Wildcats make strides during season


IMPACT: Stawell Wildcats men’s coach Ben Leslie said a healthy Jarred Ohayon would make a big difference to the team next season. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERTHE Country BasketballLeague season is officially overfor the Stawell Wildcats.

The association’s womenteam lost to the WarrnamboolMermaids 69-45 and the menlost to the Warrnambool Seahawks103-72 on Saturdaynight at the Stawell LeisureComplex.

Neither team plays in thelast round of the competitionbefore finals.

While wins have been fewand far between for the Wildcats,this season represented abig milestone for the association.

The men’s 87-46 win againstthe Timboon Taipans in roundthree was their first victory inleague competition.

Stawell earned a follow-upwin against the Taipans inround nine.

There were also competitiveperformances throughout theyear including a 16-point lossto Warrnambool in round oneand a 14-point loss to Terangin round 13.

The Wildcats’ women, in thesecond year of existence as ateam, did not win a game butwere also more competitivethan last season.

The team faced some stiffcompetition but nearly grabbedits maiden win againstPortland in round eight, goingdown 53-50.

Wildcats women’scoachRhiannon Davis said her teamhad made big strides in theright direction, despite its winlessseason.

‘‘In the end we might nothave got a win on the boardbut we were competitive forthe majority of our games,’’she said.

Davis said Grace Bibby hadstepped up to become theWildcats’ leading scorer whileErin Freeland and Tracey Darkwere among the side’s bigimprovers.

Men’s coach Ben Leslie said his team could improve further.

“It was fantastic getting the monkey off the back with a win, but I thought we could have won one or two other games,” he said.

“We were competitive against teams like Terang, so next year we have to start beating those teams.

“Having Jarred Ohayon healthy for next season will be good because he was dealing with a knee injury this year.”

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