WARRNAMBOOL Seahawks have taken a giant step forward in their bid to return to Big V division one finals.
The Bobby Cunningham-coached side moved on top of the Terrill conference with a 5-2 record after scoring back-to-back wins from a tricky double header.
The weekend started with an 86-59 trouncing of Sunbury Jets — which had led the conference — in front of a parochial crowd at the Arc on Saturday night.
Five players finished in double figures for points, with American import Sai’Quon Stone (15 points, 11 rebounds) the pick of an even side.
Tim Gainey, excellent against the Jets despite a three-from-16 return from the floor, was the star of the show against Chelsea Gulls yesterday.
The former coach finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds in the 100-79 win at Patterson River Stadium — the Seahawks’ highest tally of the season.
Young centre Liam Killey (nine points, eight rebounds) also stood tall against the Gulls in the absence of Simon O’Keefe.
Cunningham said the two wins in two days marked an exceptional return. His players had to back up after a brutal round trip to Mildura the previous weekend.
“We could’ve looked at it and said ‘geez we’ll be happy with the split, we’ll protect our home court and not worry about what happens up there,” he said.
“But Tim, Justin (Wallace) and Sai’Quon, they were like we’re going to win this one, too. They didn’t say it, they said it with the way they played.”
Cunningham said the Seahawks’ defensive efforts were markedly improved from the defeat to Mildura Heat a week earlier.
“Defensively, we changed some things up. We tried to implement a few things and we got some victories,” he said.
“Keeping them out of rhythm, keeping them off balance, rebounding when they missed their shots. We did that two games in a row and we’ve seen the results.”
The Seahawks play Craigieburn Eagles at the Arc this Saturday, with tip-off at 7pm.