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Wallan Panthers’ massive weekend at the Jungle

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Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis
Pam Kiriakidis has worked as a journalist at the North Central Review since 2022, with a particular focus on the City of Whittlesea and stories for the Whittlesea Review. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media and Communications majoring in journalism and focuses on politics, community, and health with the occasional niche sports story finding its way in front of her.

It was a triple header at the Jungle, with the Panther’s women claiming a win in round six of the Big V competition.

A massive Saturday night for the Panthers, Wallan recognised last year’s women’s team and coaching staff for achieving runners-up with a banner and acknowledged three past and present players for achieving over 100 Big V games.

Wallan’s youth league men started off the triple header, followed by the women’s tea who defeated Coburg with a 14-point win.

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With all 12 players available, it was another slow start for the Panther’s women.

Coach Jarrod Bridge said Wallan improved once the second quarter rolled around.

“I think everybody got a bit more comfortable, it kind of picked up and then momentum just kept rolling with us,” he said.

“We’re still having that trouble in the first quarter, we still haven’t figured that part out yet, still working on it, this week was a little better. “Otherwise [our side was], pretty good, the girls are really getting around each other.”

Momentum was picked up especially in the third quarter, with both teams head-to-head after Krystle Jewell’s two-point layup made the score 52-52.

The heat of the moment was during the end of the third quarter, with both teams fighting to get on top, but Wallan was successful to take control under free-throw efforts by Madison Tinetti and Olivia Dalmau.

The Panthers entered the fourth quarter with a four-point lead and carried 76-62.

Kylah Collins finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and three assist. Meanwhile, Molly Young had 12 points, 14 rebounds and three assists.

Among the standout players, Bridge said it was nice to watch Molly Young rewarded on the statistics side.

“Molly Young had a really, really good game, she always does a lot that isn’t really statistically shown, this week she did all of those things she normally does,” he said.

“Kylah [Collins] had a really good game, the last couple of weeks she’s put up 30 plus points, she didn’t put up the number of points, but she impacted the game defensively and got her teammates open space quite a lot, which was really good to see.

“Kendra Reukers off our bench had a fantastic game, she came and picked up our momentum and ran with it, kind of pushed it even further, which is really good.”

Round seven of the Big V competition, Wallan will play a double header against Chelsea and a home game against Blackburn.

“[Chelsea] they’re undefeated, they’re a really good team, so our aim there is to make them as uncomfortable as humanly possible and see if we can attain some of their scorers,” Bridge said.

“For Blackburn, we want to make sure that we defend our home court so whenever teams come to play us, they know they’re probably not looking at a good game.”

Men

Unfortunately the Panthers’ division two men could not make the same fate, going down by 21 points against neighbours Craigieburn.

It was a game of missed opportunities for Wallan, making several missed shots in the first quarter which gave Craigieburn the upper hand from early on.

While Wallan began to push hard after a slow start, Craigieburn continued to control the rest of the game until the final buzzer, with a 93-72 defeat.

Despite the loss, Arcaim Lallemand finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. Trent Cousins was close to a double double, with 17 points, and nine rebounds and Dominic Bruno had 23 points, five rebounds and two assists.

Wallan will play away against Maccabi in round seven.

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