NWBU. Friday night saw the Tall Timbers Smithton Saints U/22 women go down in a two-point loss to Burnie Tigers.
Starting strong and taking a 10-point lead in the first quarter and a six-point lead at the main break, the young team could not maintain the intensity in the second half.
Poor passing resulting in turnovers let the girls down during the second half of the game, allowing the Tigers to take a six-point lead going into the last quarter.
While the Saints outscored the Tigers in the fourth, they were unable to get over the line.
Key players Tyla Free and Brooke Gorringe were both fouled out of the game in the last, leading to the Saints’ ultimate downfall, 52-50.
Sarah Jaeger topped scored with 12, Free with 11 and Hannah Jackson with 10.
In Tuesday night’s game, Free lead the women to a solid win over the Latrobe Demons with a season high 45 points.
Free was causing havoc for the opposition with a high shooting percentage from both within the paint and outside the key.
The young Saints took control of the game from the opening quarter, with a 19-2 lead.
Georgia Roberts, Gorringe and Jackson were too good for the Latrobe guards, causing many turnovers through their quick pace and high defensive pressure.
Coach Laine Tuxworth said through causing turnovers in defence, the women were able to make the most of their shots.
Zebrina Tuaoi also played a solid game, finishing with 14 points.
With a 26-point lead at the main break, Smithton continued to play a strong second half, with the final score 73-35.
In Friday night’s men’s action, the Saints went down by 29 points to the Burnie Tigers, 68-39.
Coach Steve Poulter said the men played well as a team, all receiving good minutes.
“Unfortunately we were overpowered in the end, by a pretty good team.”
Happy with the way his team, particularly the younger players, handled the pressure, Poulter said top scorers were Bzuayehu Heres on 12, Hugh King on 11 and Matt Elliott on five, all earning places in the best players.
The men were close to taking a win on Tuesday night in a tight game against Latrobe Demons but went down by one-point in the final minutes.
Allowing the Demons to lead by 13 points in the first, the Saints put on a full court press for the remaining three quarters.
“The defence improved and we started to pick up a few easy baskets,” Poulter said.
Drawing level with 26 seconds remaining, the chance to score a winning point was missed on the buzzer, going down 65-64.
Women: Smithton 73 Latrobe 35
Men: Smithton 64 Latrobe 65