Wyndham prove too good in semis; move on to decider
THE semi-finals have wrapped in the Big V Men’s competition, with Wyndham advancing to the grand final after taking down McKinnon in the third and deciding game in the series at Eagle Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
After McKinnon fought back to even things up with an 11-point win in game two, it all came down to a third contest between these two sides the following day. Given how even things had been throughout the majority of the series in games prior, it was hard to predict a winner coming in. With massive stakes on the line, the home side grabbed a massive lead in the second and third quarters, and although McKinnon fought back, it was not enough as Wyndham held off the opposition to the tune of 12 points to advance to the big dance.
In a familiar pattern for Wyndham throughout season 2022, Maurice Howard led the way for the winning side. He had a game-high 25 points (7/16 FG), but was more than just his scoring as he added 13 rebounds and five assists to go with some potent offence. Fellow starter Kavione Green was also impressive with 23 points (8/14 FG), while Manel Ayol racked up a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds (three offensive).
Nathan Davis gave it his all for McKinnon, recording the most points of anyone on his team with a total of 24 for the match, as nine of his 19 attempts found the bottom of the net. Also catching the eye was Sharif Black, who overcame some rough inefficency to still hit the scoreboard with 20 points as he looked to match the offensive output of Wyndham.
The victors will now take on the Sunbury Jets in the grand final, who recorded a dominant win in their game three matchup against the Broncos on the weekend, in what should be a cracking series.
Wyndham (99) def. McKinnon (87)
It was an arm wrestle to start the contest, with both sides firing on the offensive end in the opening term. In a reasonably high-scoring term, there were plenty of tough buckets from both inside and outside the paint, and when the buzzer sounded to wrap the opening 10 minutes, proceedings were all tied up and the game was shaping up to be a thriller.
Despite things being tight in the first period, Wyndham broke away in the second thanks to an impressive offensive showing. McKinnon simply could not match the offensive output of its opponents as the home side broke away to take a commanding lead on the scoreboard behind the efforts of Howard and Green, who were working well in tandem. At the main change of play, Wyndham held an 11-point lead on the scoreboard and held all the momentum heading into the second half.
The pattern continued in the third quarter of play, as McKinnon’s offence grinded to a halt thanks to some wayward shooting. While Wyndham did not reach the blistering offensive heights of the second term, its opponents could not buy a bucket for much of the quarter, and the margin ballooned out to 22 points by the time the term wrapped.
Quarter number four saw the tables turn, and all the momentum was with McKinnon, who was looking to make a late charge with hopes of a miracle comeback. It was the best the visitors’ offence had looked all game, and while they got within eight late in the game, the clock ultimately beat them, and Wyndham held on for an 11-point triumph and kept its championship aspirations rolling.