Big V Grand Finals (Week 2): Hawks men, Broncos women snatch unlikely championships

Ringwood’s men and Hume City’s women came back from 1-0 down to win two straight games away from home and snatch their respective 2014 Big V titles.

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State Championship Men

Ringwood entered the weekend needing two straight away wins to claim the championship and began strongly with a 91-83 win over Corio Bay, forcing a game three in the process. Despite missing star scorer Bryan Dougher, the Hawks rallied behind the impressive Marcus Ruh (22 points) to pick themselves off the canvas and keep their season alive at the expense of the Stingrays. Trevor Latham (15 points, 6 rebounds) and Willie Weimer (13 points) were brilliant off the bench while Shaun Clarke finished with a typical 12-point, 12-rebound performance. The Stingrays, who had lost just once at home all season, imploded to shoot just 35% despite being the best shooting team in the league over the year and fell to the defeat despite some impressive individual performance from Jason Reardon (13 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists) and Scooter Renkin (32 points, 4 rebounds). Ma’Alo Hicks was held to just 5 points on 2-of-9 shooting as he fouled out in 23 minutes.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

The Hawks kept that momentum going into Sunday with another brilliant performance to stun the Stingrays again, this time claiming a 93-88 win and the 2014 Big V championship that came with it. An up-and-down match saw the Hawks hold the home side at bay in the final term, maintaining a buffer for much of the run home and limiting the Stingrays to just 15 points for the quarter. Marcus Ruh again stepped up to finish with 29 points, while Trent Zomer (17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) relished his extra minutes to come up big for the visitors. Ma’Alo Hicks bounced back for Corio Bay to finished with 25 points, 8 boards and 5 assists, while Jason Reardon added 20 points, 9 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals but the influences of stars Duane Johnson (13 points, 12 rebounds, 4-13 FG) and Scooter Renkin (16 points, 4-15 FG) were curbed as their side was left ruing a missed opportunity to win their second successive championship and the Hawks claimed the 2014 title.

State Championship Women

Hume City came out firing to claim a 68-54 win over Ringwood and force a game three. Despite a strong start by the Hawks, the Broncos rallied back and produced a barnstorming 36-22 second half to keep their season alive against the odds-on title favourites. After being well-held in game one, Colleen Planeta exploded for 26 points, 6 boards and 6 blocks to be the best player on the court by a long way, while Lauren Bennett (13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) was also superb at both ends of the floor. The Hawks shot the ball at just 27% and couldn’t break the shackles applied by their opponents, with only Amber Hegge (17 points, 8 rebounds) and Inez Lie (14 points) reaching double figures, with Hegge only managing to shoot 5-of-15 on the night despite going at 57% for the season. Strong contributors Emma Beddome (6 points, 3-11 FG) and Tara Blair (2 points, 1-12 FG, 0-8 3PT) failed to fire as the series extended into a third and deciding matchup.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

Hume City again applied the defensive shackles in the deciding contest to claim a 65-59 upset win and a second straight Big V championship, leaving the Hawks to be the bridesmaids once more. A huge 21-8 second term saw the Broncos grab a decisive lead and, despite a second half rally by the home side, they were not to be denied. Ringwood shoot just 28% again, however this time Amber Hegge’s night was cut short after 18 minutes by injury, leaving Hume to take full advantage as Colleen Planeta (24 points, 14 rebounds) played all forty minutes. Lauren Bennett was again brilliant with 15 points, 4 boards and 3 assists while Jacinta Scott added 12 points and 4 assists in a solid outing. Despite playing less than half the game, Hegge (16 points, 6-9 FG) topped the scoring for the home side as their much-improved depth went missing at the most crucial of times. Michelle Kurowski was the next best with 13 points before fouling out, leaving the Hawks to miss both of their imports down the stretch as their stellar season turned into a nightmare and the Broncos were crowned champions.

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