TATURA Titans were burning the candle at both ends for the Castlemaine basketball tournament earlier this month.
The Titans under 18 team had a tough draw with four games on Saturday – kicking off at 8.50am and finishing up at 8pm.
First up they hit Castlemaine and a slow start saw the boys lose momentum from early on.
Floyd Vincitorio worked hard in defence with stellar rebounding and some hard work on Castlemaine’s point guard.
Josh Evans and Matt Rennie showed they could shoot the three and Tom Dooley-Heath did his best against Castlemaine’s tall defence but poor rebounding and defensive lapses in concentration gave the opposition some easy points. Not a good start to the day with a 29-44 loss.
A two-game break then saw the boys back on court against Warracknabeal, both were teams coming off first round losses and were keen to get a win on the board.
Matt Rennie repeatedly got to the basket, Josh Evans showed he could do it both ends with strong rebounds and three-point shooting, Michael Coonerty put in a much better game stepping it up in defence and coping with some unlucky ref calls and Riley O’Neill shot some timely points.
The boys had their chances but still didn’t rebound well enough, giving up some easy break points and when the siren went the boys were two points down, 29-31.
Another two-game break and the Titans were back on court for their third game in five hours. Up against Gisborne, the boys had a repeat of game one with some lacklustre work in defence.
Titans gave Gisborne too many second chance points off of the boards and lost control of the ball in offence.
At 10 points down at half time — and despite a much better effort in the second half – the boys were unable to get back within reach and went down 25-42.
A four hour break saw the boys back on court with renewed energy but tired legs for their fourth game.
The Titans faced off against Terang who were unbeaten for the day, and the boys kept their best till last.
Jarom Owen-Horn kicked things up a gear and rebounded with more aggression, Floyd Vincitorio was always there to help bring the ball down the court and Tom Dooley-Heath posted up and played his role with some good passes to the guards.
Matthew Rennie scored repeatedly from fast break opportunities, Riley O’Neill played the team game, Josh Evans worked hard under the ring with blocks and rebounds — and still contributed in offence — and Michael Coonerty gave his all.
In the final seconds the boys were two points down and had control of the ball but were unable to get the final score for a win, going down 39-41.
The Titans would like to thank coaches Maddi Rijs and Zac Collyer for giving their time and expertise.