THE Horsham Hornets will play just their second home game of the Country Basketball League South West season on Saturday.
After two weeks of byes, the Hornets welcome a Hamilton Hurricanes side that sits bottom of the table.
Horsham has enjoyed a faultless start to the season – three wins from as many games with the side showing it has plenty of depth and scoring power.
Horsham’s tight defence has again been a strong point of their performances this season. The Hornets conceded just 54 and 57 points against Portland and Bacchus Marsh respectively.
Head coach Cam Bruce said a strong defence had become a regular characteristic of Hornets sides in recent seasons.
“We rely on our defence to give us easy baskets, which comes from that pressure,” he said.
“It’s definitely our first tactic to shut them down and then worry about what comes next in terms of our offence and structures. Our defence was one of our strengths last year and we need to keep at it.”
Despite strong defensive performances so far, Bruce said there were some gaps that needed to be filled as the season unfolded.
“With some new younger players there will be some things that need tightening up,” he said.
“There were a few times against Bacchus Marsh and then also against Ararat where we let our guard down a bit, and they were able to get some easy scores.”
Hamilton has had a tough start to the season, but that was something Bruce wasn’t looking too far into ahead of the contest.
“Obviously they are new to the competition and have new players,” he said.
“They are developing their program and they improved last week. They have had a couple of competitive games and they will get better and challenge us this weekend.”
Bruce welcomed the chance to play in front of a home crowd after being out of action for a couple of weeks.
The side takes to the court at 8pm on Saturday night, following the Lady Hornets’ match-up against Terang.
“It’s good to be back playing at home – we have had a couple of good weeks of training so we should be good to go Saturday night,” he said.
The side has a couple of injury concerns with sharp shooter Tim Pickert expected to shrug off a foot injury. Jake Hobbs is coming back from a hamstring strain and is an uncertainty for Saturday.
“Tim did a little bit of training on Tuesday night and Jake Hobbs did the warm-up and a few shooting drills too,” Bruce said. “We kept Jake out of some contact stuff and hopefully he will be okay to go, but Tim should be no worries.
“Hopefully we are at full strength in a couple of weeks.”