Saints tip-off in CBL
MYRTLEFORD has come away from its first Country Basketball League action with one win from four matches.
The women’s team got Myrtleford‘s first campaign in the competition off to a dream start on Saturday night with a 63-56 win over Wallan while the men were beaten 54-60.
On Sunday, Wodonga were too strong for the Saints, handing the women a 49-67 loss while the men, after leading for much of the game, suffered another narrow defeat, going down 56-60.
espite the results coach Les Stevens said it was a successful debut for the new club.
“We were only able to get one win out of four, but we saw plenty of things that we can go away and work on,” he said.
“The crowd support was fantastic, there was just as many people in on Sunday afternoon as there was Saturday night, it was great to see the support behind both teams.
“It was a good atmosphere and some of the opposition even said they never usually play in front of that many people, so we couldn’t be more pleased from that perspective.”
Against Wallan the Myrtleford women trailed all through the first before taking the lead with just under four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Saints finished the match on a 15-7 run with captains Bec Piazza and Paige Zamperoni leading from the front to help secure the team’s first win.
Zamerpoini totalled a gamehigh 19 points while Racquel Stevens shut down the dangerous Jayda Hunter in the second half.
On Sunday against a strong Wodonga outfit Myrtleford found themselves behind by 13 points at quarter time and were never able to make up any ground.
After falling behind by 18 points early in the second term the Saints then matched the Wolves for the remainder of the match in an encouraging second half display.
Piazza finished with 14 points while Paige and Abbey Zamperoni each dropped 10 points.
Unlike the women the men got off to a strong start against Wallan and led by three points at quarter time.
But with star player Jalen Barker spending the majority of the second term on the bench because of foul trouble the Panthers hit back and held a nine-point advantage at the interval.
Myrtleford cut the deficit back to four in the third and did so again with just under two minutes to go in the fourth before Wallan sealed the game with some late free throws.
The men will be disappointed to have not beaten Wodonga having been in front at halftime with a 35-30 advantage.
Wodonga stole the lead on the three-quarter time buzzer and then the loss of Ben McIntyre to a dislocated finger minutes into the final period proved telling.
Jalen Barker scored 22 points in both outings while Matt Dyball and Jackson Townsend made some crucial buckets in both games.
Myrtleford’s next match is at Seymour on November 4.
FOCAL POINT: Jalen Barker was dominant in Myrtleford’s opening two CBL games although the team suffered two close losses.