THE 10 teams set to compete in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 16 Boys’ championship division are now settled with the top five teams in each grade a win and percentage clear of their sixth ranked sides. Knox Raiders, Bendigo Braves, Keilor Thunder, Dandenong Rangers and Latrobe Energy made it through from the Ashe Pool, while Bulleen Boomers, Geelong Supercats, Eltham Wildcats, Pakenham Warriors and Waverley Falcons are in from the Watson Pool.
Bendigo Braves 49 defeated Whittlesea Pacers 43
Diamond Valley Eagles 70 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 71
Nunawading Spectres 69 defeated by Knox Raiders 84
Keilor Thunder 62 defeated Eltham Wildcats 2 49
Latrobe Energy 64 defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks 54
After four of the top five sides triumphed on the weekend, the championship division is settled in the Ashe Pool, as Dandenong Rangers are two wins clear of Eltham Wildcats 2. The Rangers knocked off Diamond Valley Eagles in a tense one-point win, while the Wildcats went down to fourth placed Keilor Thunder. The Rangers lead by eight at the first break, but saw that lead evaporate over the next two terms to trail by two at the final break. Sensing the importance of the contest, the Rangers scored 19-16 in the last quarter to win 71-70. Jerome Pierre scored 20 points in the win, while Beau Tranter (15) and Tyson Leys (13) were important. Jack Miles (26 points) and Jackson Harding (12) were brave in the tight loss. In Keilor’s 13-point win over the Wildcats, Brodie McWhinney managed 14 points, while Thomas Neale (17) did all he could in the defeat. Top three side Bendigo’s win over cellar dwellers Whittlesea Pacers was tighter than they had hoped, but Macey Eaton‘s 27 points was a huge help in the low-scoring 49-43 victory. Matthew Ryan scored 13 points in the Pacers’ loss. In the other games, Latrobe Energy got up by 10 points over Southern Peninsula Sharks thanks to 20 points from Coby Burgiel, while Knox Raiders piled on 84 points to 69, with Jordan Anderson (32) and Luke Guerra (20) the key scorers.
Casey Cavaliers 60 defeated by Sunbury Jets 63
Bulleen Boomers 85 defeated Pakenham Warriors 51
Waverley Falcons 53 defeated by Eltham Wildcats 59
Melbourne Tigers 92 defeated Kilsyth Cobras 77
Geelong Supercats 63 defeated Hawthorn Magic 58
The top five teams are also settled in the Watson Pool given the 16 per cent difference between fifth placed Waverley Falcons and sixth placed Hawthorn Magic. There were some nervous times for the Falcons over the weekend, going down to Eltham Wildcats by six points, as Kristian Ferronato scored 19 points in the win. David Amum (15 points) was the top scorer for the Falcons in defeat. The Magic missed a prime opportunity but went down to the impressive Geelong Supercats, 63-58. Oliver Northam piled on 23 points for the Supercats, while Jamie Ryan and Jet Kneebone both scored 14. Ned Caldwell scored 14 points in the Supercats’ loss. The top-of-the-table Bulleen Boomers sent an ominous warning to their competitors with an 85-51 victory over third placed Pakenham Warriors. Daniel Poelsma (18 points) and Will Rimmington (13) were two of five players to reach double figures for the Boomers, while Kayne Taylor‘s 15 points was the most of any Warriors player. In other results, Sunbury Jets grabbed their first win of the season with a shock three-point victory over Casey Cavaliers. David Angove turned it on with 21 points, assisted by Ryder Rousch (13), while Blake Shankland (26) was a key player for the Cavaliers. Melbourne Tigers and Kilsyth Cobras played out a high-scoring game with the Tigers victorious, 92-77. Ihsaan Bongso (21 points) and Wilson Amos (18) were the top scorers for the winners, while Harrison Adams, Rhys Crossley and Wyatt Stewart all scored 13 points for the Cobras.