As a team not known for their work at the defensive end of the court, the Ringwood Hawks picked the biggest stage to show what they can do with an inspiring 28 point win in Game One of the 2018 Big V Grand Final series at Eltham.
The Hawks went in to Eltham with a few challenges. They were considered the clear underdogs and also had an injury cloud over veteran leader Matt Snow. Snow took the court at tip off, but the Hawks quickly realized they were in a contest after falling behind 15 to 5 in the opening 5 minutes.
Hawks Head Coach Ken Harrington quickly called an early time out and re-settled his players. And by quarter time the Hawks trailed by 4 points, but were starting to look dangerous.
Matt Fennell (26 points and 8 rebounds) and Jacob Gibson (25 points and 7 rebounds) kept the Hawks offense ticking over in the second quarter and the Hawks grabbed the lead, quietening the 500 strong Eltham fans. Late in the quarter, Scottie Stone nailed two big threes and at the half it was the Hawks who enjoyed an 8 point advantage.
“We had a great feel in the rooms at half time. The guys did not need a motivational speech.” Harrington said.
“We just cleaned up a few things defensively and reset ourselves for the battle.”
The defensive intensity for the Hawks went up a level and the Wildcats usual offensive production started to slow down. Hawks Centre Shaun Clarke quickly picked up his third foul and headed to the bench, but Trevor Latham (14 points and 10 rebounds) came off the pine and sparked another Hawks run. The lead ballooned to 15 at three quarter time.
With Snow pushing through his injuries, at times limping and grimacing in pain, his inspiration was not lost on his teammates who would not take their foot off the pedal. Any plans the Wildcats had of making a late run where quickly washed away in a barrage of scoring from Fennell and Gibson, plus the grunt defensive effort of Latham and Nathan Truman. The Hawks ran away to close out Game one by an impressive 28 points.
The Hawks bench are sensing a big win in game one.
(Peter Hynson Photography)
“It was a great effort tonight; to play like that in a big game in their building.” Hawks Centre Trevor Latham said.
“But the job is only half done and Eltham are a proud and talented team that will hit back hard next week.”
Game two will be at the Rings Stadium next Saturday night, tipping off at 6.30pm and will be sold out. Ticketing information will be available off the Hawks Social media pages. No walk ups will be admitted to the game. Game three will be at 2pm on Sunday if required.
GRAND-FINAL Game One
RINGWOOD HAWKS 99 (Fennell 26, Gibson 25, Latham 14, Stone 13, Clarke 7, Snow 6, Truman 4, Osborne 2, Solty 2) defeated ELTHAM WILDCATS 71 (Waldren 29) at Eltham. Crowd 520.
Next Week…GRAND FINAL Game Two and Three (If Required)
Game 2. Ringwood Hawks V Eltham Wildcats
Saturday 1st September.
The Rings (Ringwood)
6.30pm. (Ticketing Info via Hawks Social Media)
Game 3. Sunday 2pm (If required)
Click here to watch a replay of the Game 1 win and here to view the game stats.
Last Modified on 26/08/2018 15:38