Strong start to season for Jets

Jacinta Beckley (Supplied: Shawn Smits) 237769_01

By Oliver Lees

The Sunbury Jets are living up to their own lofty expectations in the Big v women’s state championship division, according to Jets coach John White.

Speaking before their match on Sunday against Keilor Thunder, White said he was pleased to see his side sitting atop the table.

“We’re doing pretty well but that was our expectation,” he said.

“Defensively we’ve been pretty strong and been able to back our players one on one, so we haven’t really been blown out in any quarters.

“Other groups have put in work but to our girls’ credit they’ve been able to punch back.

“But there’s still a lot of stuff we need to work on.”

White added that there is a focus for his team to play with speed and keep their offensive game unpredictable to the opposition.

After starting the season with a run of seven straight wins, the Jets suffered their first loss to McKinnon on Saturday, May 8.

The Jets lost by five points to McKinnon after trailing by just one point going into the fourth term.

White said McKinnon did a good job of breaking down their game plan and playing a physical brand of basketball.

“They were there to bully us and they did a good job of that,” he said.

‘How we deal with physicality moving forward will be important.”

The Jets strong start to the season has been backed by two of their international talents, Orla O’Reilly (Ireland) and Jacinta Beckley (New Zealand).

Coach White heaped praise on O’Reilly, who as well as contributing as a proficient scorer, is also top five in the league for assists.

“She’s been a great pick up for us, such a hard worker and a great person to have in our group,” he said.

White joined the Jets last year having had experience at range of different basketball clubs, serving as an assistant at the Melbourne Tigers as well as head coach for the Dandenong Rangers in NBL1.

White said he had nothing but praise for Sunbury and is looking forward to the challenge of the rest of season.

“The club is awesome, all the way from the board to the volunteers, everyone’s very welcoming,” he said.