PRESSURE: Hornets co-coach Tim Pickert is surrounded by Eagle pair Eric Mirafl ores and Paul Sianidis. Miraflores had a huge influence on the result, dropping 30 points. Pictures: SAMANTHA CAMARRI DEFENCE: Hornets centre Corey Collier looks for a pass as Eagle Mark Welch defends.

HORSHAM Hornets co-coach Tim Pickert has labelled his side’s five-point Big V division two loss to Craigieburn Eagles on Saturday night as ‘very disappointing’.

In a top of the table clash, the Hornets lost 75-70.

“We gave up a game we knew we should have had,” Pickert said.

“We can’t play four quarters of basketball which is very frustrating.

“We never gave up which was the good part about it, we played right to the siren.”

In front of a bumper crowd, the Wimmera Roadways Hornets trailed 16-14 at quarter time and were as much as seven points in arrears with six minutes left in the second term.

At half time, the Hornets trailed 38-32.

A strong third term saw the Hornets outscore the Eagles 21-12.

Horsham hit the front with more than four minutes left in third with Tim Pickert, who had been quiet by his lofty standards, dropping a three-pointer.

A three-pointer from co-coach Damien Kilpatrick nearing the final break gave Horsham a 53-50 lead.

Scores were tied at 58 with three and a half minutes remaining.

The final minutes of the game saw a number of time outs and many free throw attempts with both sides having given away five team fouls.

With 24 seconds left, the Hornets trailed 66-71 and were still a legitimate chance of winning.

Despite a marked improvement – the Hornets lost to the Eagles by 24 points in round seven – Pickert said positives were minimal.

“They were few and far between to be honest. We played good patches but the majority of the game we played out of our game plan which was quite disappointing and our intensity was not there for 40 minutes,” he said.

“We have a lot of things to work on.

“We all think we are the best team in the competition and I still believe we are but it is a matter of us putting it together.”

Eagle Eric Milaflores was influential with 30 points.

The speedy guard put on a show.

“I don’t know what we have to do to stop him,” Pickert said.

Experienced forward Matt Copping will miss the remainder of the season with a back injury.

Copping, 32, suffered the injury after the Hornets’ round 11 loss to Melton.

Stuart Robinson will fill the void when he returns from overseas.

“We have height on the bench with Damien Kilpatrick and Robbie Fry still there to help out but Stuey Robinson can help us a bit more because he’s a bit more agile,” Pickert said.

“We’ll try and get through the next four or five weeks without him.”

Horsham plays Western Port away on Saturday.

The Steelers dropped their round 12 game to bottom-placed Pakenham.

“They will be fired up to play us after losing to the bottom team,” Pickert said.

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