A 37-POINT outburst from import forward Sam Belt took Ringwood Hawks to a win over Melbourne Tigers in their Big V state championship men's season opener on Saturday night.
Belt had 27 points in the first half as the rest of the Hawks struggled to get into the swing of the new season before coming good to secure a 90-75 win at Maroondah Stadium.
Belt's 37 points and 10 rebounds led the Hawks while Shaun Clarke had 16 points.
Belt said his side had come good when it mattered but would have to be better for the remainder of the season.
"It was a win but we were very rusty," Belt said.
The Hawks face a grand final rematch against Corio Bay Stingrays in South Geelong this Saturday night.
Ringwood Hawks women opened their season with a 70-68 loss to the Melbourne Tigers in double overtime at Maroondah Stadium on Saturday night.
The Hawks women had three key players foul out in the first overtime but kept in it when Sarah Yousef made a three-pointer on the buzzer of the first overtime.
The Hawks failed to score from then on.
Hawks import Amber Hegge led her side with 15 points and 16 rebounds.
The Hawks women face Melbourne again this Saturday night at Oakleigh Leisure Centre.
■ Kilsyth Cobras men fell to a close loss to Nunawading Spectres in their South East Australian Basketball League season opener on Sunday.
The Cobras lost 84-79 at Nunawading Stadium with import guard EJ Kusnyer (26 points) the leading scorer.
The Cobras women also lost 62-52 to the Spectres on Sunday with Chantella Perera their top scorer on 18 points.
Both Cobras teams face arch-rivals Knox Raiders at the State Basketball Centre, Wantirna South this Saturday with the women's game starting at 6pm and the men at 8pm.