Shepparton Gators are a step closer to getting their hands on Big V Basketball Division Two's trophy after defeating Casey Cavaliers on Saturday night.OLIVER CAFFREY August 18, 2014 3:10am
Shepparton Gators are one win away from Big V Basketball Division Two men’s championship glory.
After a slow start, the Gators comprehensively outplayed the Casey Cavaliers by 17 points in front of a mammoth crowd at Shepparton Sports Stadium on Saturday night.
Shepparton will go to Casey Indoor Leisure Centre on Saturday night in hope of wrapping up the best-of-three grand final series.
If the Cavaliers manage to win game two, the decider will be played the following day at the same venue.
Gators coach Russell Parker said he couldn’t have asked for much more from his group.
‘‘It’s a really great performance, you expect your team to get out and play well in a big game, and tonight they really did and pretty much followed the game plan to perfection,’’ Parker said.
It was a frenetic start to the match with the taller Cavaliers team attempting to assert a physical presence on the contest.
The visitors got out to a six-point lead near quarter-time, but a late three-pointer from Dylan Wayman cut the deficit to three at the first change.
It was all the Gators from the start of the second quarter as they were on fire at the offensive and defensive ends.
‘‘It was a bit of a slow start, we knew we had to improve and work on things to get better at, but you couldn’t complain about the effort in the second quarter, which was terrific,’’ Parker said.
The Gators went at 50 per cent from the field as they won the second quarter 25-8 to take a 14-point lead into half-time.
Captain Matt Bartlett failed to train all week due to foot soreness, but you wouldn’t have known it.
Bartlett finished with a game-high 20 points at 53 per cent from the field and made eight assists.
Wayman started on the bench, but made an immediate impact after coming on midway through the first quarter.
He scored 17 points and shot four three-pointers.
JL Lewis didn’t have the best night scoring-wise, but produced 13 rebounds and threw his 204
With the Gators’ lead blowing out during the third quarter and the win all but secured, it gave Parker a chance to rotate the bench.
Ian Wright and Tom Frame all played significant minutes, while Lewis and Bartlett were able to rest up ahead of this weekend.
‘‘We got enough people through there, we expected seven or eight guys would be the limit for the night, but we rotated well,’’ Parker said.
‘‘I think what we did was we took the Cavs’ physicality and used it to our advantage — they’re going to come back better prepared next week and we need to be prepared for that.’’
Shepparton police pursued two youths on foot near Waters Rd this afternoon.
The Mulwala Lions took a huge step forward in the race for the Murray League title with a hard fought, low scoring, 15 point win, against the fancied Barooga outfit, in near perfect conditions at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
Chelsea Campbell is excited with her new business venture, after purchasing Carol Taylor’s hairdressing salon in Hogan St.
THE Echuca-Moama Country Music Festival will kick off next week at Moama RSL with three days of entertainment under the one roof.
NATIONAL tree day came early for Rochester Secondary College with 16 students planting 350 trees in little more than an hour on Thursday.
Goulburn Valley Water, in consultation with the Department of Health & Human Services, has lifted the Boil Water Notice for the township of Tongala.
Australian Army Cadets unit keeps winning awards.
Berrigan Shire Council have approved a development application for six more independent living units to add to Berrigan’s Amaroo Self Care Unit block.
HEATHCOTE Park Raceway was back in action on Sunday with a surprise for those expecting owner Russell Clarke to be enjoying his retirement.
Dozens of birds of all shapes and sizes flew the coop as Cobram hosted its inaugural poultry auction last Sunday.
Neil Buckley has been inducted as president of the Deniliquin Lions for the next 12 months.
Superior Seed Co ran a successful Winter Cropping Field Day at Deniliquin last week.
The Benalla Giants came out winners in both the under-14s and under-16s against the Benalla Bulldogs on the weekend.
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