Shepparton Lady Gators have bounced back onto the winners' list with a solid performance against North East Bushrangers.DAMEN FRANCIS June 24, 2014 3:10am
Five was the magic number for Shepparton Lady Gators at Shepparton Sports Stadium on Saturday night.
The Gators snapped a five-game losing streak against Big V basketball rival North East Bushrangers with five players recording nine points or more in the five-point win.
The home side led at every change and fended off a second-half comeback to complete a home-and-away double against the struggling Bushrangers.
Gators coach Chris Judd was delighted to see his team answer his call for more contributors.
‘‘The second quarter turned the game,’’ Judd said.
‘‘We got out and ran the ball and when we do that we’re as good as anyone in this competition.
‘‘We got a 15-point lead and after that it was a pretty messy finish, but we never really looked like we were going to lose it.’’
Rhianna Barton continued her consistent season, registering another monster double-double consisting of 18 points, 18 rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.
Tamica Roy (14 points) shackled and outscored Bushrangers go-to scorer Rachel Jeffery (11 points) and Dee Cook contributed little on the scoreboard, but worked hard on defence and facilitated the offence with nine assists.
Marni Sharp — 15 points on 6-9 FG, 1-1 3Pt — and Meg Hanna (4-7 FG, 1-1 3Pt) made the most of their opportunities.
Sharp checked in during the second quarter and her work at both ends of the floor helped the Gators win the quarter 26-14 and take a stranglehold on the game.
‘‘Marni was a bit of a force both ways, which was good to see,’’ Judd said.
‘‘Tamica got a corkie in the third quarter and Rachel got some points, but she came back on and stopped her again and when you take the biggest threat out of the game you’re in a good position.
‘‘We paid attention the entire game, worked hard on defence and contained them, so we didn’t have to steal the ball.’’
Stacey Browne top-scored for the Bushrangers with 23 points, while Jeffery, Alana Sutton and Holly Bawden chipped in 11 each.
The Gators are seventh, with four wins from 14 games, and face sixth-placed Casey Cavaliers, who have nine wins, this weekend.
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