MUVJBL Under 18 Boys Round 1 review: Boomers gain separation from Rangers in 12-point win

AN Owen Foxwell-inspired Bulleen Boomers have produced a strong second half to hold off Dandenong Rangers in the first round of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Boys’ competition. Foxwell finished the match with 35 points – including one from long range and 10 free throw opportunities to lead his side to a 73-61 victory on the Boomers’ home court.

Bulleen held a narrow lead at quarter time with a one-point advantage, though Dandenong was not willing to give anything up, keeping pace in the second term with a 15-all quarter. It was the third term where Foxwell and his teammates went to town, putting up a team total of 19 points to 11 and blowing out the lead to nine points. Despite the lead, the Boomers were not willing to take any chances, winning the final term as well, 21-18 to record the 12-point victory and start the season on a high.

While Foxwell led the scoring, Anthony Dell’Orso (11 points) and Daniel Poelsma (10) also put up good numbers, though there was contributions across the board with eight players troubling the scorers on the night. Dandenong had its fair share of talent on the court, and Justin Asi proved what a danger from long range he could be, sinking four triples and six from inside the arc on his way to a team-high 28 points. He was well aided by Elijah Duol (19 points), while Jacob Oryem (seven) was the other player with more than five points on the Rangers’ side.

In other Ashe Pool results, Diamond Valley Eagles got up by seven points over Camberwell Dragons after a blistering 20-12 first term with Eagles’ Jackson Harding (17 points including five triples) and Noah Todd (15) leading the way for the winners, whilst Sam Veitch sank 19 points for the losing side. Eltham Wildcats had an unsurprising win over their second side, getting up 56-43 with Thomas Stockwell and Fletcher Parkinson combining for 30 points. Meanwhile Knox Raiders knocked off Geelong United by just seven points, winning in a high scoring contest 80-73. Jordan Anderson (16 points) Jyelin Moli (15) were the prominent scorers for the Raiders, whilst Jay Posterino (16) and Jamie Bottrell (14) impressed in an even team performance for United. The game between Ringwood Hawks and Coburg Giants scores are yet to be confirmed via SportsTG.

It was a tight game in Ballarat when the Miners took down Hawthorn Magic by just two points in the Watson Pool. The Miners found themselves trailing by seven points at half-time but had a strong second half to score 38 points to 29 and overrun the visitors in a 64-62 win. Austin McKenzie led the way for the miners with 25 points including two triples and a total of 22 points from the field, whilst the Magic had Denzel Timmons (18 points) who was deadly from long range with four triples. The Magic did run into some foul trouble with 19 fouls to 13, whilst the depth of the Miners’ top-end scoring from range was electrifying with a team total of 10 triples made on the night. Aside from McKenzie, Nathan Sutton recorded a team-high four on his way to 14 points, whilst Max Rivers (two triples for 11 points) and Liam Howard (two for eight) were also impressive outside the arc.

In other Watson Pool results, Nunawading was far too strong for Bendigo as the title-contending Spectres ran away 87-61 victory thanks to the likes of James Roache (25 points), Dihan Wiggett (21) and Dean Simos (15). Lachlan O’Brien led the way for the Braves with 16 points, aided by the likes of Macey Eaton (11) and Edward Hayes (10). Meanwhile despite a dominant third term from the Warriors, Pakenham fell six points short of Melbourne Tigers with the visitors responding to a 7-17 third quarter with a 22-11 final term of their own in the 62-56 victory. Jensesn Garhnam (18 points) and Ihsaan Bongso (16) led the way for the Tigers in the win, whilst Lauchlan Mark (15) was strong for the Warriors in defeat.

Keilor also broke away from Kilsyth after quarter time to win by 12 points on the road. Despite the Cobras’ Josh Duach‘s best efforts (18 points), Keilor was too strong thanks to Tonga Matapule Otutaha (17 points), Chase Page (14) and Jeffrey Ofoedu (12). In the final game of the pool, McKinnon Cougars’ fast start to lead by 12 at half-time was the difference in the end in a 71-59 victory over Waverley Falcons. Denver Lund and Tom Carroll sank 21 points apiece in the win, whilst Callum McNiff (14 points) led the way for the losing Falcons.

Round 1 results:

Ashe Pool:

Eltham Wildcats 2 (43) defeated by Eltham Wildcats (56)
Diamond Valley Eagles (64) defeated Camberwell Dragons (57)
Knox Raiders (80) defeated Geelong United (73)
Bulleen Boomers (73) defeated Dandenong Rangers (61)
Ringwood Hawks (TBC) vs. Coburg Giants (TBC)

Watson Pool:

Nunawading Spectres (87) defeated Bendigo Braces (61)
Pakenham Warriors (56) defeated by Melbourne Tigers (62)
Ballarat Miners (64) defeated Hawthorn Magic (62)
McKinnon Cougars (71) defeated Waverley Falcons (59)
Kilsyth Cobras (57) defeated by Keilor Thunder (69)

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