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Saturday 26 May
Victorian Youth Championship Women
Vs Nunawading @ 6pm
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When you’re trying to honour a Club Legend, sometimes you have to go the extra mile. That’s exactly what the Ringwood Hawks had to do on Saturday night as they delivered for Matthew Snow’s 400th in a close contest against the Casey Cavaliers.
The greatness of Snowy is no secret around Victorian basketball circles and early in the game the pressure to get a win seemed to weigh heavily on the Hawks. The usual deadly perimeter shooting game that has served the Hawks well for years was nowhere to be seen as they fell behind in the first quarter.
At quarter time, a frustrated and lazy looking Hawks were 1 from 8 from the three point line and trailed by 6. Hawks Coach Ken Harrington insisted his team increase the speed of the game and his team instantly started to look better.
“We were walking the ball down the court and that plays in to the hands of what Casey want us to do.” He said.
“Once we started running, we found a flow and worked our way back in to the game.”
The Hawks won the second quarter but still trailed at half time by 4 points. The signs were good for the Hawks though as Jacob Gibson (33 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists) and Shaun Clarke (19 points and 12 rebounds) looked dangerous and capable of taking over the game.
The message at half time for the Hawks was simple, win each of the last two quarters and you will win the game. Matt Fennell (18 points and 13 rebounds) and Snowy (6 points, 7 assists and 4 steals) took on the challenge as they always do and the Hawks edged their way to the lead.
The game see sawed and with 1 minute and 29 seconds left in the last quarter, Casey’s Ben Louis hit 2 free throws and the game was tied at 91 each. As he has done on so many occasions, Snowy again stepped up big for the Hawks getting fouled and hitting his two free throws. Just as the massive home crowd exhaled and the Hawks looked like they were home, Casey big man Brent Hobba sprung open and nailed a three pointer to put his team up by a point with less than a minute left.
On this night though, there was no way the Hawks would not find a way to get the win for their man. Matt Fennell, with ice in his veins caught the ball from Snowy and calmly nailed an answering three and the Hawks closed out the game from the foul line.
“I am glad the boys found a way to get the win for Snowy tonight.” Harrington said.
“He has given his heart and soul to the Club, the supporters, the Coaches and his teammates for 400 games. He is remarkable.”
On Sunday the Hawks travelled to Blackburn and enjoyed a solid 19 point win with Clarke, Gibson and Scottie Stone leading the way. The Hawks remain on top of the Big V ladder with 6 wins from their seven games.
The Hawks have a bye next week which will give them a chance to rest a few injuries and prepare for a massive test against the Eltham Wildcats the following week.
Watch a replay of the Hawks win here, featuring commentary from Russell Lee, Matt Hickey and special guests.