FROM THE GEELONG ADVERTISER | 14 May 2018 | Geelong Advertiser | WILL HOGAN SEABL MEN
A DOMINANT first-half performance set the platform for the Geelong Supercats’ comprehensive 96-76 win over the Diamond Valley Eagles in front of a passionate home crowd.
In an open and fast-paced game, the Supercats had an “even spread of contributors”, according to coach Leon O’Neill, who was pleased his side responded after disappointing results in Tasmania last week.
The first half was where the game was won, with the Supercats, led by Ma’alo Hicks, applying significant defensive pressure to restrict Diamond Valley to less than 30 points for the half.
“To hold a SEABL team to 28 points in a half is a big deal and that set up the game from there,” O’Neill said.
“We forced it out of their offence to make them do some things they didn’t really want to do and got a lot of deflections on defence.
“I thought Ma’alo Hicks was outstanding in the first half and really led from the front with his defensive intensity.
“Then everyone else kind of joined in off the back of Ma’alo’s lead.”
Diamond Valley was unable to contain the Supercats’ multiple avenues to the basket, with John Davis and Jamie Medved again proving a handful for the opposition defence.
“We put up 96 points but no one really went ‘off’. John Davis got close to his average again and Jamie Medved shot the ball really well,” O’Neill said. “The pleasing thing was when they shut down one avenue of our scoring we were able to go to the next one.
“It was a really good example of an equal opportunity offence and it was really fun to watch and I think the boys had fun playing.”
With a few squad changes during the off-season, including the addition of Davis and point guard Michael Luxford, O’Neill said each week they were learning more about their basketball identity.
“When we can play that up and down type of game, being able to exploit our athleticism and our shooters, we are really tough to slow down,” he said.
“We’re still finding our feet a little bit with our identity.
“We’ve added a few players this year for the first time in a number of years and we’re still trying to figure out the exact roles and who fits where.”
The Supercats take on Sandringham and Nunawading in a double-header fixture over two days next weekend.