IT was a big opening round of Big V action with a number of blowouts dictating Round 1 as teams get back into the swing after a year long hiatus due to the COVID-19 enforced lockdown. But the round was well and truly highlighted by the close call between Casey and Hume with the end result decided by a mere point.
McKinnon (101) defeated Keilor (85)
A blockbuster third term of action from McKinnon blew Keilor out of the water with McKinnon piling on a staggering 47 points to steal the lead. After being on the backfoot for the first half of the game, McKinnon came out with a real fire in the belly and sense of urgency with their offensive tendencies coming to the fore. Their ability to turn the tables on their opponents and apply defensive pressure while seamlessly transitioning into attack was nothing short of impressive. Left shellshocked after a blistering third term, the Thunder had next to no answers in the final term unable to eat into the deficit and succumbing to a 16-point loss.
Nic Laycock did plenty of damage for McKinnon posting a team-high 27 points in the win. He did run into a bit of foul trouble recording four for the game but still managed to effectively ply his trade amassing four rebounds and two assists. Jordan Geer had a hot hand producing 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists while Luke Shelley managed 16 points with four triples amongst them. Nicholas Masunda topscored for Keilor nailing 24 points at 60 per cent from the field while also collecting four rebounds. Charleston Long was impressive with his 18 points and fell just short of a double-double with nine rebounds as Mitch Lukey was the only other player to reach double-digits thanks to his 15 points.
Sunbury (85) defeated Chelsea (55)
Sunbury got the job done comfortably against Chelsea to kickstart their campaign in style. The Jets looked in control from the opening term of basketball skipping out to a five point lead and kept that momentum going into the second quarter steadily building on their buffer. Sunbury kept their foot on the pedal heading int the second half, but really flexed their muscles in the final 15 minutes with a 24 point to 11 term to run away with a 30-point win.
There were a number of solid contributors across the board for Sunbury with the most proficient of the lot Nathaneal Coory who finished with 29 points from his 22 minutes on court. Coory also picked up three rebounds and five assists. Nathan Baker was also strong on the points scoring front for Sunbury producing 16 points while also amassing eight rebounds, all of which were defensive. Jayce Beasley managed double figures with 11 points as Trevon Clayton starred off the boards with a whopping 12 rebounds. For Chelsea there was only a handful of players that managed to find their range with Corey Standerfer leading the way with 13 points. Lachlan Anthony chimed in with a handy 11 points as Nathan Frost was the next best with seven points but it was not enough to worry the Jets.
Casey (89) defeated Hume (88)
It was an enthralling battle between Casey and Hume as the match went down to the wire with Ben Waterhouse sinking the game defining triple with a tick over a minute to play. Casey had the upper hand to start the game opening up a seven point lead at the first change thanks to their 25 to 18 point term. They built on this buffer in the second pushing it to a nine point ball game before the Hume Broncos flipped the switch coming out firing in the third quarter. With a sense of determination and refined connections Hume got the ball rolling, adding more points to their overall tally and reducing the deficit to a mere three at the main change. With it all to play for in the final quarter it was a game of give and take with neither side willing to take a backwards step. Fighting tooth and nail for their first win of the season it was Casey that prevailed proving their composure and skillset when under pressure.
Matt Donlan was in just about everything for Casey, leading the charge thanks to his 26 points, seven rebounds, two assists and block. He was ably assisted by Waterhouse who not only landed the match winning three but also knocked back 15 points, three rebounds and a steal. Ben Gaspar was strong, contributing 12 points and seven rebounds with five of them offensive as both Angus Howey and Anthony Williams Jnr managed 10 points apiece in the win. There were two main facilitators for Hume with Mackuei Puondak impressing with his 27 points from his 40 minutes on court. Puondak also plied his trade off the boards to walk away with a double-double credit to his 10 rebounds. Shayan Mahboobi was the next best posting 21 points and seven assists as Joel Rimes also contributed 14 points in the loss.
Blackburn (63) defeated by Wyndham (79)
The final game of the round saw Wyndham claim victory over Blackburn in somewhat of a see-sawing affair. Getting off to a hot start Blackburn were unable to maintain that level of intensity as Wyndham overpowered the Vikings to secure the win and do so with relative ease. A strong second quarter performance from Wyndham proved to be the catalyst for the comeback and they were determined to keep that momentum going, putting on a show in the fourth to sink 23 points to 11. Once Wyndham had a taste they were relentless in attack, constantly looking to add to their tally and make life hard for Blackburn.
Blackburn were led by Bul Niop who produced a team-high 25 points at 56 per cent. He also walked away with seven rebounds all of which were defensive. Jah Soloai made his presence felt posting 11 points and six rebounds as Mark Berezdecky collected eight points and 10 rebounds. Stefan Pomasan impressed with 17 points, sinking three triples, while also amassing three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Teammate Jesse Harberger plied his trade with 12 points as Aron Dolny managed 11 points from his 24 minutes on court. Kobe Pearson played an integral role with nine points as did Tomi Ayilara who produced seven points and eight rebounds.
Hawthorn v. Western Port results are TBC.