By Jackson Russell
Wallan Panthers’ women bounced back from last weekend’s loss to take a 59-49 victory over North East Bushrangers in Wodonga on Saturday.
It was a scrappy game as both sides struggled to score.
The Panthers shot 17-75 from the field but still outscored the Bushrangers (14-69).
The game was won at the free-throw line with the two teams attempting a combined 70 free throws.
Wallan made 25-37 while North East made just 18-33.
Turnovers were a key factor as the Panthers forced 30 Bushrangers turnovers for 25 points.
Wallan coach Warren Taylor said his side found a way to be a bit more intense and played with more purpose which set a much better standard.
“Early in the piece, we felt like we outplayed them but couldn’t finish. We were under 20 per cent for the first three quarters and undid a lot of good work,” he said.
“We played well at both ends of the floor but didn’t get our value for effort. It was a frustrating game because it was close on the scoreboard but felt like we should be a bit further in front.
“It was really about the last five minutes, we really got away from them. The girls did a good job steering us home. When the game was there to be won, we found our composure.”
Wallan led by as much as 10 points in the second period before the Bushrangers drew level just before half time.
The Bushrangers took a two-point lead early in the fourth but the Panthers fought back with a 16-3 run to lead by 10 points and hold on for the win.
Carly Simons led the Panthers with a 19-point, 16-rebound double-double while Rebecca Romeo chipped in with 14 points and seven boards.
“Carly was outstanding, she’s been great every game. It’s her weekly output which is special. It’s huge for us,” Taylor said.
The Panthers’ men couldn’t ride the women’s momentum, going down to the Bushrangers 102-87 in Wodonga on Saturday night.
Trading buckets in the first period, the Panthers were just two points down but the Bushrangers put the pressure on in the second, getting outscored by 13 points as the Bushrangers led by 15 at half-time.
North East carried its momentum through half-time to lead by 24 points before the Panthers were able to bring it back to 17.
The Panthers continued to fight late but it was too big a hill to climb.
The difference was made inside as Wallan was outrebounded 66-44 and outscored in the paint 64-46.
Trace Cureton led the Panthers with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists while Brock Carter had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
By Jackson Russell