Shepparton Gators continue on their merry way this season, notching up two more wins across the weekend.
With a clean sweep of the double-header, the Gators have risen to top spot on the Big V division one ladder.
Shepparton’s American imports Spencer Coleman and Cameron Vines tore up the court in both games, combining for 109 points.
The bumper weekend began on Saturday night when a refreshed team made its way to Melbourne to meet Sunbury Jets.
With just eight players to filter through, coach Leigh Bathman was thrilled his side could lead from start to finish.
Coleman top scored with 28 points, helped by strong rebounding around the basket, while Vines contributed 24.
‘‘Both were really solid in each of the games and both worked really hard and are fit, durable and versatile players,’’ Bathman said.
Vines’ defensive output added to his starring role in offence, securing 10 defensive rebounds in his total rebound count of 14.
Jake Cowling also got in on the action with 16 points while being tasked with defending one of the opposition’s best players.
‘‘Jake got the big match-ups in both games and defended American imports in both games for the most part, so we thought his efforts of 16 points and keeping (Sunbury’s) Benjamin Jones under control (was fantastic),’’ Bathman said.
In a stirling second quarter the Gators shot 32 points to 13 to increase the margin, helping them to stay ahead despite a flat second half.
The 84-69 win against the Jets spurred the Gators on to produce the goods on their home court.
On Sunday, the Gators easily accounted for Whittlesea Pacers, this time with a full squad.
Big man Nick Dodd took the court for 21 minutes, despite being absent on Saturday, while star guard Matt Bartlett continues to rack up valuable time on court as he plays through an ankle injury.
But it was Fisto Bizima who impressed Bathman in the 94-70 win, after the Pacers scored the first 10 points.
‘‘Fisto Bizima stood up for us, he had a bit of a disappointing game on Saturday and was down in the dumps with his performance, but he bounced back and got us going,’’ Bathman said.
Bathman was also thrilled with the debut performance of Jordan Michel, 15.
The brother of another star Gator, Bailey Michel, who is in Melbourne studying, Bathman was thrilled with what the junior elite basketballer produced.
‘‘He showed poise and maturity beyond his years ... he handled the pressure well and got a couple of assists and a couple of rebounds,’’ he said.
With the Gators expected to win both games at the weekend, Bathman said it was important to take the spoils in matches his side entered as favourite.
‘‘It was a very good weekend in terms of results ... to be fair we played teams that are not on the top of the ladder with players to still come in, but we did what we should have,’’ he said.