The Horsham Hornets pushed through fatigue and injury to secure victory in Country Basketball League south west men division at the weekend.
The Hornets were on their second consecutive double-header away from home and had to contend with several star players out of the team.
But it didn’t slow them down on Saturday night against the Terang Tornadoes, with the younger brigade leading the Hornets to an 18 point victory.
“Obviously we were down a few guys so some of the young guys stepped up and were really good,” Bruce said.
“We were really pleased with the result and how we look moving forward.”
Austin Mckenzie was one of the young players Bruce identified pre-game that would have to step-up to ply a significant role. And Mckenzie did so admirably scoring 24 points – the most of anyone in the game and his most for the season.
“He was great,” Bruce said. “He’s got really good touch around the ring and he finished off some good plays.
“Other guys got him involved and found him in good spots.”
The game got off to a pretty even start, with the Hornets taking an early eight-point lead before Terang fought back to be level 23-23 at quarter time.
It was the second quarter where the Hornets ran-away with the contest.
Early points from Cam Bruce, Matt Lovel and Tim Pickert pushed them out to a nine point advantage after just three minutes and they didn’t look back from there. Some stifling defence held Terang to just 12 points for the quarter, the score 50-35 at half time.
The Hornets got out to a 22 point lead early in the third term and cruised to victory from there.
Bruce said the win was a great team effort considering the quality of players missing from the side.
“Jeremiah Mckenzie was probably our best player for the night, he was really good,” Bruce said.
“But it wasn’t just him, everyone was moving the ball really well. We were able to get it in the right spots for our big guys and let them put in the work from there.”
The Hornets were battered and bruised for the second match of their double-header against the Hamilton Hurricanes on Sunday, with Austin McKenzie pulling up sore with a corky and Jake Hobbs battling a hamstring issue.
With the additional injuries, the Hornets were down to an eight-man rotation, but it didn’t affect the side as they trounced the Hurricanes 116-75.
Tim Pickert scored 27 for the Hornets while Matt Lovel also chipped in with 22. Jeremiah Mckenzie rounded off a great weekend of basketball for him with five three-pointers contributing to his 19 points.
The Hornets remain undefeated and on top of the ladder after the back-to-back wins.