Big V Round 5: Big guns keep rolling as Bulleen men fall behind

Big V action in round five saw one of the pre-season favourites in the men’s competition, Bulleen, suffer two losses and slip to a 3-4 record as the rest of the title threats continued their strong start to the campaign in both leagues.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

State Championship Men

Eltham and Ringwood kicked off the round in the first Friday night clash of the season, with the visiting Hawks getting home 88-81. In a very even contest, an eight-point break at quarter time proved the difference as Ringwood marched on with their impressive early season form. Marcus Ruh netted 27 points to lead all scorers, while Shaun Clarke (17 points, 12 rebounds) chimed in with a double-double and Matt Snowball dished out 12 assists. Elliot Carr (20 points) was the high-point man for the Wildcats, who continue to struggle at the foot of the standings.

Sherbrooke flew home to snatch a 92-77 win over Melbourne, with the Suns finishing on a 57-39 second half. The home side went to the line 27 times to just 8 for the Tigers and took full advantage, with star duo Titus Robinson (24 points, 9 rebounds, 10-11 FT) and Grant Johnson (24 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 5-6 FT) attacking the rim for the full 40 minutes. Geremy McKay (23 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) and Robert Sartori (23 points, 6 rebounds) were superb in defeat for the Tigers, who lacked the polish down the stretch.

Corio Bay ran over the top of a spirited McKinnon side with an electrifying final term to take a 97-84 win. The visitors shot at 67% in the final 10 minutes compared to just 40% for the Cougars to take the game away from the home side, with Michael Rebula netting 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor to go with 8 rebounds. Duane Johnson (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Scooter Renkin (22 points, 6 assists) also got amongst it, despite the latter shooting at just 26% for the game. Kale Harrison kept the Cougars in it with 33 points in a brilliant display.

Eltham bounced back from a tight loss to get their first win of the 2014 season in a 75-74 victory over Hawthorn. The Magic were unable to take the lead in the closing stages after bridging a five-point gap in the final 70 seconds despite some big buckets from star shooter Jay Allen. The ‘Cats relied on a balanced attack once more, with Ash Bryar top-scoring with 18 points and 9 rebounds and James Malvaso and Elliot Carr hitting 12 apiece. For Hawthorn it was Allen (24 points) who led the sheet once again as he continues to fire early in the 2014 season.

Diamond Valley shocked highly-fancied Bulleen with an 84-63 thrashing on the back of a 54-26 second half that blew the home side off the court. The Boomers looked at a loss for scoring options in the second half as too much was left to Thadd Varmall (26 points, 8 rebounds) in the continued absence of Lester Strong. In stark contrast for the Eagles there was plenty of help for star man Matt Fennell (16 points, 9 rebounds), with the likes of Matt Jackson (18 points, 9 rebounds) and Matt Reynolds (14 points) contributing strongly. Both sides are now 3-4 for the season and on the edge of the top six.

Whittlesea continued their resurgence with a 77-66 victory over in-form Werribee, with a dominant 30-11 first quarter blitz, on the back of 71% a shooting clip, setting up the win for the Pacers. John Dirkx shot the lights out on the way to 29 points on 12-of-14 shooting to help the home side to the well-deserved win, with Jermaine Williams (18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks) contributing plenty as well. Import Aaron McCuin (23 points, 18 rebounds) was dominant in defeat for the Devils as Rustin Dowd (14 points, 3-15 FG) misfired in a rare off-night.

Hume City won an up-and-down contest against Melbourne, with the 97-83 seeing the Broncos consolidate their spot with the early competition frontrunners. Jermaine Maybank was superb with 26 points, including 13-of-17 from the charity stripe, and Jamal Brown (19 points, 8 rebounds, 8-12 FG) monstered the young Tigers inside. Despite Geremy McKay (19 points, 4 rebounds, 8-13 FG) completing a strong weekend and his side managing to shoot at 50% from the field, Melbourne connected on just 9-of-24 free-throw attempts and were outclassed by the Broncos.

Ringwood held off a fast-finishing Bulleen side to get over the line with a gritty 65-64 win and consign the Boomers to a 0-2 record for the weekend. The contest was tight throughout, and after the Hawks had built a seven-point advantage midway through the final term the Boomers rallied before falling short in the final seconds. The Hawks were led by Trevor Latham (19 points, 13 rebounds) against his old side as the rest of the stars fell short of their usual standard, while for the Boomers it was a similar story as Jimmy Todd (17 points, 8 rebounds) the go-to man for the visitors. Bulleen has now lost three games by a single point, with two of those losses coming against Ringwood.

Waverley remained undefeated as they fought off McKinnon in a 102-85 victory to round out the weekend’s action. Ivan Platenik (27 points, 9 rebounds) again led the way, while Brad Kelleher (19 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists), Brad Bridgewater (18 points, 6 rebounds, 6-7 FG) and Sedale Threatt (10 points, 12 assists) were all solid. Kale Harrison (23 points, 5 rebounds) finished the weekend with 56 points for the Cougars despite two losses, while Marcus Timmons had 18 points and 12 rebounds in a typical performance as the visitors were worn down by the title challenger that is the Falcons.

State Championship Women

Warrandyte’s first State Championship season went from bad to worse with a 62-31 shellacking at the hands of Eltham. The Venom shot at 17% for the match, scoring just two points and failing to connect on a single field goal from 20 attempts in the third term. The Wildcats finished the match with a 36-11 second half as Isabella Brancatisano (15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 5-5 FG) and Rebecca Guglielmino (14 points, 8 rebounds) led a balanced attack. No Warrandyte player reached double digit, with Tiffany Hodgson (9 points) topping the sheet in a night to forget for the visitors.

Ringwood used hot shooting to get over Bulleen in an 86-70 win, with a strong opening half putting the home side in control of the contest. Tara Blair proved the difference between the sides, netting 26 points and going 7-of-13 from beyond the arc in a devastating shooting display, with Amber Hegge (18 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) and Emma Beddome (18 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists) contributing a little bit of everything in the win. Funda Nakkasoglu (17 points, 4 rebounds) and Lauren Pearce (14 points, 7 rebounds) were the best for the Boomers.

Waverley flexed their considerable muscle in a 90-57 thrashing of Diamond Valley, with the young Eagles blown away by the experienced Falcons stars. A 48-32 rebound count and 25-15 assist tally were telling as the Eagles were monstered by the likes of Tegan Cunningham (18 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists), Tahlia Higgs (18 points) and Brigitte Ardossi (13 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals). Carly Turner netted 21 points and pulled in 9 rebounds in a standout performance in defeat for Diamond Valley.

McKinnon finished off round five with a comfortable 94-75 win over a spirited Melbourne Tigers side. The class of the Cougars eventually wore down their opposition as efficient shooting ensured the result was put away as the game wound down. The injection of import Sydnei Moss (24 points, 7 rebounds) had an instant impact on the struggling Tigers, while Mel Prior finished with 16 points in a losing side. McKinnon, who played without star centre Alex Lough, were led by Laura Thomas (14 points, 7 rebounds) and Skye Rees (14 points, 4 rebounds) as the title threats showed their incredible depth to secure the win.

For full results, fixtures and ladders head to or click here.