Shepparton Gators have maintained top spot on the Big V division two ladder after fending of a determined challenge from Pakenham Warriors.OLIVER CAFFREY June 3, 2014 3:15am
Shepparton Gators’ John Woodcock shot at 70 per cent from the field, finishing with 23 points in the win against Pakenham Warriors.
Shepparton Gators overcame a stubborn Pakenham Warriors outfit by nine points to retain its hold on top of the Big V division two men’s ladder.
The Gators were without several key players, including point guard Shannon Ralph, Tom Frame and Ian Wright, but still managed to secure their 10th win of the season at Shepparton Sports Stadium on Saturday night.
It was a significantly closer contest than when the Gators destroyed the Warriors in Pakenham three weeks prior, with the visitors even grabbing the lead in the third quarter.
But consistent performances from the starting five proved to be enough.
Gators coach Russell Parker said he was pleased with the victory, but knew there was still plenty to work on.
‘‘It was a good win, they had some additional players since we played them last, they’re wanting to push for a finals place, so they definitely made us work pretty hard,’’ Parker said.
‘‘In the most part I was happy with the defensive effort, but we still have some improvement to do across the court, we just let ourselves down mentally every now and again.’’
With several inexperienced players included on the bench, Parker was hoping to give the young Gators extended periods on the court.
The game was too tight for that to happen until late as Bailey Michel, Sam Beks, Bellamey Sims and Nick Dodd had limited opportunities.
Matt Bartlett was again the dominant scoring force, shooting 26 points, despite making just one of 10 three-point attempts.
He was well supported by John Woodcock’s 23 points, who went at 70 per cent from the field.
Import centre JL Lewis brought in 13 rebounds and finished with nine points.
Former Melbourne Tigers player Brett Rainbow had a big influence in his 26 minutes on court for the Warriors, while James McGrath led the way with 16 points.
The Gators have two weeks off before taking on the mid-table Oakleigh Warriors away on June 15.
Leukaemia diagnosis for Shepparton boy Travis Lamont, 17, hits his family hard.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
The trip to Deakin Reserve pitted the fourth-placed Bulldogs up against sixth-placed Demons in a vital match to consolidate a finals berth.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Deputy Nationals leader Peter Walsh are expected to make a significant and long-awaited bridge announcement tomorrow.
Sergeant Dale Simm of Rochester police is warning the public to be wary of phone calls offering all sorts of great prizes.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
Mark Grainger cannot believe his luck after suffering a heart attack on the day a new drug was approved to be administered by paramedics.
A man who attempted, but failed miserebly, to rob the Tocumwal Pie Shed is still on the run from police.
District residents judge the top releases from the Heathcote wine region during the second annual Heathcote Wine Show on the weekend.
A sporting precinct has emerged as the main driver behind merger of Cobram and Victory soccer clubs.
A top-three finish is on the cards for the Deni Rovers after they knocked off Jerilderie on Saturday.
Innovative irrigators are being encouraged to apply for a 2014 Rural Water Award and the chance to win a $2000 cash prize.
Three Benalla residents are speaking up to bring the issue of youth homelessness into the spotlight.
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