By Jackson Russell
Wallan Panthers men scored back-to-back wins in Big V games on the weekend.
The Panthers started with a 95-88 win over RMIT Redbacks at home Saturday night and followed up with a 92-85 win over Maccabi Warriors in Hawthorn on Sunday.
Import Trace Cureton looks to be hitting his stride, with 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the win over RMIT and a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double against Maccabi.
Besides a momentary blip early in the first and third quarters, the Panthers led all night against RMIT.
The Panthers won the game from outside taking half of their shots and making 15-39 (.385) from three-point land as a team despite shooting a lesser rate from two-point territory.
Brock Carter dominated the paint, pulling down 18 boards to go with 13 points.
It was a similar story on Sunday as Wallan took the lead midway through the first period and didn’t look back.
While the hot shooting didn’t continue, going 8-34 (.235) as a team on three-pointers, the Panthers pushed the ball inside.
The Panthers out-rebounded the Warriors 59-43 and scored 46 points in the paint thanks to Carter’s 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Coach Carey Paps said it was a good weekend all-round for the Panthers.
“It was pretty well balanced, we didn’t rely on our threes,” he said.
“Brock was big in both games, I had to rest him a bit on Saturday once we got comfortable. It was a good luxury to get some minutes into some of the other guys.
“One thing we’ve improved is our defence and we’ve managed to stop teams. I think we’re taking a bit more responsibility and the players are more accountable.”
The Panthers are now 13-7 and sixth on the ladder after three straight wins and host Pakenham on Saturday night.
“We just have to keep going and try to get off sixth spot,” Paps said.
“The next month is very crucial, we can’t afford to drop too many. If we get one more win, we might secure ourselves in finals but we just want to keep pushing.”
By Jackson Russell