Goldminers begin their campaign with a win

A GAME-high 26 points from Claire Woolmington helped the Bathurst Goldminers to a comfortable 74-28 win over St George in their Women’s State League season opener on Saturday.

While the Goldminers had just seven players available for the away match, the Saints were unable to match their speed around the court.

Woolmington, who bagged a pair of three-pointers in her 26, scored a bulk of her points on fast breaks.

But she was not the only Goldminer who impressed, coach Paul Masters pleased with the effort of his entire squad.

“It was a really good team effort, I think everyone scored for us,” he said.

“It’s a real advantage having Haylee Lepaio and Sophie Kleeman, they give us height, and then we’ve got the maturity of Rachel Murray and Bronte Emanuel. Laycee [Covington-Gorst] was good.

“We have also got a new player from Lithgow who hasn’t played a lot of rep basketball, Stephanie Johnson. That was her first game of State League and I think she was our top scorer in the first quarter.”

The first quarter set the tone for what was to come, the Goldminers holding strong in defence and converting their opportunities at the other end of the court.

It took three minutes for the Saints to open their account from the free-throw line, the hosts only landing one shot from the field with 94 seconds of the period remaining.

That gave the Goldminers a 16-4 lead, and from there they did not look back.

By half-time the advantage had blown out to 42-12 and while Masters altered tactics after the long break, momentum still rested with his side.

Midway through the third term Woolmington saw her side reach the half-century as she potted a shot from the stripe, and with 10 minutes to play the margin stood at 31 points.

The Goldminers finished off well, the Saints managing just one basket in the final quarter which came with 14 seconds remaining.

“In the second half we tried to get into our half court game a bit more and tried to get baskets out of that rather than just from lay-ups all the time,” Masters said.

“Defensively we were very good, but we’re trying some new things in defence the girls are not used too. They are still adapting to that a bit, but we are trying a few different things this season.”

The Goldminers’ next match is on April 8.

BATHURST GOLDMINERS 74 (Claire Woolmington 26, Sophie Kleeman 16, Haylee Lepaio 12) defeated ST GEORGE SAINTS 28 (Karen Bulmer 14)