The results were a bitter pill to swallow, but a pair of losses over the weekend gave the Mandurah Magic men plenty of lessons to take into the back end of their season, according to head coach Aaron Trahair.
The Magic went down 101-103 in a thriller against Lakeside in Saturday night before being toppled 75-59 by Willetton on Sunday, but the coach said they have much to take away from each encounter.
“I was really pleased with our offence in the Lakeside game. Any time you put up 100 points in a game of 10-minute quarters you’re doing something right,” he said.
“Unfortunately we were just shy of the win in the end but we showed what we’re capable of.”
Against Willetton was a different story, with the Magic being exposed by one of the top teams in the competition.
“They really got on top of us in the second half and showed why they’re one of the top three sides in the competition,” Trahair said.
“It was a good opportunity for our players, especially our younger guys, to get some exposure to some of the best players in the competition.
“I said to our guys after the game ‘that’s the level we need to be at’.”
Despite the losses, Will McNeill was again dominant for the Magic.
The star point guard scorched the Lakeside defence with 42 points (including eight three-point bombs) on Saturday night before tallying 25 of the team’s total 59 on Sunday.
Trahair praised McNeill for his leadership on the court.
“We knew when we recruited Will that he could come in and be a role model for our young playing group,” he said.
“For them to be able to watch him play like he does and then train day in, day out, shows them what it takes to be an elite player.”
The Magic are awaiting the results of an MRI to see if fellow import Rick Kreklow will return this season, while Andrew Bowman (back injury) is being treated on a week-by-week basis.
Chad Simpson (ankle) may be available to return for their next match against Perth.