Big V Round 9: Ringwood men and women make big statements

Ringwood’s Big V program is thriving after both its men’s and women’s sides each snared big 20-point wins over title rivals in round nine. The Hawks men sent defending champions Corio Bay packing for their first blemish of the campaign in convincing fashion, while the women romped home to a smashing of title favourites Waverley to complete a dream weekend.

Credit: Photo Credit: Big V Media

State Championship Men

McKinnon flew home with a 31-20 final term to get past Diamond Valley in an 85-79 win. The Cougars, who announced the signing of Corey Maynard mid-week, were led by Kale Harrison (24 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) while ex-NBL star Marcus Timmons (20 points, 19 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) was at his vintage best with a dazzling display. The Eagles, who were without star forward Matt Fennell, were gallantly led by Sammy Gazzo (25 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals) but were ultimately run over down the stretch without their go-to man, losing the rebound count 50-38 as the Cougars moved above them on the ladder.

An incredible final quarter from Thadd Varmall has led Bulleen to a 90-88 win over Hume City, moving the Boomers into fourth after their second straight win. As Lester Strong was announced to be unable to suit up for the season due to on-going visa problems, Varmall showed he has the ability to step up with side’s last 14 points of the contest – all in the last five minutes – including a buzzer-beater to win the game and sink the Broncos. The American had 38 points on 14-of-25 shooting to go with 8 rebounds to lead his side, with Scott Cuffe (18 points, 8 rebounds) and Liam Norton (11 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists) the other notables. Hume’s Shaun Prendergast (24 points) nearly dragged his side over the line in a strong showing, while Jamal Brown added 21 points and 10 boards for the out-of-form visitors.

Eltham stunned in-form Sherbrooke with a 27-14 third term to record an 84-74 win over the Suns. The Wildcats got just their second win of the campaign on the back of 22 points from James Malvaso off the bench, while Jarrad Fryar continued his good form with 16 points and 9 boards. The usually hot-shooting Sherbrooke managed just 25-of-72 shooting from the field and fell to the loss despite comfortably winning the rebound count 48-34 as their stars Titus Robinson (16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks) and Grant Johnson (14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) were well-held despite still top scoring for their side.

In what was meant to be the game of the round, Ringwood thrashed Corio Bay to hand the Stingrays their first loss of 2014. In a remarkable result, the Hawks led by 17 at halftime and never looked back en route to a 105-85 win, with Bryan Dougher (34 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) getting the job done and Marcus Ruh (17 points, 4 assists, 4 steals) and Matt Snowball (12 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks) providing the help. Duane Johnson (23 points, 7 rebounds) and Ma’Alo Hicks (21 points, 5 rebounds, 10-14 FG) were good for the Stingrays in defeat but simply couldn’t match the explosive shooting of the home side, who nailed 14-of-34 three-pointers.

Whittlesea used a 24-7 final term to finish all over the top of Melbourne in a 72-63 result. The Pacers, without the injured Jermaine Williams, struggled for large periods as Jock Landale (21 points, 15 rebounds) got off to a strong start and paced his side. However, as an upset loomed it was Pacers captain Jason Dirkx stepping up to finish with 26 points and 5 rebounds on 11-of-19 shooting to ensure his side remained firmly in the finals hunt. Michael Petridis had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals to back up his captain, while for the Tigers it was Geremy McKay (13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) who worked hard despite both players committing 6 turnovers each.

Waverley exploded after halftime with a 31-15 third term to hand Sherbrooke its second straight loss with a 98-87 win over the Suns. Enigmatic shooter Chris Arkell (34 points, 8 rebounds, 13-17 FG) caught fire, nailing six three-pointers on his way to a match-winning performance. Ivan Platenik (16 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists) and Sedale Threatt (15 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals) were also solid without being spectacular for the Falcons, who maintained a strangle-hold on third place as a result of the win. For the visitors, MVP candidate Grant Johnson (38 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 10-10 FT) exploded again after a poor showing 24 hours earlier but received little help from his teammates in the loss.

Diamond Valley bounced back to form with a 99-92 win over lowly Hawthorn to stay in touch with the top six. Matt Fennell returned to have 21 points and 13 boards on 9-of-13 shooting, while Adam Moore added 24 points and 14 rebounds in a dominant display as the Eagles smashed the Magic 61-30 on the glass. Ben Waldren (26 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 12-19 FG) was superb for the visitors and continues to have his star rise, while Jay Allen (24 points) was his usual self as his side dropped to a 2-10 record on the season.

Werribee leap-frogged Hume City in the standings with a 100-89 win over the struggling Broncos, who now sit tenth with a 5-7 record after six straight losses. The Devils won the rebound (54-39) and assist (20-6) counts comfortably to hold the Broncos at bay, with Aaron McCuin (33 points, 15 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks, 14-23 FG) the dominant player on the court. Jordan Hughes (22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) was also good for the home side, while for the visitors it was Yusuf Qaafow leading the way with 19 points and 3 assists off the bench in another disappointing night for his side.

State Championship Women

McKinnon thrashed Melbourne to kick off the round with a 79-48 win over the hapless Tigers, who won the second term but were comprehensively beaten throughout the rest of the contest. Alex Lough (27 points, 21 rebounds) returned to form with a big double-double-double, while Julie Brookhouse (16 points, 5 rebounds) and Tess Feery (8 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 7 steals) were also superb in the win. For the young Tigers, only import Sydnei Moss (19 points, 11 rebounds) reached double digits.

Eltham survived a scare against out-of-form Sherbrooke to sneak home with a 60-53 win, recovering from an 8-point deficit at quarter time to storm home in the final term. Hayley Munro (3 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists) was well-held but the likes of Isabella Brancatisano (15 points, 5 assists) and Amy Nicholson (11 points, 8 rebounds) stepped up to get the win. For the Suns, youngster Samantha Waterhouse (17 points, 11 rebounds) provided plenty off the bench and Sara Millar continued her good recent form with 15 points as the Suns fell to a 2-7 record.

Ringwood thrashed Waverley in a massive statement that the Hawks are ready to go one better in 2014, romping to a 75-55 win over the high-flying Falcons. The visitors led in the third term before the Hawks flew home despite foul trouble to star Amber Hegge (19 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 9-11 FG), with a 47-25 second half sealing the result. Sara Yousef (14 points, 3 rebounds) and Jackie Vanderzaag (14 points, 7-10 FG) were also good for the Hawks, while Falcons WNBL stars Brigitte Ardossi (13 points, 8 rebounds) and Tegan Cunningham (13 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) led their side despite being well-held, with the latter shooting just 5-of-21 from the field.

Hume City thrashed Warrandyte 66-46, consigning the Venom back to the loser’s circle after their breakthrough victory in round eight. A 45-29 rebound count and a 20-7 last term proved the difference for the Broncos as Colleen Planeta (22 points, 8 rebounds, 6 blocks) and Mua Laloifi (15 points, 4 rebounds) led them to victory. For the Venom, Amanda Hederics (11 points, 5-19 FG) and Tamara Nesmith (10 points, 3-10 FG) were the top scorers in a disappointing night for the home side after showing such resolve in beating the Tigers a week ago.

Bulleen finished off the round with an impressive 83-60 win over Diamond Valley, moving to a 5-4 record and keeping in touch with the top four. Funda Nakkasoglu continued to impress with 24 points and 5 assists, while new import Tara Booker debuted with 12 points, 12 boards and 3 blocks despite battling foul trouble throughout the night. Carly Turner (19 points, 7-23 FG) was held in the first half before finishing with four triples as the game wore on, while Nikki Drost (14 points, 9 rebounds, 6-8 FG) was a constant threat.

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