Hume City Broncos’ championship defence is over in the first week of the Big V state championship finals.
The reigning premiers started the season slowly but were one of the form teams heading into finals.
Unfortunately they couldn’t continue that form on Saturday night losing to Bulleen Boomers 63-59.
Defensively, the Broncos were able to achieve what they set out to do, but they were left to rue poor shooting.
Three Broncos starters shot at 23 per cent or less from the field, while two players shot under 15 per cent, and it was something they couldn’t overcome.
Coach Glen Milner said it was a disappointing end to the season.
“We gave ourselves a chance,” he said.
“We did a good job defensively keeping them to 15 points or less a quarter … It was our aim to shoot 18-20 points a quarter [but] we didn’t do that.
“We went into bad habits and put shots up too early in the shot clock.
“We weren’t patient enough.”
Trailing by 13 points at quarter-time, the Broncos reduced the margin to four points at the main break.
While they did a good job of restricting the Boomers, they couldn’t shut down Lauren Pearce.
Milner said Pearce was one of the main differences in the game.
For the Broncos, Colleen Planeta was the standout with 22 points and 13 rebounds, but she had little support. Viv Saad was the only other player to score double figures.
“Colleen had a typical Colleen game,” Milner said.
“The others didn’t fire and that was the difference. Only a small percentage of the shots we missed were forced shots.”
With the season over, the Broncos are already looking ahead to next season.
Milner, who took on the role for one year, has confirmed he won’t be continuing on as coach but assistant coach Michael Thomas will likely take on a major role next season.
Milner said there would likely be player changes as well.
“Colleen definitely wouldn’t be coming back next year,” he said.
“We’ll start looking how we’ll line up next season. The one thing about finishing the season earlier than the last few years, it means we can start recruiting earlier.”
Meanwhile Craigieburn Eagles men get their finals campaign under way this week. They play Pakenham Warriors in a best of three semi-final series over the next two weekends.