24 July 2022
A huge double header was hosted by Gippsland United with results shaping the upcoming finals. With only one regular season round left to go the club came away with two key wins by both the Women and Men.
The last time the Women played Altona Gators our team had the trek to the Western Suburbs to face them at the ‘swamp’ and we lost by 12 points. The home team started off really well early in the first quarter, with the same starting 5 that got them the win last week. Some terrific ball movement creating scoring opportunities and excellent defense forcing a number of Altona turnovers. A late run saw Altona take a 2 point lead at quarter time. The second quarter was a tough affair with Altona captain Sharna Appleby going on a tear and carrying her team to a 10 point half time lead.
Gippsland United coaching team made some astute adjustments on both ends of the floor and with timely substitutions the team roared back to lead by 2 at 3/4 time. With great ball movement and aggressive attack on the rim the scoring options opened up, and the deliberate defensive assignment on Appleby restricting her to a single basket.
The game was on a razors edge with the women holding a narrow lead throughout when Co-Captain Laura Vannapraseuth hit a massive 3 pointer with 11 seconds on the clock to seal the win. It was the best performance as a cohesive unit the team has produced and its at the right time of the season.
Before the Men’s game commenced, the club recognised the game milestones of two of our club legends in Stephen O’Brien and Ben Barlow. Both have played 100 BigV games.
After a rocky start to the game the Men completely dominated the visiting Melton team to finish the game to the better of 43 points. Led again by B1 & B2 (Brandon Armstrong & Ben Barlow) who both scored team high 17 points. It was the team contributions from JC, Kody Tibballs, Wiz, and Ben Waller also making a big difference with Kody Tibballs standing tall and taking 3 charges to force Altona turnovers.
Selection for this team is going to be a headache for coach Scott McKenzie with star guard Billy Hughes due to be back on the court for the final round.
Another massive double header next week:
6pm Women vs Blackburn
8pm Men vs Mornington
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