Another round of hoops in the books, who was the player of the game in your respective contest?
McKinnon 107 def Hume City 94
The Cougars have clinched the Championship Men’s title with a 107-94 win over Hume City at GESAC off the back of an impressive 46 per cent shooting performance, winning the series 2-0. It was a neck-and-neck contest in the first half as neither side could gain any separation on the scoreboard, with McKinnon eventually taking a 56-50 lead into the main break. The third quarter was where the Cougars broke the game open, scoring the first five points to open up a 61-52 advantage. Hume City scrapped to bring it back to just a three-point game with 7:00 left in the third, capped off by Shayan Mahboobi’s layup. But McKinnon had the answers again, going on a 12-5 run capped off by back-to-back three-pointers from Eric Williams to regain a double-digit lead for his team with 4:12 left in the third. The hosts would eventually take an 85-70 lead into the last change. The margin proved too much for the Broncos to overcome in the fourth quarter. The closest the visitors got within was eight points halfway through the fourth term, but McKinnon weren’t about to let this one go down to the wire. The Cougars regained a double-digit lead to walk away with a convincing win and the Championship. Williams (36 points, five triples, 14 rebounds), Dillon Stith (37 points, 14 rebounds) and Adrian Tomada (16 points, four rebounds, 11 assists) all put in huge performances for the Cougars, while Jordan Coleman (25 points, five threes, six rebounds) and Jamal Shabazz (24 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks) were clinical for the Broncos.
Werribee 77 def Keilor 64
After a tightly contested first half, the Werribee Devils pulled away from the Keilor Thunder in game one of the Championship Women’s Grand Final at Eagle Stadium on Saturday night. Tied at 44 points apiece with just over seven minutes left in the third, the Devils went on a well-balanced run that gave them a 10-point lead heading into the fourth. From there, the home team never let go of the lead, despite a Thunder surge that saw their advantage dwindle to three points. The Devils were led by Alisia Jenkins, who racked up 22 points and 14 rebounds while going a perfect 10-10 at the line. Jenkins was aided by her captain, Alexyz Vaioletama, who continued her good run of form, scoring 14 points and adding six rebounds and four assists to her season totals. Looking forward, Keilor will hope to rally around the inspiring performance of Erin Bollmann. Bollmann lefts the court for a mere 51 seconds in game one, scoring a game-high 25 points to go along with her 15 boards. Both teams finished the regular season 14-4 but the Thunder advanced to the Grand Final first by winning their Qualifying Final, meaning the series will now head to Keilor for games two and three this weekend.
Division One Men
Sunbury 64 def by Warrandyte 78
The Venom claimed game one of their three-game Grand Final series, cruising to a 14-point victory over the Jets in Sunbury. The Jets started well, taking an early one-point lead before the Venom closed the first quarter with an 18-8 scoring run to lead by nine points at the first break. The second term was a back-and-forth affair, with Sunbury closing to within three points with 4:48 left before Warrandyte seized control once again to lead by eight points at the half. The game was won in the third quarter, with the Venom outscoring the Jets by 13 points to take an unassailable 69-48 lead heading into the final stanza. Sunbury made the scoreboard appear more respectable late, but the game was already decided. The rebounding battle proved decisive, with Warrandyte thoroughly dominating this category en route to a 13-0 advantage in second chance points. Jacob Thom led a balanced scoring attack for the Venom with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Bryan Moore made a 15-point, 16-rebound contribution. Ishmael Sanders starred in defeat for the Jets, with 22 points and seven assists. Warrandyte will have the home court advantage for games two and three (if required) next weekend.
Division One Women
Hawthorn 80 def Mildura 60
The Hawthorn Magic have won the Division One Women’s Championship after an impressive 20-point win over the Heat on Saturday night at the Boroondara Sports Complex. Following their two-point road victory in game one, the Magic were too strong for Mildura on their home floor, and wrapped up the series 2-0, with no need for a game three. It started out in close fashion like game one ended, with the scores locked up at 13-13 after one. The Magic pulled away in the second and took and eight-point lead into the main break, giving themselves some breathing room heading into half time. They added one point to their lead during the third to take a nine-point advantage into the final quarter, before doing their best work in the last to outscore Mildura 25-14 and take home the title. Nyilah Jamison-Myers was brilliant for the hosts, finishing with 20 points and 18 rebounds. Lara Edmanson also recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, as the Magic were dominant on the glass, recording 64 rebounds to 42. Hawthorn shot 39% to Mildura’s 27%, and dished out 15 assists to six. Captain Tia Ucich also starred for the hosts with 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Alyesha Lovett led the way for the visitors with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Division Two Men
Camberwell 75 def by Southern Peninsula 78
The Sharks have taken game one of the Division Two Men’s Grand Final series, after a come-from-behind win over the Dragons at Balwyn High School on Saturday night. Neither side led by double-digits at any stage of the game, showcasing just how tense the battle was. The Sharks trailed by three points heading into the final term, but used a 12-2 run to open the quarter to swing the margin in their favour. Orlando Mein tied the scores at 75-75 with 27 seconds left after his first free throw, but failed to put his side ahead with the second, as Brady Neill was fouled on the rebound for the visitors, and coolly slotted two from the line to give his side a two-point lead. Neill made one more free throw with 13 seconds left to close out the game, meaning the Sharks are now just one win away from the Championship. Neill top-scored with 17 points for the Sharks, but shot just 4-17 from the field, while Troyce Manassa added 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Jack Ocwieja (14 points, seven rebounds, four steals) and Kade Ebert (14 points, five rebounds) also impressed. Maxwell Barkeley top scored with 27 points and nine rebounds for the hosts, but couldn’t do enough to will the Dragons over the line. The two sides will face off at Dromana Stadium next Saturday in game two, with game three (if required) to take place at the same venue on Sunday.
Division Two Women
Melbourne University 75 def Pakenham 47
The Black Angels have taken full advantage of game one of their Grand Final series against Pakenham being on their home floor, after dominating the Warriors by 28 points. Melbourne University won every quarter but only led by 10 points at half time, although they put their foot down in the third term to win the quarter 23-12, and put the game to bed. The Black Angels shot 40% from the field compared to the Warriors’ 25%, while also dishing out 24 assists to 11. Melbourne University scored 22 points from Pakenham turnovers, while the visitors could only convert 16 Black Angel turnovers into eight points. Amelia Smith led the way with 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and seven steals, while Emmie O’Nial double-doubled with 13 points, 11 rebounds and three steals. Nine of the 10 Black Angels scored at least four points, as their bench added to the result. Games two and three (if required) will be at Cardinia Life next weekend.
Youth League One Women
Keilor 81 def Casey 66
The Keilor Thunder have once again defeated the Casey Cavaliers by 15 points, squashing the Cavaliers’ Championship hopes for season 2019. In a game that in many ways mirrored their game one win, the Thunder led from early on and never looked back. With five minutes to go, Casey pulled to within six points, but could not haul themselves into a dominant position. Keilor was clinical, scoring primarily through their starting five and restricting the Cavaliers to below 40 per cent shooting from the field. Much like game one, the Casey starters again found it hard to score, however a silver lining can be taken from Lauren Tuplin’s 15-point, eight-rebound, six-assist effort. From deep, Peta Rhodes scored four of the Cavaliers’ six three-pointers, shooting a clean 50 per cent from the field. Once again, Tess Heal led the Thunder, adding a 20-point, five-rebound performance to her 21-point game one. Captain Emily Ellis and Amy Scott added 13 points apiece in the win that saw Keilor put the icing on a season that saw them lose only twice; Minor Premiers turned Premiers on a Saturday night in Keilor!
Youth League Two Men
Craigieburn 80 def by Collingwood 93
The All Stars have taken out the Youth League Two Men’s Championship after a road victory over the Eagles on Saturday night at Craigieburn Sports Stadium. Collingwood got out to an early lead and never let up, outscoring the Eagles by 12 points in the first quarter and eight in the second, to take a 50-30 lead at the main break. Craigieburn answered in the third and cut the margin to seven points by the start of the final quarter, although the All Stars pulled away once again to record the 13-point win. Collingwood shot 44% from the field compared to Craigieburn’s 34%, which proved to be the most damning statistic of the evening, with the battle relatively even in the other categories. Deng Dut (26 points, five rebounds, five assists), Alexander Cocco (25 points, four rebounds, four steals) and Athiaan Manyiel (20 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, four steals, two blocks) dominated for the visitors, as the star trio led their side to victory. Abraham Solano impressed for the hosts with 28 points and seven rebounds, while Tyler Wing added 19 points and 14 boards. The All Stars won the series 2-0.
Youth League Two Women
Frankston 69 def Sherbrooke 55
The Blues have claimed the Youth League Two Women’s Championship after ousting the Suns 69-55 at the Frankston Basketball Stadium on Saturday night to win the Grand Final series 2-0. It was a tight first quarter with the Blues nudging ahead 15-14 at the end of the term off Alice Yates’ free throw. Both sides went scoreless over a three-minute period in the second term before the hosts started to build some momentum, pushing out to a 24-19 lead off Zoe Schonfelder’s three-pointer with 3:57 remaining. Frankston eventually took a 31-26 advantage into the main break. The Blues stayed in control in the third term, gaining a 42-35 lead halfway through the period after Kirra Gadsby made good on a pair of free throws. But Sherbrooke weren’t about to let Frankston run away with it, with the visitors closing out the term on a 6-2 run to pull it back to a just a three-point game at the final change. It was game on early in the fourth with Sherbrooke’s Zoe Haritos converting an and-one play to tie the scores up at 44-44. However, Frankston would take charge halfway through the term, going on a 11-3 run capped off by Kassie Boorer’s layup to extend her team’s lead to 63-51 with just 2:13 left in the ball game. The Blues were able to maintain that double-digit lead down the stretch to cruise to title glory in the end. Tori Jackson (16 points, four rebounds, three steals), Boorer (eight points, 11 boards, two steals, two blocks), Yates (13 points, six rebounds, three steals) and Schonfelder (16 points, five boards, three steals) led the way for Frankston. Rachael Hurd (14 points, four rebounds, two steals), Naomi Smith (eight points, nine boards, two steals) and Vanessa Fantin (10 points) battled hard all night for the Suns.