Melton Thoroughbreds have returned to the winners’ list in Big V men’s division 2 basketball.

After losing their previous four matches, the Thoroughbreds returned to form against the North East Bushrangers.

After a strong first half, the Thoroughbreds led by 18 points at half-time.

The Thoroughbreds kept the Bushrangers to under 10 points in each of the first two quarters.

The Bushrangers lifted their game in the third quarter, but the Thoroughbreds responded, extending their lead in the last quarter to seal an 88-54 win.

Thoroughbreds coach Joe Hooks said it was good to get back on the winners list.

“I thought we were suppose to win that game, so I would have been disappointed if we didn’t,” he said.

Import Chris Johnson returned to form with 22 points, 14 rebounds and seven steals.

Hooks said Johnson had been playing injured, which had made a big impact on the side.

He said Johnson was getting closer to full fitness.

“Chris got hurt in the Mornington game and still isn’t 100 per cent. We rely on him and run a a lot of the play through him.

“The guys are still learning to play off him and when he is double and triple teamed, which does happen, making sure they are ready to step up and assist.”

Four other players scored double figures, as every player got on the court. Only one player didn’t hit the scoreboard.

The win, the Thoroughbreds’ fourth of the season, keeps them in touch with the top four.

Hooks said despite the poor start, there was no panic stations yet. He said they had a similar start last season and fell one win short of a grand final series.

He said this season looked like it would be an even competition again. The focus was on continuing to play hard defence and then scoring at the other end.

“We haven’t put all the pieces together yet,” he said.

“Rody Spoormakers, who was with the team at the start of last year, will be back with the team soon and we’re still missing our permanent resident.

“The guys have done a good job, but they are still learning the system.”

Melton’s women’s side had a tougher time of it on Sunday, losing to the Coburg Giants in division 2.

The Thoroughbreds led early before the Giants turned the game in their favour with a 32-12 second quarter.

While the Thoroughbreds fought back in the third quarter to reduce the margin to seven points, the Giants responded again to eventually secure a 88-74 win.

Jenna Conroy top-scored with 18 points coming off the bench.

The loss, the Thoroughbreds’ second in a row, gives the side a 3-3 record.



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