A HALF century of points was the key to winning in Round 1 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division. All five winners reached the total, with the teams being relatively even between 50-58 points. The biggest winners were Dandenong Rangers who not only scored the most points (58) but restricted their opponents, Nunawading Spectres to the equal lowest (35). In an impressive performance on the road, Nyadiew Puoch sank 19 points for the Rangers, while Dallas Loughridge (14) and Myah Healey (12) were also impressive on court. Evelyn Curtis finished the match as the main scorer for the Spectres, sinking 16 points in the defeat.
The other big winner was Diamond Valley Eagles, restricting the scoring of Hawthorn Magic in a 50-35 victory. Eleanor Bollands had a night out with 17 points, while Aseka Ratnayake finished with 14. While Hawthorn had seven individual scorers, Ally Marshall and Ciarra McAlary were the biggest beneficiaries on the scoresheet with nine points apiece.
Sandringham Sabres continued their red-hot form with a 14-point victory over Melbourne Tigers. They shared the points around in the 51-37 win, as Hannah Wickstrom (11 points), Christina Roberts (10) and Jemima O’Toole (10) all contributed well. For the losers, Camille Letts managed nine points, while Neve Giddey finished with eight for the Tigers.
Ballarat Rush had an impressive victory over Knox Raiders, with Milly Simpson sinking a round-high 20 points for the home side as the Rush only had one player with less than five points from their seven team members. Georgia Cox and Ella Hutchinson both scored eight points, while Jade Skennerton finished with seven. Gemma O’Donnell (13 points) was the key player for Knox, while Jaida Reid assisted well with nine.
In the tightest game for the round, Keilor Thunder got the points against Bulleen Boomers in a five-point victory. Tess Heal was everywhere with 17 points, while Bella Peterson sank 12 for the winners. For Bulleen, Tabitha Betson managed 13 points, while Emily Maltezos finished the game with 10.
In the reserve grade, Frankston Blues had the most impressive win, defeating Bellarine Storm by 25 points, while Southern Peninsula Sharks registered a 68-52 victory over Ringwood Hawks. In other results, Bendigo Braves accounted for Altona Gators by 15 points, Eltham Wildcats won against Kilsyth Cobras in a 10-point victory, and Waverley Falcons got up a tight five-point contest against Sunbury Jets.
Looking ahead to Round 2 of the Championship Division, the top two sides in Dandenong and Diamond Valley clash, while other Round 1 winners, Ballarat and Keilor host Hawthorn and Melbourne respectively. Sandringham hope to make it two from two when they travel to Bulleen, while Round 1 losers, Knox and Nunawading go head-to-head in what will be the first win for one of those sides.
Round 1 results:
Diamond Valley Eagles 50 defeated Hawthorn Magic 35
Nunawading Spectres 35 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 58
Keilor Thunder 51 defeated Bulleen Boomers 46
Ballarat Rush 56 defeated Knox Raiders 41
Sandringham Sabres 51 defeated Melbourne Tigers 37