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Big V Semi/Preliminary Finals: Top two men, women advance to decider
Corio Bay and Ringwood will face off for the men’s 2014 championship after both made their way through to the deciding series with preliminary final wins, while Ringwood and Hume City completed clean sweeps in their semi-final series’ to also advance to a grand final in a rematch of last season’s decider.
State Championship Men
Ringwood recovered from a slow start to finish all over the top of Waverley in a 94-85 win which saw them reach the grand final series. The Falcons burst out to a 30-18 quarter time lead before the Hawks cut the margin to five at halftime and three at the final change. The home side then used a 29-17 final term to claim the win as the visitors went cold at the offensive end, finishing the match shooting at just 39% from the floor. Marcus Ruh led the Hawks brilliantly with 28 points, including a perfect 4-of-4 from deep, , while Bryan Dougher (4 rebounds, 3 assists) and Matt Snowball (5 rebounds, 5 assists) added 16 points apiece. Ivan Platenik led the Falcons with 20 points and 8 boards in a typically workmanlike performance but he couldn’t lead his side to a grand final appearance as their 2014 campaign was brought to an end.
Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media
Corio Bay used a blistering 27-10 second quarter run to eliminate Sherbrooke from the playoffs with an 86-72 victory. The Stingrays were challenged all the way by the Suns bar the second term when the home side completely dominated, and a 53-33 rebound count became too much for the visitors to get past as they were overwhelmed by the defending champions. Ma’Alo Hicks was brilliant with 28 points, 10 boards and 3 blocks, while Duane Johnson (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Jason Reardon (14 points, 17 rebounds, 7 assists) came up big when they were called into action. The Suns simply lacked the depth to go with their opponents as Grant Johnson (26 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) and Titus Robinson (20 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks) accounted for nearly two thirds of their sides’ offense. The Stingrays will now use their home court advantage earned in week one against the Hawks in a grand final series.
State Championship Women
Ringwood thumped Waverley to flex their championship muscle with an 80-55 win, wrapping up the series and sending the Falcons packing in the process. The home side dominated the first (26-11) and third (16-7) terms on the back of some more Amber Hegge (22 points, 9 rebounds, 8-9 FG) brilliance to grab the win, holding the Falcons to just 54 field goal attempts for the contest. Hegge got help from Tara Blair (14 points) and Sarah Yousef (12 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists) as they tuned up for the grand final by delivering a timely reminder of their capabilities. Waverley was led by Tegan Cunningham (18 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists) once again while Jackie Smith added 16 points and 5 assists to be the only other Falcon in double digits as their season was ended by the undisputed title favourites.
Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media
Hume City saw off another stern challenge from McKinnon to claim a 72-66 win and move into the grand final series to defend their title. Despite sweeping the Cougars, the Broncos could very well have been swept themselves as the total series margin finished at just eight points. In a tight and physical contest, the Broncos got home on the back of the performance of the season from MVP contender Colleen Planeta, who came up big with 42 points, 15 boards and 3 blocks, including 15 points in the final six minutes of the match. It was a different story for McKinnon, who relied on a balanced attack led by Nicole Zammit (15 points, 6 assists) but they simply couldn’t generate enough offense to go with the firepower of Planeta and the Broncos.
For full results, fixtures and ladders head to www.bigv.com.au or click here.