Wallan Panthers women’s team secured back-to-back wins in their Big V division two double-header at the weekend.
Wallan defeated Gippsland United 83 to 75 on Saturday night, which was Gippsland’s first loss of the season.
Olivia Dalmau had a strong game for Wallan with 19 points and eight assists, while Kylah Collins had 17 points, five steals and a huge 18 rebounds.
Kaitlyn Bickerton, coming off the bench, contributed 17 points and five rebounds.
Wallan took the lead early in the first quarter but a three-pointer from Gippsland with 32 seconds remaining put the visitors in front heading into the second quarter.
Even with eight turnovers, Wallan clawed its way back as captain Sarah Scott’s three free-throws with two seconds left tied the game 36-apiece at halftime.
Both sides went basket for basket in the third quarter until Wallan’s Melissa Buckley hit back-to-back three-pointers in the final minute to put Wallan ahead by two at three-quarter time.
Bickerton was hot in the fourth quarter, hitting 14 of Wallan’s 27 points and grabbing key offensive rebounds, as Wallan won by eight.
Sunday’s Surf Coast game saw Collins score 33 points and 11 rebounds in a 92 to 86 Panthers’ victory.
The Chargers took a seven-point lead in the first quarter before three-pointers by Wallan’s Collins and Melissa Buckley brought the game to within one point.
The game remained close and Abby Dalmau’s layup in the final second of the second quarter sent the Panthers into halftime with a seven-point lead.
Wallan continued to lead in the third quarter, but it was in the fourth term where the match became really competitive.
Seven points by the Chargers in the opening minutes put them within two points of the Panthers, and another scoring run in the final two minutes brought the margin back to one point – forcing a Wallan timeout with 30 seconds remaining.
Buckley came out of the timeout hitting a layup, which she followed up with a steal and assist to Bickerton.
Bickerton had a three-point play in the games’ final seconds to secure a six-point win for the Panthers.
Wallan has another double header for the final round of the regular season, facing Collingwood on the road on Saturday and Blackburn at home on Sunday.