Spirit hit the road after big win

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 20-Oct-2017

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Betnijah Laney has been brilliant for the Spirit. Photo: Joel Peterson.
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OTHER Bendigo Spirit home games may not follow the same script, but the Spirit’s outburst in their first home game provided enough offensive fireworks to last a season.

Against a Perth side that simply fell apart both in system and application, Bendigo ran riot in the third quarter of their round two WNBL clash.

The sides met again last night and Perth would have desperately hoped there is no repeat, at any point this season, of a disastrous third quarter in which the Spirit piled on 43 points – one more than they scored in the entire first half.

“We had been happy with 42 points in the first half. In that third quarter where we scored 43 points, it was something for the ages,” Spirit coach Simon Pritchard said after the win. 

“They were combining and playing off each other so well… it was great basketball and great to watch.”

Their hard-pressing, up-tempo style caused havoc among a Perth side whose communication on defence was about as good as that between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Nadeen Payne led the charge with 19 points in that term alone, while Betnijah Laney scored 27 and added nine assists and Rachel Banham was impressive.

It came after Bendigo was belted by Melbourne the night prior without Kelsey Griffin and Gabe Richards – the latter of whom continues to struggle with a knee injury.

“That’s the word, resilience,” Griffin said after the win over Perth.

“I think that’s going to be a staple this year for any team wanting to make it into the finals and win is that you have to be resilient.

“You have to leave things in the past win or lose and come ready to play that next game because they’re all coming so fast one after another.”

Bendigo played Perth last night as part of its western road trip and faces Adelaide tomorrow afternoon in the second leg of its double-header.

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