By Jackson Russell
Wallan Panthers’ men snagged its third win in four games with an 81-59 win over Maccabi Warriors at home on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the depleted Panthers women went down 48-65 to Mornington Breakers on the road on Saturday night.
Maccabi started quickly, going out to a five point lead early but the Panthers quickly reined it in with a 21-6 run to take a 12-point lead into the first break.
It was more of the same in the second period with the Panthers stingy defence allowing just nine points to take a 43-20 lead into half-time.
Maccabi came back but wasn’t able to close the gap as the Panthers held onto the lead for the win.
Wallan got the job done inside, winning the rebound battle 69-41 and scoring 36 points in the paint.
The Panthers’ bench was big, outscoring the Warriors’ bench 24-0.
Import Trace Cureton led the Panthers with 22 points, 13 rebounds and three assists while Leigh Saffin was right up there with 22 points and 11 boards.
Coach Carey Papanicolaou said he was happy with the performance but was disappointed not to build on the half-time lead.
“We matched them all over the court. We shot the ball well when we needed to and our rebounding was pretty strong. The teamwork’s getting there now which is good,” he said.
“They were a bit undermanned but Brock Carter was good inside with 12 rebounds and a couple guys had double-doubles which was good.”
The Panthers’ women had a tough time in their wire-to-wire loss to Mornington.
A 24-9 first quarter set the tone for the game, with the lead blowing out to 24 in the second period.
The Panthers stepped up in the second half and took it to the Breakers with an 11-11 third quarter and winning the fourth quarter 12-11.
Wallan’s poor shooting hurt, as the Panthers went 18-64 (.281) from the field and 2-19 (.105) from deep.
Melissa Hewitt led the Breakers with 12 points and three rebounds while Rebecca Romeo led the Panthers with 15 points, five rebounds and two assists. Carly Simons chipped in with 12 points, eight rebounds and two assists for the Panthers.