Sport

Healy’s injury a blow

by
November 26, 2016

Undermanned: With the absence of star Lady Gator Rhianna Barton, Maddie Rijs and Elly Keating will need to step up for tonight's game against Maryborough.

Shepparton Lady Gators have their work cut out for them tonight when they take on Maryborough Blasters.

While their opposition has enjoyed a week’s rest, the Lady Gators are coming off a tough double-header of matches.

Having clinched a narrow three-point away win against Seymour the Shepparton Gators were forced to travel to Wallan the following day when a demanding weekend took its toll.

‘‘We had toughed it out in the game against Seymour, that was fantastic. We had a good solid game against Wallan but being a double header we just ran out of legs,’’ coach Tony Long said.

But he is looking forward to playing at the Shepparton Sports Stadium tonight in the Lady Gators first home game since the middle of October.

‘‘We’ve had some tough road trips because of double headers so it’s really nice to be at home and they’ve got to come to us so hopefully they’re not quite ready,’’ he said.

But entering tonight’s game off a double header is compounded by an injury to Courtney Healy.

The Lady Gators will miss her experience after she injured her back against Seymour.

She is not the only notable absentee for tonight’s match with Rhianna Barton also unavailable.

The absence of both players from the court will harm the side’s scoring ability but Long is confident of other players filling the voice.

‘‘They’re pretty serious players for us (Healy and Barton) which means things will be a bit more difficult, but certainly there’ll be other players that will step up,’’ he said.

‘‘Hopefully Elly Keating and Chelsea Atkins can do the outside stuff and we’ll have to rely heavily on Maddie Rijs because she’s the only tall girl now.’’

Maryborough has no shortage of scorers with Amelia Jarvis, Jordan Macilwain and Chloe Egan all important targets for the away team.

But Long said he has a few plans in mind to shore up the Shepparton defence.

‘‘We’ll probably try and protect the basket a fair bit from from close range, whether we go man or man or zone I’ll decide later but it will probably be a bit off both,’’ he said.

The Lady Gators have a 4-5 win-loss record and will be eager to even it up tonight.

Tip off is at 6pm with the men’s team to follow at 8pm.

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