The Horsham Lady Hornets secured a massive victory over Millicent Magic today in the Country Basketball League south west conference.
Travelling to Millicent to take on one of the best teams in the competition, coach Damien Kilpatrick wasn’t particularly confident of extending Horsham’s good start to the season.
But with a change of tactics and an impressive defensive performance, the Lady Hornets led for most of the game to eventually come away with a six point victory.
“We are very, very stoked,” Kilpatrick said.
“To be honest, I came in not really confident, but to the girls credit we came up with a defensive gameplan, and we executed it very well.”
The new defensive structure was pivotal to the teams win. Millicent have averaged 77 points per game so far this season, but were held to just 63 by the Lady Hornets stifling defence.
“Our defensive pressure was just outstanding. We knew what to do, we changed something around before the game that really worked,” Kilpatrick said.
“For the girls to go out and execute something that we hadn’t done before, I was really, really pleased.”
The game started as a tight tussle, the Hornets trailing by one point at the quarter time break, 12-11.
The Lady Hornets however dominated the next two quarters. They led by seven points at the half and 13 at three quarter time, the defensive structure suffocating Millicent and the offense – led by Faith McKenzie’s eight third quarter points – functioning smoothly.
The girls continued at the start of the last quarter, bursting out to an 18 point lead with six minutes to go in the game. But there was some nervous moments during the final minutes of play, with some costly turnovers and big threes allowing Millicent back into the contest.
Kilpatrick said the last quarter showed there’s still room for improvement.
“We lost the last quarter by seven, but that was purely do to some crucial errors at the wrong times,” he said.
“We have to stamp those errors out of our game, and we missed a lot of foul shots that we need to work on too. We could’ve won by a lot more really. But outside of four minutes of basketball, I felt 36 minutes were played totally on our terms.”
Before the contest, Kilpatrick said the match would be a real test of where the team ranks in the league this season. While he was pleased with the performance, he insisted there’s still a lot of improvement to be done before the side is considered a title contender.
“It’s been a great start and I’m wrapped,” he said.
“There’s still a lot of improvement left in our game, but if we keep working hard and continuing to get better every game we’ll go a long way this year.”