Mixed under-16 fortunes
GATORS BOYS RELISH FRESH START IN SOLID WIN, WHILE GIRLS LOSE TIGHT DEFENSIVE STRUGGLE
Victorian Junior Basketball League action returned on Friday night after the long weekend, but once again there were mixed results for the Shepparton Gators.
The under-16 boys, playing in the Victorian Championship Reserve competition, secured a 45-38 victory against Diamond Valley.
‘‘It’s definitely good to be back on the winners list,’’ coach Josh Waight said.
‘‘It was good to finally turn the tables and get some good reward.’’
The Gators built a lead early in the game and kept their opponent at arms length for the rest of the clash.
‘‘We developed a 10-point lead in the second quarter and it stayed around that mark,’’ Waight said.
‘‘We traded baskets and didn’t blow the game out or anything, but it didn’t get close at any stage.’’
Oscar Hide returned to the court after managing stress fractures for the past couple of months and the difference showed.
‘‘It was good for him to be back, with games under his belt he will only get better,’’ Waight said.
‘‘It’s a new season, a fresh start, and there was no better way to start it than with a win.’’
The Gators will face a familiar foe this week, travelling to Keilor to take on Ballarat.
‘‘This will be the fifth time we’ve played them this year,’’ Waight said.
‘‘They’ve been improving every he made clearly time, but so have we, and we’re under no illusions as to the task at hand.
‘‘Hopefully our best is better than their best.’’
Meanwhile, the under-16 girls put on a defensive masterclass for a strong home crowd against Collingwood, but could not find any attacking prowess of their own.
The Gators lost the Metro Two clash 19-25, in the process falling four points behind their foe on the ladder.
‘‘We played a great defensive game and got some really good stops,’’ coach Tony Long said.
‘‘We just couldn’t get the ball to drop at our end.’’
The girls face a struggling Broadmeadows team away this Friday, and Long said it not the time to hit the panic button.
‘‘I’m feeling fairly relaxed about where we are, the girls are playing good basketball and not doing too many things wrong,’’ he said.
‘‘They played really good team ball with a tight defence and we’ll look to continue doing that.’’