On Saturday night the Lady Hawks welcomed the Launceston Tornadoes to The Rings for their last home game of the NBL1 season. The Tornadoes are sitting 17th on the ladder. Ringwood have 14 wins for the season and have achieved a spot in the finals.
Ringwood got out to a quick lead in the first quarter thanks to tenacious play from Megan Mullings, Toni Farnworth and captain Danni Bone. They led by 10 at quarter time. It felt like The Hawks were going to win comfortably. However, the Tornadoes game lifted in the second term. They pressured the Hawks in defence and took their scoring opportunities to be behind by only three points at the end of the first half.
After an early triple tied the game, Ringwood lifted and won back momentum in the third period, dominating at both ends of the court. After outscoring Launceston 28 points to 14, the lead was out to 17 points at three quarter time.
In the fourth quarter, Ringwood continued to dominate. They kept passing to their post players, scoring 22 more points in the paint and their defensive pressure led to 27 points from Tornadoes turnovers. Ringwood ran out 89-68 winners.
Ringwood’s excellent team performance was led by Farnworth who contributed to all aspects of the game, racking up 24 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals, Mullings (17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists), Cassidy Mihalko (14 points, 7 rebounds) and Bone (14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) were the other leaders.
Best performers for the Tornadoes were Stella Beck (21 points, 11 rebounds, 5 steals) and Stephanie Gardner (14 points 8 rebounds 4 assists).
The home crowd saved its biggest cheers for the performance of Jeena Skaria who had her best game for the Hawks. Jeena, the Indian women’s basketball team captain, is playing her first season in a professional league.
“I am having a great time here. Fortunately, I have got the best teammates who are very supportive and always there to help me in everything.” Jeena said. “The game standard is really high and in India basketball is not a big thing. We don’t have many indoor stadiums and wooden courts. Also, our system is totally different. We don’t have any Pro leagues back in India.”
Next week Ringwood will play their last game of the regular season against a possible playoffs contender, the Dandenong Rangers in Dandenong. Tip-off is 12noon.
By Emma Hastings U12-2