Wodonga Wolves aiming for a top-two finish

WODONGA Wolves coach Troy Crawford says “the little things” will decide who wins this year’s North East conference in the CBL.

With the championship race the tightest it’s been in years, Crawford wants the traditionally strong Wolves to gain any advantage possible in the lead up to the business end of the season.

That starts by securing a home final by finishing in the top-two.

The Wolves take on fellow contenders Shepparton tonight and the winner will move into the box-seat to land home court advantage when it counts.

And Crawford wants to make sure it’s the Wolves.

“I think little things like that can make a difference,” he said.

“The feel of the court, the familiarity of the stadium.

“And in the heat we’re getting at the moment, it means you can rest at home before the game, instead of travelling and waiting in the stadium for a couple of hours which can drain you.

“So it’s a big game for us.”

Despite losing last season’s decider, the Wolves have dominated the North East conference over the past few years.

But they’re far from a standout this campaign.

“All four teams are a genuine chance,” Crawford said.

“Albury has come back in this season and they have a talented group that is formidable at full-strength.

“Shepparton and Seymour have improved out of sight this season.

“On any given day, anyone can knock each other off.”

The Wolves will enter tonight’s clash without starter Jon Lindhe, who is in US until the playoffs.

However, in a boost, assistant coach Broady Mills returns from a knee injury. He is likely to play limited minutes this evening.

“A couple of guys from the bench are going to have to step up,” Crawford said.

“We trained on Thursday night and spoke about the opportunity that is there.

“We need to play 40 minutes of good basketball, without any lapses.

“We want to snatch that top-two spot.”

The Lady Wolves, meanwhile, can officially cement top spot on the ladder with another win tonight.

They are unbeaten this season.