The Dubbo Rams got its push for finals basketball back on track on Saturday evening, holding off the Lithgow Lazers at the Woolshed.
The Lazers were missing star import Addison Flynn but still had the Rams covered for size at both ends of the the court.
But that wasn’t enough, the Dubbo Rams starting and finishing well in a 75-60 Waratah League win.
American star Conrad Etchi was again huge for the Dubbo side, scoring 41 points while he also claimed a number of key rebounds.
Shayne Brown again fired from distance, dropping four three-pointers, but it was a strong all-round effort in front of a bumper crowd.
“This was a big one for us and especially for the home crowd as well,” Etchi sad after the win.
“It’s amazing. To see people sitting there cheering and the kids there cheering, it helps out.
“Especially if you’ve gone on a (scoring) drought and can’t make a shot, you want to please them. You want to make a shot and then we can get back on track so they played a big role.”
The Rams shot out to an early lead and maintained it going in to half time.
Things became much more tense and the Lazers, led by Adam Majoram and Michael Cox, got back within three at one stage but Etchi came up big for the home side in both defence and attack when it mattered.
In the final quarter the lead grew to as much as 10 early on and Lithgow had no answers as Dubbo scored win number five for the season.
“A lot of game we’ve started off slow and this game we got off to a good start but Lithgow, they’re an experienced side and they kind of controlled it,” Etchi said.
“So for us to control our tempo and get it back to where we wanted it to be, that says a lot about our team.”
Etchi’s performance continued his stellar start to the season and ensure he kept the heat on Flynn in the race for most points per game.
“That’s always a good accomplishment to see your hard work paying off but the most important thing is the team wins,” he said.
“For us being a side that last year didn’t win many games last year, for us to start the season and be halfway through and have four wins says a lot and hopefully we just keep racking them up. If me putting points up keeps helping us win then I’ll keep doing it.”
The Rams have the perfect chance to continue climbing the ladder this coming weekend when they host the winless Illawarra Hawks.