Blasters enjoy golden trip to Benalla

Not in my house: The Seymour defence swarms on Benalla’s Ebony Grace. Photo by Brenden Paddock

Seymour Blasters maintained their stranglehold on the Country Basketball League Men’s North East Division with a clinical 83-57 win over Benalla Breakers at Benalla Indoor Recreation Centre.

On a night that saw the Breakers celebrate their cancer awareness game, their local community came out in force to watch both the men’s and women’s clashes while supporting a worthwhile cause.

Inspired by a Keenan Gorski scoring blitz, the Blasters were at their brutal best from the opening tip, sending a message to a Benalla team sitting on the doorstep of the top two and determined to take the competition’s biggest scalp.

Tough defence: The Seymour Blasters girls didn’t give Benalla an inch at the weekend. Photo by Brenden Paddock

After an ugly performance last week, the Blasters ensured they were switched on and ready to go in the first term, showing their slick ball movement from the very start to get away to an early lead.

Piling on 28 points in the first period, it seemed everything the visitors touched turned to gold in the early passages as they took a strong 10-point lead into quarter-time.

Some defensive adjustments by the Breakers turned the game into a slog in the second term, as both sides struggled to maintain any fluency on the offensive side of the floor.

Kicking things off: The Benalla girls come together to celebrate their cancer awareness game. Photo by Brenden Paddock

But Seymour continued to show its class, fighting through the slump and putting up key buckets to stretch its lead out to a sizeable 17 at the main change.

With the game all but sealed, the Blasters came out for the second half looking to boost their percentage, once again getting off to a fast start.

However, the Breakers were up to it on this occasion, finally managing to put together a bit of a run as the lead only increased by five as players convened for the three-quarter time break.

Knowing the importance of ending on a good note, Seymour continued to put pressure on the Benalla defence, dropping another 21 points in the last to extend the lead by a further four by the time the final buzzer sounded.

Alongside Gorski, who finished with 21 points on the night, the Blasters got great production out of Thomas O’Connor (15 points) and Abraham Solano (nine points), with the team’s depth a major factor behind its success.

For the home side, Eric Miraflores was the clear standout, battling manfully all night to finish with a game-high 22 points.

The Seymour Lady Blasters made a grand statement on their trip to Benalla, coming away with a commanding 106-42 win to take top spot on the ladder.

Inspired by a dominant 33-point first quarter, the Lady Blasters went from strength to strength as the game wore on, with Benalla simply powerless to stop the offensive onslaught.

Slick ball movement, efficient shooting and strong rebounding were features of Seymour’s offensive game, while it also played with a defensive intensity that didn’t give the home side an inch for the entire four quarters.

Sporting a relatively even spread of contributors, Dyani Ananiev (23 points) and Jasmine Hunter (22 points) were the standouts for the Blasters, with Madison Ford and Leah Swain both providing great support adding 16 points apiece.