Big V Round 2: Hawks men, Broncos women looking ominous
Round 2 saw some big results in both divisions, while the Ringwood men took an early scalp by knocking over a star-studded Bulleen side. Hume City remains perfect across both divisions after two weekends of action, with the club's women looking particularly dangerous.
Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media
State Championship Men
Melbourne and Bulleen kicked off the round, with the Boomers running over the top of the young Tigers after three-quarter time in a 78-63 win. With new import Lester Strong again at the end of the bench and out of commission, the Boomers relied on fellow American Thadd Varmall (22 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks) and point guard Liam Norton (21 points, 4 assists) to do the damage on the scoreboard, while Karl Beston chimed in with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Young gun Geremy McKay (18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals) kept the Tigers in it with an impressive all-round line but couldn’t lead his side to an unlikely win as an enormous upset beckoned.
Werribee managed to leave McKinnon with a 90-80 win in a see-sawing contest, with the Devils doing the damage after halftime. Jordan Hughes (25 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) was again the key for the Devils, with Rustin Dowd chiming in with 22 points as well. Former NBL superstar Marcus Timmons (17 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks) did it all for the Cougars but couldn’t get his side over the line for their breakthrough win at state championship level.
Hume City continued their strong start to 2014 with a 110-95 away win over Diamond Valley, with the Eagles only making the score line respectable with a 35-22 final term. Yuusuf Qaafow (26 points, 4 assists, 9-13 FG, 5-5 3PT) caught fire for the Broncos but got plenty of help from Jermaine Maybank (19 points, 8 assists) and Jamal Brown (18 points, 15 rebounds). Matthew Fennel’s 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting went to waste for the Eagles, who look to be very much a work in progress this season after pushing for finals in 2013.
Sherbrooke escaped with a 104-99 win over newcomers Hawthorn in a high-scoring clash. New import Grant Johnson exploded for 39 points and 10 rebounds, while fellow foreigner Titus Robinson (24 points, 7 rebounds) did his best to keep up. Jay Allen (25 points) was the best for the Magic, while young gun Ben Waldren (18 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals) stuffed the stat sheet in just 23 minutes on court.
A huge upset was avoided when Corio Bay got home with a 74-67 win over a spirited Eltham side on Saturday night. The Stingrays got plenty of effort from Ma’Alo Hicks (18 points, 14 rebounds) and Duane Johnson (18 points, 5 rebounds) but lacked their usual polish as they shot just 39% from the floor and 15% from deep. Luckily for them the Wildcats managed just 38% themselves, with only James Malvaso’s 19 points and Trevor Smyth’s (11 points, 5-6 FG) efficient night keeping the ‘Cats close to the highly-fancied Stingers.
Ringwood began their weekend with an impressive 101-68 rout of Whittlesea. A 50-22 second half blew the Pacers out of the water after they had stayed in touch throughout the first, with Bryan Dougher (28 points) proving too much to handle for the visitors. Marcus Ruh (20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals) was just as good, while Shaun Clarke (15 points, 13 rebounds) had a solid double-double. Michael Petridis came up with 20 points and 12 rebounds to again lead the Pacers, but the Division One champions of 2013 ran out of firepower after halftime against a real championship contender.
Hume stayed unbeaten on Sunday with a scrappy 90-76 win over Hawthorn, consigning the Magic to their third straight loss since making the jump to State Championship for 2014. The visitors led by two in a tight first half before the Broncos blew them away in the second twenty, with Jamal Brown’s 24 points and 20 rebounds putting him firmly in the top echelon for big men so far this season. Yusuf Qaafow (23 points, 9 assists, 9-13 FG) completed a strong weekend as well for the home side, while Jay Allen (31 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) was the clear best for the Magic.
Corio Bay regained their hot shooting touch with a blistering 113-81 win over a hapless Diamond Valley. The Stingrays remained undefeated on the back of big performances from Scooter Renkin (24 points, 6 assists), Duane Johnson (23 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) and Jason Reardon (20 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists). The Eagles again lacked support for Matt Fennell (23 points, 6 rebounds) and are struggling for offense outside of their go-to man.
Waverley flexed their championship contender muscle against a lacklustre Melbourne Tigers with a comprehensive 98-59 win, with the Falcons winning every quarter by seven or more points. Ivan Platenik (22 points, 13 rebounds, 8-13 FG) was again a picture of consistency, with Chris Arkell (19 points) and Brad Bridgewater (15 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists) contributing plenty as well. Jack Purchase led the Tigers with 13 points, with the young side looking to have burnt all their energy in a spirited effort against Bulleen the night before.
Ringwood showed they will be thereabouts in August with a gutsy 84-83 away win over title favourites Bulleen. The Hawks jumped out to an early led but found themselves down by five at the final change and deep into the final term, before surging home to snatch the victory as the Boomers choked at the foul line. Marcus Ruh (22 points), Bryan Dougher (20 points) and Shaun Clarke (13 points, 16 rebounds) all fired for the Hawks, while ex-Boomer Trevor Latham enjoyed his first match against his former club with a 16-point, 12-rebound effort. Thadd Varmall (21 points, 8 rebounds) again led the Boomers, who were without Lester Strong for a third straight game.
Whittlesea never recovered from a 21-point halftime deficit against McKinnon, with the Cougars notching their first win in the Big V’s top flight in a 94-63 victory. Kale Harrison was superb with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals on 9-of-14 shooting, while Sam Ayre (20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) had no trouble helping out his teammate. Michael Petridis (18 points, 7 rebounds) again top scored for the Pacers, who fell to 0-3 and are still searching for their breakthrough win at State Championship level.
Werribee erased a 16-point halftime hole to stun Sherbrooke in an 83-82 victory to remain undefeated after three games. A 25-13 final term saw the Devils get home, with Jordan Hughes (27 points) leading the way as he continued his hot start to the season. Aaron McCuin (19 points, 21 rebounds) just missed a double-double-double in a massive performance, while for the Suns far too much was left to Grant Johnson (31 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) as usual partner in crime Titus Robinson fouled out after just 16 minutes with 6 points.
State Championship Women
Bulleen opened their 2014 account with a 99-46 obliteration of a hapless Melbourne Tigers outfit. After the Tigers led 7-0 early it was all Bulleen, with a 29-4 third quarter and 54-16 second half putting the exclamation point on a devastating win. Funda Nakkasoglu (17 points, 6 rebounds), young gun Brodie Theodore (15 points, 4 rebounds in 8 minutes) and debut import Ting Ting Shao (12 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) all got amongst it for the Boomers, who had five players in double figures and three more who finished with eight points for the match. Melissa Prior (13 points) was the only Tiger in double figures, with Melbourne making just four field goals after halftime.
A rejuvenated Sherbrooke ran riot over the middle two quarters in a 70-50 win over a struggling Diamond Valley. The 41-16 run broke open the match and made sure the Eagles would make the long trip home with plenty to think about. New signing Billie Lucas (22 points, 9 rebounds) starred for the home side while Rachel Waterhouse (7 points, 12 rebounds) was next best as no other Suns player reached double figures. AIS product Carly Turner had 14 points and 9 rebounds for the visitors in defeat, while Selena Wawrzyniak chipped in with 10 points and 4 rebounds as well.
Hume City made a statement with a grand final rematch win over highly-fancied Ringwood, with the 76-70 victory showing the rest of the competition that writing the Broncos off is a risky prospect. The home side recovered after the Hawks got the early jump and built a lead in the third term before holding on late behind import Colleen Planeta’s 21 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks. Lauren Bennett (14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) was also good for the Broncos, while for the Hawks it was all about reigning MVP Amber Hegge (28 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists).
Waverley scrapped their way to a 76-70 win over Eltham, who were missing WNBL star Hayley Munro through injury. The Falcons rode WNBL pair Brigitte Ardossi (24 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals) and Tegan Cunningham (21 points, 9 rebounds) home, despite neither player shooting particularly well. A balanced Wildcats attack, which was led by Rebecca Guglielmino’s 14 points, just came up short down the stretch in a spirited performance against the flag favourites.
McKinnon held off a determined Warrandyte in a low-scoring slog to round out the weekend, with the Cougars prevailing 58-48. Alex Lough (18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals) was again at her dynamic best while Laura Thomas provided the help with 10 points and 8 rebounds. Rachael Wansbrough led the Venom with 11 points and 9 boards, with the visitors now 0-2 after scoring just 82 points over the first two weeks of action.
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