Wallan Panthers women’s CBL season over

78

Wallan Panthers women finished the regular Country Basketball League season with a 15-point loss to Shepparton Gators on Saturday.

At the end of the first quarter the Panthers trailed by seven points before heading into halftime down by nine.

Out of the half, Wallan outscored the Gators 16 points to 12 but a fourth quarter surge by Shepparton saw the home side win 62 to 47.

Wallan head coach Mick Schultz said the Panthers were right in it for most of the game.

“We got back to within four or five points in the last quarter but a couple of little lapses in concentration and two back-to-back threes by Shepparton meant unfortunately our day was done,” he said.

“But I was really happy with the way we played. It wasn’t the best game we’ve played but for us to be able to stick with them and push them all the way, it was still a good end to our season.

“It would’ve been nice to get the win, but everyone put in well and did what I asked them to do. It was disappointing but still a good outcome for us.”

Schultz said the side remained intense for most of the game and executed plays putting Wallan’s training into practice.

“Those are the sort of things we’ve been working on all season and it was good to see them actually put into play and getting rewards for it,” he said.

Wallan’s Melissa Buckley had 16 points while Olivia Woods and Paige Schultz both had 11.

Under 18s player Tahlia Onley also had a great game.

Finishing fifth on the ladder, Wallan are out of finals contention.

“From our first session together to the game Saturday night, we’ve come leaps and bounds,” Schultz said.

“We’ve pushed teams in patches each game – whether that be the first quarter or holding our own in the second or third – we just haven’t been able to put together 40 minutes, which has been our downfall.

“But they’ve improved immensely and we knew it was going to be a tough season and it was going to be a building season for us. If we can hold this group together over the next couple of years, then they’ll really start to shine and be competitive going forward.

“We’re really appreciative of all the support we got throughout the season.

“Everyone that came out and supported us all season and showed the girls some love was much appreciated by myself and the whole team. It really helped us get through some tough losses.”

Men

Wallan Panthers men had huge wins at the weekend, defeating Shepparton Gators Saturday by 32 points and Wangaratta Warriors Sunday by 57.

The Panthers controlled from the outset against the Gators, leading throughout the game, and despite second quarter comeback efforts, Wallan won 105 to 73.

Luke Liesegang shot 40 points for Wallan and Ryan Phillipe scored 23.

On Sunday, the Panthers once again led from the jump against Wangaratta in front of a home crowd.

Leading by seven points at the end of the first quarter, a huge 33-point quarter saw Wallan head into halftime leading by 37.

Wallan continued to dominate the second half, winning 115 to 58.

Wallan’s Damon Anderson was leading scorer with 25 points, followed by Jayden O’Brien with 23, Liesegang 19, and Philippe 18.

The Panthers secured second-place on the ladder and will face Myrtleford Saints in this weekend’s semi-final contest.