THE Warrnambool Seahawks overcame a sluggish start to post a 29-point win against Portland Coasters at the Arc on Saturday night.
Guard Leigh Saffin and forward James Mitchell sprang to life in the second half as the Seahawks improved their Country Basketball League record to 2-0.
Warrnambool trailed 22-9 at quarter-time but wrested the momentum from then on, outscoring Portland by 42 points to record a 96-67 win.
The Seahawks’ sloppy start played into the Coasters’ hands.
Warrnambool gave away five team fouls in under four minutes, gifting Portland opportunities from the foul line.
Seahawks coach Barry Brooks said his side, which rued turnovers and had poor scoring efficiency, was defensively over zealous in the first quarter.
Brooks said he would have been disappointed had Warrnambool not turned its form around, given the bulk of his team had Big V division one experience.
“We went out with a real emphasis on defensive intensity and we got the intensity but we didn’t get the way we wanted to go about it right,” he said.
“We used a lot of hands instead of bodies.
‘‘We talked at quarter-time that we were missing foul shots as well — we missed 10 foul shots in the first quarter.
“We were a bit tight offensively in the first quarter so we tried to spread it a bit.”
Warrnambool steadied in the second term.
Two Josh Dean free throws with 2.20 left in the half tied the game at 30-all.
A three-point play from strong forward Liam Killey, who was fouled, ensured the Seahawks marked a solid turnaround with a 36-34 half-time lead.
Tall timber Saffin (23 points) and Mitchell (16 points) were instrumental in the second half.
Both were quiet early and responded.
Saffin, who was dangerous from long range, dropped five quick points as the Seahawks started the third term with a 9-0 rout.
Damian Gray (18) and Dean (16) hit the scoreboard too as the Seahawks’ offence clicked.
Portland pair Dave Groten and Joel Mirtschin scored 14 points apiece.
Terang Tornadoes lost to Horsham Hornets yesterday, 90-74.
The Tornadoes crept to within six points with 70 seconds remaining before the Hornets pulled away.