Big V Round 8: Venom snare first win as Cougars men cause huge upset

Warrandyte are on the board in the top flight of the women’s competition after knocking over Melbourne to claim their first win of the season, while in the men’s competition it was McKinnon making a stir as they held on for a tight upset win over Waverley as things heated up in the middle of the table.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

State Championship Men

Corio Bay opened the round with a comprehensive win over Melbourne, with the Stingrays scooting out to a 49-17 lead at halftime before cruising to an 82-55 victory. The Tigers were comprehensively beaten, with lopsided rebound (41-28) and assist (21-7) counts. Duane Johnson had 17 points and 7 boards to lead a balanced attack as the benches were emptied with plenty of time to play. Melbourne, who was missing Jack Purchase, got 18 points and 9 boards from Jock Landale while Geremy McKay (16 points, 9 rebounds) worked hard despite a tough shooting night.

McKinnon survived a huge rally from Waverley to hold on for a well-deserved 73-71 win. After jumping out of the blocks and taking a 48-30 lead into the main break, the Falcons hit back hard as the Cougars went cold before a pair of Marcus Timmons (13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) broke the deadlock with 23 seconds remaining and the visitors missed at the other end. Kale Harrison netted 20 points and collected 6 boards to lead his side, while for Waverley it was Brad Kelleher (22 points, 5 rebounds) leading the way with Ivan Platenik (17 points, 5 rebounds) down on his usual output.

Sherbrooke rode Grant Johnson’s big night to an entertaining 116-102 away win at Hume City, with the Suns shooting at 51% for the contest in a high quality offensive display. Johnson (45 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals, 15-23 FG) was unstoppable, putting his hand up for MVP honours at the end of the season with an incredible all-round performance, while Titus Robinson added 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. For the Broncos, it was Jermaine Maybank (42 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals, 18-31 FG) who put in his own huge performance, while Jamal Brown added 24 points and 11 boards, but the duo was ultimately outshone on a night that belonged to Johnson and the Suns.

As Lester Strong was rumoured to be on his way back to the USA, his Bulleen teammates made a statement on the court with a 107-73 blowout over Eltham. The Boomers pulled away late in the first half and continued on with it in the second 20 minutes, shooting at just under 51% for the match whilst holding the ‘Cats to just 31%.Thadd Varmall was electric, pouring in 15 points in the third term and 26 for the second half on his way to 38 points on 12-of-17 shooting and 12-of-13 from the line. Liam Norton (17 points, 7 assists) and Scott Cuffe (16 points, 11 rebounds, 6-9 FG) provided the help, while for Eltham livewire Ash Bryar led the way with 17 points, including 4 triples.

Ringwood recovered from a 15-point quarter time deficit to finish 78-72 victors over a spirited Werribee side. A 32-22 second term saw the Hawks respond and a 20-10 final quarter sealed the win after the Devils had threatened to cause a major upset early on after shooting at 52% in the first half. Marcus Ruh (27 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) and Bryan Dougher (21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) carried the Hawks, while Jordan Hughes led the Devils with 21 points and 7 boards of his own. Werribee fell to tenth with the loss, despite remaining at 5-6 – the same record as sixth-placed Bulleen.

Hawthorn recorded just its second win of the season with a 106-80 rout of Melbourne. The Tigers, without Jack Purchase for the second time in less than 24 hours, fell behind in the first half and couldn’t contain the Magic despite the efforts of Jock Landale (23 points, 5 rebounds) and Geremy McKay (18 points, 6-8 FG). Jay Allen was superb in the win for the Magic, nailing 11-of-16 field goals on his way to 28 points, while Ben Waldren continued his meteoric rise with 21 points and 7 boards whilst going at 69% from the field. The Tigers shot the ball extremely well (53%) but managed to grab just 20 rebounds as the Magic shot at 62% from the floor and 56% from downtown.

Ringwood and Waverley played out an overtime thriller in a possible preview of finals action, with the Falcons prevailing 99-94 at home. The Hawks held a 55-37 lead at halftime and looked set for a strong win before the Falcons stormed home to take a 5-point lead into the dying stages before Willie Weimer netted five quick points to send the game into an extra period. Ivan Platenik bounced back from a quiet night against McKinnon with 22 points and 11 boards, while Chris Arkell netted 20 points and grabbed 10 boards in the win. For the Hawks, who were missing star scorer Marcus Ruh, it was Weimer (17 points, 10 rebounds) who led six players in double figures.

Whittlesea denied Diamond Valley a miraculous victory by holding on for a 93-91 win in a tense and exciting contest. The Eagles, who were thoroughly outplayed for three quarters, found themselves 31 points down at the final break before storming home with a 39-10 last quarter to fall agonisingly short. The Pacers committed 11 turnovers and allowed the Eagles an extra 14 field goal attempts in the final 10 minutes to almost come undone, but the work of Michael Petridis (25 points, 6 assists, 7-10 FG), Jason Dirkx (22 points, 5 rebounds, 9-14 FG) and Jermaine Williams (20 points, 12 rebounds, 8-11 FG) ensured the visitors claimed another scalp. Matt Fennell and Matt Reynolds each had 18 points for the Eagles, who dropped outside the top six on percentage following the loss.

State Championship Women

Waverley reversed a round one defeat at the hands of McKinnon by claiming a 65-61 win to open round eight in fashion. An even and often scrappy affair went the way of the Falcons courtesy of their attack on the rim, which earned them an extra 11 points than the Cougars at the stripe. Brigitte Ardossi (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Tegan Cunningham (19 points, 8 rebounds) were again the driving force behind the win for the visitors and look like being the best duo in the league this season. For the Cougars, who fell to 5-3 and are sitting just one win ahead of fifth-placed Bulleen, Julie Brookhouse had 14 points and 6 rebounds as Alex Lough (5 points, 3 rebounds, 2-9 FG) was well held in 28 minutes of playing time.

A 28-12 run in the middle quarters saw Hume City thump a woeful Sherbrooke 71-40, holding the Suns to yet another score under 50 points. The visitors shot at 27% for the match and scored just 4 points in the second term as the Broncos rebounded from their shock loss to Diamond Valley in round seven, smashing their opponents 46-29 on the boards in the process. Colleen Planeta bounced back to form with 24 points and 13 rebounds, while Samara Gallaher netted 14 points. Sarah Millar (7 points) was the leading scorer for the Suns in a night they will fast want to forget.

Bulleen recovered from a slow start to rally to a 72-68 win over Eltham on the back of Funda Nakkasoglu’s enormous night. A 21-10 third term in favour of the Boomers set up the result, with the young guard exploded for 38 points on 11-of-13 shooting, including 14-of-15 at the foul line, to lead her side to an important victory. Lauren Pearce added 14 points and 9 boards in the win, while for Eltham it was all about Hayley Munro (22 points, 11 rebounds) and Isabella Brancatisano (17 points), who started the match with six points inside the first minute.

Warrandyte recorded their first win in Big V’s top flight with a 64-55 win over fellow strugglers Melbourne despite Tigers import Sydnei Moss exploding for 33 points and 7 boards. The Venom shot the ball at 43% and didn’t fade out in the third quarter as they had been prone to doing over the first seven rounds, with Tamara Olivia Nesmith (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Amanda Hedereics (18 points, 7 rebounds) ensuring the visitors would get their first W of the season. Moss was the standout for the Tigers, with Chloe Little (8 points, 13 rebounds) the next best in a disappointing loss.

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