Broncos left to rue poor first half


Hume City Broncos will have to make the grand final series the hard way after losing to Ringwood on Saturday night in Big V state championship women’s basketball.

After finishing on top of the ladder and having the week off, the Broncos could have won straight through to the best-of-three grand final series in two weeks.

Instead, the Broncos will face Bulleen this weekend for a chance to play Ringwood for a third successive year in the premiership series after losing 64-54 in their qualifying final.

The Broncos were left to rue a poor first half – they trailed by 16 points at the main break.

Assistant coach Warren Taylor said the side didn’t adjust to finals pressure.

“We have played them that many times in finals and the games are always a little more physical and a lot tougher and harder to run through offence,” he said.

“We expected it but we probably didn’t adjust to that level as well as we should have.”

Despite a poor first quarter by the Broncos, scores were level at quarter-time – but that is when the game changed.

The Broncos struggled to get the ball through hands at the offence end, with last year’s most valuable player, Colleen Planeta, being put under massive physical pressure.

“She sat with a bit of hamstring tightness in the first quarter,” Taylor said. “She only had one point in the second quarter.

“Everyone knows that we want the ball going through her hands. They did really well at stopping that. We didn’t adjust to that and have the second or third option.”

The Broncos stepped up in the second half defensively.

“We were really good in the third quarter and held them to eight points,” Taylor said. “Defensively you have to set the tone, especially when the offence is stagnant and a bit clunky. We didn’t score as much as we would have liked in that quarter.”

The Broncos levelled the scores with three minutes to go through some different options.

“We wrestled the momentum back,” Taylor said.

“We had the opportunity … they had a time-out at the right time [to halt the flow]. They scored a couple of baskets out of that and that was probably the game.”

Nicole Zammit top-scored for the Broncos with 15 points, while Planeta had 14 points and Nicole McMahon chipped in with 11 points coming off the bench.

Taylor said McMahon found space and got to the offensive boards.

The Broncos believe they have what it will take to beat Bulleen.

“They beat us last time and scouted us really well,” Taylor said.

“We are confident [about] where we went wrong and how to fix it.”

The Broncos youth women’s side capped off a brilliant season winning the youth women division 1 title.

After losing only one game for the year, the Broncos won the 60-46 over Warrandyte.

Mua Laloifi top scored with 18 points.