Wallan Panthers, both women’s and men’s teams, were due to play Myrtleford on Saturday night but all Country Basketball League matches were cancelled due to lockdown.

WALLAN Basketball officials are hopeful the current COVID-19 lockdown will not last for an extended period of time.

All Country Basketball League games at the weekend were cancelled in light of reintroduced stage-four COVID restrictions across Victoria.

Wallan Basketball president Gary O’Brien said he hoped the restrictions, which are due to finish on Thursday, would not be extended.

He said the association’s Country Basketball League men’s team was preparing to play a postponed game against Seymour on Saturday night before finals commence the following weekend.

“I believe they’re just going to cancel the Myrtleford game, which would mean we’ve only got one left,” he said.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll keep going and be back on from Thursday night. We’re certainly planning for that.

“Thursday night is our Big V training, so hopefully the seniors will be back on Thursday night and then we’ll roll into junior VJBL on Friday night and domestic competition on Saturday.”

O’Brien said the association was aiming to rebuild its junior program after the disruption of the pandemic.

“With all sport, but certainly with basketball, COVID really hit that under-10 junior age group of girls and boys,” he said.

“It’s really hard after 12 months off to engage those kids.

“Our under 10 domestic turned into a mixed competition with boys and girls playing together, but Aussie Hoops, which is the Basketball Australia program for five-to-10-year-olds, and another program that we’ve created called Kindy Ball, which we do for two-to-four-year-olds have had a lot of interest.

“We ended up with 42 registrations so far for Aussie Hoops and another 26 for Kindy Ball. I’ve never seen anything like it.

“There’s over 60 young kids that we can engage at the embryonic phase of basketball.

“It’s a good sign that we might be able to connect and fill in our under 10 group really quickly, so there’s positive signs there for us.”