By Josh Ward
Some of my counterparts at the start of the season The Basin would struggle in a strong Division Two, and boy, were spectacularly wrong.
After only five wins and 12 losses in 2019, this year they finished second with nine wins and three losses, finishing only one win behind first place Ringwood and 1.25% ahead of third place Heathmont.
Three Bears made the Team of the Year (plus coach Justin Stanton), with seven making the squad
Best Win: R13 vs Ringwood (The Basin 12.8.80 defeated Ringwood 11.10.76)
Ringwood had previously thumped The Basin by 50 points at Jubilee Park nearly two months prior, but this time around at Batterham Reserve the Bears mounted a late comeback to pull off their biggest and best win of 2021.
Losing their last two games against fellow finals contenders Boronia and South Belgrave, it looked set to continue after being down by 23 at three quarter time. But a five goal to one final quarter gave The Basin a miraculous victory against the unstoppable Redbacks.
Ex-Rowville forward Deon Boavida was the main man up forward with three goals, also named in the best alongside Nic Hallo (two goals), Lachlan Kruger (one), Thomas Edwards, Josh Adams and Jayden Gee all named in the Bears best.
Adams got the three best and fairest votes on the day, with Boavida getting two votes and Ringwood’s Timothy Burmeister one as The Basin inflicted Ringwood’s second loss in tremendous fashion.
Worst Loss: R12 vs Boronia (The Basin 4.13.37 defeated by Boronia 6.12.48)
Having comfortably beaten them last time around at Tormore Reserve on Match of the Round, Boronia got back to form with a scrappy win against next door neighbour The Basin on a cold day at Batterham Reserve.
Since that round five clash, the Hawks had only won once and lost their last three games. But thanks to strong first and third quarters and inaccurate kicking from the Bears it was Boronia who got one back on The Basin.
The Bears only had single goal kickers on the day, with Trevor Mills, Lachlan Kruger (one goal), Nic Hallo, Kade Lynch (one goal), Thomas Weir and Jayden Gee all named in the best.
Standout Player: Nicholas Hallo
Jayden Gee might feel hard done by, but no one at The Basin shone as brightly as ex-Ferntree Gully junior Nicholas Hallo did in 2021.
It was another terrific season for the superstar midfielder, finishing equal third in the Division Two B&F (only one vote behind winner Liam Kidd), picking up nine votes, including two best on ground’s against Knox and Templestowe.
Was named in The Basin’s best nine times, six of which were best on, and was named at ruck rover in the Team of the Year. Is still very young and will be a massive part of The Basin’s future.
Not a lot has happened down at Batterham Reserve (at time of writing), but one thing they’ll want to do is re-sign their core, particularly their young core.
It’s a very talented young core as well, with Jackson Drake, Nic Hallo, Connor Edwards and Thomas Weir all up there in terms of value along with Jayden Gee, Josh Adams and Lachlan Cripps.
If they sign anyone who’s as talented as those players that’d be a massive bonus for The Basin, but the key objective for the Bears this offseason is keeping that core group together.
After a heart-breaking Grand Final loss in 2019, The Basin women we’re back to their best in 2021, finishing second and .91 win percentage behind first placed Ferntree Gully.
They finished with a 9-1 record for the season, with four players in the Division One Team of the Year (five in the squad), with the team being led by Bears captain and B&F winner Julia Baker.
Best Win: R5 vs Ferntree Gully (The Basin 5.11.41 defeated Ferntree Gully 1.4.10)
Unbeaten and up against another unbeaten side in Ferntree Gully, The Basin continued their hot start to 2021, getting their fourth win in a row of 2021 and their 16th home and away win in a row.
On a cold Saturday afternoon at Batterham Reserve, the Bears were far too strong for the Eagles, dominating each quarter against a Ferntree Gully side that had averaged 60 points per game up until that game.
Emma Nixon was the biggest threat up forward, kicking two goals whilst being named in the best alongside Maddison Southam, Lili Gibson, Teagan Beattie, Monica Van Tilburg and Brooke Priest.
Beattie picked up the three votes, with Julia Baker getting two votes and Ferntree Gully’s only goalkicker Chelsea Bransden getting one vote as the Bears further added to their Division One premiership credentials with this top of the table clash win.
Worst Loss: R10 at SBL Wolves (The Basin 2.5.17 defeated by SBL Wolves 5.3.33)
The Basin had comfortably beaten SBL last time around at Batterham Reserve, but the Wolves continued their good run of recent form and ended The Basin’s home and away winning streak at 18 and ultimately cost The Bears the minor premiership.
It was SBL’s strong second quarter that proved the difference, scoring 20 points to seven and having the game sewn up by half time, completing a near perfect day for South Belgrave’s side against The Basin (three out of four sides got wins vs The Basin).
Maddison Southam and Julia Baker were the only goal scorers for the Bears, with Jaimee Monk, Ebony Reus, Monica Van Tilburg, Emily Vine, Lili Gibson and Bethany Corrigan named The Basin women’s best.
Standout Player: Julia Baker
She’s been a phenomenal player for The Basin since they joined the women’s competition, and it was yet another superb yet for the superstar forward.
Since joining the Bears, she’s played 39 games, kicked 107 goals, including 31 in 2021. She added the Division One B&F in 2021, winning alongside Park Orchards Isabelle Pollock, which included six three vote games.
Baker was named at Centre Half Forward and as captain in the Division One Team of the Year and has been terrific since moving from Knox and will be another key player if The Basin are to challenge for the premiership yet again in 2022.
A couple of re-signings have been announced, but like the men’s side the women’s haven’t done too much.
It’ll be a new era down at Batterham Reserve though, with The Basin announcing a second women’s team for 2022.