The Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division kicked off the semi-finals last week with the Dandenong Rangers besting the Keilor Thunder, and Waverley Falcons getting up over Geelong Falcons. Both games were separated by a combined 11 points in tight contests all-round.
Keilor Thunder 51 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 56
Despite finishing higher on the table, the Thunder went out of the finals in straight sets. They did well to close the margin to two points (41-43) with an 18-9 third term, but conceded the fourth 10-13 to lose the game by five points. Beau Tranter led with 18 points for the Rangers, moving to tenth for points per game (PPG) in his eleventh outing (14.5). Dennis Ameti trailed Tranter with nine points, while Jackson Djatschenko led the game with 25 for Keilor. Brodie McWhinney also scored 10 points in the loss – finishing his season in nineteenth for PPG (10.9) below Cooper Colson in twelfth (12.8).
Waverley Falcons 71 defeated Geelong Supercats 65
The Waverley Falcons pulled off a win over Geelong Supercats (71-65) in the second semi-final. The Supercats were competitive throughout, trailing 36-33 into the main break despite losing the first two terms. They managed to draw in the third (15-15) but could not effectively mount their comeback with a 20-17 term closing out their season. The Falcons have a lot to like moving into the preliminaries, with three players recording double digits. Nemuel Soliven led the way with 17 points, followed by Matt Jefferson (14) and David Amum (12). Amum moves to sixth for PPG (15.5), with Jefferson (11.9), Tesloch Thong (11.5) and Soliven (10.7) rounding out the top 20. For Geelong, Jet Kneebone had an impressive end with 23 points, followed next by Patrick Johnstone on 10.
The Championship Division kick off the Preliminary Finals next week with the Eltham Wildcats facing the Dandenong Rangers, and the Bulleen Boomers going head to head with the Waverley Falcons.