Craigieburn Eagles enjoy a winning weekend

Kewal Shiels. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Tara Murray

Craigieburn Eagles found some form as they secured two wins in weekend Big V men’s division 2 action.

After dropping two matches the previous weekend, the Eagles bounced back in the best possible way with wins against Sherbrooke Suns and Altona Gators.

Eagles coach Simon Wilson said there was one big difference between his side’s performances at the weekend and the previous rounds.

“They had composure down the stretch,” he said.

“I think they are believing and starting to have confidence in each other.

“It’s about gaining the trust in each other. We’ve had a couple of new players come on board, which is exciting … it takes some adjustments.”

The Eagles started the weekend at home, playing the Sherbrooke Suns on Saturday night.

The Eagles won the first two quarters to lead by five points at the main break.

The Suns bridged the gap and scores were level heading into the last quarter.

From there, the Eagles found another gear for a 77-70 victory.

With just eight players suiting up – and with several players out, including import Damon Smith – the Eagles’ lesser lights had to step up.

Wilson was impressed.

“It’s great to see the younger guys stepping up,” he said.

“We had a few guys out, so the younger guys got some opportunities.

“Chayse [Pinono] and Declan [Stockdale] haven’t seen a lot of court time or had many opportunities.

“They made to most of it on Saturday night.”

Big man Kewal Shiels top-scored with 23 points, while four other players scored double figures.

The Eagles backed it up on Sunday, travelling to take on the Altona Gators.

With a few more squad members available, the Eagles jumped to a 33-15 first-quarter lead.

The Gators controlled the next two quarters and scores level at the last break.

As they did the night before, the Eagles were composed in the last quarter, eventually winning 84-75.

Shiels top-scored with 21 points, while four other players scored double figures.

The two wins brings the Eagles record to 3-2 after three rounds.

Wilson said that while that wasn’t where they would like to be, it was a close competition.

“The league is extremely strong … with not one team is standing out,” he said.

“Overall depth in division 2 basketball is incredible. It’s all down to the coaches and quality programs

“It’s not where we want to be, it’s not 5-0. We’re just going to take it one week at a time.”

The Eagles division 1 women’s side recorded its first win of the season, beating Warrandyte Venom on Sunday.

The Eagles looked the better team for a lot of the night, including restricting the Venom to six points in the second quarter.

A strong final quarter blew the margin out, with the Eagles winning 67-43.

Giulia Dinunzio top-scored with 24 points.