Tornadoes coach Derrick Washington says his side can still make something of season 2019 despite two heavy defeats over the weekend.
Having lost 130-94 to Ballarat on Saturday night, the Torns were comprehensively beaten 102-65 by a fast-starting Centre of Excellence side, who went into the clash bottom of the table.
With New Zealand import Stella Beck away on international duties and Brittany Hodges nursing a mild hamstring complaint, Stephanie Gardner was left to shoulder the load of a youth-heavy Launceston outfit.
Gardner led the way with 25 points, while teenager Sarah O'Neill followed up her 32-point effort against Ballarat with 17 points, 10 rebounds and four assists from 39 minutes of court time.
"Sarah O'Neill's doing very well," Washington said.
"[Saturday] night she had 32, she came up and got her average - she's averaging 17 a game.
"We played better in the second half and the girls are learning to get better so that's all I can ask."
After enjoying a 17-3 run early in the first quarter and a 15-3 run late in the second, COE had the game killed off when the half-time scoreboard read 52-24.
The Tornadoes hit back to all but match their opposition in the third quarter, but were outdone in the last again to concede a three-figure score for the fourth time in six games.
"COE jumped out on us in the first half - they outscored us, especially in that first quarter," Washington said.
"And then in the second half we made some adjustments, came out strong in the third were able to score 23 points, and we just played a better second half.
"We didn't have our defence like we did back at home, but our players are getting better so we should be able to get the next game."
The absence of Beck and Hodges meant plenty of game time for the side's young Tasmanian players, with teenagers Makala Bingley, Aishah Anis, Micah Simpson and Brooke Brown all playing at least 20 minutes in the COE loss.
Washington said while he was excited by the prospect of regaining Hodges for Saturday's home clash with ladder-leader Geelong, he had been happy to give his youth the chance to shine.
"We're just short-handed this weekend, but it meant the young girls were able to get some positive good playing time and run the game, so it's good moving forward," Washington said.
"This weekend we wanted to get these two wins, but you never know, if we can string a couple of wins together we'll be back in the finals hunt."
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