SEABL Men: Feisty Blues dominate Rangers
The Greater Dandenong Weekly: Roy Ward
DANDENONG'S mid-winter struggles continued with a surprise 85-73 loss to Frankston Blues at Dandenong Stadium on Thursday night.
The Rangers men once again were their own worst enemy, breaking down on defence and on offence forcing the ball inside and going away from the hard-running, hard driving sets which had helped them become a South East Australian Basketball League championship contender.
Rangers coach Darren Perry said his side was well below its best on defence and missed forward Venky Jois, who is in the US ahead of moving there later in the year.
"We lowered our intensity on defence, we seemed to break down too many times," Perry said. "We also got beaten pretty badly on the boards and let them get too many second shots.
"Maybe we are missing our jumping jack [Jois] who tends to grab a few boards for us, but we can't blame that, we have known he was going to be away during this time."
The Blues won the rebound count 44-31, which included 16 offensive boards.
Rangers imports Tony Lewis (22 points) and Daequon Montreal (19 points) led the scoring for the home side while Brent Hobba (10 points) also had a solid game, but none of the three could stop Blues stars Chuck Long (32 points), Mitch Chapman (24 points) or Calvin Henry (15 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks).
Long said the Blues were desperate to claim a win in a close game after losing in several similar situations this season.
"We really needed it," he said. "We have been in some similar situations and lost. I think we have been frustrated and down on ourselves. Maybe now we have won this one we will have the confidence to do it again."
The Rangers got back on track with a 76-73 win over Brisbane at Carina on Saturday night with Andrew Harms scoring 18 points.
The Rangers host Albury-Wodonga at Dandenong Stadium this Saturday at 7.30pm