A HIGH intensity start to the second half and an onsong Cameron Mitchell were crucial in helping the Warrnambool Seahawks to a convincing season-opening win.
Nanjing Night Net

After holding a six-point lead against Melbourne University at the long change, coach Tim Gainey told his side the first five minutes of the third quarter would be vital. The Seahawks came out and took control of the match, piling on about 16 points in the opening five minutes to set up the 80-60 victory at Melbourne University on Saturday night.

“Defensively we caused a lot of turnovers and we got some easy baskets in transition,” Gainey said of the third quarter. “We were up in their faces and up in the lanes.

“We were also doubling down on their big man (Daniel Leslie).”

Mitchell grabbed 10 defensive rebounds and scored 39 points with an exceptional field goal percentage of 60 (15/25).

“He was running his lane pretty hard and got some easy baskets,” Gainey said.

“We knew that if he was in a position where he could score, we had to give him the ball.

“He converted on a lot of points.

“You have to keep going to the well until it dries up and it never really dried up.”

The coach also highlighted the form of Jake Spruhan, who finished with 16 points and shot at 50 per cent.

Gainey was naturally pleased that his side produced such a strong performance in the opening game of the season.

“We didn’t have any practice matches with our team,” he said.

“It was our first game of the season, so it was a big relief to get a win without playing against another team.”

He was also pleased that the Seahawks led at half-time, despite nine turnovers in the second quarter.

Warrnambool will play its first home game of the season next weekend, taking on Mildura at the Arc.

The Big V division one women’s defending champions, the Warrnambool Mermaids, will also clash with the Heat on Saturday night in their opening game of 2012.

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