Blaze seek practice games in stop-start season | Photos

BIG WIN: Wagga Blaze's Khiani Clark
takes on Queanbeyan's Sophie Anderson
during Saturday's 72-60 win. Picture: Les Smith.

BIG WIN: Wagga Blaze's Khiani Clark takes on Queanbeyan's Sophie Anderson during Saturday's 72-60 win. Picture: Les Smith.

THE Wagga Blaze will look to organise practice games to help offset another huge break in between games, with coach Peter O'Leary admitting the stop-start nature of the season makes it hard for players to maintain enthusiasm.

The Blaze have played just six games after beginning the Waratah Basketball League division one season on March 9, with a lack of team nominations than expected the major factor.

A 72-60 home win Against previously unbeaten Queanbeyan on Saturday allowed the defending champions to take the Pool A lead on percentage.

They won't play again until a 'central round' at Minto on June 29, where they will play two games against Camden Valley and Coffs Harbour.

"It's tough to keep the enthusiasm going because we can't evaluate ourselves in a game situation, it's all training," O'Leary said.

"We are looking to get some games. Options could be to go to Canberra and play one or two teams there or possibly Albury-Wodonga.

"Last year it was a home and away season which was terrible cost-wise for us, having to travel so much. This year it went into two pools which was a good idea, until a few teams dropped out and that diminished the games.

Leary suggested they may contemplate merging the second-tier division one league with the championship division.

"NSW Basketball are probably going to have to have a look at it and see what they can do. It may be they might have to combine it with the championship division, and everyone has to up their game and bring in stronger players."

The Blaze set up their win over the Yowies with a dominant 38-22 first half, import point guard Shakera Barnes leading the way with 25 points.

Bigs Hannah Ryan and Caren Hugo both contributed ten points, with Ryan also holding Queanbeyan linchpin Emma Rowcliffe to just 11 points.

"We had a really good first quarter and they (Queanbeyan) are a tall and talented side with a lot of good shooters," O'Leary said.

WAGGA BLAZE 72 (S Barnes 25, H Ryan 10, C Hugo 10) def QUEANBEYAN YOWIES 60 (T Ketels 17, S Anderson 16, J Ticehurst 13) on Saturday. 

READ MORE

This story Practice makes perfect first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.