Panthers plucked by Sea Eagles

The playoff aspirations of the 'Pioneer Tavern' Panthers men's team took a big hit on Sunday afternoon, June 15 at the Penrith Valley Regional Sports Centre, in Round 11 of the 2014 Waratah Championship League (WCL) competition.

Louis Brandt of Springwood hits a field goal for the Panthers.  File photo courtesy of Noel Rowsell (www.photexcellence.com.au).

Louis Brandt of Springwood hits a field goal for the Panthers. File photo courtesy of Noel Rowsell (www.photexcellence.com.au).

Thankfully, the 87-76 loss to the bottom-placed Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will only see the Panthers drop just one spot on the competition ladder from eighth to ninth.

The big winners from the weekend however are the Sea Eagles, who will jump from twelfth to eighth and thus be within striking distance of the top six, provided they can maintain this form.

Rumours had flown mid-week that outstanding local talent Angus Brandt (Springwood) would suit up for the Panthers for the remainder of the season.

Brandt has only just finished an outstanding five-year stint at Oregon State University and with a number of local NBL clubs chasing his signature, looks set to sign with the Sydney Kings.

That scenario ideally would have given Brandt the opportunity to play in the WCL with the Panthers.

Unfortunately, insurance coverage for Brandt had not been finalised and he would not have been covered, had he played.

Given the restricted number of games left in the season, missing Sunday's game has effectively made Brandt ineligible for the playoffs and he may not be able to suit up in any of the remaining rounds.

It was therefore ironic when current Kings point guard Kevin White dominated proceedings for the Sea Eagles, leading all scorers with 26 points and 13 boards.

Noah Cleur (19 points) led the scoring for the Panthers for the first time this season, ahead of Louis Brandt with 18 points and 11 boards and Nic Pozoglou 13 points and 9 boards.

Both Penrith teams face double-headers this weekend, firstly travelling to Condell Park on Saturday to play the Bankstown Bruins.

Sunday's games are both at home, with the men playing the fourth-placed Central Coast Crusaders at 1pm, followed by the Davlin Security Panthers women versus the last-placed Sea Eagles at 3pm.

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