THE Griffith Demons enter their State League basketball double-header this weekend with their first real chance to pick up a victory, as they host the Queanbeyan Yowies and the Goulburn Bears at West End Stadium.
While the new Griffith side was given a rude awakening to the competition after losing to the Yowies by 58, the Demons went close to pulling off an upset against the Bears, going down by just three.
It’s the confidence gained from that nail-biter that Griffith assistant coach Beau Edwards believes his side will try and tap into against a Bears outfit that will be ready for a fight.
“We took them by surprise last time, I think they looked at us and thought ‘oh, this isn’t the original side, so we can go in half-hearted,” Edwards said.
“But then we started sticking it to them and they realised they had a game on their hands, but they’re going to be ready as well because they would have gone away and worked on their game, just like we have.
“We’re just continuously looking to try and get better, and we’re just making small steps, that’s what we’re looking for.
“And at the end of the day the scores show we’re improving and it’s reflecting well on the guys.”
The Yowies possess an imposing front-court and Edwards said he hoped the side would have the services of Dean Cunial, who has made a lasting impact in his short time in the side.
Managing the players’ minutes will be a balancing act for Demons officials, especially if the margin against Queanbeyan blows out late before a game against Goulburn the home side fancies itself in.
“Because we have got so many people willing to step up, this will be a good opportunity for us to play with the line-ups and see what we’ve got and to see who works together well,” Edwards said.
“So in a back-to-back game weekend it can actually work out in your benefit.
“But because the guys have been working so hard they have got some small injuries, but nothing that will keep them out of the game.
“So we might look to use them for 15 to 20 minutes and then give the young guys in the side a chance to get out there and show us what they can do.”
With just four games left in the Demons’ season, Edwards paid tribute to the team’s determination not to let the program die, saying they will become better players for the experience.
“I’ve played basketball for 24 years and for the guys it’s at a totally new level than they’re used to and they have adjusted well,” he said.
“We’ve had our ups and downs personally as a team and regarding our identity and what we’re we’re trying to be on the court, but they have all stepped up.”
Griffith plays Queanbeyan tomorrow night at West End Stadium with tip-off from 6.30pm before tackling Goulburn on Sunday at 11am.