DANDENONG Rangers picked up their second consecutive draw in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division with a 56-56 result against Bulleen Boomers. The Rangers dropped to fourth after recording five consecutive wins prior to the break. Comparatively, the Boomers returned well before this week, recording consecutive wins. The tie puts them in third with Nunawading and Kilsyth moving to 11 wins in the top-two to finish the round. In the match-up, the Rangers opened with a four-point advantage in the first, forcing Boomers to work back into the contest for the rest of the game. Anthony Dell’Orso led scoring for the Boomers with 22 points, moving to fifth for league scoring for his fifth game. Thomas Giannatos and Isaiah Harvey were also impressive, scoring eight points each for the home side. For the Rangers, Marcus Winghager emerged with 17 points, followed next by Mason Perry who dropped 10 points in the draw.
In dominant fashion, Nunawading Spectres moved to second spot with a huge 81-50 win over Keilor Thunder at home. The win marks three consecutive for the home side as Keilor slipped to eighth place with their third loss in a row. Spectres opened well, outscoring their visitors 23-9 in the first and 22-7 in the second. The Thunder resurged in the third, lifting their game to 19 to 23 points before tying 15-15 in the final term. For the Spectres, James Roche was immense, leading the game with 23 points to move into second for league scoring. Max Vandersteen followed next on 12 – Dihan Wiggett with 11. For Keilor, Derhyse Matautia and Daelon Eteru led scoring with 12 points each – still without their highest scorer (and third highest average overall in the league), Paul Tsapatolis (19 PPG).
Kilsyth Cobras retained top-spot with a 62-50 win over Melbourne Tigers at home. The Cobras remain undefeated at home following the result as the in-form Melbourne Tigers slip to fifth with their fourth loss on the road. The Tigers held a 30-28 lead at the main break, but loss touch in the third with a 12-25 third term. The Cobras moved to unassailable lead in the fourth, closing out the game 9-8. Josh Duach impressed in the victory, moving to seventh spot on the league scoring list with a 20 point performance. Though it was David Okwera who led scoring for the game, amassing to 25 points for the Cobras. For the Tigers, Patrick Twigg led scoring with 13 points, followed next by Justin Bond who had 11 for the game.
Bendigo Braves get a win on the board against a struggling Korumburra Wildcats, beating the visitors by 11 points (75-64). The Braves added to their impressive home record, picking up their fifth win from eight games despite sitting thirteenth on the table. The Wildcats dropped to fourteenth following the result, moving to 2-4 on the road. Caleb Connick moves to top spot for league scoring with a 20-point average, dropping 22 points against the Wildcats. Dyson Daniels and Jordan Michel also impressed, with 15 and 13 points respectively. Korumburra’s, Keith Robinson, moves to fourth spot for league scoring, recording 19 points in the loss. Brodie Mabilia followed with 17 points, with Nick Prowd also impressing on 14.
Werribee Devils snare a tight five-point win over Diamond Valley Eagles with a 58-53 result. The Devils move to seventh spot following the result and pick up their consecutive win since coming back from break. The Eagles remain without a win in the Championship Division, losing five consecutive despite sitting 7-2 at the beginning of the season. In the contest, scoring was slow in the first half with Diamond Valley entering the break with a 19-16 lead. Both sides emerged in the third with the Devils responding with a 20-17 term. Scoring continue into the final term – Werribee finishing 22-17. Darrien Herbert led scoring for the Devils with 27 points, followed next by Makur Jongkuch who had 11. For the Eagles, Ethan Bateman led scoring with 12 points. His teammates, Ryan Hoffman and Matt Marasco, followed next with 11 and 10 points respectively.
For the Reserve grade, Casey Cavaliers snared a 78-62 win over Geelong Supercats, Ringwood Hawks fell short against Collingwood All Stars (55-58) and Hawthorn Magic outscored Ballarat Miners (58-39). Closing out the round, Eltham Wildcats defeated Dandenong Rangers on the road (68-73), and Knox Raiders beat Waverley Falcons at home (58-55).
For Round 6, the Bendigo Braves open at home against the Diamond Valley Eagles, the Korumburra Wildcats face the Keilor Thunder at home, and the Bulleen Boomers hope to re-join the winner’s list when face the Kilsyth Cobras in front of the home crowd. The round continues with the Werribee Devils facing the Dandenong Rangers and the Nunwading Spectres versing the Melbourne Tigers at home.