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The Ringwood Hawks have started their Big V title defense with a big win over the same team they beat in last year’s Grand Final, the Waverley Falcons. But if you like highlights and pretty Basketball, Waverley Stadium was not the place to be last Sunday.
The Hawks were jumped early by the Falcons who have re-jigged their roster and are considered the favourites for this year’s Championship. The Hawks looked shell shocked and quickly fell behind by 15 points as the Falcons nailed shots from all over the court. The veteran Ringwood team made some adjustments and in the second quarter managed to start eating into the deficit.
“We just needed to increase our intensity and then we were able to slow them down.” Hawks import Jacob Gibson said.
“Which was very important as we could not hit water if we fell from a boat at the offensive end.”
The Hawks are known as a talented shooting team but time and again the Hawks missed great scoring opportunities and made the job harder than it should be. At half time they had worked themselves back to within 6 points.
Shaun Clarke (18 points and 10 rebounds) gave his team a focal point in the third quarter and the Hawks quickly found their noses in front. Both teams had some foul trouble but the Hawks had Jacob Gibson (28 points and 7 rebounds) who stood tall and made sure the Hawks would start the season with an important road win.
“Jacob was the difference today.” Hawks Coach Ken Harrington said.
“He was the one player who was able to shake off the rust and make shots when we needed it.”
The Hawks Coach also paid tribute to Nathan Truman who came off the bench when the Hawks were struggling to contain the Falcons and changed the teams focus.
“Truey is one of the guys we lean on to challenge his teammates when they are not playing hard enough.”
“He was great today, he needs to take a slice of the credit that we got over the line.”
Next Saturday night the Hawks will play their first home game of the season and will be celebrating their Championship win in 2017 with the presentation of Championship Rings. The game will tip off at the family friendly time of 6pm and the Hawks will be facing the much improved Werribee Devils.
RINGWOOD 69 (Gibson 28, Clarke 18, Stone 6, Latham 5, Snow 4, Truman 3, Fennell 3) defeated WAVERLEY 61 (Sturt 21) at Waverley Stadium.
Watch a replay of the game here.