CONTENDERS have separated themselves from the trailing pack in as early as Round 1 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 16 Girls AA division, with clear top two’s forming in all but one of the pools after big wins, as the slimmest margin of victory was eight points.
Dandenong 2 (31) defeated by Bulleen (50)
Bendigo (70) defeated Nunawading 2 (36)
Both Bulleen and Bendigo look to be locks to progress after just one game, reeling in big wins to open tournament proceedings. Playing away at Dandenong, the Boomers came away with a comfortable 19-point victory on the back of an even spread of points across the team. Emily Maltezos and Kiralee Collings both bucketed nine points each, with Ella McIntyre (eight) and Tabitha Beston (seven) not far behind in the winning effort. Taleah Read and Breanna Granger stood up for the Rangers’ second side with eight points each as they went down, scraping into third. Meanwhile, Bendigo had the biggest win of the round as the Braves came away massive 34-point victors at home. Two players bossed the court for Bendigo, with Caitlin Richardson sinking 21 points and Kaleah Bonanno claiming 15 as April Eeles (eight points) and Pheobe Radford (seven) also chimed in. A nice spread of scorers for Nunawading saw Stephanie Georgantas star with 11 points, while Sarah Bushby had seven and Gabriella Shane, six. Winners Bendigo and Bulleen will be looking to seal qualification in Round 2 as they swap opponents, possibly setting up a first-place playoff to see out the group stage. While the Braves host Dandenong 2, Nunawading 2 plays host to Bulleen as they search for a crucial win.
Melbourne 2 (33) defeated by Ballarat (66)
Ringwood (47) defeated Latrobe (23)
Pool 2 looks to be another group with clear top-two contenders as Ballarat and Ringwood posted comfortable wins in their opening fixtures. Ballarat had the second-greatest winning margin of the week with the 33-point win over Melbourne Tigers 2 placing them firmly in first spot. The travelling side had three big scorers on the day as Milly Simpson dropped 16, Georgia Cox sunk 15, and Jemma Amoore pitched in with 11 points. Amelie Kamberis was the only Tiger to crack double digits with her half-dozen, while Francesca Newport followed suit with six of her own in the losing effort. Ringwood’s home fixture proved more fruitful as a 24-point win saw Zoe Servinis drop 18 points, with Ella Grigg (eight points) the next best scoreboard performer. Indigo Waugh had eight points for Latrobe in a low team score, with Jaime Gallatly netting four points as the Energy struggled to keep up with Ringwood’s scoring power. Round 2 sees Latrobe travel to face an in-form Bendigo side that sits in first, while Ringwood heads into Melbourne to face the Tigers, who will be keen to bounce back from their big loss and get on the board.
Hawthorn 2 (30) defeated by Altona (51)
Sunbury (40) defeated by Wangaratta (48)
The pursuits of both travelling sides in Pool 3 proved fruitful as Altona and Wangaratta claimed wins to open their accounts. Altona’s 21-point victory puts them top of the table with a healthy percentage as the only side in the group to notch 50 points. A trio of winners did the job for Altona, with Angelina Vi top scoring for 12 points, while Kasey Maddock had 11 and Cassie Dodemaide also broke double digits for her 10. Ruby Price proved best for the Magic as she sunk 10 points, with two players sinking four each to add to the losing total. Wangaratta’s win came in a slightly closer affair, as they ran out eight-point victors against Sunbury on the Jets’ home court. Erin Condron (11 points) and Maddison Ford (nine) hit the scoreboard hardest for the home side, as two others also netted six points despite going down. For Wangaratta, Hannah Onley was instrumental with 17 points, while Tayissa Gray hit nine points and Olivia Pearce had eight as part of a dangerous trio. Table toppers, Altona now host Wangaratta in a clash to see who is handed their first loss, while Sunbury travels to Hawthorn to decide which side can snatch its first win.
Casey (55) defeated Southern Peninsula (43)
Bulleen 2 (43) defeated by Bellarine (55)
In an extraordinary set of events, Pool 4’s fixtures threw up a set of identical scorelines, as Casey and Bellarine claimed 12-point wins to kick off proceedings. The Cavaliers overcame Southern Peninsula at home, thanks largely to 14 points from Lucy Dexter, who was aided well by 12 points each from Talyssa Route and Dakota Crichton. Chantelle James was one who stood up for the Sharks with 12 points, leading the way from Sienna Privitera (11 points) and Bella Breen (seven). Bellarine fared well away from home as the Storm overcame Bullen’s second side in similar fashion. Charlotte Murray took on the brunt of the scoring responsibility with her 16 points, aided by Summer Field (nine points) and Aimee Wookey (eight). For the Bulls, Lilly Amor netted a huge 18 points, with Chantal Vitale sinking 12 of her own to be the next best. The winners swap opponents for Round 2, as Casey faces Bulleen on the road, and Bellarine hosts the Sharks at MSAC as the pool ladders take shape.