Big V Round 11: Broncos men snap losing streak as Cougars secure big double over Boomers

Hume City’s men snapped a seven game losing streak and McKinnon’s men and women both secured huge wins over Bulleen to headline round 11 Big V action. The Broncos beat Diamond Valley to get their first win in six weeks, while the both Cougars sides cemented fourth spot in their respective competitions by beating finals rivals Bulleen, with the women in particular putting three games between themselves and the Boomers as the season heads into the home stretch.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

State Championship Men

The home debut of Corey Maynard sparked McKinnon to a hard-fought 82-80 win over Bulleen. Nothing could separate the sides after both the first and second quarters but a 24-17 third term set the Cougars on their way before they held on in the tense final stages, with Liam Norton’s (13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) game-tying runner off target. Zaine Allen (22 points, 3 steals) and Maynard (20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) led their side, despite the latter struggling with just 8-of-25 shooting from the field, while Marcus Timmons neared a triple-double with 10 points, 16 boards and 7 assists in a vintage display. The Boomers were led by Mark Whitehead (19 points, 7 rebounds, 8-10 FG) off the bench, with Thadd Varmall (11 points, 5-19 FG) struggling all night. The Cougars jumped the Boomers into fourth spot as a result of the win and are looking good to make a surprise finals appearance in their debut state championship season.

Hume City snapped a seven game losing streak with a 101-96 win over Diamond Valley, remarkably putting the Broncos back in finals contention in the process. Both teams shot the ball well in an entertaining affair as the Broncos rallied from a halftime deficit to record their first win in six weeks. Jermaine Maybank (24 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists) was on fire, recording a triple-double and leading the Broncos to the much-needed win, while fellow American Jamal Brown added 21 points and 9 boards. The Eagles were unable to quell the influence of the two Hume stars despite the best efforts of Matt Fennell (28 points, 9 rebounds). The result means that six teams will head into the break with 8 losses apiece in a mid-table logjam.

Sherbrooke took care of Melbourne in an 84-61 win; with the Suns cruising after a 43-21 opening half put the result to bed. Grant Johnson (30 points, 11-11 FG, 6-6 FT) didn’t miss a shot and was simply unstoppable, while Titus Robinson (20 points, 13 rebounds) also got off the leash as the young Tigers were torn apart. Geremy McKay, who came off the bench in this contest, led the Tigers with 17 points and 5 boards. The Tigers fell to 2-13 after a sixth straight loss, while the Suns bounced back from a disappointing weekend with a solid start to their double header.

Corio Bay cruised to a 101-81 win over Werribee thanks to a 57-37 opening half. The Devils were not match for the title favourites as Ma’Alo Hicks (26 points, 9 rebounds, 12-14 FG) turned it on to lead the Stingrays to victory. Jason Reardon (21 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) and Duane Johnson (20 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists) were also prolific, while for the Devils it was Rustin Dowd (23 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) who was the standout as Aaron McCuin (12 points, 10 rebounds) was kept quiet by his lofty standards.

Ringwood obliterated Eltham 100-53 in a match which showed the huge gap between the top sides and the bottom. A 32-8 first term turned into a 55-18 halftime lead and 80-34 margin at the final change in a show of utter dominance from the Hawks as they held their opponents to just 17-of-68 shooting for the match. Bryan Dougher (24 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) led five players in double figures, including Luke Egan with 17 points and 4 boards off the bench. Elliot Carr (14 points, 6 rebounds) led the disappointing Wildcats, who sit only percentage ahead of Melbourne at the bottom of the table.

Whittlesea and Hawthorn played out a thriller as the Pacers edged the Magic 68-67. The final term turned into a defensive grind as the Pacers outscored their opponents 16-9 to claim the win, with Jason Dirkx (17 points, 7 rebounds) leading the way and Michael Petridis (15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) contributing a little bit of everything. The home side had to overcome Jay Allen’s 34 points as he accounted for more than half of the Magic’s scoring, but the star shooter couldn’t get his buzzer beater to fall as Whittlesea held on. The win keeps the Pacers in the mix for an unlikely finals berth, given the absence of Jermaine Williams through injury, while Hawthorn remains in a three-way race to avoid the wooden spoon.

Sherbrooke completed a 2-0 weekend with an 88-69 victory over struggling Eltham. Grant Johnson (24 points, 7 rebounds) completed yet another strong weekend as he firmed for 2014 MVP honours, while Titus Robinson (14 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks) and Nathan Truman (14 points, 5 rebounds) also contributed strongly to the victory for the home side. The Wildcats were led by Kristian Williams, who netted 13 points, grabbed 7 boards and dished out 6 assists in a bright spot for an otherwise gloomy weekend for Eltham. The Suns moved to 9-8 and consolidated fifth spot ahead of the break and are looking good to return to finals action after a number of seasons in the wilderness.

Waverley won their fifth straight contest with a 110-91 victory over a tired-looking Bulleen outfit. All five starters reached double figures as the Falcons had a whopping 31 assists to just 13 for the Boomers, with Brad Kelleher (22 points, 9 assists) and Sedale Threatt (11 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists) chief contributors. Chris Arkell (15 points, 7 rebounds) and Ivan Platenik (14 points, 9 rebounds) were also solid without needing to be spectacular for the formidable Falcons, while for the Boomers it was Liam Norton (28 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) keeping his side in it as Thadd Varmall (5 points, 1-10 FG) failed to fire for the second straight game. The Boomers are now clinging to sixth spot and sit firmly amidst the massive mid-table jam of sides vying for a finals berth.

State Championship Women

McKinnon fought off a determined Bulleen side to record a gritty 59-54 win, putting three games between themselves and their opponents on the ladder in the process and all-but securing a finals spot. In a match where neither side got going offensively, the likes of Julie Brookhouse (13 points, 5 rebounds), Nicole Zammit (12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) and Alex Lough (11 points, 10 rebounds) continually hit shots when the Cougars needed them. Tara Booker was Bulleen’s best with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks before fouling out, and looks to be a formidable prospect for opponents going forward, while Funda Nakkasoglu netting 14 points despite shooting 4-of-18 from the floor. The Boomers had just 5 assists for the match and slipped to a 5-6 record for the season, looking destined to miss out on a finals berth.

Eltham provided the upset of the round with a shock 59-51 win over Hume City. The victory propelled the Wildcats to a 5-5 record and back into distant finals contention, as Isabella Brancatisano (16 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals) and Rebecca Guglielmino (10 points, 13 rebounds) shone despite Hayley Munro’s (4 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists) ongoing offensive struggles. The Broncos got 23 points, 15 boards and 6 blocks from Colleen Planeta but she had little support, with the entire bench combining for 0-for-10 shooting and failing to score. Hume remains second despite the loss but is now facing heat from Waverley and McKinnon to hold onto a home semi-final.

Ringwood opened with a 24-4 first term to blow Sherbrooke away, recording a 75-55 victory despite scoring just 5 points in the second quarter. A 57-26 smashing on the boards proved far too much for the Suns to overcome as Amber Hegge (21 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) did as she pleased and Michelle Kurowski (14 points, 9 rebounds) added some scoring punch from the outside. Youngster Sarah Waterhouse (16 points) again showed she has a bright future ahead for the Suns, while Sarah Millar added 14 points and 5 boards as she too continued her rich vein of form. The Hawks will take top spot into the bye weekend while the Suns will have time to think about how to arrest an eight game losing streak.

Melbourne recorded just their second win of the season with a 70-57 win over the disappointing Warrandyte Venom. A 15-5 first term set up the victory for the Tigers, with Mel Prior (20 points, 7 rebounds) finding some form and Ilena Gentile adding 18 points of her own. Amanda Hedereics (15 points, 12 rebounds) led the Venom, who slipped to 2-9 and were relegated back to the bottom of the ladder as a result of the loss. In a match marred by fouls, the Tigers took advantage of their 33 trips to the line in netting 25 points while the Venom could only manage 16-of-30 shooting from the stripe.

Waverley thumped a hapless Diamond Valley side, with a 72-37 score line telling the story. The Eagles were comprehensively beaten in every quarter and were spared further embarrassment only by a low-scoring 10-5 final quarter. Tegan Cunningham top scored for the Falcons with 16 points and 15 boards but could only manage 7-of-21 shooting and committed 5 turnovers, while Brigitte Ardossi (12 points, 12 rebounds) played just 22 minutes of the contest as the benches were emptied early. Selena Wawrzyniak topped the sheet with just 9 points for the Eagles as Carly Turner (4 points, 5 rebounds, 2-11 FG) endured a horror night and managed just 17 minutes before sitting for the rest of the match.

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