A TIRED and depleted Bathurst Goldminers men’s Youth League squad were given a lesson by a determined Liverpool-Macarthur Razorbacks outfit on Saturday.
Hosts Razorbacks blew the Bathurst men off the court in the second half to run away 85-64 winners and send the Goldminers back down to fourth on the ladder.
The match was all square at half time, each team finding 41 points, but the reduced Goldminers squad of eight players had no answer when the Razorbacks found another gear.
Razorbacks duo Cade Flores (28 points) and Danielle Mallari (29) were too hot for Bathurst to handle.
It’s only the second time this season Goldminers’ Matt Gray (26) has been outscored by an opponent (Flores, round seven).
Goldminers coach Andrew Osborn was quick to praise the Razorbacks’ second half performance.
“They turned up to play, and we didn’t,” he said.
“We were missing Will [Cranston-Lown], Blake [Schaefer] and Zak [Simons]. We had Matt Gray and Harry Betts coming in off five or six games in regional finals and Kobe Mansell had a busy Astley Cup schedule.
“We had nothing left at the end. We made the first basket in the third quarter. After that they just went into overdrive. They were too big, too fast and too strong.
“Liverpool wanted it more. They were the better team on the day. They played hard, fast-running basketball.”
The result is a turnaround from the previous meeting between the two clubs, where the Goldminers were 86-71 winners.
Goldminers held a 43-41 lead on Saturday before giving up 12 unanswered points to the home side.
That damaging run of baskets to the Razorbacks proved the difference.
A smaller run of nine points for Liverpool-Macarthur towards the end of the third quarter made the comeback task for the Goldminers impossible.
The damage on the ladder could have been greater for the Goldminers had other results from the round not gone their way.
“Fortunately for us the other games favoured us. Newcastle beat St George, Illawarra beat Moss Vale and in the biggest surprise Hills beat Sydney Comets,” Osborn said.
Goldminers must now recuperate before a meeting with former top-placed side St George next round.
Bathurst are expected to have Cranston-Lown and Schaefer back on board for the match.