Mixed un­der-16 for­tunes

GA­TORS BOYS REL­ISH FRESH START IN SOLID WIN, WHILE GIRLS LOSE TIGHT DE­FEN­SIVE STRUG­GLE

Shepparton News - - BASKETBALL - By Tyler Ma­her

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.’’

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