WALLAN Panthers’ Big V division two women came from behind for a memorable win against Gippsland United to keep in touch with the top four on Saturday night, but the men were unable to match the feat in a road loss to Pakenham on Sunday.
The Panthers’ women trailed by four points at half time against the visiting Gippsland side, but got a lift from guard Kaitlyn Wakartschuk and forward Jacinta Scott in the third quarter.
The pair, along with Kaitlyn Bickerton, helped put 20 points on the board while restricting the visitors to only 12 for the term, helping give the Panthers a four-point lead in the last quarter.
Although Gippsland United managed to tie the scores with little more than five minutes remaining, the visitors never reclaimed the lead, with a pair of free throws to Scott sealing the 63-59 win.
Wakartschuk finished with a team-high 21 points including five made three-pointers, while Jacinta Scott had 13 and Sarah Scott narrowly missed a triple-double with eight points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
The team will be back at home at 8pm on Saturday against the 5-3 Coburg Giants as it seeks to remain in the finals hunt.
Wallan’s men also remain a chance to play finals despite an 80-93 loss to ladder leader Pakenham on Sunday.
An 18-point half-time deficit proved too much for Wallan to overcome on the road, and despite a 24-12 third quarter, the Panthers were never really in the game.
Centre Arcaim Lallemand and guard Lincoln Stewart each had 19 points and Abraham Solano added 17 for the visitors, but despite a respectable shooting performance Wallan was dominated on the glass, losing the rebound count 34-54 and surrendering 12 offensive boards.
The loss concluded a tough three-week stretch for the Panthers in which they played four of the league’s top five teams.
The team will return home on Sunday with a game against Surf Coast at 1pm.
The youth league division two women were too strong for Southern Peninsula, winning 85-58 at home on Saturday night, and will look to continue their hot form with a road game against Whittlesea as they attempt to keep their grasp on top spot.
The youth league division two men had a bye at the weekend and will return to action with a home game against Maccabi at 6pm on Saturday.