An underprepared Palmerston North Storm managed only one win from their four games in the first tournament of the Women's Basketball Championship in Nelson at the weekend.
The Storm beat the Southland Pearls 69-49, but lost to the Nelson Sparks 84-45, the Waitakere West Auckland Ranges 92-60 and the Taranaki Trojans 69-65.
Storm coach Joe Frost said opportunities to win had been there but they had not put in enough work before the tournament.
Frost wants a better buildup ahead of the next round in Hutt Valley from July 20 to 22 and the finals in Dunedin in August.
After the next round, Frost wants to be on 10 points which should get them into the top six in the finals.
But they still have to play top sides North Harbour, Wellington and Hutt Valley so it will be tough to make the top division.
"If we can come sixth in the top six, that would be fantastic," Frost said. "That's good basketball."
Even though they had a couple of games snaffled away from them, like the four-point loss to Taranaki, Frost was pleased with how the young players performed.
He said guard Shanice Swain looked the goods and had been their most consistent player.
The more experienced players, such as Jemma Lawton, Helen Richardson and Michelle Swain had held the side together.
Guard Danielle Pomare-Mackay was one of the Storm's best scorers with 18 points against Waitakere and 14 against Southland where Rachel Craig top-scored with 24.
Against Taranaki, Craig (16), Alicia McEwen (14) and Shanice Swain (14) all finished in double figures.
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