THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Girls Championship division opened Round 3 in incredible fashion with the Nunawading Spectres going nine in a row against the previously undefeated Knox Raiders. NBL1 representative, Louisa Fakalata, dominated in the victory, dropping a game-high 25 points to move to second on the top scorer’s list. Maddison Zugna (11) also impressed for the Spectres, while Georgie Robinson and Meg Robinson held up for the Raiders with 12 and 11 points respectively.
The Geelong Supercats get one back in a tight 65-62 win over the Diamond Valley Eagles. Geelong fans had a lot to like with NBL1 representatives, Alisha Knights and Carly Remmos, dropping 16 and 14 points respectively, while teammate Alannah Northam also impressed with 14. For Diamond Valley, Georgia Kitchell dropped a game-high 19 points, with Jade Dunne following close on 17.
In a battle to stay off the bottom, the Dandenong Rangers snare a close 54-51 win at home against the Altona Gators. Despite losing touch in the third period, the Rangers fought hard in the fourth to close out 21-13 for the final term. NBL representatives, Emily Sewell (16), Hannah Rapp (11) and Elly Morgan (10) all starred in the win for Dandenong. For Altona, Kayla Salmons, Jordan Wilson and Trinity Steele all stepped up with 12, 10 and 10 points respectively.
The Bulleen Boomers held firm in second spot after beating Southern Peninsula 69-50 on the road. Alexandra Keating (19) continued to lead the league in shooting after another standout performance alongside teammates, Olivia Tsantarlis (12) and Casey Valenti-Paea (10), who also held strong. Southern Peninsula also boasted some big performances with Gemma Simon and Charli Dobson both dropping 16 in the loss. Unfortunately for the home side, the Boomers dominated in the first term 24-9, taking a near unassailable lead into the next three terms.
The Hawthorn Magic snared the easiest win of the round with the Bendigo Braves forfeiting the scheduled game at the Boroondara Sports Complex. The win takes the Magic to fifth spot, one below their would-be challengers.
In the reserve grade, the McKinnon Cougars continue their winless streak with a 51-80 defeat against the Nunawading Spectres. The Keilor Thunder protect a fair home record (4-1-0) against the Melbourne Tigers (53-47), while the Broadmeadows Broncos edge out the Frankston Blues in a tight affair (58-52). To close out the round, the Dandenong Rangers fall to the Warrandyte Venom at home (65-77), as the Pakenham Warriors suffer similarly against the Kilsyth Cobras (58-88).
On July 19, the Championship Division returns with the Diamond Valley Eagles hosting the Southern Peninsula and the Bendigo Braves hosting the Nunawading Spectres. The round continues with the Knox Raiders travelling to Hawthorn to face the Magic, the Altona Gators come up against the Bulleen Boomers and the Dandenong Rangers close out the round against the Geelong Supercats.