Shepparton News

Lapse in third term leads to first loss

- By Lauren Bordin

Shepparton Gators suffered their first defeat of the Country Basketball League season as a result of a poor output in the third term.

The Gators scored just nine points in the premiershi­p quarter, with Wodonga Wolves locking down their defence to stifle the visiting side.

Shepparton was unable to fight back in the last and lost 67-62, with Nick Dodd topscoring with 16 points.

The lead changed several times across the match in a high quality contest between two dominant sides in the league, but coach Josh Waight said checking out of the game in small windows was costly.

‘‘We played some really good basketball at times and then had some patches where weren’t playing our best and had moments and lapses in concentrat­ion, which hurt us in the end,’’ he said.

‘‘In the third quarter we only scored nine points, they played some pretty good defence and we didn’t get the ball movement we would like to, but we’ll continue to get better.’’

In an unusual situation at Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre, the shot clock was not functionin­g, meaning players were able to hold the ball longer than the usual 24 seconds.

The Wolves used it to their advantage late in the game as they clung to possession, but Waight said at times both sides benefited from the situation.

‘‘If affected both teams and went both ways, we made some buckets on shots that would have been shot clock violations and at other times it had little impact, but at the end of the game they were able to hold onto it,’’ he said.

‘‘With no shot clock there was a different feeling on the game and it changed the way the game was played.’’

Josh Labatlus was the Gators’ best on Sunday, but Waight said he was looking forward to meeting the side again in round 12 with a belief his side could defeat the Wolves.

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