Gators happy, but not satisfied


Tara Murray

They may be undefeated, but the Altona Gators know there’s plenty of work to do in the Big V women’s division 2 competition.

The Gators have won their first seven matches, with periods of brilliance, but have struggled to put together consistent four quarter performances.

Gators coach Cameron Wilkosz said it’s hard to be disappointed with such a good start to the season.

“We’re not doing too bad,” he said. “We’ve had a pretty hot start to the season.

“We’ve had a couple of injuries that we’ve had to manage, but we’re pretty happy with how it’s going.”

The injuries have left the Gators with just seven players in their normal squad.

Reyhan Aziz injured her knee in round one and Kendall Hawea fractured her ankle and tore ligaments. She’ll be out for four to six weeks, maybe even six to eight weeks.

Wilkosz said it’s something they will have to work around, which they’ve done well so far.

“Only having nine players and getting some long term injuries isn’t great,” he said.

“We’ve tried not to get in anyone in as we wanted to keep it Altona players as much as we can.

“One of the under-18s has stepped up to the team for the season in a development role to give us 10 players including injuries.

“We’re trying to not disrupt the youth league side, as they are doing well.”

The Gators players have been sharing the load in the absence of the two key players, with four players averaging double figure points per game.

Sharna Appleby is leading the way with more than 20 points per game.

Appleby missed several games last season through injury.

“She is a weapon,” Wilkosz said. “I’ve had the luxury to coach her both in Bendigo and Altona.

“She’s got a bit longer leash to be able to go about things and the other girls are finding that out.

“It’s nice though, one game Sharna only had four points, but we won by 30 points.”

Wilkosz said while they were happy they know that they can still get better.

“We scraped through a couple of games,” he said. “Round one, we won by one point.

“We need to put together a four quarter performance. We have exploded in parts.

“A couple of weeks ago against Gippsland we were losing at quarter time by five points, but winning at half time by 20 points.

“We play a quarter of basketball and then put the cue in the rack.”

The Gators will have their biggest test on Sunday against the RMIT Redbacks. The Redbacks sit on top of the ladder.

Wilkosz said they would get a lot out of the game no matter the result.

“We are really looking forward to the test,” he said.

“There are no such thing as wins and loss, it’s wins and lessons. Sometimes losses are a good thing, but we would like to be 8-0 though.