Shepparton Gators are in red-hot form going into the Big V Division Two men's finals, winning their last four games.OLIVER CAFFREY July 29, 2014 3:17am
Shepparton Gators will go into the Big V Division Two men’s finals on a high after finishing the regular season with a crushing 28-point win against Western Port Steelers on Sunday.
The Gators took hold of the contest at The Steelerdome with a commanding second quarter, outscoring the home team 24-10 to take a near unassailable 20-point lead into the main break.
With victory all but secured, coach Russell Parker rotated the bench in the second half to give the whole squad plenty of court time leading into the business end of the season.
It was the Gators’ 17th win out of 20 games this season and their fourth in a row.
Parker said he was happy with how his team was travelling.
‘‘It was a pretty good effort, we did a good job of controlling the play,’’ Parker said.
‘‘The all-round team effort was pleasing and it’s always good to get guys onto the court at this time of the season.’’
The Gators cruised after half-time, winning the third quarter by 11 points, before the Steelers regained some pride by taking out the final term 25-22.
Guard Dylan Wayman was on fire from the field, shooting at 64 per cent for 24 points in just 26 minutes on court.
‘‘Dylan had a good game, it’s always handy when he shoots well. We rely on him to do that; he hasn’t been shooting exceptionally well recently, but hopefully he can carry that form into finals now,’’ Parker said.
Captain Matt Bartlett was dominant with 23 points, while powerful import JL Lewis finished with 16 points and brought in 11 rebounds.
Matt Waight shot well, scoring 11 points, while Tom Frame went at 100 per cent from the field.
Point guard Shannon Ralph, who had been struggling with bone bruising on his ankle, missed the clash.
The Gators, who finished second, travel to take on third-placed Keysborough Cougars in the opening round of finals on Saturday night.
Shepparton police are investigating the theft of an expensive Italian-made Pinarello cycle from inside a house during the weekend.
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