By Hayley Wildes
The Pakenham Warriors had a great weekend of Big V basketball, claiming four wins from four outings.
The Division 2 Men took down the ladder-leading Craigieburn Eagles on their home floor on Saturday night – an upset win that could spark a late-season Warrior revival.
The Warriors were simply sublime, holding the Eagles to 25 per cent shooting from deep and finding their own offensive groove early.
Ben Gaze was brilliant as he shot the lights out from deep, hitting five triples on his way to recording a game-high 26 points. Big man Brad Bridgewater (21 points, 6 rebounds) was another constant threat on offence, helping the Warriors claim a 90-76 win.
Pakenham backed up that fine performance a day later with a massive home win against the North East Bushrangers, 106-76.
It was again Gaze (19 points, 9 rebounds) and Bridgewater (24 points, 11 rebounds) who led their team home, while Brad Szalek (20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) was busy on both ends of the court.
The two wins see Pakenham (9-9) rise to seventh on the ladder, just one win out of the top six.
The Youth League 2 Women continued their impressive season with a comprehensive win on the road over Sherbrooke on Sunday.
The Warriors were far too good for the Suns, running out 112-70 winners. Sarah Thomson (27 points, 18 rebounds, 3 steals) posted a massive double-double, while four other Warriors scored in double figures.
The Warriors (12-3) are riding a three-game winning streak and sit second, just one win behind the top of the table Casey Cavaliers.
The Youth League 2 Men made it five wins on the trot with a dominant win in Craigieburn as Ned Weideman caught fire and put on an offensive masterclass.
After a slow start which saw the Warriors trailing by six points at quarter time, Pakenham reeled off a massive 67-24 second half to blow Craigieburn away and claim a 118-78 win.
Weideman was the star of the day, pouring in 44 points (five triples) and grabbing 10 rebounds. He was simply unstoppable as Craigieburn’s defence was unable to keep him in front of them.
Tyrone Tonkin also joined in on the three-point party, hitting an incredible eight triples to finish with 24 points.
The Warriors (14-6) rise to third on the ladder.
Round 16 sees all teams hit the road, with the Youth League 2 Women facing Frankston on Friday night, whilst on Sunday, the Division 2 Men take on Camberwell and Youth League 2 Men face Western Port.