All about the effort, not the score

THE Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits finish — mercifully, some may say — the home portion of their SEABL schedule tomorrow night when they host the Nunawading Spectres.

Winless since round three, the end of the season clearly can’t come quickly enough for the Border club, which has been on the end of some fearsome beatings in the past month.

Since the start of July, the Lady Bandits have been put to the sword by an average of almost 40 points a game, with their closest margin a 19-point defeat to Frankston in round 15.

That average losing margin is a full 10 points higher than the Border outfit had previously managed.

Matters don’t appear to be any easier against the Lady Spooks, who sit second in the East Conference with a solid 15-6 record.

Lady Bandits coach James Ballinger admitted his team was at long odds to break its 19-game losing streak against a club it hasn’t defeated since May 17, 2009.

“The effort has to be the staple,” Ballinger said.

“Take the scoreboard out, ignore it, just focus on a 40-minute effort.

“It’s a very good team we’re playing so it’s definitely going to be a tough challenge.”

Of particular concern to Albury-Wodonga will be the talented trio of Rebecca Cole, Alanna Smith and Wangaratta native Hanna Zavecz.

Especially Cole, who has averaged 18.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game, being held to single-digit scoring just once this season.

The Spectres enjoyed a comfortable 96-50 win over the Lady Bandits in round 12, with Smith, Cole and Hayley Moffatt combining for 55 points.

“They go 8-9 players deep,” Ballinger said.

“It’s a sign of how good that team is, so we’ll go to a zone defence, just to combat their ability to hurt us off the dribble.

“But bad things happen when we have lapses so we need to be mentally switched on all game.”

Tip-off at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre is 6pm, with the men’s game against the Spectres to follow at 8pm.