ROUND 1 of the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Under 16 boys Crossover group stage threw up a couple of lopsided results across each pool, with the biggest margin blown out to 32 points out of Pool 1, while the tightest game was decided by four points in Pool 3 as the ladders take their initial shape. Teams are looking to finish atop their group to qualify for the MUVJBL Championship division, while second and third placed sides will face a knockout match to qualify.
Kilsyth (78) defeated McKinnon (46)
Latrobe (67) defeated Frankston (55)
Pool 1’s opening round results threw up an early favourite for top spot, while a battle for the second qualifying position looks to be one that may be more hotly contested. Kilsyth came up big with a comfortable 32-point win over McKinnon, scooting the hosts to the top of the standings after their first AA division outing. Wyatt Stewart was the star for the Cobras, netting 18 points alongside Seth Mccubbin (13) and Harrison Adams (11) for the winners, with Callum Hankin (12) and Luke Lyngberg (11) top scoring for McKinnon. Meanwhile, Latrobe took home the points against Frankston, with the travelling side not having enough to overcome the regional side, pitting them in third. Kody Tibballs had 19 points for the Energy, with Coby Burgiel sinking 15 and Jack Hrehoresen, 14. Frankston’s Jesse Lans had a day out with a game-high 23 points, while Tarrant Wallace contributed 10. The Blues host a red-hot Kilsyth in Round 2, with McKinnon fronting up against La Trobe in hope of securing a win and entering the race for second.
Bulleen 2 (59) defeated by Pakenham (65)
Sandringham (40) defeated by Geelong (59)
In Pool 2, Pakenham secured a solid away win at Bulleen against the Boomers’ second side, edging their opponents by six points to slot into second. Drue Maher was the highest scorer in an even team spread with 16, while Jak Morris-Burney downed 12 and Jarred Small had 10 for the Warriors. Three players did the majority of the scoring for the home side, with Matthew Robinson (20 points) leading Oliver Slawinski (12) and Sebastian Cox (11). First place is occupied by Geelong though after the Supercats downed Sandringham by 19 points in another away win. Jamie Ryan was instrumental for Geelong with 15 points with Olivier Northam sinking 12 as the only other to break double digits. Aiden McCarthy bettered Ryan by a point for his 16, while Earl Delahunty (eight points) was Sandringham’s next best. Like in Pool 1, Round 2 will see the two sides searching for their first W meet those who have already notched a set of three points in a weekend that could decide the Pool’s standings with a game still to play. Geelong will play host to Bulleen 2 with eyes on maintaining its solid percentage, while the Sabres travel to Pakenham – meaning the two bottom sides will have to search for their first wins away from home in a make-or-break round.
Sunbury (57) defeated Camberwell (53)
Southern Peninsula (62) defeated Werribee (52)
The tightest of the four pools at this stage, Pool 3 threw up a couple of close results with each of the home sides coming up clutch to edge over the line. It was also a round of big performances, with three players netting over 20 points for their sides. Southern Peninsula earned first spot with its 10-point win over Werribee as Darcy Jones proved the difference, and some, with his dominant 34-point display. Given Jones sunk more than half of his side’s score, Ben Fisher (13 points) was the only other one to clock double digits. Matthew Stephenson was the Devils’ best with his 20 points, as Jack Fletcher (nine) was the only other to notch over five points and get close to him. Sunbury also managed to sneak over the line against Camberwell, with three players doing the damage for the hosts. Ryder Rousch finished with 20 points alongside Israel Wilkins (11) and Rhys Davey (eight) for the winners. The Dragons had more of an even spread as Samuel Wise top scored with 16, while Sam Veitch (11), Hudson O’Keeffe (eight) and Lochlan Redford (seven) also contributed. Camberwell now faces the steep task of overcoming Jones and his Sharks albeit at home, while Werribee’s clash with Sunbury should be a belter as the Devils search for their first AA division win and Sunbury hope to secure qualification.
Whittlesea (47) defeated by Keilor (61)
Dandenong 2 (51) defeated Diamond Valley 2 (44)
Keilor lead the pack in Pool 4 after accounting for hosts, Whittlesea in Mill Park to open the round. Boosted to the top of the table, the Thunder will like their chances of advancing after putting a decent total on the board. Brodie McWhinney led the way with 16 points for the winners, with Cooper Colson‘s 12 points also proving handy. Meanwhile, Matthew Ryan provided a lone hand for the Pacers with 24 points, almost exactly half of his side’s total as he was not to be outdone. In Dandenong, the Rangers’ second team got home by seven points against Diamond Valley in a tighter affair. Bowen Johnston (14 points), Jaxon Sliwinski (14) and Austin Rapp (11) shared the load for the home side, while Noah Gorgievski (10), Marley Lambert (nine), Sam Tyrrell (eight) and Hunter Somerville (seven) made up a good spread in the Eagles’ losing effort. Round 2 will see Diamond Valley host Whittlesea in a game to see who can get off the mark, while the two Round 1 winners face off in Keilor as the top two race hots up.