THE Seahawks’ smart play in the clutch was enough to see them defeat Whittlesea on Saturday night, despite trailing for most of the game.
Down 10 at the half-time break, the Seahawks outscored the Pacers early and cut the margin to four points at the end of the third quarter.
Warrnambool continued to chip at the lead in the fourth, hitting a go-ahead basket with six minutes remaining.
Playing coach Tim Gainey said the squad drew shooting fouls and made smart buckets down the stretch to widen the margin and secure the seven-point win. “We were way bigger than them with Cameron Mitchell and Simon O’Keefe, so we tried to go through them,” he said.
“They’re both pretty good passers so they found the open guy.”
With Seahawks’ starters plagued with foul trouble, the Pacers built their first-half lead in the second quarter against some of Warrnambool’s younger role players, Gainey said.
“Our younger guys like Jacob Sobey and Lewis Steere had to come in and carry those minutes.
“We went through a point where we had four straight turnovers and they converted each one, leading to us getting down by 10 or 11.
“Turnovers were a problem for the whole game ... from just silly passes really; fundamental things like one-handed passes, or trying to make the deciding play instead of a smart play,” Gainey said yesterday.
“It was all mental mistakes.”
After giving up 41 points in the first half, Gainey said the Seahawks locked down the Pacers to hold them to 17 points in the final 20 minutes.
“Defence has always been our focal point.
“We’ve got the right guys with height and some quick guards too, so we’ve got the mix to be a good defensive team and think we did that last night.”
US import Mitchell played close to his average, scoring 23 and pulling down 12 rebounds, but Gainey said Jake Spruhan’s 23 points and four assists were an example of the forward’s larger role this season.
“If you add what he’s doing into last year, we probably would’ve won the whole thing,” he said.
“When he’s playing aggressive, having an extra threat out there makes everyone’s job a lot easier.
“He knows he has the green light in shooting so he’s been putting a few points down and hopefully that can continue for the rest of the year.
“Since we lost Bobby (Cunningham) and Nathan (Sobey), who averaged 30 points between them, we need other guys to make up for it and Spruhan’s been doing that.
“He’s taking the right shots and a lot of the offence is running through him.
“It makes it a lot easier for him to score, just knowing he’s going to be getting the ball and his job is to put points on the board.”
This weekend the 4-3 Seahawks will face off with Latrobe City, which has also won four games this season.