Braves pay for tardy opening

Jeremy Kendle. Picture: NONI HYETTTHE Bendigo Braves have been left to rue a sluggish start in losing to the reigning SEABL national champions the Mount Gambier Pioneers on Friday night.
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Played at the Icehouse in Mount Gambier, a new look Braves trailed by 17 points at quarter time after being outscored 34-17.

They were able to claw their way back within three points on two occasions, including with one minute, 27 second remaining in the final term, eventually going down 95-86.

The slow start was in contrast to the previous weekend’s season opener when the Braves held the Ballarat Miners to just nine points in the opening quarter, outscoring them by 10.

Illawarra Hawks NBL development player and former Canberra Gunners starter Luke Jamieson did much of the early damage en-route to a game-high 33 points and nine rebounds.

Braves coach Ben Harvey summed Jamieson’s performance as “dominating”.

“We couldn’t stop him … it was a bit disappointing that we couldn’t do that,” he said.

“We just gave up too many shots and we got beaten on defence. He was really good.

“It’s a long trip to go to Mount Gambier and lose. We played them three times in four weeks at the end of the season last year and to lose again is disappointing, but we have to learn from it and move forward.”

Harvey was confident the team could regroup ahead of clash ahead of next Saturday’s encounter against the undefeated Nunawading Spectres (2-0) and Sunday’s home opener against the North West Tasmania Thunder (1-1).

“At the end of the day, we are still a new team,” he said.

“We gelled very well our first game and we did that the second game against Mount Gambier, but obviously you need to do that for four quarters against them.

“We are looking forward to putting it behind us and getting ready for this weekend.”

Import guard Jeremy Kendleagain led the way for the Braves with 27 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.

Damian Johnson had 20 points and nine rebounds in her first game as a Brave against his former club, while Kevin White chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds.

Taylor Bell finished with nine points and seven rebounds coming off the bench.

The Braves play just two of their first seven games in Bendigo.

Harvey conceded it was a tough draw but said the team would go into each game confident of winning.

“You have to remember I have got six players from last year that are no longer with us, so it’s going to take time,” he said.

“But I definitelythink we are gelling well and have the team chemistry to get it done this week.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.