Big V Round 6 Preview

Division One Men (4th 3-3 Terril Conference): vs. Blackburn (6th 2-3 Watson Conference) @ Geelong Arena Annex, Saturday 7.30pm & vs. Whittlesea (5th 2-3 Terril Conference) @ Mill Park Basketball Stadium, Sunday 3.00pm

Geelong laid an impressive platform ahead of this weekend’s crucial double-header with an impressive 83-58 smashing of archrival Melbourne University on Saturday night. Steve Wiasak (22 points, 12 rebounds), Brett Goodgame (16 points, six rebounds) and Ben McCawley (13 points, 13 rebounds) all impressed against the Black Angels. The Big V Supercats had all but put the game to bed when they took a 44-27 advantage into half-time. Melbourne University made a run after the main break, but to no avail. “We showed a little bit of maturity and weathered the storm, maintaining the lead we had set up in the first quarter,” coach Shayne Bow said. If Geelong can take care of both the Vikings and Pacers this weekend they will consolidate a spot inside the Terril Conference top four. “(It’s) a big test, both will be hard games,” Bow said.

Division One Women (6th Terril Conference 2-4): vs. Whittlesea (2nd Terril Conference 4-0) @ Mill Park Basketball Stadium, Saturday 8.30pm

After just under a third of the season the Big V Lady Supercats have already entered must-win territory. Saturday night’s 62-54 loss to Craigieburn may have seemed close in margin, however coach Darren Busuttil was the first to concede the scoreline flattered his roster. “We were well beaten from an intensity perspective as was the case the previous week against Warrandyte,” he said. It doesn’t get any easier on Saturday night, with a clash against unbeaten Terril Conference rivals Whittlesea. Geelong will go into the contest without talented swingman Amy Wormald, while back-up big Kathy Mallon is likely to again miss with a knee problem. Protecting the ball will again be a key for the Lady Supercats. They conceded a woeful 26 turnovers which gave the Eagles too many opportunities to score. A similar figure against the Pacers will provide the same result.

State Youth Championship One Men (8th 2-4): vs. Hume City (10th 1-5) @ Geelong Arena Annex, Sunday 12.00pm

Geelong is ruing the one that got away on Sunday against Ringwood. The full-strength Young Supercats held a 14 point advantage at three-quarter time. However, they were blown away in the final period by the Hawks, who outscored Geelong 39-14 to steal an 87-76 victory and consign the Young Supercats to a 2-4 win/loss record. Ringwood produced a stunning finish, shooting the ball at 57.7%, including 45.5% from outside the arc. The Hawks also went the quarter without committing a turnover. The Young Supercats now face a crucial meeting with the struggling Hume City. A win for Geelong will keep them within striking distance of the top six. A loss will have them sitting 2-5 and behind the eight-ball after just a third of the season. Whether Michael Rebula is available, with the SEABL Supercats playing later on Sunday afternoon, will be a key to the Young Supercats’ chances.

State Youth Championship Women (6th 2-4): vs. Eltham (5th 3-3) @Eltham High School, Saturday 6.00pm

The Young Lady Supercats season may have received the spark it was so desperately looking for with the weekend’s 53-48 win over traditional powerhouse Diamond Valley. In the second of three meetings with the Eagles in 2012, Lauren Bellegante continued her fine start to the season, finishing with 15 points. Emily Koroneos returned after missing the previous week, and her 12 points proved vital. Centre Jess Barnard also impressed. Although she scored just six points, Barnard hauled in eight rebounds and blocked five shots. Saturday night’s clash with Eltham is the second clash for Geelong with the Wildcats. When they last met on April 1 the Young Lady Supercats came away with a 62-54 victory. Coach Grantley Bernard will be hoping for more of the same this week.