A superb opening quarter played a big part in the Bendigo Lady Braves winning Saturday night’s basketball match on Geelong’s court by 15 points.
At the end of the first term, Bendigo led 25-7, although Geelong fought back to tie the second term on 17 points apiece.
The Lady Braves led 59-34 at a quarter to go, but the last five minutes of the contest were to be dominated by the Cats, 19-5.
A Bendigo attack led by Renae Camino, 19 points, reigned supreme to win the match, 78-63.
First-year coach at Bendigo, Jonathan Goodman celebrated taking premiership points for the first time after Friday night’s season-opener at home against Knox Raiders was abandoned after the lights went out at Bendigo Stadium.
“Our start to the match in Geelong was fantastic,” Goodman said.
“We shot the ball well, defence was strong, although Geelong had a couple of shots rim out.
“I was absolutely stoked with our defensive effort.”
After surging to a significant lead early on, Goodman said the key was to stay focused and set targets as the match went on.
The Lady Braves did so to be up by 29 before the Cats struck back.
“With the exception of the last five minutes of the game, which Geelong won 19-5, I was rapt with the team’s performance,” said Goodman.
Just as it was in the Bendigo Spirit’s run to winning the Women’s National Basketball League title, Goodman said the Lady Braves showed they have a lot of scoring punch.
“The girls showed any player can take a shot, and that’s really important,” said the coach.
“We do not want to be relying on one or two go-to players, but on having every player contribute.”
Bendigo’s leading scorers were Renae Camino, 19; Rebecca Campigli and Jane Chalmers, 13; Maddie Garrick, 12; and Kelsey Griffin, 10.
Best for the Supercats were Cortney Williamson, 20, and Candice Rogers, 13.
The Lady Braves won the rebounding duels, 38-37, as Camino and Grifin, eight apiece, and Chalmers, six, showed the way.
In round two, Bendigo heads to the national capital to play Canberra on Saturday night at Belconnen.
“Canberra has some WNBL athletes, so it will be a tough match.”