By Jackson Russell
Wallan Panthers had a great night at home on Saturday with both men’s and women’s teams getting wins over the North-East Bushrangers.
The Panthers’ women opened the night with a 77-62 win over the Bushrangers for the Panthers’ second win of the season.
Wallan went on a 14-4 run in the first quarter to take a 10 point lead and never looked back, leading for the rest of the game for the 15-point win.
The Panthers were dominant in the paint, out-rebounding the Bushrangers by 19 and scoring 34 points in the paint to 16.
Carly Simons was a key player for Wallan with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Gemma Jackson was just as good in the paint with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Wallan coach Warren Taylor said they put an emphasis on getting off to a good start and it paid off.
“We’ve put ourselves in holes early so we put a lot of emphasis on getting a good start,” he said.
“We had a deeper bench which made a hell of a difference, Carly was fantastic early, Gemma was too.
“Gemma’s really raised the bar for her rebounded and she’s probably near the top of the league for rebounding along with Carly.
“We’re happy to be going into Easter where we’re at. We’re only two games behind the top team and some players will start to come back after Easter and it’ll make a big difference to the rest of our year.”
The men’s team had a convincing 108-83 win on the back of a 37-12 third quarter which blew the lead out to 26 at three-quarter time after tracing the lead throughout the first half.
The Panthers were able to lead by as much as 30 in the fourth quarter thanks to great shooting as a team.
The Panthers won the game from the outside, shooting 43-77 (.558) from the field and 14-31 (.452) from three-point range.
Jaak Ponsford led the Panthers in scoring with 17 points, six rebounds and three assists while Brock Carter was big inside with 11 rebounds to go with nine points.
Wallan coach Carey Paps said the Panthers came out hot in the third quarter.“We came out firing in the third quarter, got our run going and tightened up our defence,” he said.
The men weren’t as lucky on day two of their back-to-back, going down 82-73 to Pakenham Warriors on the road.
The Panthers led by as many as 12 points in the second period before a Warriors fight back saw them hit the front mid-way through the fourth.
Neither team shot well, but Pakenham was always there for the rebound, beating Wallan on the boards 72-47.
Import Trace Cureton played well, scoring 21 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists while Brock Carter was again strong in the paint with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Paps said it was disappointing not to be able to sweep the weekend.
“It was a bit disappointing to lose Sunday when we had control of the game for three quarters then we fell away in the fourth quarter,” he said.
“We had control of the game, but we had some defensive breakdowns, stopped moving the ball on offence. When you’re playing the top team, you can’t give them an inch but we did.”
By Jackson Russell