MUVJBL U16 Girls review: Eagles swoop into second, as Gators and Blues score first win

DIAMOND Valley Eagles have swooped into second spot with a win over Keilor Thunder, as Dandenong Rangers and Bullen Boomers maintained their unbeaten start to the season in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 16 Girls competition. In the other pool, no team sits winless after both Altona Gators and Frankston Blues grabbed their first victories of the season.

Ashe Pool:

Diamond Valley produced a terrific four-quarter performance to put out a statement to the rest of the competition following a 58-36 win over fellow contender, Keilor Thunder. With both sides having just the one loss coming into the round, Diamond Valley looked a class above with a 27-18 first half, before putting the game to bed in the third quarter following a 19 points to eight term. They held firm in the last quarter to extend the margin even further to eventually win by 22 points. Diamond Valley’s Eleanor Bollands finished with 24 points, while Aseka Ratnayake had 12 in the win. For the Thunder, Jaz Salon was the standout shooter, dropping 13 points in the defeat.

Bellarine Storm set up a win over Waverley Falcons with a big 14-5 first term performance. The Falcons cut the deficit to six by the main break before the Storm steadied to send it back out to eight points with a quarter to play. The Falcons again hit back, but could only cut the deficit back to six by the final buzzer in the 46-40 loss. Charlotte Murray scored 11 points for the Storm, while Aimee Wookey finished with 10. For the Falcons, Llana Kinkela was the dominant scorer with 13 points in the match.

Despite Hawthorn Magic’s best defensive efforts, Dandenong Rangers maintained their unbeaten streak to start the 2019 season, recording a nine-point win away from home. The Rangers led by four points at quarter time and doubled that to eight by the main break despite being restricted to just six points in the second term. Hawthorn hit back in the third quarter to reduce the deficit to five by the final break, before a 14-10 final quarter resulted in Dandenong finally securing the win. In other results, Ballarat Rush grabbed a 14-point win over Kilsyth Cobras as Rosie Todd sunk 16 points, while Cheyenne Moore was busy for the Cobras with 17. Ringwood Hawks also produced a dominant first half, scoring 33 points to 17 to eventually run out 52-41 winners over Sunbury Jets. Zoe Servinis posted 19 points in the win, while Scarlett Orritt sank 10 points.

Watson Pool:

The talking point of the round for the Watson Pool was victories to the bottom two sides who knocked off two sides above them in terrific performances. The Altona Gators finally got the win they were craving despite being nine points down at half-time against Eltham Wildcats. A stunning 19-6 third term turned the game around completely as the Gators headed into the final break with a four-point lead. Altona built on that lead to extend the final margin by one in the 48-43 win. Lucy Barth scored 11 points in the victory, while Cassie Dodemaide and Kasey Maddock both sank nine. For the Wildcats, Amy Temos scored 11 points, while Lauren Jatczak was strong with eight.

In the bigger upset of the two previous winless sides, Frankston took down Bendigo Braves to hand the Braves their second loss of the season. Despite losing three of the four quarters, a massive 24-9 second term saw the Blues set up a memorable two-point victory, holding off a fast-finishing Braves outfit to record a 49-47 victory. Frankston’s Zoe Harvey top scored in the game with 16 points, while for the Braves, Caitlin Richardson (11) and April Eeles (10) were the dominant scorers.

Talking upsets, the biggest upset of the round was potentially Melbourne Tigers’ eye-opening win over Knox Raiders, with a 23-point victory. The Raiders were yet to lose a game this season, but a 17-2 opening term put that record in serious doubt, as the Tigers produced a strong performance, including a 14-7 last quarter to run out 44-21 winners. Amy Kurkowski and Camille Letts both scored eight points for the Tigers, while Paige Burrows (six) was the top scorer for the Raiders. In other results, Sandringham Sabres enjoyed a terrific 20-point win over Nunawading Spectres. Maya Dear was sensational with 19 points, while Lily Mao, Summer Keating and Hannah Wickstrom all posted 12, and Jemima O’Toole sunk 11 in an eye-opening team performance. For Nunawading, Madison Sinclair (15 points) and Evelyn Curtis (10) were the main sources of points. In the final game, Bulleen Boomers continued their unbeaten streak with a 57-39 win over Southern Peninsula Sharks. Ella McIntyre sank 20 points for the Boomers, while Sienna Privitera was the best for the Sharks with 13.

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