Braves bounce back

Bendigo centre Gabe Richards starred at Dandenong.
Bendigo centre Gabe Richards starred at Dandenong.

THE Champions IGA Lady Braves bounced back from Friday night’s loss at home to score a crucial win in Saturday’s basketball showdown at Dandenong.Stung by an 18-point loss to Knox in the weekend’s start to round 17, Bendigo was under immense pressure leading into the clash with the Rangers.After scores were locked on 36-all at half-time, Bendigo dominated the third quarter.The Lady Braves scored 22 points, but more importantly restricted the Rangers to just 10.It was basket-for-basket in most of the fourth quarter as the Braves celebrated a 79-66 victory.Victorious coach Lukas Carey said yesterday the win at Dandenong was the team’s best of the season.“There were a lot of challenges thrown down after Friday night’s game,” Carey said.“We really needed to bounce back and win at Dandenong, and the girls responded superbly.”Carey said a key to the victory against Dandenong was the defensive pressure.“Our effort in defence was so much better than what we put in against Knox the night before.“We knew how strong Dandenong is in attack and had to keep the pressure on all match.“The defensive play in the third quarter was excellent,” Carey said.Although she did not figure highly in terms of points and rebounds, Andrea Wilson’s defensive play inspired teammates.The Bendigo attack was led by Gabe Richards, 20 points, captain Lauren King, 19, and guard Kelly Wilson, 16.“This match was crucial to our play-off hopes,’’ Carey said.“The challenge now is to keep playing at level we achieved against Dandenong. Too often this season we have been inconsistent, but have shown what we are capable of, especially against teams at the top of the ladder like Dandenong, Brisbane and Kilsyth.”The Symes Motors Bendigo Braves bounced back from what had been a hat-trick of defeats at home to win both games at the weekend.Bendigo tipped off the round by scoring an 11-point victory in Friday night’s home game against Mount Gambier Pioneers.The Braves then headed south to play Dandenong Rangers.Bendigo led 25-19 at quarter-time and increased its lead by a point in the second term.The third quarter was to be decisive as the Ben Harvey-coached Bendigo slammed on 25 points and kept the Rangers to a dozen.Dandenong won the final quarter, 22-18, but the Braves led 90-74 when the final buzzer sounded.Braves’ imports Luke Meyer and Ivan McFarlin were in hot form.Meyer went on to hit a game-high 26 points, and McFarlin scored 21 points and won 17 rebounds.The Braves welcomed back Adam Tanner, who had battled an arm injury, to the court.Tanner scored 14 points and his defensive pressure was a highlight.Braves’ co-captain Warren Randall scored 11 points.Bendigo Lady Braves 22 36 58 79Dandenong Rangers 20 36 46 66Points - Bendigo: 20 Gabe Richards, 19 Lauren King, 16 Kelly Wilson, 9 Katrina Hibbert, 7 Eleanor Haring. Dandenong: 24 Amelia Todhunter, 14 Hope Terdich, 11 Clare Papavs.Rebounds – Bendigo (27): 8 Richards, 5 King, 5 K. Wilson. Dandenong (36): 7 Papavs, 6 Terdich, 5 Todhunter.Bendigo Braves 25 47 72 90Dandenong Rangers 19 40 52 74Points – Bendigo: 26 Luke Meyer, 21 Ivan McFarlin, 14 Adam Tanner, 11 Warren Randall. Dandenong: 18 Brent Hobba, 13 Luke Fitzgerald, 13 Lucas Walker, 12 Vince Inglima.Rebounds – Bendigo (33) 17 McFarlin. Dandenong (29): 7 Fitzgerald, 6 Hobba.Round 17 scoreboard:Women – Albury-Wodonga 79 d Frankston 62, Brisbane 86 d Kilsyth 69, Nunawading 73 lt Sandringham 79.Men – Sandringham 79 lt Geelong 86, Hobart 86 d Knox 81, risbane 81 lt Kilsyth 91, Canberra 79 lt Ballarat 92, Brisbane 88 d Canberra 74, North-West Tasmania 90 lt Knox 100, Albury-Wodonga 96 lt Frankston 97, Nunawading 93 d Sandringham 85.The Braves will be back on their home court for this Friday night’s double at Bendigo Stadium.The Lady Braves take on Hobart from 6pm, with the Braves to face Hobart in the men’s clash from 8pm on the showcourt.Ladders after round 17:Women’s – Launceston 15 won 3 lost 122 per cent, Dandenong 15 3 118, Brisbane 12 6 117, Kilsyth 12 6 114, Bendigo 12 7 104, Ballarat 11 7 111, Knox 12 8 112, Sandringham 9 10 99, Nunawading 7 11 93, Albury-Wodonga 5 15 86, Frankston 1 17 73, Hobart 0 18 61.Men’s east conference – Bendigo 16 7 114, Kilsyth 15 8 107, Brisbane 13 10 102, Knox 13 11 105, Ballarat 11 11 98, Dandenong 10 13 99, AIS 4 11 93, Canberra 3 20 85.