Shouting the Bartlett

December 19, 2017

Shepparton Gators star Matt Bartlett scored a combined 60 points during the weekend double-header.

Shepparton has been nothing short of perfect after nine matches of the Country Basketball League season.

The Gators have dominated the north-east men’s division, winning every game of the campaign up to the Christmas break.

The fun continued for Josh Waight’s charges at the weekend, with an away double-header yielding another pair of victories after entering the fixtures with a 7-0 record.

Superstar Matt Bartlett lit up the Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre on Saturday night against the Wolves, dropping 35 points to spearhead a 79-73 triumph.

The Gators trailed at stages of the second, third and last quarters, but pulled away in the final minutes to once again prove unbeatable.

‘‘It was a really good challenge, we played some really good basketball in the last couple of minutes to get the win,’’ Waight said.

Nick Dodd (15 points), Sam Beks (13) and Dylan Wayman (11) all contributed double-figure scores to support Bartlett well.

The Gators took their winning momentum into Sunday’s match against Wallan, rarely looking troubled in an 81-57 drubbing, despite having a poor second term.

‘‘We started really well which set the tone early, but when we let them back into it, it was a bit disappointing,’’ Waight said.

The Panthers whittled a 14-point quarter-time deficit down to just two within four minutes of the second stanza, but after pushing the lead back out to 12 at the main break the Gators piled on 25 points to four in the third to kill the contest.

‘‘We had a really good first and third quarter, but we really need to focus on having four good quarters, not just two,’’ Waight said.

Bartlett again led the way with a match-high 25 points, but found ample help in the form of Gabe Evans (12), Josh La Batlus, Sam Beks and Dylan Wayman (eight apiece).

Nine Gators scored four points or more in the rout, highlighting the versatility of Waight’s team.

‘‘It was fantastic, that’s what we’ve harped on all year is to have multiple scorers and not just rely on one player,’’ Waight said.

The Gators resume the CBL season on January 6 at the Shepparton Sports Stadium when they host Myrtleford.

‘‘We’ve gotten used to it now, playing and then having a week off, but it will be good to freshen ourselves up now,’’ Waight said.

‘‘Hopefully we can keep winning and keep our momentum going even though we’re having a break.’’

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