Sunbury Jets returned to the winners list in the Big V women’s state championship division on Saturday night.
After winning their first 11 games, the Jets dropped their next two and slipped back to the pack.
On Saturday night, the Jets responded with a comprehensive win against Diamond Valley. After a slow start the Jets found their groove late in the first quarter to lead by four points at quarter time.
The Jets stepped it up defensively in the second and third quarters, and midway way through the third quarter led by 26 points.
Jets’ coach Kennedy Kereama looked to his bench at that stage, giving some other players a run with the game in hand.
The Jets ended up winning 75-56.
Kereama said it was a satisfying team win after having lost their previous two matches.
“Chelsea [Burns] played injured and Orla [O’Reilly] took a pretty good knock to the head on Tuesday, so we’re battling,” he said.
“It’s good to get a win like that when you’re also down Courtney [Duever]. It’s satisfying when your bench really lifts and rises to the occasion.
“It was a really a solid team win.”
Defensively was where the game was won for the Jets, with the Eagles finding it difficult to score for chunks of the game.
They forced the Eagles to shoot from deep and it worked in their favour with the Eagles not hitting a three-pointer until early in the final quarter.
“We’ve got a bit of a funky zone which seems to cause teams a lot of trouble,” Kereama said.
“I think they were 0-14 from the three point line going into the last quarter … it didn’t help their cause and while they weren’t shooting the ball well we were going to stick with what was working for us.”
O’Reilly was the standout for the Jets with 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Most of her points came in the first half.
Kereama also had praise for Monique Stevens who rebounded from a poor game the previous round and Rebecca Van Kuyk, who has started in the absence of Duever.
With no Duever in the line up for a second straight week, it’s given Kereama the chance to look at different line-ups. Every Jets player that suited up took to the court.
Kereama said he expected Duever, who is averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds, back this week.
The Jets will lose Kereama and Josie Stockill in the next couple of weeks, with New Zealand national team duties. Both will be back for finals if the Jets make them.
“We’ve trained for some situations and obviously Josie being out [with foul trouble] for a majority of the second quarter was fine,” Kereama said.
“We know she’ll be missing for a few weeks, we’ve got to be able to plan for that. She played 26 minutes which is low for her, it’s 10 minutes less than she normally would.
“It was really nice to go through some different combos out there.”