Big V Round 12: Contenders emerge as finals picture takes shape

The men’s top six and women’s top four are starting to well and truly take shape in the 2014 State Championship competitions, with the chasing pack having some ground to make up as the season moves into the final six weeks.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

State Championship Men

Corio Bay romped to a 94-63 win over Whittlesea to open round twelve action, with the Stingrays comfortably finishing on top in almost every statistical category in the dominant display. Only seven players bothered the scorers for the home side but six of those reached double figures as Scooter Renkin (20 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists), Duane Johnson (17 points, 18 assists) and Jason Reardon (13 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists) all got off the leash. Jason Dirkx (11 points) was the only Pacer in double figures as the undermanned visitors continued their freefall since Jermaine Williams’ Achilles injury.

Ringwood used a 27-10 third term to hold on for a 92-86 win over a determined but outclassed Diamond Valley on the back of a Bryan Dougher master class. The Hawks import finished with 38 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists to be the dominant player on the court and lead his side to an important win in their quest for a top two finish. Matt Reynolds (20 points) and Adam Moore (15 points, 11 rebounds) led the Eagles, who slipped to a 7-9 record to sit a game outside the top six.

McKinnon survived a huge comeback from Hume City to record a 101-93 victory and consolidate a spot in the top six. The Cougars led by 27 points at halftime but had that lead cut to single figures in the fourth quarter by the rampant Broncos, who got plenty from import duo Jermaine Maybank (29 points, 9 rebounds) and Jamal Brown (26 points, 10 rebounds). The damage had been done, however, as a big night from Kale Harrison (32 points, 5 rebounds, 11-14 FG) and support from Zaine Allen (25 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) saw the Cougars get home.

Waverley blew Hawthorn away with a big four-quarter performance that saw the Falcons finish 111-66 victors. The game was over at halftime after a 24-7 second quarter by the visitors gave them a 28-point lead, with Brad Kelleher (26 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists in just 26 minutes) and Chris Arkell (20 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks) doing the damage as the benches were emptied early. Ben Waldren (28 points, 9 rebounds) continued his breakout season in limited minutes as his side was left to lick their wounds as they struggled for consistent offense without star scorer Jay Allen.

Bulleen thrashed an under-strength Melbourne 84-48 to consolidate sixth spot ahead of a big chasing pack of finals contenders. The Boomer squared their season at 8-8 as the Tigers, who were missing their entire first-choice starting five, fell away after a promising start. A 51-21 rebound count and 54% shooting to just 28% were indicative of the gap between the sides as Thadd Varmall (17 points) led the Boomers and Karl Beston and Scott Cuffe each added 16 points and 9 boards apiece. Lachlan Anthony (13 points) led the Tigers.

Eltham ground out a 78-70 win over Werribee to move clear of the bottom two on the ladder in an impressive performance. Simon Bradbury (18 points, 12 rebounds) led five players in double figures for the well-balanced ‘Cats, with Kristian Williams (8 rebounds, 5 assists), Elliot Carr (8 rebounds, 4 assists) and James Malvaso (7 rebounds) each adding 13 points. Rustin Dowd (16 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals) was the best for the disappointing Devils, who fell off the finals pace with the loss.

Sherbrooke pushed out a 72-62 win over an improved Hawthorn side, who were in the contest for the full 40 minutes just 24 hours after being handed a devastating defeat by Waverley. The Suns got home on the back of star import duo Grant Johnson (22 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists) and Titus Robinson (21 points, 16 rebounds, 4 blocks) but will need to have a better balance of scoring if they are to challenge to top sides. Hawthorn, who again missed Jay Allen, got another big game out of Ben Waldren, with the young gun finishing off a strong weekend with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Hume City grabbed a vital win against Werribee, holding on for an 82-78 victory despite a late charge by the Devils. In an even contest, the Broncos found a way home on the back of star duo Jermaine Maybank (25 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists) and Jamal Brown (20 points, 12 rebounds) who have both found form to coincide with their side’s push back up the ladder. Rustin Dowd again led the Devils with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists as the visitors struggled for offensive consistency, with the luxury of two in-form imports seeing the home team grab the win.

Waverley sent under-strength Melbourne packing as the Tigers fell to a second straight heavy defeat in a 91-53 result. The Falcons were far too good for the Tigers, who had nowhere near the scoring power needed to match their opponents. Despite the absence of Sedale Threatt, the visitors were never challenged as Ivan Platenik (22 points, 8 rebounds) and Chris Arkell (19 points, 14 rebounds) led the way despite playing limited minutes for the second straight game. Lachlan Anthony (11 points) was the only Tiger in double figures.

Ringwood eased to a 100-80 win over struggling Whittlesea to cap off round twelve and stay right in the race for a top two finish. Trevor Latham came up big for the Hawks inside, finishing with 29 points on 13-of-19 shooting to go along with 15 rebounds, while Bryan Dougher completed a strong weekend with 24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Michael Petridis (17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) and Jason Dirkx (16 points, 6 rebounds) led the way for the home side, who are falling out of finals contention at an alarming rate.

State Championship Women

McKinnon got the job done over Diamond Valley in a dour affair to kick off round twelve, with the Cougars recording a 55-39 win. Neither team could manage over 17 points in any quarter and the second half yield a combined 42 points, but a 17-6 last quarter ended any chance of a major upset by the Eagles. Alex Lough (14 points, 5 rebounds, 5-7 FG) and Laura Thomas (10 points, 7 rebounds) were the only Cougars to reach double figures, while for the Eagles it was Carly Turner (8 rebounds) and Kelli Schleibs leading the way with 8 points apiece.

Bulleen trounced a hapless Melbourne side 93-54 despite being without import Tara Booker for the matchup. Funda Nakkasoglu’s star continued to rise with 23 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists while Brodie Theodore (14 points in 11 minutes) and Tennille Nash (13 points, 5 rebounds) added the support as every player scored at least four points each. Tigers import Sydnei Moss (17 points, 9 rebounds) was the only player to reach double figures but went 5-of-20 from the field as her side was outscored 30-7 in the first quarter and 28-10 in the last.

Ringwood saw off Eltham with a 76-57 victory that consolidated first place and set the Wildcats’ finals aspirations back. Michelle Kurowski (18 points, 4 rebounds) and Amber Hegge (17 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks) led the way as the Hawks’ ball movement (18 assists to just 8 for the Wildcats) saw them get home. Hayley Munro (13 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals) returned to form in good news for Eltham but lacked support outside of Isabella Brancatisano (14 points) as the ‘Cats slumped to 5-6 and two and a half games off the finals pace.

Sherbrooke broke an eight game losing streak with a low-scoring 52-44 win over fellow strugglers Warrandyte. A 24-13 opening term propelled the Suns to the win despite a third quarter that saw them score just 3 points on 1-of-12 shooting and their opponents just 5 points on 2-of-19. Samantha Waterhouse’s impressive form continued as she netted 14 points and pulled in 5 rebounds, while Sarah Millar finished with 13 points and 4 assists. Tiffany Hodgson (9 points) led the Venom in yet another disappointing defeat as they continue to struggle for consistent offense.

Hume City used a 27-13 third quarter to upset Waverley 82-67 and put the Falcons within touching distance of the chasing pack sitting outside the top four. Colleen Planeta (26 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists) was superb once again and is going to be tough to stop down the stretch of the season, while Lauren Bennett (12 points, 5 rebounds) and Mua Laloifi (11 points) also chimed in. The Falcons got 20 points, 13 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals from Tegan Cunningham before she fouled out and the outputs of Tahlia Higgs (16 points, 6 rebounds) and Brigitte Ardossi (9 points, 5 rebounds) were also limited due to foul trouble as their side crashed to 8-4 to sit two wins clear of Bulleen in fifth.

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