.

By Russell Bennett

The Pakenham Warriors’ Big V Division 2 men’s basketball team is off to the best start in its history after a commanding 90-73 win over fellow title aspirants, the Collingwood All Stars, at Collingwood College on Saturday night.
Brent Russell’s Warriors moved to 7-0 on the season after leading by just a point – 46-45 – at half-time.
While star Collingwood guard Manny Hendrix continued to look for his shot and to stay aggressive throughout the contest, Pakenham’s defensive pressure on him was stifling – restricting him to just 4-16 from the field in his 13-point, 10-assist double-double in front of a vocal home crowd.
Dylan Webb was stellar for the home side, draining 10 of his 15 attempts from the field to finish with 26 points, but the All-Stars ultimately had no answer for Pakenham’s transition game – both offensively and defensively.
At half-time in the rooms Russell lamented the opportunities the All-Stars were getting at second chance baskets, and also urged his men to eliminate the needless fouls that had plagued them in the early going.
He demanded a lift on the defensive end and called for his charges to bring a real ‘championship mentality’.
And in the second half, they displayed exactly that.
The Warriors’ transition game continued to have a real impact while they also hit the glass with a purpose.
Big man Brad Bridgewater had a series of spectacular highlight plays throughout the contest, including two jams (one on an alley-oop from Brad Szalek) and an emphatic rejection.
He finished with 16 points on a super-efficient 6-8 from the floor, while Szalek top-scored with 17 points on 5-9 shooting – including three triples.
Ben Gaze (14 points, 7 boards), Robin Maartens (15 points), Trent Lee (7 assists, 5 boards), and Nick Ross (13 points) – against his former side – also shone.
Following the contest, Russell spoke about the second half performance being the new standard for his group moving forward – highlighting, in particular, its start to the third quarter, which had been a trouble area in the season’s early going.
In the curtain-raiser on Saturday, Simo Pajdic’s ladder-leading Youth League Division 2 men were even more emphatic in their win over the All-Stars, 103-67.
The visitors were simply dominant, with Tobie Dean leading the way with 23 points on 8-14 shooting in a particularly even team performance.
Rounding out a trifecta of wins for the weekend, Darren Thomas’ Youth League Division 2 women were also brilliant on Sunday – defeating Blackburn by 17 points, 69-52, to hold on to third spot on the ladder. Ellie Coutts was once again brilliant with 16 points, 17 boards, 5 steals, and 5 assists in a stat sheet-stuffing performance.

More News

Normally when I drive a new car into the townhouse complex where I live neighbours have a casual glance to ...

The proposed restructure of the CFA and MFB has caused anxiety among the members of the Pakenham fire brigade according ...

Mothers, fathers, children and even the principal were pounding the pavement for National Walk Safely to School Day. Beaconsfield Upper ...

Casey Childcare and Kindergarten hosted police and CFA members as well as the pedestrian lollipop lady as part of Emergency ...

Evergreen Retirement Village’s inaugural pet information day had something for residents and their four-legged friends. Residents and their beloved ...

Police are warning residents in Kooweerup and Lang Lang about a phone call scam specifically targeting them. At the beginning ...

Latest Sport

Chris Adams has done it all at Nar Nar Goon. He’s a premiership player, a former captain, a committeeman, ...

Though 2017 marks the return of the West Gippsland name into local footy circles, Saturday of last week marked the dawn ...

Welcome to football and netball’s version of Mission: Impossible. Over the next 10 weeks, AFL South East Region General Manager ...