Fresh off a bye the Macedon Ranges Rockies men’s team ran into a roadblock on their charge into the Country Basketball League north west finals.
The Rockies were defeated by the Maryborough Blazers 94-86 on Sunday afternoon.
Talking before the weekend’s game coach Michael Ryan said he is pleased with how his side started the season.
“We were definitely off to a good start and I suppose we’re where we wanted to be,” he said.
“We’re really happy but the guys definitely have desire and a drive to achieve more so it’s really exciting.
“We’re really looking forward to the next four regular season games and then hopefully a couple of finals after that.”
With the compacted CBL season, any time is a good time for a week off and Ryan said this was no exception to that.
“It definitely came at a good time,” he said.
“We had two double headers in the first four or five rounds.
“So we’ve played six games over about 20 something days, so the guys were definitely tired and sore.
“The break did come in handy from that point of view and at a good time, hopefully we can just keep that momentum going.”
One of the key aspects to the Rockies game this season has been their even spread in scoring contributions, with Nick Grantham, Matthew Merrett and Josh O’Connell all scoring more than 65 points for the season.
”It’s been great,” Ryan said.
“It’s where we’d love to be because it means we don’t have to rely on any one individual which makes it harder for other teams to scout us because they’re not really sure who they should focus their energy on in shutting down.
“Our depth is really strong this year, possibly the strongest depth we’ve had in a Rockies men’s side.
“And the guys are stepping up and some of our younger players have taken another step as well, so it’s been great to see the diversity in scoring as a coaching group.”
Ryan said heading into the weekend’s game there was one player who he had his eyes on that would be key for a Rockies victory, Zac Dunmore. He proved to be right with Dunmore scoring 35 points in the Blazers win.
“They’re a really good team and their record (2-4) doesn’t really indicate how strong they are,” he said.
“They’ve got some very high quality players, Zac Dunmore is a NBL1 level player, so he’s going to be hard to keep under 30 points.
“So we’re definitely not taking them lightly, but it’s a huge game for us, really important.”
Josh O’Connell led the scoring for the Rockies with 27 points.
In the north west women’s competition, the Rockies lost to the Blazers, 72-41. Adrienne Cameron top scored with 17 points.
Both Rockies sides face the Kyneton Tigers this Saturday.