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PORTLAND OBSERVER Monday December 2 2013 15
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Split results for Coasters men
THE Portland Coasters men's side returned
from their double-header road trip north
with split results this weekend, winning
one of two in round eight of the South West
Country Basketball League.
The Coasters took on an unbeaten Horsham
Hornets on Saturday night and after giving up
an early lead challenged the Hornets for the
rest of the match but never quite managed to
get back in front.
The slow start proved costly for the Coasters,
with Hornets Cam Bruce and Tim Pickert
getting busy in the opening term and helping
the home side establish a seven-point lead by
the frst break.
The Hornets started the game on track to break
100 points for the night, however the Coasters
tightened up the defence after the frst break
and suddenly the Hornets had a fght on their
Despite team captain Trenton Johnston being
hampered by a niggling injury and being
without key talls Josh Nash and Brad Clarke,
the Coasters went bucket for bucket with the
Hornets through the second, seeing the margin
stay at seven points heading into half time.
Bruce and Pickert remained the Hornets' best
avenue to the basket in offence, however the
Coasters were able to apply pressure to the pair
by cutting off the home side's other avenues
By contrast the Coasters were able to share the
load around, with a different player seeming
to pop up every couple of minutes to get on a
The Hornets opened the lead out a little further
late in the third, going into the fnal term with
a comfortable 11-point advantage, however the
Coasters clung on, fghting out a competitive
fnal term to go down to the ladder leaders 70
Bruce was the game high scorer with 24
points, while Pickert hit 21 and Jake Hobbs 10.
Aaron Caldow had 15 for the Coasters in the
loss, with Dave Groten and Tynan Drought
adding 13 each and
Joel Mirtschin 12.
It was a solid effort
by the Coasters,
particularly given Johnston was out of the game
through injury by the fnal term, with the on
court leader not able to suit up for yesterday's
match against Stawell Wildcats at Stawell.
The Coasters went into the match confdent
this would be an opportunity to add another
win to their tally, however it was Stawell who
started the better, with captain Joel Freeland
starting in solid form to have 13 of his side's
21 opening quarter points.
The Wildcats took a two-point lead out of the
opening quarter but it would be a short lived
one, with the Coasters controlling the game
from that point on.
Aidan Cancian made the most of the extra
minutes he was being afforded by putting on
a shooting clinic in the second, hitting three
long range bombs on his way to 13 points for
the quarter as the Coasters quickly established
The third quarter saw the Coasters put the
game beyond doubt, hammering on 27 points
to 16 in a clinical performance, with Aaron
Caldow and Dave Groten proving too much
for Stawell to contain.
With a healthy lead going into the last coach
Rebel Noter took the opportunity to give
greater responsibility to some of his younger
players, going in with a very small line up for
most of the quarter, and his side did not let
him down, winning the fnal term by a point to
record a 20-point win 91 to 71.
Caldow was in superb touch, hitting 26 points
to give him 41 for the weekend.
Cancian had a breakthrough game with 18
points, while Rowan Marshall had 15 and
It was the Coasters' second win of the season
and while the gap between them and the
top-four is growing there is real belief in the
side that in the return run of games more wins
to build on form
PORTLAND Coasters men's coach Rebel Noter came away from this
weekend's double-header road trip pleased with the performance of
his side, saying with each game the team keeps getting better.
Noter said while it would have been nice to win both matches he and his
side came away from the weekend knowing but for a couple of missed
shots they could take it up to any team in the competition.
"We are still building, we are not quite there and we have to make sure
we capitalise when we are bigger and taller.
"But we are no push overs by a long shot, teams have to play games out
with their starters to get over us, so I am very happy with how the boys
"With the top-four teams we have pushed every one of those teams, so
the boys know they are right in there and it is just a couple of shots here
and there that are making the difference.
"They know they have had the opportunities to hit those shots so that is
something we have to work on, but the confdence is still there.”
The Coasters came out of the weekend with a couple of injury concerns,
with Trenton Johnston not able to take the court in the second game, while
Joel Mirtschin strained his Achilles during Sunday's clash with Stawell.
While Johnston is expected to be fne by the side’s next clash in two
weeks, it was too early to know how bad Mirtschin's injury is.
"He reckons he can walk on it, but we won't really know until he wakes
up and ices it again.
“I don’t think he will be playing in Monday night’s fnal, we will see
how he goes, but he is not available for the Warrnambool match on the
Noter said the bonus of going into the weekend without a couple of key
players and then losing two more along the way was that it opened the
door for some of the squad's supporting players to try earn some more
minutes on the court.
He said the performances of the likes of Aidan Cancian, Daniel Jackson,
Nathan Valori and Dylan Gracias showed they could hold their own out
on the court.
"It was there opportunity to show me what they could do.
"By the fourth quarter we were being able to score quite convincingly
so it was there time to get out there and hit some shots and show me how
they play as a team.
"They were a very small line up, with Tyan Drought playing centre.
"I think Tynan might be just six foot, but they drop away a bit from there,
with Dylan playing down in the forward position.
“The guys confdence is up and they can’t wait to get back on the track
and get ready to take on Warrnambool in a couple of weeks at home.”
Noter said the best aspect of the weekend was the support between the
men's and women's squads, with both playing back to back games on the
road it had allowed both squads to watch a lot of each other's games.
"The girls set the tempo for the boys, they got two big wins, which was
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PORTLAND Coasters' Joel Mirtschin injured his Achilles yesterday and is in some doubt for both tonight's PBA division
one preliminary final and the Coasters' next match against Warrnambool.
Picture: KIRSTY HILL 121215kh33
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