Waratah League 2017: Win over Illawarra would help Dubbo Rams reach 50% milestone

CALLING THE SHOTS: Damien Reid and the Rams have turned the Woolshed into a fortress this season and hopes are high for victory on Saturday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

CALLING THE SHOTS: Damien Reid and the Rams have turned the Woolshed into a fortress this season and hopes are high for victory on Saturday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

“Without a doubt, our crowd is the best crowd in State League I’ve ever seen.”

Dubbo Rams’ stalwart Damien Reid has heaped praise on the local basketball community for the atmosphere created at the Woolshed this season.

The Rams have the chance to record a milestone this weekend, with a win over Illawarra Hawks set to put this side at 50% in terms of its win loss ratio and another electric home crowd has been called for.

“I can’t remember a time, definitely not in the last three years, when we’ve been at 50 percent,” Reid said, with the Rams having won four and lost five so far this season.

“But every time we’ve talked about it we’ve jinxed ourselves so maybe we need to start aiming higher.”

With the Rams every chance of reaching the 50% mark and continuing a rise up the ladder, Reid is hoping for another huge crowd.

The addition of American import Conrad Etchi has renewed interest in the sport in the city and the Rams side is benefiting from that.

“Without a doubt, our crowd is the best crowd in State League I’ve ever seen,” Reid said.

“We go away, we went and played a double header against Hornsby and The Hills and there would have been seven people there on the Saturday and eight on the Sunday.”

Reid added a number of those who were in attendance in Sydney were members of Rams player Shayne Brown’s family.

“Probably the closest we’ll get (in terms of similar atmosphere) is Wagga because they had a decent import who created a following for a number of years.

“But the noise our crowd makes, I was talking to Conrad and he said the crowds he played in front of (in America) might have been bigger but ours makes more noise and is more interested.”

Etchi scored 41 points in last weekend’s win over Lithgow in another stunning showing since joining the club.

He has quickly established himself as one of the best and most dominant players in the league and while Reid is delighted by that he is well aware his side can’t keep relying on its American star.

We need more guys to step up and contribute, myself included. - Damien Reid

“Yes, he (Etchi) was on fire and that’s a big plus for us and a credit to him but we really shouldn’t be relying on one player that heavily,” he said.

“Shayne and Conrad were really the only ones hitting shots and that’s been the standard for us this season so we need more guys to step up and contribute, myself included.”

Illawarra is yet to win this season and has conceded close to 100 points every match. Tip-off on Saturday is at 5pm at Dubbo Sportsworld’s Woolshed.

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