By Tara Murray
Bacchus Marsh Lions were left to lick their wounds after a tough night out against the Bendigo Braves in the Country Basketball League north-west competition.
Looking to cause an upset, the under strength Lions were put under pressure all night by the Braves.
It was two points the difference at quarter-time, before the Braves hit their straps.
The margin was out to 10 points at half-time and 16 points at the last break before the Braves finished it off, winning 91-67.
Lions coach Jeff Feben said it was a tough night for the side.
“It wasn’t a great game,” he said.
“They are another good team and quite a bit taller than us.
“They got out to an early lead and we got it back to two points at quarter-time [but] we couldn’t keep the momentum.
“They were double teaming Bill [Feben] making it hard and calls weren’t going our way.”
The Lions weren’t helped by injuries before and during the game. Jason Christian, Matt Parker, Jake Raynot and Tyler Collins all missed the game through injury.
Max Beaumont also missed the game. Jordan Kirk, who entered the game at 50 per cent fitness because of an ankle injury, was fouled out early in the third quarter.
Billy Feben copped a head knock early in the last quarter and didn’t return to the court.
Jeff Feben said it was difficult going into the game without the majority of their starters but some positives had come out of the game.
He said the bench players were really good when they had their chances and got more minutes than they normally would.
“We finished the game with nearly all bench players,” he said. “They didn’t blow out the game and we held it up a little. It’s good to get some game time into them.
“It will help us down the track.”
He highlighted Josh Borninkhof (14 points) and Sam Byron (12 points) as two who stepped up later in the game.
Billy Feben top scored with 19 points despite finishing the game early.
The Lions have a bye this weekend. Jeff Feben said the bye couldn’t have come at a better time for the side.
“We’ll look to regroup and they will see a different team in two weeks,” he said.
“Hopefully we’ll have our whole team.”
The Lions have a 1-3 record this season and Feben said they were slightly disappointing not to be at least 2-2.
He said it would put more pressure on them in the back half of the season to get back on track.
“Now being 1-3 it changes the whole complexion of the season,” he said. “We’ve had a reasonably hard draw. We’ve got Bendigo in the next game and we think we will come out better in the back half of the season.”