THE season openers hit-back in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division after a 15-point loss against Diamond Valley Eagles in Round 1. The Hawthorn Magic have successfully rebounded on the road, winning 49-45 against the Ballarat Rush. Despite Ballarat’s impressive opener against Knox, their efforts fell short, with Hawthorn’s Amy Ohara, controlling the floor with a big 21-point performance, alongside Ally Marshall who had 12. For Ballarat, Jade Skennerton led scoring with with 13 points, while Georgia Cox had 10.
The Diamond Valley Eagles and the Dandenong Rangers treated spectators to another tight margin, with the Rangers getting on top, 57-53. The away side combined well in offence with Nyadiew Puoch, Myah Healey and Dallas Loughridge scoring 15, 13 and 12-points respectively. Eleanor Bollands was the Eagles’ biggest standout, dropping 19 in the loss; Hayley Sparks finishing next best with nine.
In the third game decided by four points, the Nunawading Spectres took home a 37-33 win over Knox in a low-scoring affair. Spread evenly across the side, no Spectres player managed double-digits on the board. Evenlyn Curtis (eight points), Sarah Shelton (six) and Olivia Morris (six) were most prevalent for Nunawading. For Knox, Gemma O’Donnell broke out with 17 points, followed next by Kaitlyn Scott on six.
The Sandringham Sabres go undefeated into Round 3, winning 61-47 over the Bulleen Boomers on the road. The Sabres recorded the second-highest winning margin of the round, with Hannah Wickstrom (16 points), Summer Keating (13) and Maya Dear (12) all putting up good numbers. On Bulleen’s end, no player recorded double-digits, with Kobie Kino, Emily Maltezos, Aleisha Cadee and Ella McIntyre all recording seven points.
The Keilor Thunder joined a small list of undefeated sides after beating the Melbourne Tigers 56-40 at home. Tess Heal (17), Jaz Salon (15) and Bella Peterson (12) led the Thunder to a comfortable 16-point victory. For Melbourne, Amy Kurkowski finished on 10 points; Camille Letts following on nine.
In the reserve grade, three sides failed to crack beyond 29-points. The Waverly Falcons opened the night with a 40-29 win over the Kilsyth Cobras, while the Frankston Blues raised the bar, beating the Altona Gators, 65-29. The Ringwood Hawks also fell short on the scoreboard, losing to the Bellarine Storm 26-48. Southern Peninsula and the Bendigo Braves hosted a close affair with Peninsula winning 47-43, with the Eltham Wildcats finishing similarly over the Sunbury Jets, 51-50.
In Round 3 of the Championship Division, the Bulleen Boomers face the Nunawading Spectres at Mullum Mullum, while in Dandenong, the Rangers host the Melbourne Tigers. The Diamond Valley Eagles will travel to Sandringham to face the Sabres. To close out the night, the Ballarat Rush will face the in-form Keilor Thunder at home, while the Hawthorn Magic hope to make consecutive wins as they face the Knox Raiders in front of the home crowd.