Lions aiming for development

Jordan Wilson (Supplied)

Tara Murray

Bacchus Marsh Lions are hoping to build on their first Basketball Victoria Country Basketball League season.

The Lions had some good performances last season and with coach Grace Bibby back on board and with a lot of the same playing group are keen to make further developments in the north-west conference.

Speaking before their first game Bibby said everyone was keen to get back on the court and see what they could do.

Of last year’s group, 12 of the 16 have returned this season.

“We were one of the first teams back in training for this season,” she said.

“A lot of clubs didn’t start late with Big V, football and netball finals. Our fitness is where we want it to be.

“We’ve added a few new faces into the team, it’ll be interesting to see how we go.”

Among those to join the team include Taylah Lea who has played high level basketball and is expected to bring poise and control to the team.

Layla Iglesias comes from Ballarat and will help in the point guard position.

Ella Thompson returns to the Lions team having represented Werribee the last few years and will be one of the side’s main shooters.

Jordan Wilson, Molly Young, Tiff Matherman, Shaelee Grundy, Shelby Allen, Lauren Conroy, Chantelle Paris Webb are among others also in the squad. Ella Bradbury and Jess Fisher step up into the squad having been development players last season.

Rebecca Marshall is a playing assistant coach.

Bibby said they would have more speed this season. With the season being run over six weeks, she said games wouldn’t be based as much on game plans and structures, but on the skills of the group.

She said they would be better for last season.

“I think a few girls were caught off guard last year early in the season,” she said.

“They were fairly young and nervous. Every year the competition gets stronger. We don’t go in with high expectations being a smaller association.

We want to be competitive and improve in the areas we set out to be from last year. We’ll aim for finals and you never know what happens from there.”

The Lions started their season on Saturday night with a tough task against the Bendigo Braves.

Bibby said they always knew it would be a tough ask with the squad not at full strength.

The Braves did the damage in the first half, leading 25-10. Just one point would separate the teams in the second half, with the Braves winning 64-48.

Ella Bradbury and Jordan Wilson top scored with 12 points apiece.

The Lions men’s side also suffered a first round loss to the Braves.

It was a topsy turvy match with the Braves winning 71-63, after taking control after half time.

Zak Martinez top scored with 17 points for the Lions.

In round two, the Lions face the Macedon Ranges Rockies on Sunday afternoon.