Big V Round 3: Corio stings Boomers in overtime epic as big guns roll on

A thriller at Bulleen saw the Stingrays pip the Boomers in overtime in a possible finals match-up, while big guns Waverley and Ringwood continued their strong start to 2014 in both the men's and women's divisions with impressive wins.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

State Championship Men

Hawthorn is off the mark in State Championship after finishing all over the top of Whittlesea in an 86-72 victory. Jay Allen (18 points, 4 steals) led the way for the Magic, who used a 54-39 second half to snatch their first win in Big V’s top flight. For the visitors it was all about Jason Dirkx (28 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) and Michael Petridis (20 points, 11 rebounds), but they had too little of a support cast as only three other Pacers players got on the score sheet, leaving them winless after four games.

McKinnon have won their second straight game with a hard-fought 88-86 win against a struggling Diamond Valley side. Kale Harrison (30 points, 4 rebounds, 13-22 FG) was electric all night and nailed the winning basket with 14 seconds left on the clock to lift his side, with Marcus Timmons (13 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists) at his typical best as well. Matt Fennell finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks for the Eagles, while Matt Reynolds also chimed in with 22 points in a tough loss for the Eagles.

Hume City’s unbeaten start to 2014 ended at the hands of a rampant Sherbrooke, with the Suns dominating the visitors early en route to a 112-88 victory. The home side was full of energy in the early stages and bolted out of the gates, with the lethal import duo of Titus Robinson (32 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks) and Grant Johnson (27 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists) unstoppable all night. Nathan Truman (20 points, 4 assists) also contributed strongly in the win, while for the visitors only Jermaine Maybank was on his game as he led his side with 26 points, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Bulleen and Corio Bay fought out an overtime epic in a possible grand final preview, with the Stingrays getting home on Lachlan Headlam‘s put-back on the buzzer in the extra period for a 98-97 win. Scooter Renkin was superb for the visitors in netting 31 points, while Duane Johnson (27 points, 12 rebounds) also enjoyed a night out, capped by a thunderous dunk that will be tough to top this season. Thadd Varmall was again electric for the Boomers, who were without Lester Strong for a fourth straight game, scoring 28 points, pulling in 6 boards and dishing 4 assists, while Scott Cuffe (15 points, 15 rebounds), Liam Norton (20 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) and Mark Whitehead (18 points) also enjoyed strong performances.

Werribee suffered their first loss of the season against a well-oiled Waverley machine in a clash of two undefeated sides, with the Falcons putting together a strong four-quarter performance in a 107-93 win. Chris Arkell netted 24 points and pulled in 8 rebounds from the bench in a stellar performance, while Ivan Platenik was again rock solid with 22 points and 7 boards. Will Deng (23 points, 5 rebounds) and Rustin Dowd (21 points) led the Devils, who struggled to match it for the entire 40 minutes with the seasoned performers that are the Falcons.

Ringwood cruised to a 79-59 win over Melbourne on the back of a big first half, with the young Tigers simply unable to match it with the well-balanced Hawks. Trevor Latham (16 points, 8 rebounds) topped the sheet and led five Hawks in double figures as the home side dismantled their opponents. Only Jack Purchase reached double-figures for the visiting Melbourne side, netting 12 points in another disappointing loss.

Waverley completed a 2-0 weekend and remained undefeated after three rounds with a 90-76 win over visiting Eltham in the only Sunday game, with the Falcons continuing to fly under the radar as genuine title threats. The usual suspects were at it again, with Ivan Platenik (26 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists) and Brad Kelleher (26 points, 5 assists, 10-12 FG) leading the way, while Sedale Threatt had the stat line of the night with 6 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks despite not connecting on a single field goal attempt. Johnny Lister (20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) led the way for the winless Wildcats, who have been competitive in all three rounds but haven’t been able to add the polish for a win.

State Championship Women

Bulleen kicked off round three with an impressive victory over the previously undefeated Sherbrooke Suns, with the Boomers running out comfortable 66-40 winners. The Suns, who had used stifling defence to propel them to their two victories despite struggling for offensive consistency, couldn’t contain the brilliance of Lauren Pearce (18 points, 13 rebounds) and scoring power of Funda Nakkasoglu (17 points, 3 steals) as the Boomers marched to victory despite the absence of import Ting Ting Shao. Danielle Fidge (12 points) and Sarah Millar (10 points, 5 rebounds) led the home side in defeat.

Hume City continued their hot start to 2014 with a 64-54 away victory over a spirited Eltham, who were again without WNBL star Hayley Munro. Colleen Planeta was simply unstoppable for the Broncos, accumulating 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals and 7 blocks. Viv Saad (13 points, 11 rebounds) and Lauren Bennett (13 points) were also solid in the win as the visitors ran over the top of the Wildcats after Isabella Brancatisano (15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals) had earlier threatened to steal the show with 13 early points on the back of some hot shooting.

Melbourne’s horror season continued with a 104-59 thumping, this time at the hands of powerhouse Waverley. Tegan Cunningham exploded for 38 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals on 15-of-24 shooting from the floor to teach the young Tigers a lesson, while Brigitte Ardossi (18 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals) was her imposing self inside the paint. Chloe Little was the only shining light for the visitors with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists as her side slumped to a third straight heavy defeat to start 2014.

Ringwood emerged from a scrappy affair against Warrandyte with a 60-43 victory, with the Venom again unable to find the bottom of the net on offense consistently enough to push for a win. Reigning MVP Amber Hegge was a clear standout as the only Hawk in double figures, dropping 26 points to go with 14 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals on 10-of-15 shooting. For the home side it was their own import who took the lead role, with Tamara Olivia Nesmith finishing with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. The Venom star had 15 of her team’s 19 points at the halftime break.

Rounding out the weekend’s action was a big McKinnon victory over a hapless Diamond Valley side. The Cougars pulled away in the second and fourth terms to win 91-50 on the back of Alex Lough (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Tess Feery (14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 6-8 FG). Carly Turner was again the only Eagle to hit double figures with 12 points and 6 rebounds, with her side looking likely to fight it out with Melbourne for the wooden spoon in the early stages of the season.

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