THE top four Ashe Pool sides faced off in Round 9 of the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Under 18 Boys competition, with Kilsyth stamping its claim as the team to beat. In the Watson Pool, Melbourne Tigers secured another big win, consolidating their top five spot as all the teams above them also won.
Waverley Falcons 93 defeated Dandenong Rangers 2 70
Dandenong Rangers 71 defeated Werribee Falcons 43
Kilsyth Cobras 58 defeated Bulleen Boomers 46
Collingwood All Stars 68 defeated Bendigo Braves 59
Eltham Wildcats 69 defeated Geelong Supercats 53
Two top-four clashes headlined Round 9 in the Ashe Pool, with first-placed Kilsyth keeping strong atop the ladder and Dandenong jumping into second while relegating Werribee to fourth. The Rangers’ 28-point win on their home boards proved clutch, lodging them right up the top end of the table as the best-placed of three teams on six wins. In the second top four clash, Bulleen could not quite charm the Cobras despite holding a lead at half time, going down by 12 points away from home. Roosevelt Williams (24 points) led a concentrated three-pronged Kilsyth scoring effort, with Eythan House (11) and David Okwera (10) the only others to hit double figures. The Boomers had a similar scoring chart in the loss, with Anthony Dell’Orso (14 points) and Owen Foxwell (12) contributing over half of Bulleen’s score. Not all was lost for Werribee and Bulleen though, with fifth-placed Bendigo unable to capitalise after an upset loss to Collingwood. The All Stars put in a massive effort to pick up their second win for the season, with a 20-9 point third term proving the difference in the nine-point victory. Every Collingwood player netted over seven points with Cameron Ross claiming 19, while Caleb Connick matched his effort for the Braves as one of only two players to notch double figures. That means Waverley continue to press for a top five berth after toppling Dandenong 2 by 23 points on the back of a big first half – enough to overcome Joshua Uhr-Henry‘s mammoth 39 points. In the round’s only bottom-four tie, Eltham beat Geelong by 16 points to push clear in seventh.
Knox Raiders 49 defeated by Diamond Valley Eagles 54
Ballarat Miners 68 defeated Ringwood Hawks 50
Hawthorn Magic 62 defeated by Nunawading Spectres 69
Keilor Thunder 57 defeated Korumburra Wildcats 48
Melbourne Tigers 87 defeated Casey Cavaliers 59
Melbourne Tigers stamped their authority in the Watson Pool with a 28-point trumping of Casey at home, booking them a top five spot. After trailing at half-time to the sixth-place Cavaliers, the Tigers locked down their opponents’ scoring in the third and got on top, and then poured on an incredible 42 points in the final quarter to seal victory. An even scoring effort across the board saw four Tigers claim over 12 points, with Patrick Twigg‘s 17 leading the way. Casey’s Jayden Route was the game-high scorer though, sinking 18 in a valiant effort. The round’s opening game saw Diamond Valley edge Knox in a five-point win that looked too close for comfort, but sees them stave off fellow 7-2 side Keilor which toppled fifth-place Korumburra. Both games were relatively low-scoring, with Eagle Ethan Bateman the standout scorer on the back of his 18 points against the Raiders. Bottom side Hawthorn went close to causing an upset against ladder-leaders Nunawading, but went down by seven points as they remain winless. The Magic had the better of the second half by a point, but it was not quite enough to overcome their first-half deficit. Curtis Brecko top scored with 25 points for the Spectres, while Brody Nunn (20 points) led Hawthorn’s brave run. In the round’s only bottom-four clash, Ballarat enjoyed a fourth win over Ringwood, consigning them still to second-last spot.