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Panthers hit break on high note

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Seymour Blasters and Wallan Panthers enter the Country Basketball League’s mid-season break in first and second place respectively on the men’s north-east division ladder after Wallan flexed its muscle against third-place Benalla at the weekend.

In the final round before the break, Wallan was led, as it has been for most of the year, by Luke Liesegang, Ryan Philippe and Jayden O’Brien.

The trio combined for 73 points, with 27 coming from Liesegang, 24 from O’Brien and 22 from Philippe, as the Panthers powered to a 94-68 win against the Breakers.

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Guards Eric Miraflores and Sam Beks were on fire for Benalla, scoring 30 and 24 points respectively, but the rest of the team was well held by Wallan.

For the visiting Panthers, Riley Mclay, eight points, Callum Griffith, six, and Nathan Martin, six, helped keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Wallan’s men were the only Mitchell Shire team in action at the weekend, with Seymour’s men and women and Wallan’s women each receiving byes.

Seymour tops the men’s north-east division ladder with an undefeated record as it looks to retain its 2021-22 premiership.

Wallan sits second with eight wins and three losses, vaulting ahead of the 7-3 Breakers with Saturday’s victory.

Seymour and Wallan area also in the thick of the finals hunt in the women’s north-east division, sitting third and fourth respectively.

The Blasters have six wins and two losses but a relatively modest percentage of 116.55, while Wallan has a worse record at 6-3 but a better percentage of 126.59.

Both trail the Wodonga Lady Wolves, 7-1, and the Albury Cougars, 6-1, who stand out as the competition front-runners with percentages over 150.

The Blasters will be tested with a home game against the Cougars at 5.30pm on January 7 in the first game after the break, while Wallan will receive a walkover win against Shepparton Lady Gators, who have withdrawn from the competition.

In the men’s division Seymour will also play host to Albury at 7.30pm on January 7, while Wallan has a bye.

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