It’s a case of close, but not close enough for the Whittlesea Pacers in Big V men’s division 1.
The Pacers have been one of the more frustrating teams in the division with their inability to convert good positions into wins.
At the Queen’s Birthday bye weekend, the Pacers had just three wins and were sitting 12th on the ladder.
Pacers coach Brian Vaughns is well aware of how close his side has been.
“We’ve been in every game and led throughout a lot of those games,” he said.
“We’re not finishing off games. Against Chelsea we led for [most of the game] and wound up losing by a point in the last few seconds. The Warrnambool game we pretty much had a lock on the game and then we made some bonehead decisions at the end of the game and ended up losing.
“It was the same against Warrandyte … we were up by 27 points in the third quarter.”
Vaughns said the most frustrating thing had been that they weren’t being outplayed, but weren’t getting results because of their own mistakes.
He said they had to make sure they were playing good basketball for the whole 40 minutes.
He said at times the effort dropped when they were in front and they needed to get back to basics to ensure they did not give up leads.
“We haven’t done a good job of finishing off,” he said. “We are competing up to the level of the other sides and up to the challenge, we’re just not getting over the line.
“If we are not competing with the better teams that’s fine. It’s when we beat ourselves it becomes an issue.”
Not helping the Pacers’ cause has been injuries with the side playing with just seven players in recent weeks. Vaughns said they were hopeful of getting Aidan Zeverona, Nathan Freeman and Darren Manoharan back in the next few weeks.
Vaughns hoped the mid-season break would be the turning point of their season.
He said once they got over the line in one of those close matches, he thought the confidence would grow and more wins would come.
“There’s still some growing pains, but there is no more excuses,” he said. “We have played every team in the league. We’ve got nine games left and if we keep competing as we have I think we should finish off strong.”
The Pacers this week face bottom side Latrobe City Energy on Saturday night at Traralgon.
The Pacers women’s side also travels to Traralgon this weekend to face the Energy.