It’s make or break time for Sunbury Jets

The Jets have benefitted from the return of Brad Collins from injury. Picture Shawn Smits.

The next few weeks are make or break for the Sunbury Jets men’s Big V division 1 basketball side’s final hopes.

The Jets entered the weekend in 11th position, two games outside the top eight with their finals hopes on the line.

Speaking before Saturday’s game, coach Grant Spencer said his side needed to win the next three games if they to remain are a finals chance.

His men competed the first task with a 97-90 overtime win against Mildura on Saturday night.

They at three quarter time, but managed to level the scores in the last quarter to send the game into extra time.

It was their work at the free throw line which proved to be the difference, with the Jets making seven of 12 free throws in the extra period to the Heat’s two of four shots.

Javari Williams top scored with 25 points and also had nine rebounds.

Their next two games are against 14th placed Blackburn and ninth placed Latrobe.

“Realistically it is looking like it is make or break time,” Spencer said.

“We have been so inconsistent.

“I can put that down to three things, a new group, injuries and players going overseas.

“We have nine new guys in the program and it is taking time to get to know how each other play.

“We’ve had a couple of players with ankle injuries and another with a broken arm which has interrupted the side.”

Spencer said when the side played at its best it could match it with the top sides.

“We should be three, four even five games further ahead then where we are at the moment.

“We have beaten Chelsea and Warrandyte who are in the top eight.

“Against Geelong we let it slip, We were four points up with 30 seconds to go.”

One major positive for the Jets this season is the development of younger players.

“Seven youth league players have played in division 1 this year,” Spencer said.

“Injuries and availability of players, has meant some of them have had to play at crunch times in games.

“We want to continue to develop the kids and then we have to spend less time on recruiting players from outside the program.

“Brad Collins was playing well before a broken arm, Nick Barnes and Jeremay Wragg have come in last 6 weeks and really flourishing with solid minutes.”

The Jets women’s side lost to Whittlesea Pacers 94-62 on Sunday.

It was always going to be a challenge for the Jets against the ladder leaders and it proved to be just that.

The Pacers set up the win in the first half when they led by 25 points at the main break.

Coming off the bench Samantha Wells top scored with 16 points.