The Ringwood Hawks remarkable run of getting to the BigV State Championship Mens Grand Final series has continued after they swept past the McKinnon Cougars on Saturday night in front of a massive crowd at The Rings.
Starting next week against the Eltham Wildcats, the Hawks will be seeking a “threepeat” after claiming the Championship in 2016 and 2017. The most impressive of all the Hawks achievements though is that this is the 8th time in the last ten years they have played in the Grand Final series.
On Saturday night, the McKinnon Cougars threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Hawks, but just could not slow down Matt Fennell (31 points and 13 rebounds) and his team. Despite the scores ending tied at 27 each in a close first quarter, the Hawks slowly pulled away in the second thanks to Fennell and Trevor Latham (13 points) who kept the scoreboard ticking over. At half time it was Ringwood by 10 points.
The Hawks came out aggressive early in the third quarter and the lead started to build. The Cougars frustration grew as they sensed that the game was slipping away. Then Sydney Kings star and the Cougars main offensive target Deng Deng let his frustration boil over and got himself kicked out of the game. Deng was in the face of the referee and needed to be escorted away by Hawks Centre Trevor Latham.
From that point on the Hawks were able to keep a comfortable lead and close out the game with a 13 point margin. Shaun Clarke (12 points and 8 rebounds), Jacob Gibson (17 points and 6 rebounds) and the incomparable Matt Snowball (12 points and 13 assists) all insured the Hawks would have another Grand Final series to look forward to. And what a series it promises to be.
Next week the Hawks will be off to Eltham to face off with the physical and talented Wildcats in Game one. The Wildcats will start favourites in the series as they won both games during the regular season, but both games were very close.
“We are expecting a physical and fiery contest because that’s exactly what both games have been like between the two teams this year.” Hawks import Jacob Gibson said.
“We will prepare ourselves as we always do, focus on a few areas to improve on and be ready to roll on Saturday.”
The BigV Grand Final will again be a best of three series with Eltham hosting Game one and Ringwood Game two and three if required the following week. It is expected that Saturday night’s game will tip off at 7pm at Eltham High School, but tickets will need to be purchased online through the Wildcats Facebook page.
SEMI-FINAL Game Two
RINGWOOD HAWKS 92 (Fennell 31, Gibson 17, Latham 13, Clarke 12, Snow 12, Truman 5, Stone 2) defeated McKINNON COUGARS 79 (Maybank 17, Deng 16, Stith 11).at The Rings in Ringwood.
Click here to watch a replay of the Hawks win.
Last Modified on 19/08/2018 16:45