have roles to play on the court, and everyone has perfectly performed as we have asked. They're playing the game as one unit and it shows.

“The natural instinct of knowing where your teammates are at all times is starting to become a part of people's games. As they play together more often, those instincts and movements will become more important to their game and will hopefully lead to more success.”

But the Lady Pirates will have to wait to try and force back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

The team will not take to the court this week, but will hold a double header of home games against Maryborough and Kyneton on December 14 and 15.

On the men's court, Echuca's premiership hangover has continued.

The Pirates fell by 13 points to Swan Hill and by 14 to Bacchus Marsh on a dirty weekend.

Tyler Phillips was the lone hand of dominance for the Pirates, putting up 21 points against Bacchus Marsh, though it wasn't enough to get his team over the line.

Coach Leo Tenace said a major change in lineup had disrupted the opening night of the double header.

“We had the majority of our starters unavailable,” he said.

“There were a lot of young guys who really stepped up, but it was a bit too much to overcome in the end.

“We were still not at full strength on Sunday, but after a slow start we were able to match them in the final three quarters which I was very impressed with.”

The problem the Pirates are now presented with is time - they sit three games outside the four, with just seven games to play on the season.

And it's a fact not lost on Tenace.

“We need to get a move on,” he said.

“We've got a week off to work on some things, but we desperately need some wins in the remaining games if we are going to be any chance of playing finals.

“We have a lot to get right, so hopefully we can start to see those results and get a bit closer as the year closes out.”