MUVJBL Under 16 Boys weekend preview: Round 5

HUGE top-of-the-table clashes headline both pools in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 16 Boys championship division. While one game from Round 4 was played last night between Eltham Wildcats 2 and Whittlesea Pacers, we take a look at the Round 5 matches from each pool.

Ashe Pool:

Diamond Valley Eagles (7th, 1-3) vs. Eltham Wildcats 2 (9th, 1-2*)
Keilor Thunder (3rd, 3-1) vs. Nunawading Spectres (6th, 1-3)
Whittlesea Pacers (10th, 0-3*) vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks (8th, 1-3)
Bendigo Braves (4th, 3-1) vs. Dandenong Rangers (5th, 2-2)
Latrobe Energy (2nd, 3-1) vs. Knox Raiders (1st, 4-0)

In the Ashe Pool, Latrobe Energy host Knox Raiders in a massive top two clash. The Energy are still behind the Raiders on percentage even with a win, and have conceded 60 more points than their opponents, however are 20 points ahead on the attacking end showing their power in the front half of the court. The clear match-up within the match is that of Knox’s Jordan Anderson and Latrobe’s Coby Burgiel with the pair easily the top two shooters in the competition. Anderson has sunk 109 points at an average of 27.3 per game, while Burgiel is just five points behind with 104 at 26 per game. The next highest average is 18.3, showing just how damaging the pair can be if given time and space.

Elsewhere, a fourth placed Bendigo Braves look to take advantage of the top two sides playing each other when they host Dandenong Rangers who sit 2-2 from their four games thus far in season 2019. Bendigo share the points around with Liam O’Brien (10.3 per game) the top shooter this season for the Braves, while Dandenong Rangers have a couple of sharp shooters in Jerome Pierre (17.5) and Beau Tranter (16.5) both ranked inside the top 10 for points. Meanwhile third placed Keilor Thunder tackle sixth placed Nunawading Spectres, as the Thunder hope to bounce back from their first loss of the season last week. In other games, Eltham Wildcats 2 will need to recover from a game last night to take on Diamond Valley Eagles, while Whittlesea Pacers will need to do the same when they host Southern Peninsula Sharks.

Watson Pool:

Casey Cavaliers (8th, 0-3-1) vs. Hawthorn Magic (6th, 1-3)
Kilsyth Cobras (9th, 0-3-1) vs. Sunbury Jets (10th, 0-4)
Bulleen Boomers (1st, 4-0) vs. Eltham Wildcats (2nd, 4-0)
Waverley Falcons (5th, 2-2) vs. Geelong Supercats (3rd, 3-1)
Melbourne Tigers (7th, 1-3) vs. Pakenham Warriors (4th, 3-0-1)

Much like the other pool, the Watson Pool has a top-of-the-table clash with Bulleen Boomers hosting Eltham Wildcats in a classic match of attack against defence. The Boomers are the premier shooting side, scoring 299 points so far this season to be ranked number one in the competition. They are third for least points conceded as well, a statistic that their opponents dominate. The Wildcats have strangled their opposition so far in season 2019, allowing just 189 points against, just over 47 points per game. While they rank fifth in scoring, their low points against total has the Wildcats just six per cent behind the Boomers on the ladder. Bulleen’s Daniel Poelsma lead all-comers in this match for points this season, averaging 14.5 and in the top 10 for total points with 58. Will Rimmington is not too far behind with 51 points at an average of 12.8, while Kristian Ferronato has been the key player for Eltham with 13.3 per game from his three matches.

Another match to keep an eye on is that of the fifth placed Waverley Falcons taking on the third placed Geelong Supercats. The Falcons are the lynch-pin holding together the ladder with all sides above having not lost a game, while all the sides below have won no more than a game. Waverley is stuck in the middle with two wins from four matches, but has no trouble sinking shots, ranked third overall for points, and fourth least in points conceded on the other end. They will have a chance to hand Geelong its first loss in the clash, with Matt Jefferson (17.8 points per game) and David Amum (13.3) both in the top 20 for average points, as is Geelong’s Jet Kneebone (14.3) and Oliver Northam (13). In other matches, Casey Cavaliers are hoping to break the drought of three consecutive losses when they face Hawthorn Magic, Kilsyth Cobras and Sunbury Jets do battle in a bottom two clash, while Melbourne Tigers face the unbeaten Pakenham Warriors who would be eyeing off a top two spot after this round.

*Scores from last night’s Whittlesea Pacers/Eltham Wildcats 2 game yet to be confirmed.

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