WODONGA kept its CBL title claims alive with a shock 76-72 win over league leader Albury yesterday.
The Wolves started 2014 in the best way possible, clinching the battle of the Border in front of a solid crowd at the Wodonga Leisure Centre.
In a see-sawing affair, Wodonga rallied after falling behind by 10 points in the first quarter to regain the lead by three-quarter-time.
The clash was highlighted by a shootout between a red-hot Albury’s Darcy Harding and Wodonga’s Josh McKay,
Harding (36 points) and McKay (32) did the bulk of the damage on the scoresheet for their respective sides.
Wolves’ coach Troy Crawford was delighted to start the year with a win over the arch-rival.
“It was very tight in the end,” Crawford said.
“It was really important that we held on, and thankfully we did.
“We really need to win this one, more than they did, I think.”
With trips to Wangaratta, Shepparton and Seymour to finish the regular season, Crawford said it was vital the Wolves took the honours yesterday.
Wodonga also trashed Echuca 105-75 down the river on Saturday night.
The playoff race is still hot and Crawford is optimistic about pinching second spot, and home-court advantage, from Shepparton in the coming weeks.
“We’ve still got a lot of tough games to come,” he said.
“Shepp in Shepp in a few weeks will be a big one.”
It wasn’t a completely wasted weekend for the Cougars, with Albury flogging Wangaratta on Saturday night.
Harding was again on fire for the Cougars, scoring 26 points and getting solid support from Sawyer Dearborn with 22.
The Wodonga Lady Wolves kept their unbeaten run alive with easy wins over Echuca (68-56) and then Albury (72-47), when Tenille Collins and Alex Trezise led the way.
Despite 27 points from Sarah Moore, the Lady Cougars also fell easily to Wangaratta on Saturday.