MUVJBL U18 Girls review: Upsets shake up Watson Pool

THE championship division hopes for seven teams still remain alive after a number of upsets in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Girls’ Watson Pool. In the Ashe Pool, the top five seems more settled, but Kilsyth Cobras are still hanging around after a big win and have a good percentage compared to those two sides above them on the table.

Ashe Pool:

Kilsyth Cobras 59 defeated Nunawading Spectres 2 42
Dandenong Rangers 70 Diamond Valley Eagles 43
Southern Peninsula Sharks 69 defeated McKinnon Cougars 35
Bulleen Boomers 80 defeated Pakenham Warriors 48
Knox Raiders 68 defeated Frankston Blues 26

Kilsyth kept its championship division hopes alive, and at the same time dashed the dreams of Nunawading Spectres 2 in a 17-point win. They won every quarter on their way to the 59-42 victory, led by Nikita Young (23 points) and Ruby Nicks (15), while Stephanie Wales (14) was the top scorer for the Spectres. The top two teams continued their dominance on the competition, with Knox Raiders thrashing Frankston Blues by 42 points, restricting the Blues to single-digit scores each quarter in the 68-26 win. Meg Robinson led the way for the Raiders with 21 points, while Rhiannon Ockwell scored 11. Zoe Schonfelder used her National Basketball League (NBL)1 experience to sink eight points for the losing side. In another one-sided contest, Bulleen Boomers proved too good for Pakenham Warriors, winning 80-48. The Boomers had four players reach double figures as Casey Valenti-Paea (19 points) and Sascha Korakis (14) were dominant, however the Warriors had three of their own players reach double figures, led by Caitlin Demczuk‘s 18 points. Southern Peninsula Sharks remained in fifth spot with a 34-point win over McKinnon Cougars. Emirson Devenie (30 points) and Gemma Simon (20) did all the damage for the Sharks, while Molly White (11) and Natasha Rivas Lee (10) reached double figures for the Cougars. In the other game, Dandenong Rangers booked a spot in the championship division knocking off highly fancied Diamond Valley Eagles, 70-43.

Watson Pool:

Warrandyte Venom 37 defeated by Keilor Thunder 47
Hawthorn Magic 53 defeated Geelong Supercats 39
Dandenong Rangers 2 55 defeated Melbourne Tigers 40
Broadmeadows Broncos 63 defeated Bendigo Braves 61
Nunwading Spectres 61 defeated Altona Gators 49

With the grade split fast approaching, a number of teams kept their championship dreams alive with upset wins over higher ranked opponents. Broadmeadows Broncos knocked off Bendigo Braves in a thrilling two-point upset to remain just percentage out of the top five. Leading by six at the final break, the Broncos had to weather the Braves’ final quarter storm which saw the visitors score 18-14, but fall short, 63-61. Chrisy Triantafyllopoulos topscored for the Broncos with 14 points, while Chelsea Lewis sank 13. For the Braves, Piper Dunlop starred, shooting 18 points, while Tess Barnes managed 11 in the loss. The other upset was Nunwading Spectres toppling the undefeated Altona Gators for the Spectres to keep their championship chances alive and well. After a tight first half, the Spectres shot 35 points to 24 in the second half to gain separation and run out 12-point winners, 61-49. Louisa Fakalata was superb with 20 points, while Maddison Zugna (17) and Tayha Watkins (14) also impressed. Meanwhile Keilor Thunder kept its championship chances alive as well, defeating winless Warrandyte Venom by 10 points. Victoria Ikenasio led the way with 21 points, while Ella Whiting-Le Cras finished with 14 for the Venom. Hawthorn Magic knocked off Geelong Supercats to keep the visitors nervous heading into the final round as the Magic triumphed 53-39. Alycia Kennedy (15 points) and Ryleh Killian (14) were the two dominant scorers for the Magic, while Carly Remos (16) was the key player for the Supercats. In the other match, Dandenong Rangers 2 knocked off Melbourne Tigers in a 15-point win between the bottom three sides.

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