Mixed bag for Warriors

Mia Ganci recorded an impressive five steals against Whittlesea on the weekend. Picture: COURTESY OF LISA PAXTON

By Mark Paxton

All four of the Pakenham Warriors’ Big V teams travelled away from home over the weekend, with mixed results across the board.

The Division 2 women faced the task of travelling to Wangaratta – something that’s never an easy feat, but the Warriors were unfazed and put on a performance that put the North East Bushrangers on their heels.

The Warriors got out to an early lead and never looked back as import Daphnee Frieson (18 points and 7 rebounds) took over and led the Warriors to a commanding 91-69 win. The early lead allowed for the debut minutes of 15-year-old Cate Zemunik, who logged one-point in five minutes of play.

Head coach Simo Pajdic spoke after the game.

“It was good to get another win on the board,” he said.

“While Daphnee Frieson had her best game yet, the highlight was Cate Zemunik playing her first senior women’s game at 15-years-old.”

The Division 2 men continued their rivalry with the Heat on Sunday when they headed up to Mildura. It was a first half to forget for Pakenham with Mildura gaining an early lead, but after a half-time pump up from coach Brent Russell, the squad got back on track.

The Warriors knocked down some big threes and got key defensive stops, but the damage was already done as Mildura ran away with a seven-point win, 94-87. Daniel Steen (27 points and 9 rebounds) and John Creighton (24 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists) did all they could for the Warriors.

The Youth League 2 men went into their clash against Whittlesea on the road on Saturday night undefeated and sitting on top of the ladder. They got out to a 22-point half-time lead courtesy of smothering defence and plenty of run on offence.

An inspired Whittlesea team came out firing in the second half and eventually took the lead, but with key defensive stops late in the game, the Warriors were able to claim the win, 83-75, and continue their undefeated status after six rounds.

Ned Weideman (29 points and 7 rebounds) was fantastic, as was Thomas Greer (19 points and 8 rebounds).

While the men got the win, it was a night to forget for the Youth League 2 women against Whittlesea.

The Warriors played their game style and were getting through their structure on offence, but were unable to finish. The trend continued throughout the game with the Warriors finishing just 17/77 from the field, while Whittlesea shot just over 50 per cent.

An 84-51 loss was the result with Alahna Arnason (14 rebounds and 12 points) the shining light in a tough night at the office.

Coach Matthew Innes spoke after the game.

“Whittlesea came out and blitzed us from the word go and forced us to play catch up,” he said.

“Our offensive execution wasn’t clicking on this particular occasion but we look forward to putting this performance behind us and getting a win against Coburg next week.”

Round 7 sees the Youth League 2 men, Division 2 women and Division 2 men host a massive triple-header at Cardinia Life on Saturday from 4pm, while the Youth League 1 women head to Coburg on Saturday night.

On Sunday, the Division 2 and Youth League 2 men both hit the road to take on Maccabi.

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