Derrick Washington had sounded more like a proud father than any coach.
He just wanted to get one message across to Tornadoes fans: “Just make sure you put in the article that my girls are making great strides.”
Washington watched from the sidelines full of genuine admiration for Launceston’s fine 88-83 comeback win in Canberra on Saturday night.
Down by as much as 14 points halfway into the final term, the visitors turned it around with a 28-15 quarter.
A frenetic final five-and-a-half minutes ensured the Canberra fans sat stunned.
The Tornadoes scored 10 fast-break points against the tide and were able to force five turnovers from the Capitals towards 17 for the game.
“That’s our style to be able to turn the opposing team’s ball over to get into our game plan,” Washington said.
“To push up the court and run some sets – and we start doing our thing and it all started clicking.”
For a team that was still missing its captain Lauren Mansfield for another two games and without a backup import signing to ease the pain, the sixth straight win proved to be one of adversity and character-building.
The Tornadoes have now bounced back from a precarious one victory in their first five games, including three home losses, to now appear a contender come this year’s SEABL finals series.
“At the end of the day, every girl on our team has learned a lot – they are just getting better every week, every game, every training,” Washington said.
“LIke I have said before, I am very proud of them.
“Everyone just stepped up – Lauren Nicholson did, Ally Wilson did, Ellie Collins did.”
The trio were integral to keep up the good fight.
Nicholson scored 26 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Wilson added 19 points and seven rebounds.
Both played the entire 40 minutes to drag the Torns over the line. Collins 19 too.
“We had a lot of assists to which gives a lot of opportunity to score the basketball,” Washington said.
But Aishah Anis also shot eight points to back up the 16-year-old rookie’s 14 a week earlier, as Ali Patridge also off the bench turned from dogged defender to attacking weapon with nine.