Mixed bag for Bendigo Braves in SEABL pre-season opener against Dandenong Rangers

FIRST-UP: American import Ray Turner hit the court for the first time as a Bendigo Brave in Sunday's practice match against Dandenong Rangers at Bendigo Stadium. Picture: GLENN DANIELS
FIRST-UP: American import Ray Turner hit the court for the first time as a Bendigo Brave in Sunday's practice match against Dandenong Rangers at Bendigo Stadium. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

AS IS almost always the case with pre-season encounters, Bendigo Braves coach Ben Harvey saw good and bad in his side’s 19-point loss to Dandenong Rangers on Sunday.

“It was probably disappointing, some execution, but with some new guys coming in that is normal,” Harvey said.

“I thought we pushed the ball okay at times.

“I felt we needed to look into (import) Ray (Turner) a bit more on our post entries; we are just not gelling at the moment, but that’s normal this time of year.

“We don’t know some players strengths and weaknesses, so obviously it’s going to take time.

“One of the things we do need to do is stop the opposition – I thought they got too many easy shots.”

Dandenong led for the majority of the contest at Bendigo Stadium and ran out winners 86-67.

The Braves produced their best basketball during the second quarter, turning an eight-point quarter time deficit into a one point lead at the break.

They trailed by seven at three-quarter time.

With five practice matches to follow and his side only coming together for the second time at a six-hour training camp the day before the Rangers clash, Harvey felt Sunday’s result was inconsequential.

 “We need to work on our communication (and) I thought our body language at times wasn’t great,” he said.

“But I’m not really worried about winning or losing at this stage.

“Obviously it’s great to win, but it’s about the next phase.”

Returning import Jeremy Kendle did plenty to suggest he was in for another big season in Braves colours after a pair of stints in the NBL.

Power forward Turner showed glimpses of promise with a powerful second quarter at both ends of the court, while Harvey was able to afford court-time to youngsters Aiden Brohm and Tanner Rayner.

New point guard Indiana Faithfull believed execution and intensity would be priorities for the Braves in the lead-up to their season opener on April 6 against league newcomers Diamond Valley.

“Defensively we need to be tougher and make every catch harder and our pick up on the floor has to be better,” he said.

“Just in general, our chemistry needs to be better.

“Obviously that’s not going to be great when we’ve only been together half a week, but it will come.

“I’m very positive that we will get there for sure.”