Hume City Broncos are confident of bouncing back against the McKinnon Cougars in game two of their Big V men’s state championship grand final series.
Facing the best team of the regular season, the Broncos faced challenges throughout game one on Saturday.
A couple of lapses, in the second and third quarters, hurt the Broncos – as did the Cougars’ stunning shooting from beyond the arc.
McKinnon won 110-98.
Broncos coach Matt Foster said that despite playing on their home court, the Broncos felt the game was a free hit for the Cougars.
“We’re better on the road,” he said. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds – 21 for the game. And they shot 16 of 36 from the three-point line. Those two things killed us.
“It probably wasn’t the tempo we wanted.
“If we could have got a win it would have been great, but we’re pretty confident we can go down there and have a good showing for two games.”
It was the Broncos who got off to the better start, quickly leading 12-4 thanks to good shooting.
The Cougars, who missed some early shots, quickly found their groove – and it was game on.
For much of the second quarter, the teams went goal for goal with scores level with four minutes remaining.
In a two-minute period, the Cougars went on an 11-2 run for a nine point lead.
With the game in their control, the Cougars maintained a leading margin and, as they did in the second quarter, blew it out late in the third quarter.
The Broncos came out firing in the final quarter. but while they had their moments, they were unable to peg back the lead.
The Cougars came up big from the three-point line to seal the win.
Foster said they took some risks to get back into the game in the final quarter.
Youngsters Daniel Foster and Shayan Mahbooi, along with Shaun Prendergast, provided much-needed spark for the Broncos.
Matt Foster said the changes “kind of worked”.
“We’ve done it three times now – we’ve thrown up a different line-up, a bit smaller and a bit more unorthodox, to try and change the momentum,” he said.
“It kind of worked … they were hitting some big baskets when they needed to.”
Foster said it was hard to stop McKinnon’s stars.
Adrian Tomada stood up big for them, hitting three threes in the final quarter to steady his side.
Jordan Coleman top-scored with 23 points, while also having seven rebounds and six assists.
Jamal Shabazz had 19 points, but was one of several Broncos players who got into foul trouble.
Foster admits that did limit their options in the third and fourth quarters.
Game two and, if needed game three, will be played at McKinnon this weekend.
Foster said they were looking forward to the challenge, as they look for their second Big V championship.
“We’ve been fortunate to have gone to over-time a couple of times against Hawthorn on the road and we’ve gone to McKinnon and won there,” he said.
“We’ve had a finals series and won two on the road – we’ve done it before. We’ll give it a crack and see how we go.”