The under-16 Shepparton Gators boys have hit a form slump at the wrong end of the Victorian Junior Basketball League Championship Reserve season.
Josh Waight’s charges have won just one match in their past seven after going down 42-69 to Bendigo on Friday night to slip to eighth position on the table.
‘‘It was a disappointing game, we didn’t come to play and they did,’’ Waight said.
‘‘There’s still plenty of enthusiasm around, we’ve just got to bounce back this week.’’
The Gators suffered the loss despite an outstanding display of shooting from Mitch Markby, who dropped a game-high 23 points.
‘‘He was fantastic, it was probably one of his best games of the year, he just kept putting the ball in the basket and rebounded well as well,’’ Waight said.
Charlie Young (eight points), Tom Brown (four), Oscar Hide (four), Josh Evans (two) and Isaac Dowling (one) also hit the scoreboard during the defeat.
The Gators will taste finals action this season, but first must take on ladder-leader Eltham in the final round of the regular fixture.
The top-eight system works the same was as the AFL finals do, with the top four securing a double chance and the rest battling it out through elimination finals.
‘‘We’ll go into it with nothing to lose and hopefully we can knock off a few teams and take a few scalps,’’ Waight said.
‘‘We know we can do it when we play at our best, we just all have to keep working in the same direction.’’
Tony Long’s under-16 girls could not finish the Metro Two season on a high, losing 37-52 to Bellarine.
The Gators finished the year with five wins, 11 losses and two draws in eighth spot, just four points from fifth-placed Broadmeadows and a finals berth.
●Jeremy Tyndall’s Kilsyth Cobras could not complete a National Wheelchair Basketball League three-peat at the weekend, losing the bronze medal clash by just three points.
The Cobras lost to eventual champion Wollongong 54-78 in Friday night’s semi final before falling to the Sydney Metro Blues 83-87 in the preliminary final on Saturday.
Tyndall managed six points, two rebounds and an assist from 48 minutes on court across the three matches.