THE Horsham Hornets’ unbeaten run in the Country Basketball League’s South West conference has come to an end.
After nine-straight wins, Mount Gambier defeated the Hornets by 20 points, 80-60, on Saturday night in Horsham.
With a shortened bench, missing coach Cam Bruce and injuries to Jeremiah McKenzie and Damien Skurrie during the game, the Hornets couldn’t match the Lakers’ sharp shooting.
Hornets captain Tim Pickert said with a small bench he was pleased to see Horsham stick with the Lakers for much of the game.
“It was really tough with a small bench and with Jeremiah McKenzie going down injured – but we had a young team and we did really well to be that close in the last quarter,” he said.
“We just ran out of some steam in the last few minutes and they took the game away from us. I think that was their best line-up so it could be different with our full side.”
The game was tight to start off, with neither side managing to find a score in the opening two minutes.
An early three-point shot to Horsham’s Matty Lloyd in his first game of the season put the Hornets in front by one.
Mount Gambier’s tall presence made for a potent attacking outfit, but with a three-point play to Horsham’s Matt Lovel with nine seconds left in the first quarter, the Hornets held a one-point lead at the break.
Mount Gambier frustrated the Hornets in the second term, epitomised with a technical foul to Skurrie.
The Hornets found themselves in some foul trouble in the quarter as the Lakers started to control the game.
An eight-point third quarter to Horsham youngster Austin McKenzie kept the Hornets in touch with the Lakers.
The fourth quarter went the way of the Lakers, with the Hornets unable to capitalise during key possessions.
The Hornets were within four points in the last quarter, before a host of turnovers had Mount Gambier up by 20 points with less than two minutes left.
Mount Gambier’s Lachlan Hunter, 19 points, and Simon Berkefeld, 15 points, top scored for the Lakers, with Horsham’s Matt Lovel, 15 points, the best for the Hornets.