Warriors fall to Wolves
ANY time a former SEABL guard rolls into the stadium for a Country Basketball League match it is always going to be a tough task on defence for the opposing team.
When one of the most experienced and exciting SEABL guards the Albury Wodonga Bandits has seen in Deba George pulled up to Wangaratta Indoor Sports and Aquatic Centre on Saturday night, Wangaratta Warriors were always going to be on the back foot.
Taking on the Wodonga Wolves, and without Warriors’ own star guard Liam Wright, Wangaratta remained close with the Wolves despite George’s influence on the game early.
Nine points separated the teams at quarter time 22-13, a lead that would grow to 16 points at the half time break 46-30.
Sam Waite (14 points) and Tom Young (13) combined for five made three pointers to help push the Warriors with the team-lifting shots.
Lauchy West landed two long range shots, while Charlie Young added 10 points.
Wodonga pushed the issue in the third term, erupting for a 24-10 10-minute stanza and pushing away any hope of a Warriors’ comeback.
Warriors’ forward Michael Jenkins who entered the game just before half time after he arrived at the game late enjoyed a great last quarter.
Jenkins nailed four baskets in a row for the Warriors, with his attack on the offensive rebounds overwhelming the Wolves’ defence.
Unfortunately the Warriors fell 34-point losers, 95-61 with Deb George’s 25 points with five three pointers and stifling defence changing the course of the game.
Jake Bowen added 10 points for the Warriors before he was struck down with a lower leg complaint midway through the third term.
“A lot of the young guys stepped up tonight with Jake (Bowen) going down and Liam (Wright) out we relied on Tommy Young, Charlie Young and Byron Hosie a lot,” Warriors’ head coach Patrick Northey said.
“Those boys had to play the point tonight and they all stepped up really well into the role.”
Northey said for three quarters his side was in the game.
“We just fell asleep; we did it against Seymour last weekend, and we did it again tonight,” Northey said.
“We can’t allow it to happen but we will get better from this; we are always learning when we are on the court.”
On George’s influence, Northey said it was a good experience to play against a player so talented.
“He’s a guy that just happens to be ridiculously handy at basketball,” he said.
“He’s a locally based player and he is available to play; he just so happens to be able to knock anything down from behind the three point line.
“Hopefully he can help the entire North East conference at that guard position, whoever matches up on him will learn a lot.”
SPLASH BROTHERS: Sam Waite (left) and Tommy Young hit five three pointers between them on Saturday night.