Wallan Panthers hope that a Big V division 2 grand final appearance is only the start of things to come for their women’s team.
In just their first season, the Panthers finished second on the ladder and won through to the grand final series.
While the Warrnambool Mermaids had their measure their measure, winning 2-0, Panthers coach Warren Taylor said there was a lot to take out of the season.
“We fell one step short of the ultimate goal in our first Big V season after succumbing to a seriously talented Warrnambool outfit in the grand final series,” Taylor said.
“But to make a grand final in our first season was an amazing effort and something every one of these girls should be so proud of.
“They were magnificent and when you consider some of the hurdles we had to get over through the season, just to be there was an incredible effort.
“We lost two seriously talented players through the season in Haylee Cooper-Maclean and Emmie O’Nial, so to compete the way we did in August was just so impressive.”
The Mermaids won the two grand final games, 83-39 and 70-58.
Taylor said the Mermaids took it up another level in the finals and they weren’t able to match it and they could have quite easily competed at a higher level.
He said game one was unlike anything the Panthers had experienced all season and the scoreboard reflected that in the first half.
It was another slow start in game two, but this time the Panthers fought back into the game after trailing by 27 points just before half time.
The Panthers won the third quarter 23-14, with Jacinta Scott putting on a show scoring 17 points.
The margin proved to be too great, with the Mermaids winning by 12 points.
Taylor said he hoped the disappointment of the result would help spur the side on next season.
Sarah Scott, Gemma Jackson and Jayda Hunter have all re-signed with Taylor looking to address a couple of areas.
“Our first priority is to address our lack of size and I am really hopeful we can bring a couple of quality bigs in to give us that inside presence at both ends.
“I am working hard to add one or two more first rate guards to help us go that extra step next year.”
One player who won’t be returning in Jacinta Scott who has retired after 344 Big V games across four different clubs.
Scott, who came out of retirement to play for the Panthers, was teh standout player for the side.
She was named in the Big V division 2 teams of the year.
The Panthers are holding open gym sessions on October 22 and 29 from 1pm at Robson Stadium, Wallan for players interested in joining the side.
For more details, contact Taylor at email@example.com