WALLAN maintained its unbeaten start to the Big V basketball season at the weekend, winning across the board to top the men’s and women’s division two ladders.
The Panthers’ division two men emerged from Mornington with a thrilling three-point victory against the Breakers on Sunday afternoon, coming from seven points down at three-quarter time to force overtime on the back of six straight points from import Arcaim Lallemand in the final minute and 20 seconds.
Lallemand added two more points in the extra frame to give him 30 for the night, while guard Lincoln Stewart nailed a big three-pointer and Tyler Best split a pair of free throws with two seconds left to give the Panthers a memorable 92-89 win.
Lallemand collected 11 rebounds – four of them offensive – and three assists against zero turnovers to go with his 30 points, while Best was a handy foil with 21, and Tom O’Connor narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds.
Starting guards Stewart and Dom Bruno each contributed across the board, scoring 12 points apiece and combining for 11 rebounds and 10 assists on a night where Wallan’s bench struggled to generate much scoring punch.
The men will make their home debut at RB Robson Stadium this weekend when they host Craigieburn at 8pm on Saturday night.
The Panthers’ women have already opened their home account with a pair of wins after downing Coburg and Collingwood in back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday.
Wallan broke open what had been a tough contest against Coburg in the third quarter and extended their lead in the last to win 68-55, with star import Kylah Collins leading the way with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Olivia Dalmau produced a typically well-rounded game, scoring eight points, grabbing nine rebounds, dishing eight assists and swiping five steals, while Kaitlyn Bickerton was a handy secondary scoring option with 11 points.
The team then dominated an overmatched Collingwood on Sunday, riding another 20-point outing from Collins to a 105-44 victory.
Bickerton came off the bench to score 16 in the contest, with Olivia Dalmau, 15, Abby Dalmau, 12, and Sarah Scott, 11, each adding punch.
The team will play a road game against Blackburn in round three, at Mullum Mullum Stadium at 6pm on Saturday.
Wallan’s youth league division two men rounded off a perfect weekend for the association with a 90-77 win on the road against Western Port.
Led by Dylan Lombardo’s 25 points and James Bonnici’s 21-point double-double, the Panthers dominated the third quarter to take an unassailable lead after an up-and-down first half.
They will play a curtain raiser to the men’s match at RB Robson Stadium on Saturday, hosting the Chelsea Gulls at 6pm.