Skinny Bears beaten

AIRBOURNE: Matt Whatman tries to prevent a Queanbeyan goal. Photo: Darryl Fernance.THEY’RE already without talented sisters Jordan and Jasmine Huntley and key player Emerson Kidd, and next up face a team filled with five state representatives and a former Australian Opal.
Nanjing Night Net

The Goulburn Bears women’s state league coach Steve Ruddell isn’t beating around the bush.

“It’s all doom and gloom at the moment,” he said.

“It’s a building year. Hopefully we can get something out of this season and move forward.”

The Bearettes felt the full force of the Queanbeyan Yowies on Saturday, sustaining a 78-23 loss on their home court at the Recreation Ground.

Their male counterparts suffered, too. The men’s open outfit incurred their ninth loss from as many matches, this time to Queanbeyan 79-65.

The youth league men, without their skipper Marcus James, sidelined for the season and reduced to crutches with a leg injury, were tenacious in a 75-59 loss to the Glebe Magic on Saturday night and had a dip the following day in an 87-70 defeat to Parramatta.

While the men to an extent succeeded in their bid to play competitive basketball with the bare minimum – the open team fielded just five players – the girls struggled. Big time.

The Bearettes have been given a week’s respite via a quirk in the draw. They’ll enjoy each and everyone of their days off. When they return to the court, against Bathurst on June 30, they’ll be up against a squad of players brimming with talent and oozing with representative experience. “It’s tough for the girls at the moment,” Ruddell said.

“It’s hard when you’re missing some important players, and then when you’re coming against a squad with four or five state players, plus an ex-Canberra Capital and Opal, life’s pretty difficult.” Despite the tough nature of the draw, the girls continue to carry on. They’ve far from disgraced themselves in 2012 in a competition that pits quality players statewide against each other.

The girls have notched two wins from eight starts and are big a chance of logging a third when they face the Dubbo Rams later in the season.

The state of play among the boys isn’t quite so rose-coloured. The men took to their home boards on Sunday with five players – no reserves. They suffered at the back end of the match. Matt Whatman, Nathan Campbell and Jai Sneddon scored the bulk of the Bears’ points.

The Youth League men rued missed opportunities on a weekend that could have easily culminated in back-to-back wins.

As it turned out, it ended in successive losses. Will Oxley, the competition’s second leading point-scoring with 178 to his credit, again churned out a solid performance. Their coach, Matt Chilko, pin-pointed some lacklustre second quarter efforts as the team’s downfall.

“Our second quarters are hurting us,” Chilko said.

“Our half-time deficit is often the fulltime difference. I think it’s mental. We’ve addressed our second quarters, but we still seem to be taking the foot of the pedal. It’s a lapse in concentration.” Should the Bears rectify their below-par second quarters, the wins will flow, Chilko says.

“That’s our main goal: to play four quarters of consistent basketball. As soon as we do that, the wins will come. We’re as good as any team in this comp,” he said. The open squad returns to action against the Bathurst Goldminers at home on June 30. The youth league team enjoys a fortnight’s rest before tipping off against the Norths Bears and Blacktown Storm on July 7 and 14 respectively.

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