Horsham Hornets in excellent position

HORSHAM Hornets coach Steve Bruce believes the team is in an excellent position as Country Basketball League finals near.

The Hornets have lost just one game this season and boast the best defence in the South West Conference, conceding just 67.12 points a game.

Horsham’s calling card this year has been even performances on the offensive from many of its players.

Four players average more than 10 points a game, with captain Tim Pickert pacing the side with more than 20 points a contest.

Pickert and fellow guard Cam Bruce form a deadly scoring tandem, but contributions from the tough and athletic player Tim Friend and the versatile Matt Lovel have been just as important.

Young forward Jon Schwarz has shown plenty of improvement and is part of an impressive big man rotation that includes Jake Hobbs and Stuart Robinson.

Steve Bruce said he was pleased with how his side was travelling.

“We’re pretty happy to be seven and one right now,” he said.

“In our one loss to Warrnambool, it was pretty obvious that we were beaten by the better team on the day.

“But since then we’ve played our best game for the season against Colac. I thought that was a really good way for the team to respond.”

Despite the team’s conference-best record, Bruce said there would still be trials ahead before the finals.

The Hornets have contended with player unavailability all season and the trend is set to continue with Cam Bruce and Darcy Tucker to miss games before the finals.

But Steve Bruce said the team had responded in short-handed situations already and backed it to do so again.

Hornets coach Steve Bruce shares his thoughts on the season so far...

Highlight: The game against Colac in round nine. Against a quality opposition, we did a really good job of shutting them down.

Lowlight: I had to leave the game against Terang with a stomach bug and made it half-way up Natimuk Road before I threw up so that was probably the season lowlight for me.

Best player: Our backcourt team of Cam Bruce and Tim Pickert have been playing really well this season.

Most improved: Jon Schwarz started off in the Hornets and he’s been around for maybe five years and is starting to play some good basketball.

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