Big V Grand Finals (Week 1): Stingrays men, Hawks women on championship brink

Corio Bay’s men and Ringwood’s women are on the brink of securing the 2014 Big V championships after first-up away wins, leaving both sides needing just one win from two home games next weekend to clinch the title.

State Championship Men

Corio Bay is on the verge of back-to-back titles after a 92-85 away win at Ringwood in game one of the grand final series. The Stingrays let an eight-point three-quarter time lead slip as the Hawks rocketed home to force overtime, before the visitors regrouped in the extra period to take a 1-0 series advantage as they head back home for games two and three. Both sides traded baskets in the thrilling final moments of regulation before Bryan Dougher’s basket with 18 seconds on the clock eventually forced the extra five minutes. Duane Johnson (25 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks) and Ma’Alo Hicks (23 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks) were superb at both ends for the Stingrays, while Jason Reardon typically ventured into triple-double territory with 14 points, 15 boards and 7 assists. Dougher was clearly Ringwood’s best, finishing with 27 points as Marcus Ruh (7 points, 3-15 FG) struggled to get into the match. Despite forcing overtime, the Hawks face an uphill battle to capture the title, needing two straight away wins against a side that has only lost once at home in 2014.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

State Championship Women

Ringwood used a 20-11 first term to catapult them to a 67-53 win over Hume City in game one of the grand final series as they look to turn the tables on the Broncos by reversing last year’s grand final result. The home side only managed to make 17 field goals for the entire match as the Hawks applied the clamps at the defensive end. In a battle of the two MVP favourites for 2014, Amber Hegge (23 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 9-15 FG) got the better of Colleen Planeta (17 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks, 6-20 FG) to steer her side to victory as the Hawks’ interior defence stood strong. Emma Beddome finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds in a strong double-double for the victors to lend a hand to her star teammate, while Lauren Bennett finished with 16 points and 10 boards as the only other Bronco to hit double digits outside of Planeta. Hume City will need to regroup quickly as they now face two must-win clashes away from home, with Ringwood needing just one win from two home games to claim the title.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

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