The Keilor Thunder was always going to be a tough test for the league leading Ringwood Hawks. The packed Rings stadium got exactly what they expected on Saturday night, a high quality, fast paced game and a hard earned Hawks victory.
Early in the game, it looked anything but a contest though as the Hawks came out for tip off with a steely determination. Despite missing two key players, Trevor Latham and Nate Truman, 5 minutes in to the game the Hawks led by 17 to 3 and had total control.
The one thing that the Hawks could not afford would be foul trouble or injury, and two quick and controversial calls on Hawks Centre Shaun Clarke and another two on Matt Snow changed the game. The Hawks also watched as Stefan Osborne clashed heads with a Thunder player and was forced from the court.The Thunder found some confidence and by half time had closed the gap to 11 and looked capable of making a serious second half challenge.
The third quarter though belong to Clarke (23 points, 5 rebound and 4 assists) who caught fire from the three point line nailing 4 long bombs in his 21 point explosion that blew the Hawks lead out to 20 points. The only way to slow the Hawks big man was to get him off the court and another quick two fouls send the frustrated Clarke back to the bench.
“He was pretty unlucky tonight, it could have been a very big scoring night for Shaun.” Hawks Coach Ken Harrington said,
“But he was on the end of some pretty unlucky fouls and was restricted to just 24 minutes on court.”
Clarke, Jacob Gibson (22 points) and Scottie Stone (16 points) can thank Matty Snow who carved the Thunders defense to pieces with his 11 points and 14 assists.
Matt Fennell (23 points and 8 rebounds) put the finishing touches on the Hawks ninth win a strong final quarter at both ends of the court. Harrington was happy with the win and the composure the team showed in a game that was a must win.
“There was so much going on and both teams looked frustrated.” He said.
“We managed to keep our cool and control the tempo enough to come away with a very important win. Keilor will beat a lot of teams this season.”
Next week the Hawks will travel to Werribee and face another dangerous opponent who would love nothing more than a big win over the Hawks. The game is on Sunday at 2pm.
RINGWOOD HAWKS 102 (Clarke 23, Fennell 23, Gibson 22, Stone 16, Snow 11) defeated KEILOR THUNDER 91 (Coleman 25) at The Rings in Ringwood.
Watch a replay of the game here.
Last Modified on 27/05/2018 13:11