ANOTHER weekend has passed, as has another round of the Big V Men’s Basketball Championship, with Round 7 delivering some more action. There were some big wins across the four games that were played, with two coming in with 20+ point margins. Seven rounds of the competition have now been completed, so the sides around the top of the ladder will be feeling pretty good about their prospects, while the struggles of some of the cellar-dwellars have continued.
By far the most entertaining game of the round took place on Saturday night, when the Hume Broncos travelled to Mullum Mullum Stadium to take on the Blackburn Vikings. The Broncos came into the game as the favoured side, given they had won four of their first seven games, while the Vikings had a record of just 2-5. It was a seriously see-sawing affair, with both sides holding a fair bit of momentum throughout the contest. After a thrilling final term, the two teams could not be separated at the end of regulation play. As the game headed into overtime, it was the Vikings that managed to scrape past their opponents for a tense four-point triumph, claiming an impressive upset that may prove vital in the context of their season..
Blackburn Vikings (107) def. Hume Broncos (103)
The game looked to be heading towards a victory for the visiting side, as they got out to a blistering start to the contest. Behind a terrific blend of inside and outside scoring, the Broncos got out to an impressive nine-point lead at the first change, behind 28 points in the first 10 minutes of play. However, the momentum had a massive swing in the second term as Blackburn grabbed full control of the contest. Hume’s offence came to a complete halt, and its defence was not much better up the other end of the court. Edward Bourke was the catalyst for the Vikings’ charge, finding his shooting rhythm as his side outscored the opposition 31-14 to take the lead into the main break.
The Broncos bounced back in the third term, as many expected them to do. After a quiet first half, Hume scoring machine Chris Elder got going, getting his side’s offence back on the right track. While the Vikings were still able to keep their scoring rolling, Hume was one step ahead, reducing the margin to just three points with 10 minutes to play. The story was similar in the final term, as the Broncos kept themselves in the game with some consistent offence. Max Viitala tied the game up with 50 seconds on the clock with a trip to the free throw line, and neither side could conjure a game-winner before the final buzzer sounded. The Vikings looked to score inside the arc in extra time, and it resulted in an early lead. Viitala made things interesting as he brought Hume within a point in the last 30 seconds, but it was answered by Bourke, who guided the Vikings to an impressive victory.
Bourke was massive for the Vikings, delivering a masterful display and recording a double-double of 25 points and 15 rebounds. The big man was vital in the clutch and was one of the biggest reasons his side got over the line. D’Monte Evans was also great for Blackburn, producing 20 points of his own, while three other players registered double digits in the points column. Elder almost dragged the Broncos over the line, delivering a strong second half to finish with 25 points.
Across the courts
There were three other games that took place in Round 7, although none were as tense as the one discussed above.
McKinnon (90) def. Blackburn (47)
Western Port (77) def. by Wyndham (89)
Camberwell (75) def. by Sunbury (95)