Launceston Tornadoes snapped an opening three-game losing streak in a trying start to their SEABL season.
Club rookie coach Derrick Washington’s breakthrough win over Ballarat Miners on Sunday in the second leg of a Victorian road double came down to cool heads in the dying minutes.
Shots dropping and stern defence ensured the resilient visitors prevailed 93-88 that provided relief to the winless Tornadoes after starting the year twice at home.
“The girls were so excited because all the games that we lost, we could have won,” Washington said.
“I mean we knew where our mistakes were at.
“That’s a part of basketball; that’s a part of growing as a team and me as a coach.
“I’m now learning about my players, they’re learning from me and learning what they can and can’t do.
“We were able to come out and shoot the ball really well in the third quarter, which we didn’t do last night [on Saturday] against Dandenong.”
Hometown star Tayla Roberts spoiled Launceston’s visit to Dandenong, scoring a dominant nine of her 21 points in the third term alone that had turned a four-point lead into a match-defining 17-point deficit.
Still lacking its full roster, the stars came to the fore on Sunday at the Minerdome.
Ally Wilson, back on the court at the weekend, took control in the unfamiliar point guard role and finished with a game-high 27 points.
Lauren Nicholson went on to collect a massive 25 points and 17 rebounds, the forward’s fourth double double in as many appearances.
Washington believed his new team can mark down the W on the board after retaining faith in the process.
“We just knew we could do it in the end,” he said.
“But it’s always good to get that first win.
“My first win in the SEABL also feels good, but I never panicked about it.
“I was happy for the girls that they know they can do it.
“At the end of the day, I was very proud of them.
“They worked really hard to get this win.”