WARRNAMBOOL Seahawks are searching for a new coach after Matt Alexander announced his decision to step aside following their Big V preliminary final loss on Saturday night.
The former NBL-listed basketballer led the Seahawks for two years, steering them to a drought-breaking division one men’s championship in his first season at the helm.
Alexander, who recently became a first-time father, said family commitments meant it was time to relinquish the role.
“I’ve coached a lot of high-calibre guys with a lot of talent and it’s been fun,” he said.
“Down the track I might put my hand up again.”
Warrnambool’s championship defence faltered at the hands of Keilor Thunder on Saturday night.
The Seahawks fell 81-76 on the road. The Thunder will play Chelsea Gulls in the best-of-three grand final series.
Alexander said the players were “flat as”, having been seven points up at one stage.
“For the first hour on the bus you could hear a pin drop,” he said.
“I thought we played well enough. We had three or four great individual performances but we just needed a couple more guys to step up.”
Captain Alex Gynes led the way with 26 points and import Xavier Johnson-Blount, who will fly home to America on Tuesday, chimed in with 24.
Ollie Bidmade (11) and Josh Dean (seven) also stood up.
Johnson-Blount and Bidmade were fouled out in the dying stages of the contest.
“We pushed them and they were by far the best team record-wise,” Alexander said.
“They are looking to move up to higher leagues.”
Meanwhile, Warrnambool Mermaids started their title quest on a winning note, defeating Coburg Giants 82-56 in game one of their semi-final series on the road.
“It makes us feel a little bit more comfortable heading into game two,” coach Louise Brown said.
“We didn’t do much wrong to be honest. It was pleasing. It made my job easy.”
The Mermaids tore the game apart with a 28-4 third term.
“We were up by 15 at half-time but we started to really extend it in the third quarter,” Brown said.
“We ran the floor so well in the third quarter.”
Amy Wormald drained a game-high 24 points for the Mermaids and Maddy White contributed 11.
Wormald and Carly Pulling nullified Giants’ game-changers Deslyn Applewhaite and Samantha Flores.
Guard Holly Greene also had an impact off the bench and teenager Molly McKinnon, while down on her offensive output, applied strong defence.