Bacchus Marsh Lions are one step closer to sealing a finals berth in the Country Basketball League north-west men’s competition.
Returning to the court for the first time this year, the Lions came away with two important wins on the weekend.
Looking to shore up a spot in the top four, the Lions took home the points against the Swan Hill Flyers and the Echuca Pirates.
On Saturday night, the Lions had a start to finish win against the Flyers, winning 89-71.
Lions co-coach Jeff Feben said it was a good win.
“Swan Hill beat us last time we played them,” he said.
“They held us for a bit of time before we were able to blow it out towards the end of the match.”
The win came despite missing leading scorer Billy Feben.
Jordan Kirk stepped up in his absence, with 26 points, while Sam Byron, Max Beaumont and Jake Raynor also scored double figures.
Jeff Feben said that Kirk showed aspects of a great leader all weekend and really stepped up in both games.
It was much closer on Sunday against the Pirates, with the game going down to the wire.
Neither team had their full side the first time they played, so there was a little bit of an unknown this time round.
The two teams traded the lead throughout the game, with six points the highest margin for either team.
Scores were level with four minutes to go before the Pirates took the lead by four points.
The Lions called a timeout with 1.48 left on the clock. They would score the last six points of the game, to win 55-53.
Feben said a couple of crucial subs at the time out worked in their favour, with Colby Pigott coming on and hitting a big three.
Kirk and Matt Parker top scored with 14 points each in the low scoring game.
Feben said Byron had a strong game as well.
The wins move the Lions up to second spot, on 28 points.
Had results gone their way, the Lions could have sealed their finals spot with two matches remaining.
A win this weekend at home against Mildura should seal that spot for Bacchus Marsh.
Feben said it would be a tough game with Billy Feben, Kirk and Parker among those who are unavailable.
“It will be a tough one for us,” he said.
“But it will give others an opportunity. Colby stepped up in recent weeks. It gives chances for the younger guys to step up and have more court time.”