The signs are good for Keilor Thunder in Big V basketball women’s division 1.
The Thunder have squared the season ledger at 1-1 after a gutsy 62-52 win over Whittlesea Pacers at the Keilor Basketball Stadium on Sunday.
For a Thunder side well shy of full strength, youth stepped up to help secure an important 10-point victory.
Thunder coach Tom Bandilovski was very happy with the outcome.
“I did miss two very good players from the starting five, so it was a good win, a good start,” he said.
“I’m a new coach at Keilor, came from Diamond Valley … to make a new team and a starting five that were very young, I’m so happy to come away with the win.”
Young guard Amy Smith was asked to produce a go-to-whoa 40-minute effort.
She rose to the challenge, scoring 24 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists.
“My other point guard didn’t play today, so I needed to play her 40 minutes to win the game,” Bandilovski said.
“She’s fit enough, quick enough to do that, and she worked hard.”
Kelli Schleibs produced a solid double-double for the Thunder.
Schleibs was gritty in the paint, producing 11 points to go with 10 rebounds.
“She’s just a leader,” Bandilovski said. “She played for me at Diamond Valley, so I know what she can do for the team.”
Grace Funston also logged heavy minutes en route to nine points and 10 rebounds, while Alexandra McKellar landed three three-pointers off the bench for 12 points.
“I think they played as a team and that was the most important thing,” Bandilovski said.
“Our defence was solid, but our offence can improve.
“It’s been positive because we’ll have a complete team soon.”
With a new import lined up and the return of starting-five calibre players, Keilor will be a team to watch this season.
The Thunder will hit the road on Saturday night for a date with the Casey Cavaliers.
In men’s division 1, Keilor Thunder made it two-from-two with a 64-50 road win over Shepparton Gators on Saturday night.
The Thunder sits on top of the ladder ahead of a home clash with the Geelong Supercats on Saturday night