MUVJBL U16 Girls review: Eagles win battle of the birds

DIAMOND Valley Eagles have swooped in with a commanding response to their first defeat last week with a barnstorming 64-18 win over Waverley Falcons in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 16 Girls championship division.

The Eagles went down to top-of-the-table Melbourne Tigers in Round 2, but quickly moved past that loss to hand the Falcons their second consecutive defeat. Diamond Valley’s intent early was clear, piling on 24 points to six in the first term, and by half-time had 36 points on the board to 13. The one-way traffic did not stop there as the Eagles scored 12 points to five in the third term, before posting 16 points to zero in the last quarter for an eye-opening 46-point win. Teah Reichert managed a game-high 15 points for the Eagles, ably assisted by Aseka Ratnayake (11), while Molly Wolfenden and Eleanor Bollands both scored eight. For the Falcons, Vanessa Carni and Maddie Pinchbeck scored six points each in the big loss.

In the game of the round, Bellarine Storm survived an almighty comeback from Kilsyth Cobras to run out 46-45 winners in their Ashe Pool game. The Storm seemed to have the game under control in the first half, racing to a 17-6 lead at quarter time and maintaining that 13-point advantage by half-time. Kilsyth cut into the deficit in the third term, reducing the managing to just 10 by the final break, then threw everything at Bellarine, scoring 18 points to 11, heartbreakingly falling short. Summer Field (14 points) and Charlotte Murray (11) led the way for the winners, while Cheyenne Moore (nine) was the top scorer for Kilsyth as Gemma Hancock, Jada Martin and Tayja Maki all finished with eight.

In other Ashe Pool results, Ringwood Hawks secured their first win of the season after a strong 13-7 third term against Hawthorn Magic to win 49-45. Zoe Servinis and Katrina Warton combined for 21 of the Hawks’ 49 points, while Ally Marshall (14 points) was the key scorer for the Magic. Keilor Thunder also survived a scare against Ballarat Rush, winning by just three points in a narrow 59-56 game. Tess Heal was outstanding for the winners yet again, posting 21 points, while Bella Peterson (12) and Jaz Salon (10) were also productive. Georgia Cox was unstoppable for the Rush finishing with 26 points, assisted by Milly Sharp (10). Meanwhile Dandenong Rangers were too strong for Sunbury Jets, piling on 47 goals to 19 in the first half to stamp their authority on the match in a 72-41 victory. They shared the points around with Nyadiew Puoch (15 points) the top scorer, while Dallas Loughridge (12), Abbey-Lee Wood (11) and Grace Montgomery (10) all reached double figures. For the Jets, Olivia Ogston posted 11 points, while Maddison Ford tried hard with nine.

In the Watson Pool, Sandringham Sabres recorded a round-high 78 points in their 40-point demolition of Altona Gators. The Sabres had their work cut out for them early, leading 12-11 at the first break, but then put the foot down in the second term with a 26-4 quarter. Now with a 23-point lead, Sandringham kept at it, piling on 40 goals to 23 in the second half on its way to a 78-38 win. Summer Keating scored a game-high 20 points, ably assisted by Maya Dear (17) and Hannah Wickstrom (15), while for the Gators, Jade Azzopardi finished with a team-high 10 points.

Bulleen Boomers fought out a six-point win over Nunawading Spectres in the battle of the undefeated teams. The Spectres had the upperhand early in the contest scoring 12 points to seven in the first term, and led by six at the main break. Bulleen raced back into the game with a 16-7 third quarter to then take the lead by three, before maintaining the rage with a 12-9 final term in the 40-34 victory. Kobie Kino scored a team-high 13 points for the Boomers, while Emily Maltezos was the other main scorer with nine in the low-scoring win. For the Spectres, Yasmin Spargo (14 points) and Olivia Morris (12) were the two key scorers.

In other results, Eltham Wildcats enjoyed a 50-42 victory over Southern Peninsula Sharks, leading by 12 points at the main break before the Sharks hit back to cut the final margin. Ashley Vee Mrmacovski posted 16 points in the win, while Sienna Privitera scored 17 for Southern Peninsula. Knox Raiders remained undefeated at the top of the Watson Pool with a clinical 68-35 win over the winless Frankston Blues. Gemma O’Donnell poured down 20 points and Jaida Reid sank 13, while for the Blues, Zoe Harvey (nine) was the highest scorer. In the final game, Melbourne Tigers showed their fight with a 55-34 win over Bendigo Braves, handing the Braves their first loss of the season. Jessica Barnett-Tonna scored 12 points in the win, while Caitlin Richardson finished with 11 points for the Braves.

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