TWO rounds down and the Country Basketball League (CBL) teams are starting to get a feel for the 2021 action. After a challenging 2020 year, the multiple leagues across Victoria have started, and each week we will focus on a different competition. This week, we take a look at how Gippsland is fairing following the first two rounds of competition in both the men’s and women’s leagues.
Just three teams remain undefeated in the Gippsland Men’s competition, following Round 2 of action on the weekend. Maffra Eagles sit pretty with two wins from as many games, whilst Warragul Warriors and Moe Meteors – who have had a bye each – both won their first game to start proceedings. In the middle of the table, Lakes Entrance Pelicans and Korumburra Wildcats both have a win to their name, while Churchill Blue Devils and Sale Sonics are yet to taste victory from two attempts.
It was the young guns of Keith Robertson (40 points) and Brodie Mabilia (23) who stood out for the Wildcats in Round 2, steering their side to an 11-point win over Churchill. They picked up 63 of the team’s 90 points, while Jordan Canovan (27) and Zac Bezzina (21) provided a damaging duo for the Blue Devils. Bezzina was particularly damaging from long-range with five triples in the loss.
The Robinson-Mabilia duo got off the chain compared to the Round 1 defeat at the hands of Moe Meteors, as Robinson (17 points) was the top scorer. Mabilia only managed the seven in that game, as Nick McKenzie put up 10 points in the loss. Christian D’Angelo starred for the winners with 27, while Rhys Anderson (13) also contributed throughout Moe’s 86-57 victory to ensure it tipped off season 2021 in style.
Joining them with a percentage of 150 is Warragul, a side that posted an impressive 28-point victory over Sale Sonics in Round 2. Luke McKenzie (20 points) and Jarryd Moss (18) were the key players in the win, whilst the Sonics shared the points around. Jonty McGuiness both scored 12 points, while Josh Backway (11) and Benjamin Dessent (10) hit double-figures.
Rewind to the previous round, and the Sonics also suffered defeat, this time to Maffa Eagles by 15 points. Jake Hutchins hit 14 points and Luke Williams finished with 11 as the team amassed 54 points, one less than the next week. Samuel Whelan and Byron Sandeman both managed the 14 points for Maffra, while Frazar Brouns (12) and Jack Hrehoresen (10) managed the double-figure points.
The win kick-started Maffra’s season, as the Eagles went on to knock off Lakes Entrance Pelicans by 18 points in Round 2. It was a shared effort from the top side, as Elliot Hunt hit the most points this time with 24, while Floyd Fulton (20), Coby Burgiel (17) and Marcus Cope (13) were all impressive in the win. Jordi Williams (19) and James Russell (11) were the standouts for Lakes Entrance.
The Pelicans had a more memorable result in Round 1, toppling Churchill Blue Devils by three points in a thriller. In that match, Williams’ efforts were enough, guiding the team with 25 points, while Andrew Savige (16), Russell (15) and Jesse Pearce (10) all chipped in. Canovan starred for the losing side once again, knocking down 28 points, while Jeremy Sheers (13) and Bezzina (11) reached double-figure points.
ROUND 1&2 RESULTS:
Maffra Eagles 69 defeated Sale Sonics 54
Lakes Entrance Pelicans 86 defeated Churchill Blue Devils 83
Moe Meteors 86 defeated Korumburra Wildcats 57
Warragul Warriors 83 defeated Sale Sonics 55
Maffra Eagles 91 defeated Lakes Entrance Pelicans
Korumburra Wildcats 90 defeated Churchill Blue Devils 79
Gippsland Women’s competition features just the five sides, with only four of them having taken the court in the opening two rounds. Korumburra Wildcats lead the way with two wins from as many games, defeating Maffra Eagles and Moe Meteors. The Eagles did pick up a win though, producing a comprehensive win over Lakes Entrance Pelicans. Warragul Warriors are yet to play a game in the 2021 competition.
In the standalone Round 1 match, the Wildcats enjoyed a narrow 13-point win over the Meteors on the road. Sharing the points around, Grace Matser top scored with 16 points, while Darci Holmes, Chloe Hogg and Alahna Arnason all put up 12. For the Meteors, Samantha Labros hit 17 points, and Caitlin Demczuk scored 15 in the loss.
On the weekend, the Wildcats backed up their Round 1 victory with an 18-point triumph over the Maffra Eagles. Matser (24 points) stood out once again, while Hogg (18) and Arnason (12) are a problem for opposition guards. Maffra’s top shooters were Alex Gallatly (17 points) and Emerson Connolly (11) who both hit double-figures in the match.
The loss followed a massive Maffra victory, with the Eagles far too good for Lakes Entrance Pelicans, winning 90-26 on the road. Lillie Schacht (16 points) was one of three players to reach double-figure points, while Gallatly (13) and Paige Biddle (12) both made life difficult for the opposition. Chloe Watson (nine points) and Amber Harrison (six) were the two highest scorers for the Pelicans.
ROUND 1&2 RESULTS
Korumburra Wildcats 71 defeated Moe Meteors 58
Lakes Entrance 26 defeated by Maffra Eagles 90
Maffra Eagles 45 defeated Korumburra Wildcats 63
Picture credit: Basketball Victoria