WARRNAMBOOL Seahawks have all but secured its Country Basketball League finals berth following a polished performance against Colac Kookas.
The Big V development side brushed aside the Kookas on its way to a commanding 92-54 win at St Joseph’s Primary School ín Warrnambool on Saturday night.
The 38-point win marked forward Sam Brooks’ return to the court, 12 months after he suffered severe head injuries in a quad bike accident.
Brooks received a big cheer when he entered the play in the opening term and scored eight points in his comeback match.
Seahawks coach Barry Brooks said his son got through the contest unscathed.
“He enjoyed himself,” he said.
“To sit out for 12 months makes it difficult, no matter what injury you’ve had. It’s difficult to come back and hit the floor running.
“His performance was pretty good tonight.
“He still has to keep working at all things he does, particularly in defence.
“Offensively he’s probably worked hard enough over the summer that he’s reasonably good at that.”
The Seahawks, which led 19-13 at quarter-time, accelerated away from the undermanned Kookas in the second term.
They led 47-22 at half-time on the back of a high shooting percentage and a strong defensive press which forced Kookas turnovers.
Warrnambool extended its advantage to an unassailable 40 points at the final change.
Brooks said the Seahawks hit the floor running.
“After a break over Christmas you expect them to be a bit rusty but most of these boys have been working harder over the Christmas break than they had prior to Christmas,” he said. “They have been doing a lot of work with their ball skills as well as their fitness, so that probably came out tonight.”
Warrnambool’s shooting was a highlight.
Guard Damian Gray top scored with 19 points, while Leigh Saffin (14 points), Justin Wallace (10) and Josh Dean (10) also hit the scoreboard.
“That was a matter of taking good shots. If you take good shots a good percentage comes out of it,” Brooks said.
“It was good to see Justin come in there and get a few points in the third quarter.
“We tried to get him free and get him some shots. He’s a pretty pure shooter so it was good to see him get a few points.
“We will need some good shooters next week against Mount Gambier.”
Brooks lamented poor defensive patches, saying the Seahawks needed to eliminate concentration lapses.
“We were good most of the time but there was probably too big a gap between what was really good and what was average,” he said.
“We need to close that gap up a bit. That probably comes with having a relatively young team.”
The Seahawks host Mount Gambier Lakers and Portland Coasters in the final home-and-away rounds.