THE Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits responded to a poor performance last weekend with a resounding road win against the Hobart Lady Chargers on Friday night.
After being thumped by the Melbourne Tigers a week ago, the Lady Bandits made amends with an impressive 82-67 victory.
It looked as though the young side was on their way to recording their first road-double victory in several years when they took a half-time lead against the Launceston Tornadoes on Saturday night after a dominant first quarter.
Unfortunately it wasn't to be, with the Tornadoes defending home court 67-55.
These girls have a never-give-in attitude...I couldn't be more proud of them.Jim Wilson
Nonetheless, Friday's victory marked an important step in the Lady Bandits’ development after several years of mediocrity.
Rallying from as far as 12 points down, it was a dominant second half for the visitors, who outscored the Lady Chargers by 14 in the final quarter alone.
Team captain Emma Mahady led the way with a game-high 32 points, going a perfect 5-5 from three-point range.
She also added an impressive eight rebounds and four assists to her tally, while Toccara Ross added 15 points, six rebounds and three steals.
Head coach Jim Wilson said the team had addressed all of their failings from the previous week, and enjoyed a strong win because of it.
“I'm really pleased with what we did on Friday,” he said.
“We played as a group, we contained them well on defence and played smarter offence.
“We were probably outsized physically, but we made up for it in our endeavour and intent.”
With both Mel Kirby and Mahady playing their best games for the season, Wilson said the win was a testament to his team's mental strength.
“This team has a never-give-in attitude, it's been outstanding,” he said.
“I couldn't be more proud of what they did on Friday.”
Playing in their first back-to-back of the season, Wilson said the Lady Bandits had placed themselves in a position to win, but couldn’t quite take the opportunity.
After leading by nine points at quarter time, they were only able to score 33 points in the remaining three quarters, leaving Wilson to lament a missed opportunity.
“That was probably the most disappointed I’ve been after a loss because we played so well,” he said.
“It’s about taking our opportunities when they arise.
“We’re a young team, some of the girls are going to be a bit up and down, but we didn’t take our chances as a group.
“On Saturday night, had we put two really strong quarters together instead of one we could have gotten them win.
“We’re making good starts, we just need to finish our work.”
Turnovers on offence ultimately proved to be costly against the Tornadoes, with the Lady Bandits committing 25 to Launceston’s 18.
Toccara Ross dominated with 26 points and nine rebounds.