Hornets to host Country Basketball League semi-final in Horsham

HORSHAM Hornets will host a cut-throat Country Basketball League semi-final at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Saturday night.

The Hornets will take on Colac Kookas at 7pm.

Both the Kookas and the Hornets finished with nine wins and three losses for the season, with the Hornets performing better head-to-head.

Hornets playing coach Tim Pickert said the club received confirmation of a home semi-final yesterday.

"It's always good to play in front of home town crowd," he said.

"Hopefully everyone comes along, fills the stand and gets loud and hopefully cheers us through to the grand final."

The other semi-final will see top team Warrnambool Seahawks host fourth-placed Mt Gambier Lakers.

The conference grand final will be in Horsham on February 8 regardless of which teams are playing. The Wimmera's women's teams will also contest south-west conference semi-finals at the weekend.

The Hornets women will return to Warrnambool to take on the Mermaids and the Stawell Wildcats women will travel to play Portland Coasters.

Hornets women's coach Sharon Fedke said the team was looking forward to playing finals.

"It's the first year the women have had a senior team in the competition for a long time," she said.

Fedke said the Hornets women would shake off the weekend's tough double-header, which saw the Hornets go down to Warrnambool by 17 points on Saturday night and to Portland by 16 points on Sunday.

"We didn't have a great weekend, but that's life," she said.

"Now we've got to regroup for this weekend hopefully we'll have a full complement of players

to choose from, which will help a lot."

Fedke said the Hornets were without a number of junior players due to a tournament in Hamilton.

"We were also without Chloe Bibby because she played in the Melbourne Classic at the weekend," she said.

She said the Hornets had nine players on Saturday night and eight on Sunday.

"When you go on the road it's a bit telling ," she said.

"As much as I'm disappointed with the result, we did get a lot out of it as well."

The Wildcats women will have a tough task when they take on undefeated Portland on Saturday.

The Stawell team lost to the Coasters by 38 points in Portland on Saturday night, before getting within six points of Warrnambool in their 56-50 defeat on Sunday.

Coach Trevor Holmes said Sunday's result was the Wildcats' highest score and closest finish for the season.

"The second half was all Wildcats," he said.

"Using a press the ladies outscored the Mermaids 20-10 in the third and matched them 13-13 in the fourth.

"The last nine minutes saw the Wildcats get to within three points, then a fast finish to the game

saw it go basket-for-basket until the last minute, with the Mermaids hanging on for a six-point

win, 56-50."

Holmes hopes the Wildcats will build on their momentum at the weekend.

"Although they haven't won a game this season, when it comes to finals you need to basically start fresh," he said.

"We're going to take the things we learnt during the season and put them to good use."

The Wildcats men enjoyed their final games for the season in round 14, getting within three points of Portland on Saturday night before being outclassed by Warrnambool on Sunday, 100-42.

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