MUVJBL U18 Boys: Crossover Round 2 Review

THE second round over the Crossover Group stage took place last Friday night as teams battled to get an early advantage in the stage towards qualification for the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball (MUVJBL) championship division. We recap the games and top scorers from each match in the AA division.

Pool 1:

Melbourne (46) defeated Diamond Valley 2 (39)
Pakenham (75) defeated Latrobe (41)

One of championship division favourites, Melbourne Tigers had their work cut out for them in a narrow seven-point win over Diamond Valley 2 on Friday night. The win has almost certainly guaranteed the Tigers automatic qualification into the championship, while Diamond Valley 2 will likely settle for second or third depending on the outcome of the match, while Latrobe sits bottom without a win. The Tigers shared the ball around more in this game with last week’s top scorer, Jordan Adams finishing with 10 points, well below his 24, but instead teammates, Patrick Twigg (11) and Lyzel Mataika (nine) also getting on the board in the win. For the Eagles, Chase Page sunk a team-high eight points, while Noah Todd and Max Tatter both finished the game with six each.  The other game was not nearly as close, with Pakenham too good for Latrobe, winning by 34 points. Logan Mills was the dominant scorer with 21 points after just six in round one, while Callum McNiff sunk 16 after 13 in the first match. Justin Ochaya (nine points) and Austin Shelley (eight) were the other big contributors. For Latrobe, Alex Maxwell and Tanner Pyle both scored seven points, while Mason Porkali finished with six.


Pool 2:

Knox (75) defeated Ringwood (60)
Eltham (58) defeated Wangaratta (37)

Eltham is all but locked into an automatic promotion spot in Pool 2 after a second crushing victory, this time over Wangaratta by 21 points. To give an indication of how strong the Wildcats are, they destroyed Knox by 27 points in Round 1, and the Raiders went on to defeat Ringwood Hawks by 15 points. The Hawks’ loss means they need Knox to defeat Wangaratta to ensure a top three position. In all likelihood, Knox will take second spot and face off against the loser of Diamond Valley 2 and Pakenham in Pool 1. In the Raiders’ high-scoring win over the Hawks, Harry Johnson put on a show, nailing 27 points to take his average up to 19 from two games, while Adam Slavnic finished with 12 points. They were far from alone on the scoresheet however, as Ivan Rajher (10 points), Josh Woodford (10) and Riley Coughlin (nine) all troubled the opposition. Ringwood had its fair share of scorers with Thomas Lock again busy, sinking 20 points to follow up from his 13 last week, while Harrison Seeley finished with 13. Campbell Dewacht (10 points) and Jackson De Prinse (nine) were also productive in a team that had just seven players and less rotations than their opponents who named the full squad of 12 for the game. In the one-sided game, the Wildcats shared the points around as Matt Debney finished with an equal team-high 14 points to average 17 from his two games. Ben De Bolfo also sunk 14 points, while last week’s top scorer, Nicholas Uzelac just managed the nine, although he still averages 15 from the tournament. Wangaratta had less contributors with Charlie Young again battling his heart out to finish with 15 points after his 12 last week, while Byron Hosie sunk 10.


Pool 3:

Diamond Valley (75) defeated McKinnon (56)
Blackburn (66) defeated Eltham 2 (55)

Pool 3’s Round 2 results threw up the most interesting conundrum for the final round, with the clear top side Diamond Valley all but qualified, however the other three sides are still in contention for an elimination crossover match. Eltham 2 lost its second round match but still sits second overall, though will have to face the Eagles in the final round. The Wildcats have booked a spot in the top three, but depending on the results, could be second or third. Blackburn’s win over the Wildcats has placed the Vikings in a good spot, taking on bottom of the table, McKinnon in the final round with the winner to earn an elimination match, while the other is ruled out of contention for the championship group. In the first game, the Eagles enjoyed a big win over the Cougars, as Erik Kafritsas sunk 21 points to lead all comers, joined on the top scorers by Ethan Bateman (12) and Joseph Brazier (10) of whom the latter did not play in the Eagles’ opening round win over Eltham 2. For McKinnon, Hayden Mitchell scored 12 points, ably assisted by Josh McQueen and Jonothan Hunt who both finished with 11 each. In the second game, the Vikings looked to Cormac Bohanna who was unstoppable against the Wildcats, sinking a massive 30 points to be the clear dominant scorer on the court. Sam Trezise finished with 10 points, while Ian Baker (eight) and Alexander Jenkin (seven) were other busy players on the night. For the Wildcats, Angus Seivers scored 13 points after 10 in Round 1, while Tristan Jones (12) and Ben Costa (nine) were the other productive scorers.


Pool 4:

Collingwood (57) defeated Sandringham (53)
Dandenong 2 (57) defeated Geelong (56)

The fourth pool is by far the closest of any of the pools, as three of the four teams are still in contention for both automatic promotion, and immediate elimination. Every game has been thrilling in the pool, and the two matches were decided by a combined five points on Friday night showing just how even the four sides are. The second win to Collingwood against fellow Round 1 winners, Sandringham meant the All Stars are now guaranteed a top three spot in the pool. Dandenong 2 kept its hopes of automatic promotion alive with a one-point win over Geelong, while the Supercats will need to topple the Sandringham Sabres in the final round if they are to have any chance of making it to the next stage. In the first match, Collingwood did not have a dominant scorer, instead choosing to share the ball around up the offensive end. Finnian Corr was the top scorer with 11 points, while Lachlan McKain (10), Charlie Raymond (eight) and Jackson Bennett (seven) led six players who scored more than five points. For the Sabres, James Doyle was the clear standout with 20 points after his 10 last week, while the ever-consistent Joe Llubarsky scored 12, identical to his Round 1 effort. In the nail-biting other game, Liam McBride led the way for the Rangers’ second side as he sunk 22 points to help Dandenong knock off Geelong and keep their automatic promotion hopes well and truly alive. Josh Uhr-Henry finished with 12 points, while Bryce Curtis and Blake Williams both contributed seven apiece. For the Supercats, Ethan McDonald managed 17 points to take his total to 30 from two games, while Kade McKenzie (12) and Jay Posterino (nine) were other big contributors.

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