Time for redemption

January 06, 2018

Game changer: Myrtleford Saints defeated Shepparton Lady Gators by five points when the two sides last met, but key player Rhianna Barton was absent for that contest.

Grab and run: Maddi Moroney takes possession for Shepparton Lady Gators against Wallan.

A match against Myrtleford Saints tonight is a second chance for the Shepparton Gators to defeat a side which proved too good earlier in the season.

The Saints overcame the Gators by five points in Myrtleford but ace centre Rhianna Barton and pacey Maddi Moroney were absent.

Their presence is worth double figures and Barton and Moroney will be hoping to light up the court at Shepparton Sports Stadium.

Assistant coach Naomi Amos will again step into the playing-coach role with senior coach Chris Judd away on holidays.

She said Moroney and Barton should provide an added X-factor for the side.

‘‘Having Rhianna back in our side means another big comes in against Myrtleford which is really good and Maddi Moroney’s speed across the court is great, she’s been playing some good basketball,’’ Amos said.

Amos has a strong side at her disposal with Sarah Down returning from overseas and Mikaela Owen and Kior Zito are always on the improve.

‘‘Sarah will provide some knowledge but some steadiness as well which is good and hopefully she’ll kind of be able to step into my position so I don’t necessarily have to step onto the court,’’ Amos said.

‘‘We’ve got a couple away (Chelsea Atkins and Kristy Down) but we’ve got a full squad so it should be good and we’re up for a bit of revenge.’’

The Lady Gators should fancy themselves as being able to turn around the previous losing scoreline, having already made improvements by either decreasing losing margins or increasing winning margins in second encounters this season.

Shepparton defeated Wallan by 10 points in its final match before the break, an increase on when it snatched the match by a point earlier in the summer.

The victory was crucial for the Lady Gators’ finals aspirations with the remaining three fixtures all important for the third-placed side.

‘‘We do need to keep winning to secure our spot in finals, I think the Wallan win before Christmas was really good for us,’’ Amos said.

‘‘We need to keep up our intensity on our shots and scoring and have to go hard the next three weeks and have to go hard (tonight).’’

The Shepparton Lady Gators kick off against Myrtleford Saints at 6pm tonight.

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