Lady Hawks Playoffs Bound
The Ringwood Lady Hawks had one win and one loss against two rival playoff contenders on the weekend.
On Saturday night the Hawks played at the neighbouring Nunawading Spectres for the NBL1 Game of the Week. The teams were fourth and sixth on the ladder so it was going to be a tough contest. Both teams were strengthened by the inclusion of players who had returned from playing for their countries in the 3x3 World Cup in Amsterdam.
It was a close game in the first half. Nunawading gradually built up to a five point lead at half time. The Spectres three point shooting was the difference early, but Cassidy Mihalko’s determination in offensive rebounding kept Ringwood in the game. Megan Mullings was having an intense and riveting battle with Nunawading’s Kathleen Scheer under the basket.
Nunawading continued to lead for most of the second half until Ringwood went on a ten-nil scoring streak and moved five points ahead. With a minute to go, the scores were level. Jacqui Trotto and Megan Mullings showed that they are calm under pressure and helped the Hawks win by sinking five out of six free throws to finish the game. The Hawks ran out 78-73 winners.
Ringwood’s top performers were Mihalko (25 points, 9 rebounds), Danni Bone (16 points, 4 steals, 3 blocks) and Mullings (12 points, 10 rebounds)
Nunawading’s top scores were Rachel Antoniadou (18 points) and Maddie Garrick (14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists)
Saturday night’s win ensures Ringwood a place in the playoffs. Megan Mullings said “Saturday night’s win really proved to us that in a game that is more physical we are more than able to hold our own, and in that we deserve our fourth place spot. We have worked really hard this season and even on bad shooting nights we find a way to get the game going our way. Sunday’s game against Knox was tough, trying to adjust to what the refs are calling. But we bounced back well. I think we learned today to only give our energy to the team. We really rallied hard, but after playing four games in two weeks, we were struggling to get the ball up to the hoop and we didn’t get as much movement on offense as we usually do.”
Next week sees Ringwood host the top of the table Geelong Supercats at The Rings on Saturday night.
By Emma Hastings