It was a night to remember for the Wodonga Wolves.
For the first time in the club’s history, both the men’s and women’s teams came home with the Country Basketball League North East title.
The sides travelled to Bendigo Stadium on Saturday night with the Lady Wolves holding on for a thrilling 79-75 victory against the hosts, before the men backed it up with an 89-63 demolition of Wallan.
Wolves’ coach Broady Mills was thrilled with the performance and admitted his side was inspired by the Lady Wolves’ result.
“It was a great effort by both teams,” Mills said.
“We watched the first quarter or so of their game and went off and got ready, but caught the end of it and they were able to get away with a close win.
“It definitely got the boys up and about.”
Wodonga blew Wallan away with a 29-8 opening term and controlled the match throughout.
“We’re usually a slow starting team,” Mills said.
“They came back at us a little bit in the second, but the boys kept composed and pushed it back out.”
Deba George was the standout with 32 points, including five threes, while Josh McKay (24 points), Harry Gibbs (12 points) and Mitch Donovan (10 points) played key roles.
“We shot the ball really well, Deba (George) and Harry Gibbs shot really well and spread their defence a fair bit,” Mills said.
“That helped big Josh McKay in the key and he had all the room in the world.”
It was Mills’ third CBL title as a player and his first as coach.
“Seeing all the boys develop throughout the year and getting to celebrate a grand final win makes me feel good,” he added.
The Lady Wolves were made to work a lot harder for their victory earlier in the night.
After opening up a handy 23-15 buffer at the first break and extending it to 45-36 at half-time, Bendigo began to claw its way back and got to 57-all heading into the last quarter.
However, the Lady Wolves held their nerve with scores still locked at 75-apiece in the dying stages.
Clutch free throws from Mel Kirby, who finished the night with a game-high 31 points, was enough to see them over the line.
Breanna Green was on fire from long range to net 16 points, while Casey Ardern (14 points) and Jade McCowan (10 points) also reached double figures.
The Lady Wolves were heavily beaten, 90-62, by the Bendigo Braves in their only other meeting earlier in the season.
Wodonga beat Bendigo for its last title in 2015.
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