HUME City Broncos returned to the peak of Big V women’s basketball
by capturing the state championship division 2-1 against Ringwood Hawks
The Broncos won game three 79-68 at Maroondah Indoor Sports Centre after Ringwood won game two 74-71 on Saturday.
Former WNBL star Sharin Milner was the steady hand for Hume City
in a desperate final quarter, hitting two critical three-pointers as the
Lady Broncos pulled away on the scoreboard.
Milner, who scored 24 points to lead the team, was named finals MVP.
Hume’s other star veteran, former Opal Katrina Hibbert, scored 22 points and dragged down 21 rebounds in the win.
Hume held a double-figure lead in the third quarter but were
reeled in by seven Ringwood points in the last 46 seconds of the
When Ringwood’s US import Amber Hegge hit a buzzer-beater on
three-quarter time it was 59-57 and Hume’s lead looked shaky against a
charging home team.
Step up Milner. With the score 64-all after a shot-for-shot start
to the final term it was Milner’s three from the top of the arc that
gave Hume City a break and turned the momentum.
Team captain Yinka Olorunnife (12 points, 10 rebounds) then put in
a lay-up for a five-point lead before stepping up with a rebound and
block on consecutive Ringwood attacks. Milner then repeated her
three-point shot from the same spot to make the difference 10 points
with just 2.15 to go.
Ringwood got no closer than eight points in the dying stages, with
Olorunnife and Milner holding their nerve from the free-throw line when
Ringwood had to foul to stop the clock.
Still 10 up with 24 seconds to go, coach Warren Taylor emptied the bench and got the celebration started.
“The depth on our bench showed out today, it was easy to rotate,
Viv Saad, Gemma and Sarah Wright, Jacinta Scott, they were all fantastic
today,” Taylor said.
“From a pump-up point of view Sharin’s three gave us the impetus
going into the last few minutes. But 24 seconds to go was probably only
the first time I thought we might be home.”
Milner, a playing assistant coach this season, played in a hat-trick of Lady Broncos premierships between 2007 and 2009.
“I was absolutely rapt with the efforts of players like the Wright
sisters and Tarryn MacPherson who all stepped up and played such a big
role,” Milner said.
“This is a memory they can take away for the rest of their lives,
ask the other teams, a lot of them have been trying for a long time.”
Milner (20 points), Olorunnife (19) and Hibbert (15) were Hume City’s top scorers in Saturday night’s game two defeat.