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Fiery competition for Wallan Panthers

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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.

Wallan Panthers women unleashed its best form of basketball at the weekend, demonstrating a well-contested game against Craigieburn. 

Coaches were at the edge of their seats after witnessing a game that remained tight from jump ball in round 11 of the Big V Competition.

Another better start for Wallan, the side was mentally prepared to take the game, coming out of the first quarter with a two-point lead after Wallan’s Abby Dalmau two-point jumpshot.  

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The fierce competition went on for the rest of the match.

A two-point layup from Wallan’s Kylah Collins tied the score at the end of the third quarter, giving the teams time to prepare for the final quarter with an all or nothing approach. 

It was a marathon between Craigieburn and Wallan and after a few runs, Craigieburn’s momentum saw the better result with a 73-68 win. 

Coach Jarrod Bridge said the match was a good example of massive runs. 

“It was a good game, it was very back and forth … all of the sudden we were in control, and they were in control … and we kind of just lost it at the end,” he said.

“I think we relapsed at the wrong point and [Craigieburn], they picked up at the right point – it was the timing went in their favour and momentum went to them, and then they just held it.

“It’s not that we’re doing anything wrong or they’re doing anything special, it’s just things worked out a little better for them than it did for us … it’s whoever gets that luck, really, that gets that win and it wasn’t us.” 

Round 11 was the last round before the Division One/Two women split – with Bridge confident Wallan will be in division two after placing in the bottom seven.

Bridge said the plan was to spend the break on the team’s gameplan, specifically on offence.

The league will take a break this weekend, with the division one/two women fixtures to be determined for the rest of the competition.

Men

For division two men, Wallan came desperately close to beating Sherbrooke at the Jungle on Sunday.

The home men’s game was Wallan’s second and final round of the Pink round that supports and donate to Breast Cancer Network Australia.

A great start, Wallan showed impressive skill against Sherbrooke who are currently second on the leaderboard.

While Sherbrooke added the first two points on the scoreboard, the same effort was returned by Wallan’s Dominic Bruno with a two-point driving layup.

The Panthers closed the first quarter with a six-point lead for Sherbrooke to keep up with.

Similar to the women’s match, the second quarter was back and forth, with both sides making returned baskets.

Sherbrooke had the chance to dominate during the last moments of the second quarter, but Wallan pushed back to remain on top with a one-point lead.

The side needed to remain its consistency in the final quarters, but a few missed shots put Sherbrooke in front, with a 73-83 win.

Coach Travis Heal said the side’s missed shots cost the team in the final quarter.

“We then had to gamble on a couple of possessions which led to easy buckets for Sherbrooke,” he said.

“We had some really good contributions from Dominic Bruno and Arcaim Lallemand and William Strwart came off the bench and played really well.” 

Wallan men will take a break next week with the rest of the league but will travel to Rosebud to go up against Southern Peninsula.

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