By David Nagel
The Dandenong Rangers may have some extra frequent-flyer points in their back pocket but that’s about the end of the positives after being clean-sweeped in Tasmania on the weekend.
Round 10 of the NBL-One South season saw the Rangers men’s and women’s teams fly across Bass Strait in search of some crucial victories.
The Rangers men’s team hit the court against the Hobart Chargers on Friday night and after a promising start were blown away by the locals in the second half.
The Rangers trailed by just three points at quarter time, and by four at the half, but failed to gain traction in the second stanza on their way to a 107-80 defeat.
The Rangers were well-served by Deng Puoch (18 points) and Calvin Enge (12 points), while Dyson King-Hawea continued to be a shining light with a 16-point, 11-rebound, double-double.
But the story of the night was at the defensive end of the court, where the Rangers had no answer to the scoring power of Chargers’ duo Harry Froling (28 points) and Ole Angerstein (25 points).
The Rangers then headed to the Ulverstone Sports and Leisure Centre on Saturday night for a clash against North West Tasmania.
Dandenong was once again up for the battle in the early stages of the contest but fell away badly leading into half time.
The Thunder took control of proceedings in the second term, scoring 24-15, and were never headed from that point forward.
Regular figures once again shined for the Rangers, with Puoch (15 points) and King-Hawea (14) scoring most heavily and Lawson Eales (12) also making a solid contribution.
Enge was also impressive, hitting the boards at both ends to drag in 11 rebounds.
The Rangers, currently 16th in the 19-team competition, host eighth-placed Kilsyth this week at 8pm on Saturday.
The Dandenong women’s team also took on the Chargers on Friday night with a very similar result to the men.
After being competitive early the Rangers fell behind in the second and third quarters to trail 59-44 at the final break.
Full credit to the Rangers for fighting things out – they won the last-quarter 20-18 – but the 77-64 final score gives an indication of the local’s dominance.
Gemma Potter (24 points) and Clare Camac (21) were terrific for Dandenong, but they lacked the support to get the job done.
The Rangers then ran into a storm at the Elphin Sports Stadium on Saturday night, being blown away 91-65 by the Launceston Tornadoes.
The trip to ‘Launie’ didn’t begin well for the Rangers, who were blown away early with a 32-8 first term.
Dandenong lost the remaining three quarters by just two points…but the Tornado damage had well and truly been done.
Camac once again stood out for the Rangers, scoring 17 points from her full-40 minutes on the floor, while Makaela Zeldenryk (15 points), Maxine Allan (11), Georgia Taylor (10) and Maddison Zugna (10) all chimed in with double-figure scoring performances.
The Rangers, currently 17th, also host the Kilsyth Cobras on Saturday night, beginning at 6pm.