WALLAN Panthers’ Big V division two men’s and women’s teams are setting themselves for a crucial month of basketball as they look to seal finals spots.

Both teams had wins in round 10 at the weekend, with the men defeating Whittlesea 87-78 and the women toppling Surf Coast 74-45.

The men’s win delivered payback for a round five loss to the Pacers, pleasing coach Tim Annett.

Annett, who missed the round five clash with COVID-19, said he made some adjustments to the Panthers’ game plan after watching film from the loss.

“We gave Arcaim [Lallemand] the challenge to guard Jorden Adnam, who had 31 points on us last time,” he said.

“We changed things a bit there and put Arcaim, who has got a bigger body, on him and he did a really good job.”

Lallemand restricted Adnam to 16 points on inefficient 6-23 shooting, with no assists and four turnovers.

The Panthers also tweaked their offense, getting the ball into the hands of point guard Abraham Solano, who scored only six points in the first meeting between the sides.

Solano responded with a game-high 29 points, hitting six of 12 three-point attempts.

“Abe has played exceptionally well. He’s been very consistent and that was one of the goals we set for him at the start of the year,” Annett said.

“I’m really happy with how he’s going about things. I think he’s taken the next step.”

Lallemand also provided punch at the offensive end, scoring 24 points and using his strength down low.

With Brendan Wadwell straining his Achilles tendon and Tyler Best dealing with a badly corked muscle, Panthers bench players such as Peter Leckie, Lincoln Stewart and Nicholas Ktenidis saw extended minutes, while captain Jordan Hockley continued his comeback from a hip injury with nine points in nearly 20 minutes.

Wallan will play an away game on Sunday against Maccabi, a team it easily defeated earlier this season, but Annett warned the Panthers could not take the clash lightly.

“It’s a game we should be looking to win, because they’ve also had a couple of injuries and they’ll have a different line-up to the last time we played them. That presents its own challenges though because you don’t know what to expect,” he said.

“It’s not a game we can sit back and expect to turn up and win. The league is fairly even this year so we have to keep pushing to put wins on the board in the next four or five weeks and try to lock ourselves away a position in the top six for finals.”

Wallan’s women are also looking for a solid run of form after dispatching Surf Coast at home on Saturday night.

Four of the team’s five starters scored in double figures, with Kaitlyn Wakartschuk, 15 points, Kaitlyn Bickerton, 13, and Sarah Scott and Amber Ross, 10 apiece, keeping the scoreboard humming.

Scott had an impact across the court, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing five assists and recording three steals and two blocks.

The team will have a tough home clash against second-placed Mornington at RB Robson Stadium at 8pm on Saturday.

Wallan’s youth league division two women were also big winners, defeating Chelsea 88-41 and will play an away game against Mornington on Saturday at 6pm.

The youth league division two men are at home against Bellarine at 6pm on Saturday and Whittlesea at 1pm on Sunday, looking to atone for a 68-79 loss to Southern Peninsula at the weekend.

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