A DOMINANT second half propelled Warrnambool Seahawks to a convincing 22-point away win on Saturday night.
The Seahawks outscored Altona Gators by 17 points after half-time on their way to a 97-75 Big V division one victory.
Warrnambool led at every change — by one point at quarter-time, five at half-time and 13 at the final break — as they responded from their first home-court loss of the season in emphatic fashion.
Warrnambool coach Bobby Cunningham said his team had the answers when the Gators challenged.
“Altona hit the front with three or four minutes to go in the third quarter and then we scored 24 of the next 29 points and broke the game open,” he said.
Cunningham praised the Seahawks’ defence which kept the Gators guessing.
“We kept them off balance most of the night with zones, presses and back to man-on-man,” he said.
“Our guys were really, really good.
“(Brent) Radoslovic got a couple of good looks but wasn’t able to do any scoreboard damage.
“If he gets started, he can hit six, seven or eight outside the three-point (line).
“Josh Dean did a great job on Joey Mauser who is their catalyst.”
Seahawks veteran Tim Gainey shone for the visitors, dropping a game-high 34 points and collecting 16 rebounds on his way to another double-double.
Teenage forwards Liam Killey and James Mitchell complemented Gainey with 20 and 18 points respectively and guard Sai’Quon Stone grabbed eight assists.
“Everyone got a good run last night and the young ones stepped up. Sam Gray, Jeremy Bolden and Liam Killey when Tim (Gainey) slowed down a bit, he kept the scoreboard ticking over,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham said the Gators “had a couple of guys hobbling”, but was thrilled with the Seahawks’ killer-instinct.
The win was Warrnambool’s 11th of the season and consolidated their push for a top-two Terrill conference finish.
“There is a good feeling around the team now with this victory,” he said.
“(Our next opponent) Sunbury are tough in their gym and again they’ll be fighting for their finals lives.
“So it will be another tough game.
“If we want to finish top we can’t lose any more and last night was step one of the last four steps we have to complete.”