Match results w/e July 31
The Ballan Brumbies under 19 C Boys are a talented group who have had all of the bad luck this season. From losing their coach and a key player on the doorstep of the season, to injury and illness, they've had next to no continuity and it's showed in their results. On Friday night, though, everything clicked.
Playing a Sovereign Knights side that had comfortably handled an undermanned Ballan just three weeks ago, this time a full strength outfit turned the tables in an entertaining match.
Knights had the better of the start with sharp shooting guard Paul Martinez scoring eight of his eventual game high 26 in the opening few minutes. Ballan just about stayed in touch through some tough inside baskets from Oscars McLucas and Marion.
Ballan was struggling to deal with the physicality of Caleb Stuttard who was controlling the boards, though the Brumbies were at least able to curtail his usual offensive production.
Marion and Fergus McCausland were starting to find some joy driving to the basket, keeping the scoreboard ticking over for Ballan.
Late three pointers from Martinez and former Brumby Jack Hollitt saw Knights lead at the break 29-21, Martinez with 18 first half points.
Ballan came out with a renewed defensive intensity in the second half, closing out hard on Martinez - James Burton in particular playing a stellar negating role - and collapsing on Stuttard in the paint, daring the Knights supporting players to beat them. Campbell Robinson scored six of his eight points in the 2nd half, though none of his teammates were able to step up in support.
With Ballan creating turnovers and forcing missed shots, they were able to get out and run. McCausland's smooth slashing game flourishing as the game wore on; Ballan's leading scorer had 12 of his 18 in the 2nd period.
As Ballan came back into the game, Stuttard committed a pair of ill disciplined fouls that saw him reach four personals and have to pull back his defensive committment. That, in turn, allowed his off-court friend and on-court rival Marion to manoeuvre his way to the hoop with minimal resistance as Ballan took the lead with eight minutes remaining.
A flourish from Martinez - a deep three and an acrobatic finish on the drive - surrounded another Hollitt three as Knights stormed back into the game. Ballan answered with their own barrage of deep shots. First Jim Gorman, then Desi Leunig connected from beyond the arc, before McLucas and Marion finished Knights off with three pointers of their own. Ballan eventually prevailed in a wonderful game of basketball, 52-45.
Whilst finals are not out of the question, the Brumbies will have to win out to have a chance of making it. This match showed what the team is capable of.
U10 Boys D (White) defeated Wildcats: 40-2
U10 Boys D (Blue) lost to Wildcats Gold: 2-23
U12 Boys E defeated Saints Timberwolves: 20-13
U12 Boys C defeated Phoenix United: 25-21
U12 Girls C defeated Drummo Dragons Black: 17-13
U14 Boys F (White) defeated Drummo Dragons Green: 28-10
U14 Boys F (Blue) lost to Drummo Dragons Black: 7-21
U14 Boys B defeated Excies Acmy: 50-39
U14 Girls C defeated Saints Sky: 25-6
U16 Boys F lost to Sovereign Knights White: 15-38
U16 Boys D lost to Wildcats Blue: 27-34
U16 Boys B defeated Drummo Dragons: 58-47
U16 Girls C lost to Saints Mystics: 22-16
U19 Boys C defeated Sovereign Knights: 52-45
U19 Girls lost to Drummo Dragons Black: 28-31