After several heartbreaking losses in recent weeks, Benalla Breakers have broken free of the shackles to register their second win of the CBL season on Sunday.
Coming face-to-face with Shepparton for the second time this season, the Breakers scored their first ever win in front of a home crowd, outplaying the Gators by 22 points.
“It’s always good to win, and it was good reward for effort for the boys,” Benalla coach Wally Armstrong said.
“I felt we deserved another win. We’ve fallen just short in about five games where we were right in the hunt.
“But we’re starting to believe in what we are doing.
“We scored off the bench which was good, and we had two kids (Flynn Sheppard and Chelton Orchard) fill in and they were very helpful.”
With both team's coming off Saturday night matches, the Breakers ran out the clock the better of the two, with a returning Patrick Mahoney (21 points) leading the home side's offence.
“Early on Pat wasn't hitting the scoreboard, but he played a solid defence,” Armstrong said.
“After half-time, he started to find his range.”
Benalla finishes the weekend with a one-all record, following a Saturday night loss against premiership favourites Wallan at RB Robson Stadium.
The Panthers made light of the Breakers, beating the visitors by 36 points.
Down by 25 points at the main break, the Breakers returned to the court more competitive in the second half, but it was the star power of Leo Viitala (22 points) which proved too hard to combat.
With a bye this weekend, the Breakers will return to their home court on Saturday, December 14, to take on Wodonga Wolves, before facing the Wallan Panthers once again on Sunday.
With only two weeks separating the two clashes against the Panthers, Armstrong said it was the team's goal to go one better in the rematch.
“We know where we need to be now to be the best,” Armstrong said.
“We’ve played the best and they beat us quite easily, but we can take a lot out of the game.
“We played good basketball at times, and at different stages we played ordinary basketball.
“We'll talk at training about how to adjust our defence to combat some of (Wallan's) better players, and how to make our offence work a bit better.
“We'll implement a plan, and maybe we can be the side to beat them this year.”
Benalla Breakers 59
Wallan Panthers 95
Top scorers: Tom Moloney 13, Lachy Kego 12
Benalla Breakers 80
Shepparton Gators 58
Top scorers: Patrick Mahoney 21, Lachy Kego 16