Finals August 18&19 Recap

The finals are in full swing, it’s time to see who advanced and who’s gone fishing a little early this season!

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 92 def. McKinnon 79

The Hawks became the first team through to the grand final series with a comfortable win over the Cougars.

A tight first term saw the teams locked at 27, before the Hawks put the foot down and built a 10-point lead by halftime. Things got worse for the visitors in the third term as the Hawks blew the lead beyond 20 by the final change. The Cougars fought back in the final term but the result was in the  book.

Matt Fennell (31pts 13reb) and Jacob Gibson (17pts 6reb) led the Hawks in the win, while for the Cougars it was Jermaine Maybank (17pts 5reb 5ast) who led the way. Ivan Platenik (10pts 3reb) and Dillon Stith (11pts 5reb) were well-held by the home side.

Eltham 76 def. Hawthorn 74

The Wildcats kept their season alive with a tight win over the Magic on their home floor.

After taking game on at home the Magic started the better in this one too, building a 10-point lead by the main break as they looked to close out the series and advance to the grand final. The Wildcats were unable to bridge the gap in a tight third term, and the Magic took a nine point advantage into the crucial final quarter.

The ‘Cats were always going to make a run, though, and trailing by 12 points with four minutes on the clock it began. A Ben Waldren three-pointer kicked things off, and on the next possession he followed that up with an and-one to cut the deficit to just six.

However the Magic looked to be holding sway and still led by six with just over a minute on the clock. Eltham wasn’t done yet, and a Josh Sykes dunk kept the fire burning. The ‘Cats cut the deficit to just two on the next possession and got the stop they needed with 23 seconds to play. Enter Chris Cameron, who stepped up and nailed a big three-pointer to send the home crowd into raptures.

The Magic came up empty on their next trip and the ‘Cats held on to force a third game.

Ben Waldren (5ast) and Ilarion Bonhomme II added 19 points apiece to lead the Wildcats, while Nelson Kirksey (18pts 5reb 7ast) was the best for the Magic. 

Eltham 77 def. Hawthorn 62

The home side started much better on Sunday, building a handy six-point lead in the first half.

While far from out of it, the Magic were unable to keep pace with the Wildcats this time around, and the margin grew to double digits by the final change. That margin only grew over the last 10 minutes and Eltham booked their spot in the big dance to face Ringwood.

Justin Aver (18pts 3reb 3ast) and Josh Sykes (15pts 6reb) led the way this time around, outdueling Alex Bogart-King (21pts 11reb 2ast). Nelson Kirksey (11pts 3-17FG) was well-held by the ‘Cats.

State Championship Women

Knox 59 lost to lost to Sth Peninsula 60

The Raiders have exited this year’s finals series in straight sets, ironically being held to 59pts for the second week in a row and falling short once more, this time to the dashing Sth Peninsula Sharks. The home team blasted out of the blocks and raced to a 25-­‐11 lead in the opening qtr, leaving the Sharks a little shell-­‐shocked, but it didn’t take long for the victors to re-­‐group and re-­‐focus, for what they did during the middle qtrs was quite extraordinary.

The message that defence is king definitely got through. Amping up their thirst for defensive pressure, the Sharks held Knox to consecutive single-­‐digit periods, 12-­‐8 followed by 10-­‐9, and though they weren’t scoring much themselves, the pressure proved telling and was the forerunner to a blistering 27-­‐17 last qtr. With scores tied and barely 30sec left to play, Bec Ott found her way to the foul line and sunk both to push the Raiders to a 59-­‐57 lead. Out of a time-­‐out and with seconds to play young Paige Price came up trumps for the Sharks with a triple, the second time in successive weeks they have managed to sink a big three to win the game.

Despite Bec Ott having a late shot, this was yet another exciting win for a club that continues to do amazing things in SCW and across their entire girls program. The talent emerging from the Shark Tank is exciting. The Sharks didn’t shoot overly well (28%), but they got solid contributions in a low-­‐scoring game from Peyton Little (16pts), Paige Price (16pts) and Jaz Shelley (13pts). For the Raiders, Georgia Stirton (18pts), Lucy Dawson (13pts) and Bec Ott (12pts) all contributed. The Sharks now progress to take on Sunbury for this year’s title, a fantastic match-­‐up that promises to deliver plenty of thrills.

Division One Men

Chelsea 83 lost to Western Port 103
Chelsea 92 def Western Port 71

The Steelers caused a stunning upset on Saturday night to force this semi-­‐final series into a third and deciding game. It was Chelsea’s first loss since May 6th, a hiccup after 15 straight wins, but it came courtesy of a fantastic effort by Western Port. Bar a 25-­‐26 last qtr, the visitors won every period and left the home crowd stunned. Dylan Travis (35pts) was fantastic and enjoyed terrific support from Chris Taylor (23pts), Matt Turner (20pts, 13rbs) and James McKinnon (11pts, 15rbs). For the Gulls, Corey Standerfer (32pts, 16rbs) and Matt Brasser (31pts) did all they could, but Mitch Riggs (14pts) was well held and the rest of the team only contributed 6pts collectively. Sunday’s game saw Chelsea settle early, starting with a 21-­‐17 opening qtr, but it was their punishing 30-­‐16 second period that laid the foundations for this bounce-­‐back win and series decider. Try as they might after the long break, the Steelers just could’t peg back the margin, the Gulls final advantage of 21pts being the biggest of the game. Standerfer completed an amazing weekend, going for 33pts and 20rbs, with Mitch Riggs adding 28pts. For the competitive Steelers, Dylan Travis had 24pts and Ben Perry added 17pts. Now the Gulls meet the Gators for the title!

Keysborough 72 lost to Shepparton 94

The Gators have come good at the right end of the season and are through to the Grand Final series after toppling Keysie by 22pts. The Cougars came out firing, as expected, and led by 2pts after the opening qtr, but that’s where things came to an abrupt halt for the home team. In the blink of an eye, the Gators got on top and killed off the contest with a 45-­‐26 run through the middle qtrs. It proved to be an advantage the Cougars couldn’t rescue. For the winners, Cameron Vines (28pts, 17rbs, 3 treys) and Spencer Coleman (23pts) led the way, while Matt Bartlett added a handy 18pts. The Cougars just couldn’t get going with Gerrard Newby well held for his 16pts, while Jamie LeClerc (10pts) was the only other player in double digits. So, the Cougars exit after an impressive season, while the Gators are through to the big dance and look to be in good form and ready to give the race for a championship a red-­‐hot crack.

Division One Women

Warrnambool 91 def Mildura 73

Finishing the job on the road, Warrnambool surged into the Division 1 Women’s grand final series with an 18-point triumph over Mildura.

The team bus would have been pumping on the way back to the Bool following a sensational performance at the Hothouse as Warrnambool finished the job with a game in hand.

The Mermaids set the tempo early as Holly Greene (22 points, 10 assists, five rebounds), Abbey Sutherland (11 points, five rebounds) and Katie O’Keefe (25 points, 13 rebounds) rained buckets early. Mildura endured the worst of the barrage as Alexis Gassion (19 points, 17 rebounds), Vanessa Power (15 points) and Mikayla Delcastegne (14 points) fought bravely for the home side.

Dominating the boards and dishing off a flurry of assists, through the likes of Alana Strom (17 points, 15 rebounds) and Amy Wormald (six points, 12 rebounds), Warrnambool swiftly went about dotting I’s and crossing T’s en route to the championship clash. They had an answer for everything the Heat dished up in an emphatic away performance – in what is one of the toughest road trips in Big V.

It sets the stage for a Mermaids vs Cavaliers grand final series – tipping off Saturday night in Warrnambool.

Casey 64 def Geelong 49

Sealing the deal on home court in front of an electric crowd, Casey booked its place in the Division 1 Women’s grand final series with a 15-point win over Geelong.

Wanting the extra day off, Casey ensured there would be no need for a third and deciding clash with an explosive early volley setting the tempo. Loni Jeffs (16 points), Jamie-Lee Jeffs (10 points, eight rebounds) and Steph Pal (10 points, five rebounds) found the ring early and often. It was a match won in the paint as Tarryn Wilkin (nine points, 10 rebounds) got amongst the stats in another textbook performance from the star centre.

A 10-point break at half time was exacerbated in the third term as Casey hammered home the victory. The likes of Steph Pal and Jamie-Lee Jeffs helped balloon the gap out to 20 as Casey was able to rest their stars and keep an eye on next week with its rotation.

Geelong’s shooting wasn’t up to par as it went at 30 per cent from the field and only 50 per cent at the stripe.

On a difficult night for the Supercats, they were gallantly led by Jessica Watson (13 points, six rebounds), Olivia Virt (12 points) and Tess Feery (three points, 12 rebounds).

Casey will battle Warrnambool on the road in the first of the three-game series starting this Saturday.

Division Two Men

Melton 85 def Coburg 64

Coburg 77 def Melton 68

Forcing it to game three, Melton surged on Saturday night, but couldn’t back up its incredible effort as Coburg advanced to the finale.

Melton charged into the fray early as Dexter Graham (23 points), Wol Wol Ngong (20 points) and Mangar Manyang (13 points, 14 rebounds) soared across the board. Their efforts up close brought home a staggering 48 points in the paint and left the Giants reeling.

Patrick Green (17 points) was the best of the Coburg brigade on a night they certainly put behind them quickly.

Tipping off the next day with a completely different mindset, the Giants surged early. Patrick Green (22 points) and Mweemba Maluma (14 points, 11 rebounds) got the ball rolling to take a eight-point lead at the half. Melton toiled to fight its way back into the clash as Dexter Graham (21 points) launched into a last-ditch effort to keep the Thoroughbreds’ season alive. But through the resilient efforts of Green, Jordan Harding and Maluma, the Giants held off the final cavalry charge to advance.

Coburg will face Mildura in a best-of-three grand final series starting away at the Hothouse on Saturday night.

Craigieburn 65 def Mildura 63

Mildura 69 def Craigieburn 66

The underdogs continue to claim some incredible scalps as Mildura took the best-of-three series against Craigieburn. Having to scrap it out on away courts in a pair of back-to-back battles, Mildura nearly swept the series in a two-point loss on Saturday night.

It was the Smith vs Henry show in both clashes as the superstars locked horns and dropped nearly 100 between them across the weekend.

Mildura had its chances to take the second clash, spurred on by a 22-14 run in the final term, but the early damage hurt their chances down the stretch.  Dallas Brown made some incredible shots late – including a three-ball with only seven seconds left the game… but the Eagles had Liam Watt at the other end who sealed the deal with a jumper at the death.

The third clash was level pegging when it counted most as the Eagles were well served by Blake Dickinson, Damon Smith and Liam Watt.

Mildura had to fight back yet again, but a 25-9 third term set the stage for a thrilling finale to this series. Benson Steere nailed a pair of clutch threes in league with Jay Madigan and Calvin Henry to surge in front.

The Heat dug deep in the final term to swish ahead through Steven Bowden and Dallas Brown to take an incredible series. The Heat has certainly raised the bar as it heads towards a brilliant grand final series against Coburg.

Division Two Women

Wallan 60 def by Blackburn 67

In front of a passionate home crowd, the game opened up to script as the Wallan Panthers created a 10 point opening quarter lead.

The Vikings from Blackburn certainly weren’t overawed though and in the second quarter scaled back the deficit from 10 points to 7 into the main break.

The third term was an arm wrestle. The Panthers went on a 13-4 run and with about 4 mins left in the term the home side led by 16. Then, thanks to some sweet shooting and clean offense from the visitors, the Vikings went on a 12-3 blast of their own to keep the score at 7 with a quarter to play.

The last term was something of a nail biter. With everything to play for, the Panthers maintained a 6 point advantage with about 4 mins to play and again the Vikings wouldn’t go away. Perimeter shooting and charity stripe accuracy got the the Vikings level with 42 seconds left in the match.  Unfortunately for the team in teal, the scoring had dried up and the division golden hands winner Andrea Belmonte steering the Viking ship home scoring the last 7 points of the game to book a spot in the Grand Final series against Craigieburn.

A great game from Alex Darby for the home side racking up 23 points along with 6 assists, but the Vikings had clearly done their homework putting the brakes on some of the other Panther scorers.  For the victorious Blackburn, Andrea Belmonte shone with 19 points and a board short of a double, as well as taking the game on the final minute in particular. Victoria Sumskas also a board short of a doube collecting 11 points, Shannon Bone with 10 points and Nikolina Sukurica providing some bite off the bench with 14 points.

For the Panthers, their season comes to a close but have certainly kept other teams honest over the course of the fixture.  For the Vikings, their amazing winning run continues and nothing at the moment would say they can’t improve that momentum further commencing their Grand Final series with the Eagles from Craigieburn at Mullum Mullum.

Craigieburn awaits.

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 78 defeated Keilor 75

Sunbury lead series 1-0

The Sunbury Jets are one game away from claiming their second championship in as many years, defeating Keilor 78-75 on home soil in Game One of the Youth League One Women’s grand final.

The star of the contest was undoubtedly Chloe Angove, who posted 26 points and 10 rebounds, three points no bigger than the triple hit with just seconds left on the game clock.

Angove led from the front and led throughout, making sure the Jets were to recover from their slow start to post a half time lead. Ally Stewart was influential off the bench, recording 14 points on 4-7FG shooting.

Beth Theodore posted 11 points also off the bench, while Nyomi Stowers was excellent defensively recording six steals to go along with her nine points for the game.

For the Thunder, Tashia Overby was big solidifying a double double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Amelia Velardo was the only other player in double figures with 18 points and six rebounds.

In what was an absolute cliff hanger of Game One, the series certainly heats up when it shifts to the Keilor Basketball Stadium next weekend where the Thunder will be looking to avenge their Game One defeat and even the series before a potential blockbuster do-or-die Sunday encounter.

Sunbury 78 (Angove 26, Stewart 14, Theodore 11) defeated Keilor 75 (Overby 19, Velardo 18, Maino 9)

Youth League Two Men

Pakenham 78 defeated by Frankston 99

Frankston lead series 1-0

The league leading Frankston Blues have pinched Game One away from Pakenham on the road and will now head back to the Frankston Basketball Stadium in hope to claim the Youth League Two Men’s title after returning to the competition this year.

Josh Cleary was efficient en-route to 24 points, who was backed up by Ryan Wells’ 22 points and five assists. The Blues extremely efficient and effective when it came to their offence, where they also found contributors from Tristan Lloyd (16 points, 16 rebounds) and Tom Garrett (11 points, 12 rebounds).

For the Warriors, Lee Belton did his bit to keep the scoreboard ticking over with 18 points, while Tommy Greer (11 points, 16 rebounds) continued his fine form posting yet another double double. Ned Weideman was kept quiet in terms of his lofty standards with 14 points but did lock in defensively with four steals.

Frankston stayed in the contest throughout the opening ten minutes, while the Warriors faithful were full of voice, to be down just three at the first break.

The Blues made their move and pushed the tempo in the third term to break away to a 15-point lead at the final break. The lead was unassailable as the Blues ran away victors and moved one game closer to that elusive championship.

Pakenham 78 (Belton 18, Weideman 14, Greer 11) defeated by Frankston 99 (Cleary 24, Wells 22, Lloyd 16)

Youth League Two Women

Preliminary Final

Frankston Blues 64 def. Pakenham Warriors 54

The Frankston Blues have used an outstanding defensive effort to defeat the Pakenham Warriors by 10 points and advance to the YL2W Grand Final series.

Frankston were sensational with the defensive pressure swiping an incredible 27 steals and forcing the Warriors into an unbelievable 41 turnovers.

Leading her team from the front was Frankston captain Tori Jackson scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. But it was the game of Blues teammate Annabel Fitter which was instrumental in securing the victory.

Fitter scored a game-high 15 points and chipped in with eight rebounds in the victory. Sarah Thomson was gallant in defeat trying her heart out to top score for the Warriors with 14 points, but it wasn’t enough to see the away team nab the win.

Frankston have been the best defensive team all season long and showed how when they lock down a team, they are hard to beat. Should be a cracking grand final series.

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