Sport

Carving up their rivals

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November 14, 2017

Nick Dodd’s Shepparton Gators are on fire in the Country Basketball League, winning another two matches at the weekend to remain undefeated in the north-east division.

Super Sam: Sam Beks is in great touch for the Shepparton Gators.In-form: Sam Beks impressed for the Gators, scoring 12 points in a thumping win.

The Country Basketball League north-east men’s division is at the mercy of the Shepparton Gators.

The local heroes have slain all before them in their five matches so far this season, and sit comfortably atop the competition’s ladder, after engineering another perfect weekend.

It began on Saturday night with a stirring victory over the Seymour Blasters — in the process ruining an astounding home record for their opponents.

In a rematch of last year’s heartbreaking one-point grand final loss, the Gators found themselves behind the eight ball for much of the contest at Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre.

Trailing by as much as 13 points late in the third term, Josh Waight’s charges stormed back into contention with a resounding 20-2 run.

The Blasters fought back with the next seven points of the contest to take a two-point lead with 91 seconds remaining, but the Gators again dug deep to claim a 67-63 triumph.

It was the first CBL loss Seymour had suffered on its home court since February 2, 2014 — a winning streak of 25 matches in a row.

‘‘I’m rapt, to go to Seymour and win there is super tough,’’ Waight said.

‘‘To be down but fight it out was character building, and hopefully it’s a win that defines our season.’’

Nick Dodd starred with 18 points, while Josh La Batlus (16), Sam Beks (14) and Gabe Evans (10) also stamped their authority on proceedings.

The second leg of the double-header had the Gators making the trip to Myrtleford Recreation Reserve to take on the Saints.

It was a completely different contest though, with the away side opening up a 26-point lead at one stage before taking the foot off the pedal late for a 75-59 win.

Evans was outstanding in the fixture, netting 21 points, while Beks (14), La Batlus (10) and Tom Crowe (10) provided ample support.

‘‘Sam Beks was fantastic on Saturday night and Gabe Evans was fantastic on Sunday, but all the young guys are pitching in,’’ Waight said.

‘‘When it’s their turn to go on court they’re playing for one another and making it hard for us to take them back out of the game because they’re doing their job.’’

The Gators face another weekend on the sidelines before taking on the Wangaratta Warriors — but the current fixture quirks seem to be working just fine.

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