MUVJBL U16 Boys VC review: Round 4 – The top three tightens up

KEILOR Thunder made it six in a row in Round 4 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division with a 56-51 win over Geelong Supercats. The win moves the Thunder to third on the table, equaling wins with their two main competitors in Bulleen (first) and Eltham (second). Geelong moved to sixth following the result, with three teams matching their eight wins below them. The match looked to be a blowout, with Keilor bursting out the gate with 19-7 in the first term. Though Geelong soon matched in the second, scoring 16-5 to trail by one point at the main break. In the third, they tied 15-15, leaving Keilor’s 17-13 final term to decide the game. Cooper Colson was immense in the contest, putting up 14 points for the Thunder, while Brodie McWhinney (12) also impressed on the floor. For the Supercats, Harry Den Dryver had 17 points with Jamie Ryan just missing out on double-digits with nine points for the night.

In one of the games of the round, the Eltham Wildcats got back a 57-54 win at home against league-leaders Bulleen Boomers, to secure second on the table. The top three share the same 10-3 record, while the Knox Raiders and Waverley Falcons pressure in fourth and fifth on 9-4. The Boomers set the tone early with 16 points to six in the first term. Though the Wildcats countered hard in the second with 25 points to take a one point lead into the main break. Momentum continued to switch until the final term, with the Wildcats outscoring Bulleen 11-6 to take home a three-point win. Harrison Stones, Bradley Moorey and Kristian Ferronato were immense in the win, all snaring 10 points. Ferronato moves to seventh on the top scorers list, while Bulleen’s, Marcel Haj, moves to fifth following a huge 23-point performance. Daniel Johnston also managed double figures for Bulleen, collecting 12 points in the tight contest.

The Latrobe Energy snared a big win over the out-of-form Knox Raiders in a big 72-68 showing on the road. The Raiders have won only one game since the beginning of the championship division split, losing their third consecutive to slip to fourth place. For the game, the Raiders opened the first term with 21 points, seeming like the Knox of old when compared to Latrobe’s 10. Though the Energy struck back hard in the second with 30 points to 12, exposing the Raiders for the second half to bring the game home. Coby Burgiel and Jack Hrehoresen were immense in the win, scoring 28 and 20 points while moving to third and fourth respectively on the league scoring list. Despite the pair’s effort, Jordan Anderson was not ready to give up top spot, dropping 23 points to hold the top scorer spot as we enter Round 5. Iverson Chan was similarly impressive, finishing with 14 for the night.

The Dandenong Rangers collected their second consecutive victory, protecting their home record (6-1) with a 51-44 win over the Bendigo Braves. The win puts the Rangers just outside the eight – one position below the Braves, both on 8-5. Despite both sides putting up solid numbers in the first half, after the main break both teams dipped to a six-point term. It was the Rangers who collected themselves first, grabbing a game-high 20 points to eight in the final term to steal the game. Beau Tranter led the game by quite a margin, putting up 19 points, while Dennis Ameti finished next best with nine. For the Braves, Jacob Nihill was the only player to record over 10 points, scoring 11, with Edward Hayes following close on eight.

The Waverly Falcons continue to boast the second best winning record in the league, picking up their fifth consecutive win after beating the Pakenham Warriors at home. The Warriors slip to 11th following the result, while the Falcons continue to pressure for a top-four spot. Both sides kept close throughout, ending in a tie if we only consider the second, third and fourth terms. It was the Falcons 20-11 first term that ultimately led them to victory. Nemuel Soliven led scoring for the Falcons with 12 points, while David Amum (10) and Tesloch Thong (10) also owning the floor. For the Warriors, Kayne Taylor had a huge performance, dropping a game-high 25 points in the loss. Jack Morris-Burney also held up well for the Warriors with 13.

In the Reserve grade, the Kilsyth Cobras fell 51-71 to the Melbourne Tigers, the Hawthorn Magic lost in a tight clash to the Casey Cavaliers (53-56) and Southern Peninsula fell short to Whittlesea Pacers (42-46). Closing out the round, Diamond Valley Eagles snared a 66-55 win on the road over the Eltham Wildcats, while the Nunawading Spectres go big against the Sunbury Jets (92-62).

In the Championship Division for Round 5, an in-form Keilor Thunder face the Knox Raiders at home, the Bulleen Boomers test themselves against a building Waverly Falcons, while the Pakenham Warriors host a real contest in the Dandenong Rangers. The round continues with the Bendigo Braves facing the Geelong Supercats and the Latrobe Energy looking to build off this week with a result over the Eltham Wildcats.

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