Ringwood hosts the Southern Sabres in NBL1 Round 7 action on Saturday 18 May.
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The Ringwood Hawks have started the new NBL1 season with an encouraging win over the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence at the Rings stadium on Saturday night.
It was standing room only at the Rings as the Hawks went in to the game as underdogs against the Canberra based Centre of Excellence, a team that features the country’s best you Australian players. But after receiving their Championship Rings in the pre-game, the Hawks jumped out of the gate and established their inside dominance early.
Hawks big men Shaun Clarke, Trevor Latham and Adrien Sturt all found different ways to be effective early in the contest and helped build the home team a seven point lead at quarter time.
The COE hit back in the second quarter as the Hawks watched veteran leader Matt Snow leave the court with a severe ankle injury. Snow was unable to take any further part in the game and by half time the Hawks advantage had shrunk to just 4.
After some adjustments made at the half time break, Hawks Coach Ken Harrington looked to new import Joey Miller (11 assists) to run the team’s offense in Snow’s absence. The American stepped up and continually found his teammates some great scoring opportunities. The biggest benefactor was his housemate Jacob Gibson who was on fire, nailing 4 three pointers in his 31 point explosion.
Pic: Kath Miles
“Joey did a great job for us against the relentless pressure from the COE defenders.” Hawks Coach Ken Harrington said.
“He was able to keep us on track and keep our offense flowing which was the key to the win.”
The young CEO players kept challenging and upped their defensive pressure, but Matt Fennell and Sturt both nailed big shots when needed and both finished with 18 points. Ringwood closed out the game to win by 11 and start the new NBL1 competition in the best possible way.
“Every win is going to be hard earned. This was a great win to start the season.” Miller said post game.
“It’s good to win at home as next week we hit the road to Albury to face a very talented line up.”
Miller and his teammates will have little time to celebrate as they start to prepare for Albury next Saturday night. The Bandits are always a tough challenge in their own venue and the Hawks will most likely be without Snow who is unlikely to be available.
RINGWOOD 105 (Gibson 31, Sturt 18, Fennell 18, Latham 14, Miller 9, Clarke 7, Truman 6, Snow 2) defeated COE 94 (King 24, Ducas 18, Goodrick 16) at The Rings in Ringwood.