It wasn't pretty, but Monday night's win in Launceston may prove the turning point in our season.
The boys showed grit in defence which will help us as we return home and continue the run towards finals.
I didn't play in the last quarter, but just watching the guys and watching our defensive rotations, I don't think Brian Goorjian could have drawn them up any better. Everyone was rotating perfectly and exactly in the spot they were supposed to be, and I think it's the first time I've seen it that good. If the plan wasn't that on point, I don't think we would have won at the Silverdome, because New Zealand weren't able to get any of the shots that they were looking for.
And special mention must go to Justin Simon, who came up with a huge block late in the game.
That was massive. It's not about just the two points that he stopped, it's also the energy he creates. It gets everyone excited and everyone hyped. It was a great athletic play and energised everyone on the court and the bench as well.
Another turning point came in the third quarter, when we were down 55-49. We knew that this league's a bit up and down in terms of scoring, teams go on big runs. And we know that we're definitely capable of putting bunches together, so we're never out of a game. Even if we're down by 10 or 15, we're not out of it. We just have to keep playing our game. And that's what we did in the third. We were able to string some stops together, really started boxing out on defence, which helped us to flow into offense and give us some good looks. Justinian Jessup hit a couple of shots and got going, and that little run turned the game around.
It was an important win for us coming into the home stretch. If we dropped that one, it put us a long way behind the eight ball. As it sits now, we're probably one game back from the top four, with the other teams to play a few more games before we do, which is good for us.
Coming into the home stretch - especially with the next three games to be played at the WEC - the ball is in our hands so to speak about our future. If we want to play finals basketball, we're going to have to execute on the defensive end as well as we did on Monday night, and continue to put the ball through the hoop on the other end.