Complacency the mid-season enemy for high-flying Seahawks

Seahawk Simon O’Keefe, the team’s leading rebounder so far this season, scores a lay-up against Latrobe City Energy.
Seahawk Simon O’Keefe, the team’s leading rebounder so far this season, scores a lay-up against Latrobe City Energy.

EIGHT games — five away and three at home —  is the tough assignment facing Warrnambool Seahawks as the race to the Big V play-offs heats up.

They will navigate the first of their road trip fixtures this weekend fresh from their final bye of the regular season.

The in-form Seahawks will meet middle-of-the-road Camberwell Dragons on Saturday night.

Warrnambool then plays Melton Thoroughbreds and Mildura Heat at home — two sides it lost to on the road earlier in the season — before back-to-back away games.

Its final home game is on July 19 and it finishes its regular season campaign with a double-header away fixture.

Seahawks coach Bobby Cunningham said his side, sitting comfortably with an 8-3 record, could ill-afford complacency.

“We don’t think it’s time to relax,” he said. “We need to take care of this game (against Camberwell) on the road — we think it is one we can get.”

The Seahawks have built the Arc into a daunting venue for visiting sides this season and are yet to drop a game at home.

But Cunningham said Warrnambool’s form on the road, save for its final quarter fadeout against Mildura, had also been impressive.

“I think we say coming into every year, if you win all your games at home and split the road games, you’re a chance to play finals and so far we think we are a chance to do that,” he said.

Cunningham credited the Seahawks’ even spread for their meteoric rise up the division one ladder.

He said teenage guard Damian Gray, who leads the club in steals and assists, was one of many shining lights.

“His ball awareness and anticipation has been good,” Cunningham said.

“At times we’ve had him and Josh (Dean) on the floor together this year and we’ve let them play off the ball and they’re reading the passing lines and causing turnovers.”

Simon O’Keefe is in the twilight of his career but Cunningham said the veteran centre’s influence was evident.

O’Keefe leads the Seahawks in average rebounds with 9.4 a game.

“He’s been huge. We definitely missed him up at Mildura,” Cunningham said.

“We were in that game with four minutes to go and were only down three or four points.

“It ended up being an 81-61 blowout.

“I think a big body would have helped out. 

“I am not saying we would have won but he would have definitely helped out.”

Big V division one player of the month for May Tim Gainey leads Warrnambool in five statistical categories.


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