AT the halfway stage of the North East Bushrangers’ season the signs are good despite a nail-biting loss to Keilor Thunder last night at the Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre.
The Bushrangers had the opportunities to seal their third win of the season but the Thunder’s experience helped them hold on for an 80-74 win.
“It was very disappointing,” Bushranger Sam McDonald said.
“After last week’s win against Coburg we thought we had really good momentum going in to the game.
“We played some really good basketball but there were just a few lapses and errors and we couldn’t quite get over the line.”
Top scorer for the Bushrangers was captain Dylan Webb with 21 points and 8 rebounds, then Josh McKay with 17 points and 16 rebounds.
Level on 71 points apiece with only minutes to go, the outcome could have been different if the Bushrangers weren’t missing star player Lloyd Wright through ankle injury.
But McDonald said the Bushrangers were just beginning to find their feet in their first season in the Big V.
“We’re still gelling and there’s many more positives than negatives,” he said.
“And now we’re on the other side of the draw, playing sides we’ve played already we should be able to make inroads.
“We’ve got confidence right now, we’ve played some really good patches and showed improvement — a lot of that has come from the young fellas.
“We’re moving the ball and getting guys in open positions for open shots — the development that’s happened in the first half of the year has been amazing.”
US import Micahel Torres showed he has begun to find his form yesterday, while vice captain Bobby Tye continued to lead as point guard.
“They’ve stuttered lately and we’re on the improve and know what to expect so we’ll be looking to really push them this time,” McDonald said.
“We’ve got so many young legs in the side — the average age is about 20 so they’re full of energy and enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, the Lady Bushrangers lost 73 to 51 against Melbourne Uni Black Angels, with Rachel Jeffrey top scoring with 16 points and 10 rebounds followed by Stacey Brown with 13 points and 7 rebounds.