Trek west tips off massive test

November 17, 2023 BY

Booster: it’s hoped veteran Kelsey Griffin will return to the Bendigo Spirit lineup for the club’s road trip to Perth for round three of the WNBL season. Photo: FILE

A TREK to Perth for Friday night’s clash with Lynx tips off a crucial third round for Bendigo Spirit in the Cygnett Women’s National Basketball League.

After a nil-two start, Bendigo’s team meets a red-hot Lynx on its court in Perth and then returns for Sunday’s clash with Melbourne Boomers at Parkville.

Spirit coach Kennedy Kereama said despite a winless start there were plenty of positives from the game played against Sydney Flames in Mildura last Friday night.

“We improved significantly on our first week,” he said. “Areas we focused on such as limiting turnovers was excellent.”

Spirit had just one turnover in the second half of the clash with Sydney.

“We did a lot of things well, but our shooting really let us down,” Kereama said of a field goal return of 33 per cent.

“A percentage of less than 45 is far from desirable,” he said of the 62-68 result against the Flames.

“The effort is there, but we need to reward that effort by scoring points.

“Although it’s two losses [Townsville and Sydney], neither game was a blowout. The girls also showed they up for the fight, especially from being down by 15 points at half-time.”

Kereama said Spirit’s play to limit Sydney to a tally of 68 points was excellent.

Bendigo won the rebounding duels, 38-36, but it was from the three-point are and foul line where Spirit was found wanting at times.

Spirit’s clash with Sydney drew 780 fans.

“The stadium was packed and the crowd support was incredible,” said Spirit’s coach.

Now Spirit takes on a Perth line-up which has won both of its matches and is second on the ladder.

A three-nil start has Melbourne Boomers on top of the table going into week three of the season.

A huge plus for Bendigo is the likely return of captain and four-time WNBL championship winner Kelsey Griffin who was on the sidelines the opening two matches recovering from a hamstring injury.

For Spirit it’s about work rate and shooting for the net with more confidence and purpose.

“There’s a lot of basketball to be played,” Kereama said.