Hurricanes stay cool
HERVEY Bay Hurricanes player-coach Andrew Priest had every right to blow up about his team's disappointing showing in round two of the Regional Basketball League.
Missing three key players, the Hurricanes struggled through their first three games of the round before narrowly avoiding a catastrophe with a nerve-racking 56-54 victory over Gympie in their final match at Hervey Bay PCYC on Sunday.
Priest conceded it wasn't the result Hervey Bay was hoping to provide its supporters. But instead of berating his players' performances, he chose to focus on the positives.
"Despite only winning one game, we don't consider it to be a disaster," he said.
"After the first game we lost, the guys were deflated but in the remaining three games they lifted their spirits and smartened up and ultimately got the positive outcome.
"Overall, the guys that took to the court gave their all for the best part of the tournament against some excellent competitors."
The Hurricanes' shooting stroke went missing for long stretches in matches, but Priest said it was turn-overs which hurt Hervey Bay the most.
"There was a lack of cohesion as a unit and a lot of the younger players have had limited experience and don't know what's expected of them," he said.
"For the fans who wanted to see us succeed, it must have been frustrating watching with the amount of unforced errors that were costly."
Trevor Sauvageot was the Hurricanes' main go-to guy with the athletic small forward sinking 15 points against Gympie and scoring 12 against Bundaberg's OZ Intensity 2 to finish the round with an average 10.25 points per game.
The 1-3 result from the weekend leaves the Hurricanes two games behind Protech for the fourth and final playoffs spot with seven matches remaining.
The team travels to Toowoomba next month for the penultimate round of the competition and Priest was confident a full-blown Hurricanes side could sneak into the playoffs picture.
"If we can field a full-strength team, then we've got a shot at winning some games and making the top four," he said.
"But if we don't lift our game next round, we will put ourselves out of contention so it's make or break for us."
The Gympie women's side, which is laden with Fraser Coast talent, showed vast improvement from its opening round draw, finishing the weekend 3-1.
The team had wins against both its rivals to cement its second-place standing on the ladder.
Protech 43 def Hervey Bay 31
OZ Intensity 1 57 def Hervey Bay 40
OZ Intensity 2 56 def Hervey Bay 48
Hervey Bay 56 def Gympie 54