Pirates’ season ends at home

By Andrew Johnston

ECHUCA'S Country Basketball League premiership defence is officially over.

But the followers of the Pirates were left with one final reminder of what could have been before the ship pulled into port.

On the back of 34 points Liam Tenace, Echuca easily took care of Swan Hill 88-74 on Saturday night.

Tenace was well supported by Dylan Payne (11) and Matt Kellett (12) as Echuca claimed their fifth and final win of the year.

The team followed it up with 15-point loss to Bendigo on Sunday afternoon 64-79.

Payne and Tenace again carried the bulk of the offense, combining for 32 points.

It ends a rough season for the Pirates, who suffered from inconsistent form and an inability to put their best side on the court regularly, the team finishing 5-9 and likely in sixth place.

Coach Leo Tenace said he was proud of the final effort of his side.

“It was a good weekend of basketball for us in many ways,” he said.

“We had a great win on Saturday, we worked hard on Sunday and kept the top side close for the majority of the contest, and we were able to get a bit of game time into some of our younger players.

“We look at the games and it gives us faith that we are able keep up with the better sides, and if we continue to prepare well then we can make our way back to where we want to be.”

Looking back on his season, Tenace said an element that had brought the Pirates success a year ago had gone against them this time around.

“If you look through our results a year ago and compare them to now, the margins are pretty similar, we just aren't on the right side of them,” he said.

“We didn't have the same results in close games, we couldn't get ourselves over the line when we needed to, so we will need to work on that.

“But that will come with time, we will look to continue to develop our players and see what we can improve as we prepare for next year.”