POOLS are taking shape after Round 2 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 16 boys AA division, with second spot open across each group as sides do battle to secure qualification to the elite division.
McKinnon (54) defeated Latrobe (41)
Frankston (50) defeated by Kilsyth (62)
A mid-table qualification battle is set to carry into Round 3 in Pool 1 as Round 1 losers, McKinnon managed to topple second-placed Latrobe to go level on points with its weekend rival. The Cougars powered to a 13-point victory and now stand a decent chance to progress should they win again in the final round. Their opponents in that game, Frankston will make it anything but easy though, with the Blues showing improved form as they went down to top side, Kilsyth at home. McKinnon’s Denver Lund was huge with 17 points to lead the scoring, with Luke Lyngberg backing up his 11 Round 1 points to net 12 this time around. Jack Hrehorensen and Coby Burgiel also backed up well for Latrobe after a combined 29 points last week, sinking 12 apiece to lead the way in a losing effort. Meanwhile, pool leader Kilsyth continued its winning run, downing bottom side, Frankston by 12 points to secure qualification. While Harrison Adams is proving a consistent contributor after downing another 12 points, Zach Fitzpatrick and Will Ellis were big improvers from Round 1 as they claimed 13 and 11 points respectively in the win. Frankston had a nicely even spread of scorers, with Liam Atkinson‘s 11 topping their charts, followed by Lachlan Jensen and Tarrant Wallace on nine each. The Blues will not have much on the line as they host a hungry McKinnon in Round 3, but Latrobe faces the tough task of toppling 2-0 Kilsyth to earn progression.
Geelong (60) drew with Bulleen 2 (60)
Pakenham (63) defeated Sandringham (58)
The competition’s first draw was produced in Pool 2, as second and third battled to 60 points apiece to open Round 2, while Pakenham claimed a second win to soar clear at the top. Hosts Geelong shared the points with Bulleen 2 in the mid-table thriller, with Jet Kneebone netting 15 points for the Supercats alongside Harry Den Dryver (13 points) and Olivier Northam (11). Boomer Samuel Natoli had a game-high 17 points to lead the charge for his side, aided by Oliver Slawinski (16 points) and Ethan Wellington (11) in a free-flowing affair. In another tight contest, Pakenham sealed qualification with a five-point win over Sandringham at home. An impressive four players reached double-figures for the Warriors, with Jarred Small and Kobe Wilson sinking 12 each, while Zachary McLean and Lachlan Smith had 10. Aiden McCarthy backed up from a good outing last week with 13 points for the Sabres, while Flynn Gaywood came in and downed 10 in his first group game. With Pakenham and Geelong playing off for first place next week, Bulleen could benefit and jump into a qualification spot with a win over Sandringham in what looks like one of the more even pools.
Camberwell (62) defeated by Southern Peninsula (67)
Werribee (43) defeated Sunbury (39)
Three teams could finish Pool 3 with two wins after Round 3, with every side bar-Camberwell claiming wins after two games. It was a close call for ladder-leaders Southern Peninsula, as the Sharks overcame the bottom-placed Dragons by five points on Friday night. Darcy Jones and Ben Fisher again bore a most of the scoring load with 14 points each, while Corey Hastings improved on his Round 1 output with 12 points for Southern Peninsula. Sam Veitch (16 points) was again important for their opponents, supported by Liam O’Hoy (12 points) and Lochlan Redford (10). In the round’s other game, Werribee got on the board with a close win over its nearest rivals, Sunbury in a low-scorer. Feloni Ngata downed a game-high 11 points for the Devils, with Mitchell Smith‘s eight the next best for their side. For Sunbury, both Ryder Rousch and David Angove netted 10 points each as the only Jets to reach double digits. Werribee looks likely to proceed alongside Southern Peninsula as it hosts bottom-side Camberwell in Round 3, but could hit a snag given the closeness of the group. Meanwhile, the Sharks host Sunbury and will set them a difficult task in getting out of the group to see out proceedings.
Diamond Valley 2 (29) defeated by Whittlesea (44)
Keilor (77) defeated Dandenong 2 (47)
With Keilor having all-but secured promotion and Diamond Valley 2 at the bottom, a battle for second spot is set to take place after Round 2 proceedings in Pool 4. The Thunder produced the biggest margin of the round in the top of the table clash, trouncing Dandenong by 30 points in an awesome scoring display. It was a slightly different story in the clash between Diamond Valley 2 and Whittlesea, with the bottom side managing just 29 points to the Pacers’ 44 as they were ruled out of contention. The Eagles now host a red-hot Keilor side, while Dandenong 2 and Whittlesea will battle it out for second place to close out the round in what should be a cracker.