ONE of Australia’s largest basketball clubs is hoping to grab two Big V basketball state championships this weekend.
THE Eltham Wildcats’ men’s take on Ringwood Hawks while the women’s battle it out against the Melbourne Tigers today, despite both sides losing its opening games.
Wildcat guard Derrick MacDonald, son of Melbourne Tigers great Darryl, says his side won’t carry the burden of last week’s nine-point loss to Ringwood into the championships.
“The first game means nothing to us,” said MacDonald.
“The pressure is all on them. People have counted us out all season since we lost half the team from last season.
“The last time Ringwood made the grand final they won the first game and then lost two in a row.”
“We’re disappointed in how we played last weekend, we pride ourselves on playing as a team and executing well. We didn’t think we did that and are looking to make amends this weekend. We’re going to do everything in our power to force a game three and see what happens” Norton said.
In Game One both teams received huge games from their centres as Ringwood’s Adrian Sturt delivered 17 points and 9 rebounds and Eltham’s Cam Tragardh lead all scorers with 19 points and 8 rebounds proving this series is really going to be about the battle of the big men.
The series is laden with Melbounre Tigers NBL talent from the past and present with Stuart being a former Tiger, Cam Tragardh being the Melbourne Tigers leading scorer last season and MacDonald having played a briefly for the Tigers also.
“The last time Ringwood made the Grand Final they won the first game and then lost two in a row. A Bit of Déjà vu would be good for them if you ask me” said MacDonald.
The Wildcats women’s team started the series with a much more successful campaign however, winning game one by 10 points which begun with a presentation long time player Eleanor Cesari (nee Sharp) who has announced she will retire from playing basketball after the grand final. The Wildcats women were led by 2012 WNBL Championship winner Sam Woosnam who delivered 24 points and 8 rebounds in the win.
Both Men’s and Women’s games will be played on Saturday and Sunday (if required) this weekend.