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Big V Round 7: Suns men and Eagles women record important wins in weekend sweeps
Sherbrooke enjoyed a perfect weekend in round seven of the men’s competition, with the Suns defeating the in-form Diamond Valley and the highly fancied yet struggling Bulleen in telling performances, while Diamond Valley’s women trumped struggling Warrandyte and undefeated Hume City in a huge upset to move into finals calculations after a lowly start to the 2014 season.
Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media
State Championship Men
A final quarter surge helped Werribee overcome a determined Hawthorn side in a thriller, with the 81-79 win helping to get the Devils’ season back on track after five straight losses. Coming into the final term trailing by five, the visitors rallied and got on top early before surviving a Magic fight back in the dying stages as Jay Allen’s game-winning three failing to connect at the buzzer. Aaron McCuin was huge for the Devils, registering 28 points and 19 boards on 9-of-14 shooting, while Jordan Hughes (16 points, 7 rebounds) sparked his side in the final term despite a poor shooting night. For the Magic, young gun Ben Waldren (29 points, 21 rebounds, 4 assists) relished his new starting minutes with a monster game while Allen shot just 5-of-22 for 16 points.
Ringwood won their ninth straight game with a tense 103-101 win over Hume City as two stars went head-to-head. The Hawks held on as Jermaine Maybank (12 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, 0-3 FT) missed a pair of go-ahead foul shots with 17 seconds remaining before his side failed to get off a potential game winner at the buzzer Hawks’ star Marcus Ruh (10 points, 3 rebounds) split his trip to the line. Bryan Dougher (39 points, 4 rebounds, 15-24 FG, 8-13 3PT) lit it up for the victors in playing all 40 minutes, while Broncos centre Jamal Brown (42 points, 14 rebounds, 18-23 FG) exploded despite coming off the bench. The home side could only manage 50% at the charity stripe, capped by Maybank’s late misses, compared to Ringwood’s 13-of-16 in what proved to be the difference.
Sherbrooke grabbed an important win against in-form Diamond Valley, with a stifling defensive effort keeping the hot-shooting Eagles to just 34% from the field in an 88-78 win. Grant Johnson (33 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 11-16 FG) was again superb, nailing 10-of-10 free throws along the way, while David Moore added 14 points and 13 boards in an impressive double-double. Matt Fennell (23 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) and Adam Moore (23 points, 12 rebounds, 9-13 FG) led the Eagles as they fell for the first time in three weeks.
Bulleen put on the afterburners in overtime to get past McKinnon 123-110 on the back of an explosive night from Liam Norton. The Boomers captain finished with 47 points on 15-of-27 shooting to torch the Cougars despite missing a game-winning attempt at the end of regulation. The home side blew a 13-point three-quarter time lead as the Cougars charged but ultimately fell short on the back of Norton’s big night. Zaine Allen (42 points, 10-10 FT) and Kale Harrison (34 points, 14-26 FG) led their side’s late revival, doing their best to match Norton’s output for the victors. Bulleen were without Lester Strong again, despite the import reportedly being cleared for debut.
Corio Bay stayed undefeated in a tight tussle with finals threats Whittlesea, with the Stingrays holding off a late charge by the home side to get home 71-69. In an even contest, Scooter Renkin (22 points, 8-13 FG) shone despite being fouled out after just 28 minutes of game time, with Ma’Alo Hicks (13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) and Jason Reardon (12 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists) stepping up as Duane Johnson (7 points, 4 rebounds) battled foul trouble. Jermaine Williams (21 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists) played every second of the contest and nearly carried his side over the line, while Michael Petridis was solid as usual with 15 points, 10 boards and 4 assists.
A 26-16 final term saw Sherbrooke stun Bulleen in an 87-80 win which condemned the Boomers to a fourth loss in five games and dropped them outside of the top six. The Suns caught fire in the last quarter to shoot at 62% and nail 4-of-5 from downtown, with Grant Johnson (29 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 12-19 FG) completing an impressive weekend. Jonathon Lee netted 23 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and dished 6 assists while shooting 9-of-11 from the field in a strong 40-minute performance as well for the home side, while for the Boomers Thadd Varmall (25 points, 4 rebounds, 13-15 FT) and Liam Norton (21 points, 4 rebounds) led their side in defeat.
A barnstorming first term saw Corio Bay move to an incredible 11-0 record with a 93-82 win over Hume City. The Stingrays crashed the boards to win the count 46-34 and ensure more opportunities in an even matchup, with Duane Johnson putting his foul-riddled performance a night earlier behind him to finish with 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor. Jason Reardon (19 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals) and Ma’Alo Hicks (17 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists) both continued their strong form in the win, while for the Broncos it was Shaun Prendergast (23 points) and Brett Fennell (19 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists) who were the unlikely leaders as both imports struggled.
Werribee thrashed a hapless Melbourne side 88-55 to square their season at 5-5 after a perfect weekend. The Tigers shot at just 31% from the field for the contest and were outclassed over the entire four quarters as the Devils went on a tear. Jordan Hughes (31 points, 6 rebounds) cashed in and got plenty of help from Rustin Dowd (20 points, 3 rebounds) as the home side ran riot, while for the Tigers only Jack Purchase (17 points, 6 rebounds) stood tall as his side fell to 2-8 on the season.
McKinnon survived a second-half rally from Eltham to escape with a 69-60 win and rebound from their overtime loss to Bulleen a night earlier. Kale Harrison (27 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists) and Zaine Allen (26 points, 7 rebounds) were electric once more, accounting for 53 of their side’s 69 points in a dominant display, while Marcus Timmons (8 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 steals, 4 blocks) filled the stat sheet in a remarkable display. Elliot Carr (12 points, 10 rebounds) top scored despite missing a game-tying attempt at the buzzer, with the 1-9 Wildcats losing their seventh close game of the season.
Waverley flexed their muscle against newcomers Hawthorn as they cruised to a 110-91 victory to round out the weekend’s action. Ivan Platenik (23 points, 7 rebounds) was reliable as usual while Brad Bridgewater enjoyed the extra minutes vacated by Tom Boyle by collecting 20 points and 15 boards. Ben Waldren (31 points, 14 rebounds) continued to impress at Championship level with another huge night, while Jay Allen netted 28 points for the Magic, who sit last on the ladder at 1-9 despite some positive signs.
State Championship Women
Another poor third quarter cost Warrandyte any chance at a maiden State Championship victory against Diamond Valley, with the Eagles snatching a 64-52 win thanks to a 32-18 second half. An improved Venom led at halftime but shot at just 17% in the third term and 19% for the entire second 20 minutes to hand the Eagles their second win of the season. Carly Turner finished with 17 points and collected 15 rebounds to be the dominant player on the court, while Selena Wawrzyniak added 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Tamara Olivia Nesmith (13 points, 7 rebounds) was again the Venom’s best as the home side remained winless after seven rounds.
Ringwood thrashed Sherbrooke 67-38 to improve to a 7-1 record and hand the Suns their fourth straight loss after a 2-0 start to the season. The Hawks were all over their opponents, keeping them to just 21 points after quarter time from 8-of-41 field goal attempts and winning the rebound count 50-30. Amber Hegge (18 points, 20 rebounds, 3 blocks) continued to lead the race for a second straight MVP award with another dominant display while Monica Kurowski also added 18 points and 7 boards. Only Sarah Millar (10 points) reached double figures as the Suns slumped to a new low for 2014 after a promising opening fortnight.
McKinnon exploded out of the blocks for a 42-19 first half lead before steadying in the final term to record a 76-59 win over Eltham. The Wildcats rallied with a 29-14 third term to give themselves a chance at victory but fell away late as the Cougars improved to a 5-2 record and consolidated their spot in the top four. Julie Brookhouse was superb in netting 22 points to be the visitors’ best, with her side shooting at 45% to just 30% for the ‘Cats. Eltham got 16 points from Rebecca Guglielmino and some solid minutes out of Hayley Munro (14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) after returning from injury a week earlier.
Waverley held off a plucky Bulleen side in a 76-66 victory, helping the Falcons create distance between the top four and the 3-4 Boomers in fifth. A 27-16 second term proved the difference as the Falcons overcame early foul trouble to Brigitte Ardossi (18 points, 5 rebounds, 8-11 FG in just 20 minutes) to record the win. Tegan Cunningham was far too much to handle for the Boomers, netting 30 points, collecting 10 boards and dishing 6 assists in a dominant display, while for Bulleen it was Funda Nakkasoglu (19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals) again leading the way.
Diamond Valley completed a big weekend with a second victory in a come-from-behind 63-60 upset over Hume City. The Eagles rallied from eight points down midway through the final term to stun the previously undefeated Broncos as Carly Turner (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Amy Faulkner (9 points, 4-7 FG) led the way down the stretch to get the win. Lauren Bennett (17 points, 5 rebounds) was the high-scorer for the Broncos, who failed to get off a shot with the last possession of the match, while Colleen Planeta (13 points, 6 rebounds) had a much quieter than usual afternoon in the loss. The Eagles are now 3-4 after a successful double and suddenly find themselves in finals contention.
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