By Jackson Russell
Wallan Panthers’ men shot the lights out on their way to a third straight win after defeating Altona Gators 100-76 at home on Saturday night.
The two sides were neck and neck in the first half as Wallan led by five points early before an Altona run to open the second period put the Gators up six.
Wallan fought back to lead by four at half time.
A 22-6 Panthers run pushed the lead out to 19 points late in the third period and another 9-0 run to open the fourth period further stretched the lead to 25 points and Wallan ran home with the win.
The Panthers’ shooting was key, going 34-67 (.507) from the field and an impressive 15-26 (.577) from three-point range.
Leigh Saffin was on fire, making 6-10 from deep for 26 points while Trace Cureton had a 32 point, 11 rebound double-double along with eight assists on 12-23 form the field.
Wallan coach Carey Paps said the Panthers executed their offence well and were a step ahead of the Altona defence.
“We executed our offense and we knew what they were doing defensively so we were ready,” he said.
“It was a good team game as well. We’re gelling pretty well now, everyone’s playing their role and there’s a good feeling at the moment.
“It was good effort, everyone coming off the bench was good. Brent Radoslovic came off the bench and hit five threes for 18 points.
“We’ll just keep working hard and if we can beat North East we’ll be 8-5 but we just have to keep working.”
Wallan’s women went down to Coburg Giants 68-65 in a tight contest at home on Saturday night.
Neither side led by more than eight points at any stage as they each traded blows.
The Panthers were down by seven points in the first period before going on a 14-0 run to take an eight point lead early in the second period.
Coburg flipped the script with a 15-3 run in the third until Wallan wrestled back the lead at the end of the third period.
A 9-0 Giants run put the visitors up six in the fourth and the two sides traded buckets but the Panthers weren’t able gain any ground back before the final buzzer.
Captain Jayda Hunter and Megan Marasco each celebrated their 50th game with the Panthers.
Hunter had 12 points, five rebounds and two assists while Marasco had 11 points and five rebounds.
Carly Simons was impressive once again, with 17 points and 14 rebounds.