By Lance Jenkinson
Werribee Devils cruised to its ninth straight victory with a sweep on a double header weekend to move a game clear on top of the Big V basketball women’s state championship ladder, but is it championship-winning form?
Devils coach Reece Potter has warned his team that it will need to improve after the Queen’s Birthday break if it is to keep hold of its spot at the top of the standings and challenge to bring an end to the supremacy of two-time defending champions Sunbury Jets.
Potter is obviously pleased to see his team rewarded for its hard work over the first 11 games, taking a 10-1 record into the break, but is adamant they have not yet reached their ceiling and will need to do so to take out the title.
“There’s definitely room for growth and improvement,” Potter said.
“If we want to contend and keep in the top couple of spots going into finals, we’re going to have to continue to get better and adapt because the top teams will lift.
“Sunbury has put in some really big performances over the past month and they’ve put their whole team together now.
“They’ll probably be the benchmark going into the back end of the season.
“If you want to contend with teams like that, you’ve got to continue to improve, so that will be our challenge going into the last seven games of the season.”
Werribee kick-started its double header round with an 88-71 win over Southern Peninsula Sharks at Eagle Stadium on Saturday.
Import Alisia Jenkins played a starring role with 31 points and 12 rebounds, while Sarah Elsworthy had 25 points.
On Sunday, a slightly fatigued Werribee burst out of the blocks to build a good lead, got reeled in before steadying to beat Bulleen Boomers 76-60 at East Doncaster Secondary College.
Again, it was the Jenkins and Elsworthy show, with Jenkins securing a huge double-double 25 points and 15 rebounds and Elsworthy dropping 25 points for the second time in two days.
Of concern to Potter was the form of the Werribee Devils depth players.
In the win over Bulleen, Georgia Tauschke (0-10), Maxine Allan (0-5) and Daniella Pisano (0-4) combined for a woeful 0-19 from the field.
“A lot of teams have their imports and WNBL level talent, but it’s that next tier, those local players that really make the difference,” Potter said.
“We know they’ll stand up and everyone is allowed to have an off weekend, but the alarming thing for this weekend was a few players had it [off days] all at once.
“When we’ve been at our best, we’ve had five players in double figures, so we need to get back to that.”
Werribee Devils will return to court on June 15 with a road trip to face the Warrnambool Mermaids.
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