Craigieburn Eagles aim for multiple targets

Craigieburn's Nicole Cameron. Picture Shawn Smits.

Craigieburn Eagles’ unpredictability is working a treat, with the side sitting atop the Big V women’s division 2 competition – despite a last-start loss.

The Eagles started the season with nine straight wins before suffering a big defeat at the hands of second-placed Wallan Panthers on Saturday night.

The Panthers dominated to notch up a 82-44 victory.

The match was the Eagles’ biggest home game of the year, with the club raising funds for cancer research.

Speaking before the game, coach Ben Carroll said the Eagles had made a big focus on being less one-dimensional across the board.

Nicole Cameron averages just above 15 points a game, but no other player is averaging double figures.

“We wanted to try and build a deeper list,” Carroll said. “We don’t want to be obvious. We want to make it harder for the opposition to guard us.

“Some teams across all competitions are really obvious and you know where their scoring is coming from.

“We want to have a spread and it’s been working for us.”

As well as getting plenty of court time into the core group of players, Carroll said the club was working with the next generation.

“Our average age is 25,” he said. “That’s brought up by a couple of older players.

“We’ve bloodied four youth league players who have had the opportunity to play senior games.

“Seven or eight have had the chance to train alongside us. We’re looking to give a taste to a few more later in the year, and if not, next year.”

The Eagles have this weekend off with the Queen’s Birthday bye.

It’ll be the second time this season they’ve had two weekends off in the span of three weeks.

Carroll said it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, giving the players time to freshen up.

The focus for the second half of the season is to continue the consistency.

The Eagles are hopeful that four players will return from injuries in the next few weeks.

“We’ll look to have them all back in the next few weeks,” Carroll said.

“We have to get them back in without disrupting the team, but also need to get them minutes under their belts.”

The Eagles’ men had a better night against the Panthers, winning 108-69.

Kewal Sheils top scored with 27 points.