MUVJBL U18 Girls VC review: Preliminary Finals – Raiders mount a stellar comeback

THE State Basketball Centre hosted the one of the year’s best last Friday when the Dandenong Rangers took out the Bulleen Boomers by three points in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division preliminary, while Knox Raiders came from behind to record a big 20-point victory.

Bulleen Boomers 52 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 55

Despite defeating Dandenong in both encounters this year, Bulleen pulled up short in the second and fourth terms in the preliminary final. It was an 18-8 closer that carried the Rangers across the line, with NBL1 guards, Elly Morgan and Leia Hanafin, controlling the floor with 16 and 11 points respectively. Morgan moves into the Grand Final at fifteenth for points per game (PPG), while Casey Valenti-Paea finishes in seventh (14.3 PPG) following her 16 point performance for Bulleen. Sascha Korakis and Olivia Tsantarlis also impressed with 11 and 10 points respectively, while Alexandra Keating finishes her season in third (16.8) with six points for the game.

Knox Raiders 70 defeated Nunawading Spectres 50

The Knox Raiders produced one of the best halves of the season last week as they took out the Nunawading Spectres at 70-50. In the first two terms, they recorded consecutive 12-point periods and trailed by eight points into half-time (24-32). Momentum switched in the second half, building toward two terms over 20 points while keeping the Spectres below 10 in each. Zoe Jenkins made her mark on the preliminaries, recording the highest score for the round with 22 with Charlise Dunn following on 19. Dunn moves up to ninth spot with 13.7 PPG, as Jenkins drifts into eighteenth. For Knox, Louisa Fakalata reclaims top spot (17.3) with 18 points in her final game. Lucy Wales also carried herself well in the loss, recording 14 points, while Maddison Zugna rounds out the top-20 with 9.7 PPG.

The Championship Division hosts a much-anticipated Dandenong Rangers and Knox Raiders Grand Finals at the State Basketball Centre next week, as Bulleen and Nunawading’s season come to end.

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