The Tigers VYC sides have had a double header this weekend beginning with a game each against Kilsyth at our home away from home Oakleigh. Both games were 2 different contests with 1 being a blow out and the other a strong come from behind victory.
The Youth women got off to a flyer in the 1st quarter. With the Tigers up 6-4 with a little over 2 minutes gone in the 1st quarter. The Tigers made a break for it as they scored the next 16 points. Kilsyth finally broke their drought with a 2 point basket that left the scores at 22-6 with under 2 minutes to play. The scores remained the same for the remainder of the quarter. The Cobras made some ground back in the 2nd quarter as they restricted the Tigers to just 9 points while scoring 15 themselves. The Tigers went into halftime up 31-21. Bri Babic was continuing her good start to the season leading all Tigers with 11 points. The Cobras looked to try and cut the Tigers lead more at the start of the 3rd quarter as they opened the scoring before Monique Conti answered straight back with a 3. A minute late Kilsyth hit a 3 to bring the margin back to 8 points. The Tigers though turned the tide as they clamped down and the defensive end and Ash Stainer got the Tigers moving along as she scored the first 7 points of an incredible 16-0 run to end the quarter. The punctuation mark was a Bri Babic 3, with 5 seconds left in the period. The Tigers now 50 – 26 heading into the last quarter. The last quarter became about Kilsyth trying not to have the score completely blow out while the Tigers were just going about their business. The final score was 66-36 in favour of the Tigers in another strong performance from the defending champs. The Tigers were led by Bri Babic with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 1 block. Monique Conti added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Youth men were up next as they took on Kilsyth as well. The Tigers had their work cut out for them early as the Cobras worked hard and had themselves out to an early 10-4 lead before the Tigers dragged the scores back to level. Kilsyth worked hard to try and put some distance between them and the Tigers but the Tigers kept working their way back into it. By the time the end of the 1st quarter was done the Tigers found themselves down 18 – 17. The start of the 2nd saw Kilsyth take control of the game as they scored the first 11 points of the period to take a 29-17 lead. Kilsyth were able to maintain some control of the game as they led by as much as 15 points at one stage before the Tigers pegged it back to a 10 point margin at halftime, 42 – 32. Kilsyth opened the 3rd with a basket to extend their lead to 12 before the Tigers made a move and started clamping down on the defensive end. Before long the Tigers were trading baskets with Kilsyth and were down by just 5 points before a last second tip in basket to Kilsyth made it a 7 point margin 56 – 49. The Tigers and Cobras came out in the last quarter and threw everything at each other on the defensive end with no-one scoring for the first 2 minutes. The Tigers through Hugh Baxter got on the board and in the next 4 minutes went on a 12-0 run to take 62-56 lead. The Tigers fought tooth and nail to keep Kilsyth back but the Cobras just kept coming. The Tigers were up by 2 and Jack Bines had a chance to seal the game at the free throw line with 16 seconds remaining. Needing to make both shots but unfortunately missing them and giving Kilsyth 1 last chance to tie/win the game. Kilsyth with 1 remaining shot missed to tie the game and the Tigers came away with a thrilling come from behind victory. The Tigers were led by Billy Hughes who had 16 points and Jack Bines off the bench with a near triple double 13 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.
The Tigers then had to back up the next day early in the afternoon as both teams had to travel to Ringwood for their next game. The Youth Women were up first again and with the Gaze sisters coming into the team from the night before they shot out of the blocks with Phoebe scoring the first 4 points of the game. Halfway through the 1st quarter the Tigers led 14 – 8 and continued the push all the way to the end of the quarter where they led 29-17 at the first change. The 2nd quarter became pretty much the same as the 1st as the Tigers continued to pressure the Hawks and extend their lead at the same time. The Tigers led by as many as 22 points at one stage in the 2nd and went into the break leading 51-32. The 3rd quarter started and Ringwood came out a better side as they stayed with the Tigers. The Hawks were only able to get a few points closer at stages before the Tigers pulled all the way back again. They took a healthy 66 – 45 lead going into the last quarter. By the time the last quarter was at the midway point the Tigers had scored 10 – 0 and led by 31 points. The Hawks battled for the remainder of the game but the damage was done and the Tigers kept their unbeaten start to the season going, winning by 30+ for the 3rd game in a row. Final score 85 – 54. Briana Babic was a massive influence in this game as she scored an incredible 25 points to halftime and finished with 30 points and 7 rebounds. Courtney Gaze was next best with 15 points. While Peri Kalka and Jess Harley added 9 rebounds each with Jess Harley also adding 5 steals. Next week the VYCW side will play the Ballarat Rush at Oakleigh Rec Centre at 1pm on Sunday March 26th
The Men were on court next at Ringwood where they were facing the side they met in last year’s Grand Final. The Tigers were without Jack Bines for this game. The Tigers got off to a good start opening a 7-1 lead early before the Hawks scored the next 7 points to take the lead. The remainder of the quarter was an arm wrestle with neither side being able to break away from the other. The Hawks went into the first break leading 16-14. In the 2nd quarter the Hawks scored 5 points over the first couple of minutes before everything dried up with neither side being able to convert. The Tigers finally scored with just over 6 minutes left on a 3 by Darcy Daniels and Ringwood answering right back with a 2 pointer to extend the lead back to 6. The Tigers scored again off a Hugh Baxter lay-up to cut the Hawks lead to 4. Unfortunately, that would be all the Tigers would score for the remainder of the half as the Hawks took control and opened a 30 – 19 lead at halftime. The Tigers came out after the break looking to cut into the Hawks lead as they had done the night before to Kilsyth. Daniel Sutcliffe took the lead for the Tigers as he scored the first 4 points for the half before Ringwood would answer back. The next few minutes again would turn into the arm wrestle that was shown in the 1st quarter before a Hugh Baxter 3 brought the Tigers back to within 4. The Hawks were quick to call a time out to regroup and stop the Tigers momentum. The Hawks then put the clamps back on the Tigers as they retook control going back into the last break leading 45 – 33. The Hawks went on a 15-2 run, spanning 6 minutes that left the Tigers reeling and with no answer. The Hawks running out 67 – 45 winners and the Tigers dropping their first game of the season. Hugh Baxter was the only player in double digit points with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Billy Hughes was kept to just the 5, 1st quarter points but added on 8 rebounds and 5 assists. The Tigers will be looking to bounce back next week when they face the McKinnon Cougars at Oakleigh Rec Centre at 3pm on Sunday March 26th