Sport

Seymour Blasters break Benalla’s spirits in first win of CBL season

By Meg Saultry

After a shaky start to the season saw Seymour lose its opening match to Wangaratta last week, the Blasters made sure the results read a different way in their second outing.

In the end, it was the Blasters’ runaway third quarter (21-9) which set up a convincing 29-point win over the Benalla Breakers in round two of the CBL season on Saturday night. 

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“It was disappointing last week,” Seymour coach Craig Hockley said.

“Our effort wasn’t there and we had a few players missing.

“But this week, our defense pressure was really good and we stuck at it.

“First half, we were missing a few shots, but the second half, we really opened the game up.

“Our intensity was really good. It’s good to get on the board.”

With the Breakers also fighting hard for their first win of the season, the opening half proved to be a battle, but it was Seymour who just edged ahead by three, and then seven, at each break.

D-fence: Seymour's Zac Donoghue and Gavin Whitfort lay defensive pressure for the Blasters.

The Blasters broke open the game in the third term and the result was never in doubt from then on.

“That third quarter was where we really wanted to push it out,” Hockley said. 

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“We spoke at half-time, that if in our first four-five minutes we could really lift our defensive pressure to another level, really get in the lane and deny them the ball, that we could break them.

“And it turned out we did. We had some young guys come on and really work those lanes.

“They forced turnovers and that just creates offence down the other end.”

The inclusion of Jack Murphy did wonders for the Blasters’ scoring power. He finished with 22 points, including three three-pointers.

Murphy and Robbie Sartori (13 points) added plenty of pace down the court, while a young Zac Wight (16) showed his mettle around the ring, his height a major asset for the Blasters.

“Jack and Robbie really do add that speed getting up the floor, helping our transition,” Hockley said.

“Then those young guys follow them and get those easy baskets up the other end.”

This Saturday, Seymour will face a tough task against last year’s grand finalists and title favourite Wallan Panthers, who last week dominated Wangaratta 111-57.

The contest is set to start at 8pm, following the women’s match.