By Hayley Wildes
The return of Bec Cole wasn’t enough for the NBL1 Rangers women against Waverley, but the men got the job done in the Sunday afternoon away double-header.
Playing her first game for Dandenong since 18 May, Cole returned in fine fashion against the Falcons, but the Rangers fell short, 77-66.
A slow start saw the Rangers fall behind 23-12 after one quarter and despite a fightback over the second and third quarters, Dandenong couldn’t get its offense going in the fourth and lost by 11 points.
Cole (22 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals) and Aimie Clydesdale (19 points and 3 rebounds) were the standouts for Dandenong. The loss sees the Rangers fall to 10-7 on the season to sit seventh.
In a hugely important game in the context of their season, the Rangers men were too good for the Falcons as a great team effort ensured Dandenong got the win.
Dexter Kernich-Drew (28 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists), Matt Kenyon (18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists) and Lucas Barker (12 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals) were a deadly trio, while Deng Puoch (12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists) provided plenty of energy off the bench.
Every comeback attempt from the Falcons was thwarted by the Rangers with a big bucket and eventually the Rangers claimed a 95-82 win to improve to 9-8 on the season and sit sixth on the ladder.
With just three games left in the regular season, both teams face crucial away clashes against the Albury-Wodonga Bandits on Saturday night.