Strong ef­fort from de­pleted Lady War­riors

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Sport - BAS­KET­BALL By CAM POT­TER

THEY may have reg­is­tered their first loss of the sea­son but Wan­garatta Lady War­riors were up­beat with their per­for­mance against Wodonga Lady Wolves on Sun­day.

The Lady War­riors played with­out ex­pe­ri­enced pair Chloe Storer and Cather­ine Guest, they were play­ing their first game in three weeks and they re­mained within touch of the Lady Wolves even af­ter a 13-point third quar­ter ex­plo­sion from Wolves star Sarah Melling­ton.

Melling­ton hit four three-point­ers in the third term, and five for the match, to fin­ish with 25 points lead­ing her Wolves side to vic­tory.

Pleas­ingly for the Lady War­riors the Wolves were only able to add one point to their half time lead.

Wan­garatta led by five points at quar­ter time with both for­mer Wolves Jade McCowan and Rachel Jef­fery hit­ting a shot early with Jef­fery’s two-point shot giv­ing the War­riors their quar­ter time lead.

The Wolves stormed back in the sec­ond term to snatch a six-point half time lead and were up by seven with a quar­ter to play.

The Lady War­riors were still an out­side chance to win with two min­utes on the clock and down by eight points but couldn’t hit an­other shot down the stretch to fall by ten points, 60-50.

“I would have pre­ferred to win, but it is a big turn­around from this time last year,” Lady War­riors coach Craig Northey said.

“We know we can match it with them now; it is even more pleas­ing that the rest of the team stepped up when Cather­ine (Guest), Chloe (Storer) and Nikita (Brown) were un­avail­able.

“Loni Strick­land, Abbey Chap­man and Zara Berry were all fan­tas­tic for us; Zara es­pe­cially, she is only 14 years old and the girls asked her to con­tinue to train with the squad.”

Northey said his side lacked de­fen­sive pres­ence at times.

“The three week break be­tween games was a killer,” he said.

“Peo­ple com­mented that we looked flat and that flowed into our de­fen­sive sets later in the game.

“We must work hard at train­ing to im­prove the de­fen­sive as­pects of our game.”

Wan­garatta War­riors men re­main win­less in the 2017-18 sea­son af­ter go­ing down to Wodonga by five points.

Jake Bowen got the War­riors off to a fly­ing start hit­ting a three pointer for the game’s first score.

Hit­ting that first shot set the tone for Bowen for the re­main­der of the match as he scored a game­high 17 points and reg­is­tered four three-point­ers in a break­out game for the ath­letic guard.

Liam Wright scored 12 points in­clud­ing backto-back three point­ers to give Wan­garatta a four­point lead with six and a half min­utes to go.

Bowen’s fourth and last three pointer with just un­der four min­utes to go in the fi­nal quar­ter was also Wan­garatta’s last score giv­ing the War­riors an eight-point lead.

The War­riors couldn’t main­tain their pres­sure and al­lowed the Wolves to reel off 13 unan­swered points to win the game.

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