THE Eltham Wildcats continued their strong season with a dominant performance in the Melbourne United Victoria Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division preliminary finals. The Wildcats easily moved past Dandenong Rangers, while in the other game, Waverley Falcons upset second placed Bulleen Boomers to face Eltham in the 2019 decider.
Eltham Wildcats 72 defeated Dandenong Rangers 42
The league-leaders pulled no punches on their way to the big dance, recording a dominant second half at 42-18. Eltham held better on the defensive end, keeping the Rangers below 10 in the second and third terms, while Kristian Ferronato stepped up in offense. The Vic Metro representative led his side with 22, moving his way to twelfth for points per game (PPG) as Anton Stratov and Zahn Agosta follow with 12 and 10 points respectively. Dandenong’s Nyareth Mayoum rounds out his season with a team-high 11 points in the absence of team scoring leader, Beau Tranter (14.5 PPG), followed by Jerome Pierre with eight and Arian Berisha and Dennis Ameti on seven apiece. Pierre finishes his season just below Tranter in tenth (14 PPG).
Bulleen Boomers 55 defeated by Waverley Falcons 61
In a tighter affair, the Waverley Falcons progress to a Grand Final over the second-place, Bulleen Boomers, with a 55-61 win at State Basketball Centre. Waverley secure their chance at a title and redemption as they come up against their qualifying rivals in the championship game. In the contest, Bulleen controlled the first term, recording a 19-12 opener. Though Waverley rebounded well in the second to record a game-high 20-point (15) term, before taking control of the remainder of the game with consecutive winning terms. David Amum managed 15 points for the Falcons, taking himself to sixth for PPG (15.5), while Matt Jefferson (14) and Tesloch Thong (10) both provided support in offense. Jefferson’s performance moves him one spot past Thong (11.4 PPG) into fourteenth (12.1). For the Boomers, Marcel Haj (14) and Daniel Poelsma (13) put up respectable ends to their seasons – finishing at fourth (16.3) and seventh (15.1) for PPG.
In the Championship Division next week, the Waverley Falcons get their shot to make amends in the Grand Final against the Eltham Wildcats, who bested them in the qualifiers, while Bulleen and Dandenong bring their seasons to a close with 15 and 10 wins respectively.