Basketballers eye top four spot

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A top four finish is in sight for Penrith’s men’s Waratah Championship League (WCL) side after a huge win over the Hornsby Spiders last Saturday at Penrith Sports Stadium.

The Panthers took care of the Spiders with ease defeating them 88-73 with the two Bens – Ben Ellsworth and Ben Kearins – leading the way.

Ellsworth shot 29 points and took an incredible 17 boards, whilst young-gun Kearins made it rain with 21 points.
Speaking with the Weekender, Panthers coach Jeff Cooper said he was pleased with his side’s commitment in defence as well as their effort at the free-throw line.

“I think lately we are doing a better job of getting more free-throws than our opposition as well as not putting them on the free-throw line as much,” he said.

“It’s just an all-round team effort again which makes a big difference.”

Penrith have just five games remaining in the WCL season where they’ll look to consolidate their spot in the final six. Although they may have to do it without their inspirational captain, Joshua Morehead, who injured his ankle against the Spiders.

“We’re sitting in fourth spot at present – fourth through to ninth is pretty tight,” Cooper said.

“If we can finish in fourth that will give us home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. If we finish fifth or sixth, we’ll play away, which makes it harder.”

The Panthers will look to kickstart their run home with a victory against the 10th-placed Illawarra Hawks at 5pm this Saturday at Penrith Sports Stadium. In round eight they beat the Hawks by seven points.

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