Finals August 18&19 Previews

Another week of Big V action is upon us! Read about each of the competition’s twelve divisions as they prepare for the weekend of fixtures.

State Championship Men
State Championship Women
Division One Men
Division One Women
Division Two Men
Division Two Women
Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men
Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women
Youth League One Men
Youth League One Women
Youth League Two Men
Youth League Two Women


State Championship Men

Ringwood (1st) vs. McKinnon (6th)

Meetings this season

R3: McKinnon 98 def. Ringwood 91
R17: Ringwood 95 def. McKinnon 81

From the coaches

Ken Harrington (Ringwood)

“This has been the closest Big V Championship Men’s season for many years. There is just very little between the teams from first to 7th. We are very happy to get that home court advantage as McKinnon have a great record at home with 8 wins from their 11 games. To pinch game one we will have to do a great job on Adrian Tomada who has had a great season using his speed and improved perimeter shot. Dillon Stith is a proven match winner who has had another great season and has enjoyed the addition of Deng Deng who is a great bookend. Ivan (Platenik) and Jermaine (Maybank) need no introduction to Big V fans and are great veterans who have caused us many headaches over the years. We will need to closely watch all those guys and the bench including Mueller and Tamir. It will be a great game one, very entertaining and a lot of fun to watch, unless you’re one of the Coaches of course. Enjoy.”

Justin Nelson (McKinnon)

“It’s great to have progressed through to the semi-finals, the team is playing well and playing with confidence. We face a tough series against Ringwood, arguably the best team in SCM over the last 5 years, maybe more, so we are under no illusions whatsoever just how big this next hurdle is. The Hawks are loaded with proven stars, so we’ll keep our heads down, work extremely hard at both ends and focus on executing our game plan. We plan to play with freedom and hopefully we can be at our best, because anything less won’t be good enough.”

Overview

The Cougars are into the semis after a resounding road win last week, but thinks only get tougher as they square off with Ringwood. McKinnon gets an early chance to take care of their home court, which will be essential if they are any chance of staging an upset and progressing to the big dance. Both teams are stacked with talent and have been tough to topple at home, and you can expect that trend to continue here. The Hawks have an extra game in their own gym and that is massive.

Prediction

Ringwood 2-1

 

Eltham (2nd) vs. Hawthorn (4th)

Meetings this season

R11: Hawthorn def. Eltham 69-66
R16: Eltham def. Hawthorn 98-78

From the coaches

Trevor Lee (Eltham)

Comment unavailable at time of print.

Peter Godfrey (Hawthorn)

“We are looking forward to hosting Eltham at BSC on Saturday night in the first of the 3 game semi-final series. Our fans were great last week v Casey and we are hoping they will turn out again to help the Team. Finishing 9th last season our aim and plan was to make it to the Final 4 in 2018. Once in the Final 4 anything can happen. There’s no such thing as an easy Final though. Eltham is arguably the deepest team in the competition, loaded with talent in every spot, and is very well coached. The Wildcats have been in the SCM playoffs mix for the last 3 or 4 seasons also so they know what it takes over a 3 game series. We know Eltham is hungry for the 2018 title, so we are expecting to have our work cut out for us for sure. Getting the W at home on Saturday night is a must for the young Magic.”

Overview

The Magic continued their fairytale season of growth with a gritty win over the experienced Cavs last week. The ‘Cats pose an all new challenge, however, with a roster that looks destined to challenge for the title over the next few weeks. The week off will certainly benefit Eltham and the Magic will need to feed off the energy from their home fans once again in game one if they are any chance. They are riding a wave of momentum after last week’s victory and will take that into Saturday’s contest. A win makes things interesting, but even then they will need to take a game off Eltham in their gym and that will prove incredibly tough.

Prediction

Eltham 2-1


State Championship Women

PRELIMINARY FINAL

Knox vs Sth Peninsula
Sat 6:30pm State Basketball Centre

Meetings this season
R1: Sth Peninsula 55 lost to Knox 64
R12: Knox 73 def Sth Peninsula 93

From the coaches

Matt Shanahan (Knox)
We were all genuinely disappointed with the loss last week against Sunbury. We felt we had a chance to win the game, but we failed to execute down the stretch. Sunbury showed great poise and came away with a win in a great contest. This week we have learnt a lot about each other individually and what we need to do as a team collectively to be successful. This weekend game presents a new challenge for our group against Southern Peninsula. They’re a young energetic group that plays an exciting brand of basketball. They have competed hard all season and play with a lot of passion. My group is excited about the challenge and we look forward to a hard-­‐fought battle.

Gerard Hillier (Sth Peninsula)
We’re really excited to be playing this week against Knox, and with a spot in the Grand Final up for grabs it makes things even more exciting. We will prep for this game as per any other game and hit the court on Saturday night and do everything we possibly can to secure that Grand Final spot. We’re looking forward to a tough hit out.

Overview
A preliminary final always pits a team coming off a win and a team coming off a loss, which adds another element to a battle that rewards the victor with a shot at the title and first-­‐up home game in the GF series. The Raiders and Sharks have split a game each this season, and interestingly each win has come on the other’s home deck. The Raiders just didn’t have enough scoring power to assist Bec Ott last week, and that will surely need to change if the regular-­‐season ladder leaders hope to get past Sth Peninsula’s up-­‐tempo and hard running crew. The Sharks come in off the back of two great wins, both away and both with an all-­‐or-­‐nothing attitude in cut-­‐throat contests. Carly Mijovic returned for the Raiders last week from a long injury and should be ready to step into the starting unit for the home team, while the Sharks will again be at full strength and will alter very little. Nothing comes easy in games this big and we could see a contest that literally comes down to a couple of possessions. All the key players should do their thing, they have all season. For the visitors they will be hoping Jaz Shelley and Peyton Little can find plenty of the ball, while young Liv Pollerd has been fantastic right throughout the season. Can they keep Ott under control? Will Mijovic step up and deliver? Will Lucy Dawson and Georgia Stirton deliver some points this week? Or will the young Sharks continue to rise to the occasion and move through to meet the Jets?

Prediction
Knox by 3pts


Division One Men

Western Port vs. Chelsea

Sat 6:30pm David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre

Meetings this season

R1: Chelsea 90 def Western Port 74
R8: Western Port 80 lost to Chelsea 87

From the coaches

Luke Sunderland (Western Port)

Heading into a three-­‐game series brings up a series of challenges. To get here after the team only winning 6 games last season is a great achievement so far but we are confident we still have some wins left in us. Coming up against an in-­‐form Chelsea outfit will be a great test to see where we are. Both teams look very different earlier in the season when we met and we both have the best form over the last ten games each. We have nothing to lose playing everyone’s tip for the title.

Peter Caspersz (Chelsea)

We know exactly how tough WP are going to be and their form over the last month and a bit has been terrific. The form of Dylan Travis has also been outstanding and his support crew have all played their roles perfectly so we are in for a tough couple of weeks. In saying that we have also been in some pretty good form and I hope that will continue for at least another month and the trust we have in each other has been something that we rely heavily on and its game on this weekend.

Overview

The Gulls are on the verge of progressing through to another GF series and given their amazing 15-­‐ game winning streak, including last week’s 10pt victory at Western Port, it’s going to take a mighty effort to stop their progress. The Steelers threw everything at the soaring Gulls in Game 1, but the three-­‐headed monster known as Standerfer/Riggs/Brasser just had too many answers at crucial times. Dylan Travis has delivered an incredible maiden season in the Big V and you can’t help but think more than a few SCM teams will have been watching on with great interest, but his job is far from done yet and he’ll need a huge performance to get his Steelers up this weekend. In fact – he’ll need two! Back at home at Patterson River, the Gulls will start raging favourites on Saturday night, and even if the Steelers do somehow force a third game, you just can’t see Chelsea dropping two at home.

Prediction

Chelsea 2-0

 

Shepparton vs. Keysborough

Sat 7:30pm Shepparton Sports Stadium

Meetings this season

R4: Shepparton 75 lost to Keysborough 79

R16: Keysborough 72 def Shepparton 70

From the coaches

Leigh Bathman (Shepparton)

Exciting to advance to the final 4 teams, new format is also exciting as we head into a 3-­‐game series against a very deep, talented and well-­‐balanced Keysborough outfit. Although Keysy have prevailed in two epic encounters during the season, we know we are not far away and finals basketball is a whole new ball game. Confident our best is good enough, if we can reproduce last week’s form and get the same fantastic crowd support we will be right in this series. The boys are really keen to ride the momentum out of last week’s game and sometimes that is easier to do when you’re not sitting around waiting for a week or two. Some good talent on display, it will be a fiercely contested series.

Nathan Vogt (Keysborough)

I’m really proud of the way my guys have played all year. This group has really embraced the underdog status and will be going up to Shepparton free of pressure, to just get out, have fun and play. After a long tough season, we go in into this game well prepared, refreshed and ready after the week off. We know Shepparton are one of the best supported clubs in the league and will have a packed house. They’ll throw everything into this game to not disappoint their fans in what is arguably one of the best home court advantages in the league.

Overview

There is no denying the Gators are in far better form right now than they were a few weeks ago. Looking far healthier and back in form, Shepparton comes to Melbourne with a 1-­‐0 lead and will fancy their chances against the Cougars. Despite Gerrard Newby’s heroics last week, and they most certainly were incredible, you can’t lose sight of the fact the Gators had control of Game 1 for a long stretch. With Vines, Coleman and Bartlett all finding touch, the visitors will take some beating on Saturday night, and even on Sunday if the series goes that far. It’s likely we will see a third game. The Cougars simply have to give it everything on Saturday night and they are very worthy of at least squaring up, but whether or not they can take Shepparton down twice is the question? Either way, expect a classic battle, or battles!

Prediction

Shepparton 2-1


Division One Women

Casey (1st) vs. Geelong (4th)

G1: AWA Alliance Bank Stadium, 5pm

G2/3: Casey Stadium, TBA

Meetings this season

R5: Geelong defeated Casey 64-61

R14: Casey defeated Geelong 78-49

From the coaches

Alex Palazzolo (Casey)

“Firstly congratulations to the teams that have progressed to the Semi Finals in what has been a very tight and competitive season. Our team is excited and looking forward to the challenge ahead and playing an opponent in Geelong that has a great history in the play offs presents a fantastic challenge and opportunity for our group. We’re prepared as well as we can be and are ready to go!”

Natalie Hughes (Geelong)

Quotes not available before publication. 

Overview

The Cavs have all the bells and whistles. An almighty roster kicking down the door of State Champ, it’s hard to see anyone going toe-to-toe with them over the journey. Geelong’s impressive recent form run shows the might of the regional titans, but is it enough to knock over Casey? What changes can they implement from the Round 14 demolition the Cavs dished out? There’s an awful lot they will need to execute perfectly to get rid of the Cavaliers.

Prediction

Casey 2-0

 

Mildura (2nd) vs. Warrnambool (3rd)

G1: The ARC Sports Stadium, 6pm

G2/G3: Toyota Hothouse, TBA

Meetings this season

R8: Warrnambool defeated Mildura 68-61

R14: Mildura defeated Warrnambool 107-79

From the coaches

James Madigan (Mildura)

“This should be a great series between two good teams, I believe any of the remaining four teams have the talent to win the title. Warrnambool have been great all season they have a huge amount of talent and extremely well coached. We have split the series during the regular season but on both occasions both teams had not had their full roster available. Some of the best players in the league will be going against each other so it will be very entertaining basketball. This series is anyone’s and will come down to who is the best on the night. Best of luck to all the teams involved.”

Louise Brown (Warrnambool)

Quotes not available before publication.

Overview

Point to point this will be the toughest challenge geographically as well as on-the-court for both sides. There are so many questions to answer… who does Warrnambool send to Vanessa Power and Alexis Gassion? How does Mildura stop Amy Wormald and Katie O’Keefe? Who acclimates to the travel better? This will go the distance but the second weekend will wreak havoc with the Mermaids. Back-to-back games plus the travel on top will make this one too tough for Warrnambool.

Prediction

Mildura 2-1


Division Two Men

 Craigieburn (1st) vs. Mildura (6th)

G1: Toyota Hothouse, Saturday 7pm

G2/G3: Craigieburn Sports Stadium, TBA

Meetings this season

R10: Craigieburn defeated Mildura 88-79

R17: Craigieburn defeated Mildura 73-69

From the coaches

Simon Wilson (Craigieburn)

Congratulations to all teams, we are looking forward to the challenge ahead. Mildura are a talented and well coached unit and we will have to play our best basketball to get it done.”

David Curran (Mildura)

 “Going to be a hard three-game series, but it’s good to have the first one at home. We have a fantastic home crowd and we’re looking forward to Saturday night game 1 .”

Overview

Mildura has been phenomenal to watch in recent weeks – with the triumph over Camberwelll capping off a superb run. Calvin Henry and Dallas Brown have shone for the Heat and will give it their all to the final siren.

But you don’t get to be the top seed without reason. The Eagles have flown on the back of Damon Smith, Liam Watt and Blake Dickinson as part of a very even spread.  Taking down Craigieburn will require a lot, especially with the travel and a potential double-header to deal with.

Prediction

Craigieburn 2-0

 

Coburg (2nd) vs. Melton (5th)

G1: Melton Indoor Rec Centre, 7pm

G2/G3: Coburg Basketball Stadium, TBA

Meetings this season

R1: Coburg defeated Melton 92-69

R7: Melton defeated Coburg 74-72

From the coaches

Dylan Theis (Coburg)

“We are very excited to get back on the court after a weekend off, and look forward to playing Melton.” 

Joe Hooks (Melton)

Quotes not available before publication.

Overview

There’s nothing more entertaining than an underdog story. Melton has split its games against Coburg but is on a monster run leading into this game. Dexter Graham, Emmanuel Malou and Wol Wol Ngong continue to impress. Coburg has plenty in the tank and will rise to the challenge through Patrick Green, Jeremiah Juric and Mweemba Maluma. It certainly won’t be easy to take this series but the Thoroughbreds have the tricks and talent to take this one in the third.

Prediction

Melton 2-1


Division Two Women

Wallan (2nd) vs. Blackburn (4th)

Saturday 7pm RB Robson Stadium

Meetings this season

R4: Wallan defeated by Blackburn 66-39

R14: Blackburn defeated Wallan 73-63

From the coaches

Warren Taylor (Wallan)

No game is easy after a tough loss but to face Blackburn in the form they are in will be a huge challenge for us this week.  We didn’t play anywhere near our best basketball last week and we know if we don’t find a quick turnaround our season could be over.  Blackburn have won 7 of their last 8 matches so they will take some stopping but we are hoping a vocal home crowd will help us return to a bit of form and get a win.

Peter Buckle (Blackburn)

Not available at time of publishing

Overview

It’s quite cliched, but also hard to consider that at the end of this match one team’s incredibly hard-working season will end.  It’s very hard to argue against Blackburn’s form. In fact, a win against Wallan was the start of their amazing 7 of 8 run of W’s – losing just one game since in a tight contest with North East in Round 16. They even came within a whisker of beating the ladder leaders Craigieburn in Round 8. No one can fault their endeavour. The Panthers, as Coach has mentioned, had a slip in form last week but their home record is 8-1 so the Vikings will need to take the crowd out early with a positive start. Expect both teams to throw everything at this and leave nothing in the tank and it’s likely to be very close. The winner will have certainly earnt their spot in the Grand Final. Best of luck to both teams.

Prediction

Wallan by 6 in OT


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men

Season Completed!


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women

Season Completed!


Youth League One Men

Season Completed!


Youth League One Women

Sunbury (2nd) vs. Keilor (1st)

G1: Boardman Stadium Sat 7pm

G2/3: Keilor Basketball Stadium TBA

Meetings this season

R4: Keilor 62 defeated by Sunbury 70

R10: Keilor 76 defeated Sunbury 44

R14: Sunbury 63 defeated Keilor 49

From the coaches

Andrew Seidel (Sunbury)

Well as they Say; “Welcome to the Big Dance”

All the best to Ryan and the Keilor Youth Girls in this upcoming Grand Final series, which will be hotly contested by the 2 best teams of 2018.

We have done everything possibly as a group up till this day, so hopefully we can now do what is required to win the Championship.

Thank you to everyone involved with our Team and Club this season and hope we can deliver another championship to our Club.

Good luck to all involved

“#GoJets”

Ryan Morris (Keilor)

“This Grand Final Series will be tough for both teams!
Andrew has done a great job this season and has a core group that have seen them deserve their place in this series. 
We are young but hungry for success. The ladies have worked relentlessly to get their opportunity and know it requires our staple of a team effort to get the job done.”

Overview

Goliath vs. Goliath. These two teams have been the benchmark of the competition throughout the course of the season. Finishing 1 and 2 for a reason, these two teams have firepower, desire, aggression, determination and a hunger for championship glory. May the best team win, as we’re in for a cracker of a series!

Prediction

Keilor 2-1


Youth League Two Men

Pakenham (3rd) vs. Frankston (1st)

G1: Cardinia Life Sat 6pm

G2/3: Frankston Basketball Stadium TBA

Meetings this season

R1: Frankston 79 defeated Pakenham 71

R8: Pakenham 69 defeated by Frankston 81

From the coaches

Simo Pajdic (Pakenham)

We come into the grand final series off a good win against a very strong side in Collingwood and have taken a lot of confidence out of it. However, Frankston have beaten us twice in the regular season and we are welcoming the challenge they pose. We know they can put up points in a hurry, so it is on us to limit the damage they can do on the offensive end. We are looking forward to a very competitive grand final series that will be played at a high level.” 

Glenn Eames (Frankston)

Firstly, congratulations to the Warriors on their win last weekend.

Simo has the boys playing some great ball at the right end of the season and they will be a tough opponent.

It would not surprise me if this series went to game 3.”

Overview

An excellent return to the competition for the Blues from Frankston, attempting to etch themselves straight into the record books by returning as champions. It’s been an impressive season after a shaky start and they’ve steadied, as well as composed themselves to become a force of the competition. Six straight wins to finish off the season saw them top of the table and earn the right to claim home court advantage. Can they use that advantage when it matters most? The Warriors did it the hard way, slipping into elimination finals before trumping Collingwood who had proved a handful this season. Can they use their weapons on hand to blow the Blues out of the park early? They’ll need to.

Prediction

Frankston 2-1


Youth League Two Women

Frankston Blues vs. Pakenham Warriors

Frankston Basketball Stadium Sat 6:30pm

Meetings this season

RD01: Pakenham Warriors 57 def. Frankston Blues 55

RD16: Frankston Blues 58 def. Pakenham Warriors 56

QF01: Pakenham Warriors 57 def. by Frankston Blues 69

From the coaches

Frankston Head Coach (Frankston)

If we are to make the grand final we must play good defence against a Pakenham side that has a lot of scoring options.   We have to look after the ball and be composed down the stretch.   It’s an exciting to have a chance to make the grand final and as all our games with Pakenham have been close it should be a great contest.” 

Pakenham Head Coach (Pakenham)

We need to bring last week’s attitude into this week’s return clash against Frankston. Two weeks ago, they served us our first loss at home for the year, so we’ll be fired up to return the favour. The biggest stats for us in the loss in finals week 1 were 32 turnovers for us and 32 extra shots for the Blues; in a close game that hurts too much. Last week our KPIs were up and we contested every possession aggressively. This is vital on Saturday night. There’s no do over. We’ve come too far this year to fall short at the final hurdle. Bring on what’s sure to be a cracking game!

Overview

In three match-ups this season the winning margin has been 5.4 points. That is how close the matches have been between the Frankston Blues and the Pakenham Warriors. This weekend the teams resume their battle with the winner granted a shot at the title. With it all on the line, this has the makings of the game of the season. The marquee match-up between Pakenham’s Ellie Coutts and Frankston’s Tori Jackson will be critical for the result, both players are the heart and soul of their squads. With a raucous Frankston crowd cheering them on, the Blues have the early advantage is this one. Can’t wait for the game.

Prediction

Frankston Blues by 4 points.

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