Whittlesea Pacers get first win

Whittlesea Pacers coach Brian Vaughns. Picture Mark Wilson

Whittlesea Pacers have broken through for their first win of the Big V men’s division 1 season.

After a tough start to the year with four straight losses, the Pacers had two opportunities to open their account on the weekend.

First up on Saturday, they faced Western Port Steelers. The Steelers jumped out of the blocks and continued to control the game, eventually winning 87-61.

Domenic Bruno top scored with 19 points off the bench.

They then faced a struggling Sunbury Jets side. The two sides entered the game with one win between them.

It was the Pacers game right from the start and they ended up winning, 81-62.

Aidan Zeverona top scored with 26 points.

Speaking before the weekend’s matches, Pacers coach Brian Vaughns said they could have quite easily had a few more wins on the board.

“The first game we didn’t have our import ready and it was a close one which we should have won.

“Against Warrandyte we were up the whole first half, before our worst quarter of the season.

“Against Collingwood we had our chances and lost in overtime.”

Vaughns said for them it was about addressing certain areas in their game, to ensure they don’t give away results.

He said they were giving away too many fouls and sending the opposition to the foul line and they needed more pressure on the boards.

“We’re still trying to find our feet and to get the balance right,” he said.

“We’ve had guys in foul trouble and it’s been hard to gauge where we are it.

“I’m happy with the progress of the side.”

After having a developing side last year, the Pacers will again have a new side this year.

Only three players of last year’s team have returned, while Domenic Bruno rejoined the side last week having started the season with Werribee Devils.

“The boys are making strides and competing well, they just have to learn to adjust.

“We have a better team than last year. Last year we had better talent, but , this year it’s a better team.”

The challenging start to the season comes after the Pacers were relegated after finishing last in state championship division last year.

Vaughns said with a developing side division 1 was the place for them to be.

He said it was a three-year process to build a strong side that can get back to the top level.

“We have an opportunity to build a side for champ level,” he said.

“The guys are more determined than ever to get back into champ level.

“It’s a challenge. The ultimate goal with this group is to be a champ side and they are young enough to strive forward for a number of years.

“We need to make sure build and improve week to week. If we make finals, that would be fantasic, if we don’t make them it’s also fanststic.

“It’s about growth and the long term process.”

The Pacers women’s side had a 62-45 win against Chelsea Gulls on Sunday in division 1.

Last-Tear Poa top scored with 14 points.