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2021 Big V Women’s: Round 10

ROUND 10 of the Big V Women’s saw Bulleen and Sunbury continue their reign atop of the ladder with convincing wins in their respective clashes. Casey and McKinnon also got notable wins while Whittlesea slumped to their tenth straight loss for the season.

Hawthorn (52) defeated by Bulleen (65)

Bulleen proved why they are serious finals contenders notching up another win and defeating Hawthorn by 13 points. The Boomers got the jump on the Magic early establishing a 12-point lead and while Hawthorn worked their way back into the contest in the second and third term Bulleen dug deep to power home. It was a hard-fought win as the Boomers were stifled after the first quarter, unable to play with the same level of freedom.

Sian Gillam plied her trade for the Magic getting busy with 17 points at 30 per cent from the field and eight rebounds. Gemma Fyfe chimed in with 10 points, four rebounds and three assists as Ella Crump inserted herself into the thick of things with eight points. Amy O’Hara had a game to remember off the boards reeling in a whopping 17 rebounds with 11 of them defensive while also managing seven points. Kate Gaze was influential once again, producing 25 points and while she was not clinical from long range (two from nine) still found plenty of the ball. She also racked up nine rebounds and four steals as Louella Tomlinson made no mistake with her 18 points in her 38 minutes on court. Tomlinson registered another double-double thanks to her 17 rebounds while Hailey Merrigan was the next prominent shooter with six points in the win.

Whittlesea (59) defeated by Hume (80)

The Hume Broncos got the chocolates over Whittlesea as the Pacers remain winless for the 2021 season. It was a tale of two halves as Hume got the jump on Whittlesea earlier before they started to build momentum in the second half of the match. Hume came out with a real fire in the belly piling on 22 points to 14 in the opening term and upped the ante even further in the second quarter sinking 27 points while keeping their opponents to 10. Establishing a commanding lead by half time, the Broncos somewhat took their foot off the pedal as Whittlesea worked their way back into the contest.

Lyndsey Hoogenhout was at her damaging best with 23 points at 37 per cent from the field as she also flexed her muscles off the boards amassing 15 rebounds and four assists. Lauren Killmister was the next best thanks to her 10 points and five rebounds as Saule Kontautaite was down on her usual output only producing nine points in her 40 minutes on court but still managing five rebounds, three assists and four steals. It was a much more even contribution from Hume as five players hit double-digits. Jessica Azzopardi led the troops with 15 points albeit at 30 per cent from the field while she also amassed 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Tashia Overby got busy in her 36 minutes on court with 13 points as Paige Tawaf also impressed recording 12 points, six rebounds and two steals. Sophie Byrnes hit the mark with 11 points as Leilani Siamoa was the sole other player to reach double-digits thanks to her 10 points, six rebounds all of which were defensive, three assists and two steals.

Wyndham (84) defeated Keilor (67)

Wyndham flexed their muscles over Keilor downing them by 17 points. They did not look like losing from the opening tip-off as Wyndham controlled the flow and tempo of the game especially in attack to find the basket. Despite a bit of a blip in the radar in the second term where the Thunder fought their way back to only be down by two points at half time Wyndham dominated the second half. Scoring 23 points and 24 points respectively while keeping Keilor to 15 and 17, Wyndham did not relent on their pressure to grind out the game and improve their standings on the ladder.

It was the Nicola Handreck show as she took centre stage for Wyndham with her 32 points at 67 per cent from the field. Some of Handreck’s best work came from beyond the arc as she drained nine of her 13 attempts while she also impressed off the boards with eight rebounds. Georgia Tauschke was a commanding force for the victors producing 17 points and seven rebounds while 12 proved to be the magic number for both Jessica Scannell and Courtney Middap as they recorded 12 points apiece. Looking at Keilor, Ally Keating was the most prolific shooter walking away with 18 points, four rebounds and three steals. Bianca Babic was hot on her heels with 14 points and seven rebounds as Emily Suckling produced 11 points at 31 per cent from the field.

Sunbury (74) defeated Casey (57)

A blistering first quarter from Sunbury gifted them the win over Casey as the rest of the game was played at even pace. Sunbury poured on 26 points to 11 in the opening quarter to claim the ascendancy and push Casey onto the backfoot. After quarter time the Jets were well held as Casey upped the ante in defence to really take it to their opponents and shut down their attacking options. However on the flipside Sunbury did not relent on their defensive pressure making it difficult for Casey to find any fast breaks.

Jacinta Beckley appeared to bring her own ball to the game topscoring with 30 points at 52 per cent. Beckley set the tone for the rest of her team as she also pulled in six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Bianca Dufelmeier also contributed highly with 17 points at 50 per cent from the field and just fell short of a double-double thanks to her nine rebounds. Courtenay Wragg inserted herself in the action with 10 points while Orla O’Reilly was a nuisance in defence with eight rebounds and two steals. Rachel Bell plied her trade for Casey posting 15 points and five rebounds. Credit to the work of the Jets, Shereesha Richards was down on her lofty standards sinking 14 points in her 40 minutes on court but still impressed off the boards registering 11 rebounds. Sarah Parsons was the other key contributor for Casey as she poured on 10 points and proved to be dead eye from the charity stripe.

McKinnon (84) defeated Southern Peninsula (60)

The final game of the round saw McKinnon defeat Southern Peninsula to secure their seventh win of the season and keep the Sharks towards the bottom of the ladder. McKinnon did all the running in the first quarter establishing an 11-point lead and steadily added to that margin throughout the game. McKinnon kept Southern Peninsula to 11 points in both the first and third term credit to their defensive pressure.

Four players managed to reach double-digits with both Claire Ioannidis and Rosie Fadljevic sitting on 14 points apiece. Fadljevic did not need long to assert herself on the game playing just 17 minutes and getting involved in just about everything racking up eight rebounds and five assists. Tara Brunto nailed 12 points and six rebounds while Tegan Cunningham chimed in with a handy 11 points and 13 rebounds. Morgan Ili was influential with her nine points and showcased her strength off the boards with 13 rebounds nine of which were offensive. Once again it was Tanarly Hood that stepped up to the plate for Southern Peninsula with 15 points and six rebounds while Ashleigh Wright worked tirelessly with her 12 points and three rebounds. Jayde Popovski continued her merry way sinking nine points in her 21 minutes on court while Fiona Darnell put up a strong performance off the boards with eight rebounds.

Round 11:

The job for Southern Peninsula does not get any easier as they take on premiership favourites Bulleen Boomers. A top of the table battle between Casey and McKinnon will bring plenty of excitement while Hume will have their hands full against an in-form Wyndham. Keilor will look to keep Whittlesea winless with a strong performance at home while Sunbury will take on Hawthorn in the final game of the round.

Photo credit: Big V Facebook

2021 Big V Women’s: Round 8

ROUND 8 of the Big V Women’s saw McKinnon land one of the biggest upsets of the season, downing Sunbury Jets to end their unbeaten run. Meanwhile, Whittlesea are still on the search for their first win after Southern Peninsula notched up another victory.

Southern Peninsula (73) defeated Whittlesea (52)

Southern Peninsula ensured that Whittlesea remain at the bottom of the ladder securing their third win of the season while the Pacers are still on the hunt for their first. It was an even start to the contest with only two points separating the two sides at quarter time, and while the lead was in favour of Whittlesea that all steadily changed as the match went on. The real onslaught came in the final term when the Sharks piled on a whopping 23 points to nine to run out victorious.

The combination of Ashleigh Wright and Tanalry Hood was at its damaging best as the duo found the basket with ease sinking 17 and 16 points respectively. Hood could have had a triple double but fell just short thanks to her 12 rounds and nine assists to accompany her 16 points. Mikaela Watson got busy with 23 points of her own in her 26 minutes of court while she also pulled down seven rebounds. For Whittlesea it was the familiar faces in Saule Kontautaite and Lyndsey Hoogenhout that kept their side within touching distance. Kontautaite led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds while Hoogenhout also made her presence felt collecting 12 rebounds and 14 points. Emily Verey worked tirelessly sinking 12 points but it was not enough to worry Southern Peninsula.

 Casey (77) defeated Wyndham (62)

Casey and Wyndham went toe-to-toe in a high scoring affair before things mellowed out for both sides. Casey mounted the pressure in the opening term, establishing an eight point lead and continued that scoring momentum into the second quarter to hold a commanding 13-point lead heading into the main break. Casey were not able to replicate the same scoring prowess in the second half as Wyndham upped the ante but still fell short given Casey’s composure under pressure.

Casey had four players hit double-figures with livewire Shereesha Richards once again monopolising the play with her scoring impact. Richards had the ball on a string notching up a game high 25 points at 63 per cent from the field while her accuracy from the charity stripe was also impressive going at an 83 per cent clip. Richards received support from the likes of Rachel Bell (16 points, four rebounds, three assists) and Georgia Koopmans with 15 points. Dakota Crichton was the only other player to sink 10 points in the win while also amassing eight rebounds, two assists and three steals. Nicola Handreck was a workhorse for Wyndham posting 16 points, six rebounds and three assists in the loss while partner in crime Courtney Middap chimed in with a handy 13 point in her 38 minutes on court. Georgia Tauschke was not as damaging on the scoreboard as usual but still produced big numbers off the boards with 11 rebounds, 10 of which were defensive, while also amassing four steals.

Bulleen (87) defeated Hume (68)

It was a one-sided affair between the second placed Bulleen and eighth placed Hume with the Boomers walking away with a 19 point victory to their name. They burst out of the gates and did not look like slowing down at any stage. However the Broncos did rally mounting somewhat of a third quarter revival to win the term 21-15. But that thought was quickly squashed as Bulleen answered the call in the final term to produce a 23 point to 14 term.

It was a masterclass from WNBL talent Rebecca Cole who simply could not be denied with ball in hand. Cole starred with a game-high 38 points while also collecting six rebounds and four steals. Louella Tomlinson also put on a show with her 20 points at 64 per cent from the field to accompany her eight rebounds and four blocks while Kate Gaze was the other one to get busy with her 13 points and six rebounds. Sophie Byrnes tried her darnedest for Hume registering 17 points, nine rebounds and two steals as teammate Hailey Wynd was also a force to be reckoned with credit to her 15 points and four steals. In her 10 minutes on court Charlotte Lord had an impact draining nine points as Leilani Siamoa was down on her usually high production rates only managing eight points and two rebounds.

McKinnon (72) defeated Sunbury (67)

Sunbury were handed their first loss of the season as McKinnon ran rampant to ruin the Jets’ unblemished record. Sunbury raced out to an early lead only for McKinnon to peg back the margin in the second. Neither side could be separated in the third quarter shooting 14 points each with the game blown wide open in the final quarter as McKinnon found their shooting range to edge ahead and steal the win.

With four players hitting the double-digit mark, McKinnon showcased an ability to share the rock around as both Amelia Todhunter and Rosie Fadljevic secured 15 points each. Both shot at 50 per cent or more from the field highlighting their overall control on the tempo of the game with Todhunter influencing off the boards with her six rebounds and four steals. Claire Ioannidis got busy with 13 points in 25 minutes as Tegan Cunningham provided a helping hand with seven rebounds and 12 points at 50 per cent from the field. Jacinta Beckley stepped up to the plate with 18 points and 12 rebounds in a strong showing to try and keep her sides undefeated record intact. Bianca Dufelmeier helped led the charge for Sunbury posting 17 points while Orla O’Reilly was the next best with 16 points, seven rebounds and five steals.

Keilor (74) defeated Hawthorn (58)

Keilor flexed their muscles and proved why they sit higher on the ladder than their opponents with a resounding win over Hawthorn. After a tighter than expected first quarter, Keilor kicked it up a gear in the following three to create some much needed separation on the scoreboard. The Thunder’s best term of play came in the final stanza as they piled on 21 points to eight in a testament to their defensive prowess and attacking capacity.

Bianca Babic proved to have a hot hand for the Thunder draining 24 points while also reeling in the rebounds with 10 to her name. Ellen Kett was influential with her 16 points as Emily Suckling found her mojo credit to her 14 points. Kett could have had a triple-double had things gone to plan finishing with 11 rebounds and eight assists. Bella Niven-Brown was the most prominent shooter for the Magic converting 21 points at 44 per cent from the field and also collecting 10 rebounds. Amy O’Hara also had a profound impact racking up 17 rebounds and 11 points as Ella Crump got busy with her nine points in 30 minutes.

Round 9:

Bulleen will be eager to impress and claim another win in their clash against Wyndham as a bottom of the table clash between Hume and Magic will be interesting to watch. Casey and Southern Peninsula go head to head while Whittlesea will have to be on high alert as McKinnon will be on a high after knocking off the top of the table Jets. Expect a high-octane battle between Keilor and Sunbury as the latter hopes to return to its winning ways.

Big V Women’s wrap: Round 7

IT was another action-packed round of Big V Women’s with blowout performances from Sunbury, Wyndham and McKinnon dictating the round. Whittlesea are still sitting at the bottom of the ladder while Bulleen also secured a handy win.

Hume (63) defeated by Keilor (65)

The clash between Hume and Keilor went right down to the wire as only two points separated the sides at full time. With Keilor sitting higher on the ladder, the Broncos came out with a point to prove and that was that they could mix it with the best in the business. They claimed an early one-point lead and while the Thunder hit back in the second with a 17 to 13 point term the Broncos were not done with yet. It all came down to the final term with Keilor eager to secure the win and throwing everything they had at Hume to steal the narrow victory.

Efforts from Hailey Wynd and Jessica Azzopardi spurred the home side on with Wynd dominating with 18 points. Wynd was the main playmaker for the Broncos shooting at 62 per cent from the field while also reeling in a whopping 19 rebounds, 15 of which were defensive. It did not stop there as she also recorded three blocks. Azzopardi was handy with nine points as Leilani Siamoa chimed in with nine of her own along with four rebounds in the loss. Even contributions from a host of players is what got the Thunder over the line as Ellen Kett starred with 15 points, failing just short of a triple-double with 11 rebounds and nine assists. Emily Suckling was in just about everything to finish with 12 points as teammate Zoe Zwerling found the basket with relative ease for 11 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Southern Peninsula (52) defeated by Wyndham (94)

Wyndham recorded their second win of the season, defeating Southern Peninsula by an impressive 42 points in what was a strong showing. Wyndham blew the Sharks out of the water in the opening term piling on a whopping 32 points to 16 and asserting themselves nice and early. They maintained this level of attacking pressure throughout the game as they looked to build momentum and keep Southern Peninsula on the back foot.

When it comes to top contributors for the Sharks it was Ashleigh Wright that led the charge posting 16 points in her 28 minutes out on court. Her accuracy wavered however, sitting at a lowly 39 per cent from the field. Teammate Tanarly Hood continued her consistent start to the season with another 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals as Fiona Darnell also got busy, finishing with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals, but it was not enough to worry their opponents. Wyndham had no shortage of contributors with six players all reaching double digits. Courtney Middap was proficient for Wyndham in the win with 19 points, six rebounds, three assists and five steals. She was not alone as Nicola Handreck impressed with 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Jamilee Pearce was her usual self, producing 14 points as Georgia Tauschke found her groove with 13 points of her own. The final player to reach double figures was Sam Moodie who registered 10 points and five rebounds in her 13 minutes on court.

Hawthorn (60) defeated by McKinnon (83)

McKinnon bounced back after a disappointing Round 6 loss, defeating Hawthorn comfortably by 23 points. McKinnon raced out of the blocks against the lower-ranked Magic and did not relent with their pressure and eagerness to score evident. Although things got tighter in the second and third term respectively, McKinnon put their foot down in the final quarter draining 26 points to 16 to run out with their fourth win for the season.

Bella Niven-Brown proved to have a hot hand for Hawthorn sinking a team-high 17 points while also managing seven rebounds in the loss. Amy O’Hara was the next best for the Magic as she recorded nine points and five rebounds while Sian Gillam worked gallantly for her eight points and seven rebounds. For McKinnon it was Amelia Todhunter that led the charge credit to 22 points at 64 per cent from the field. She also racked up nine rebounds and three steals in the win. Morgan Ili was another strong presence for McKinnon draining a handy 20 points at 73 per cent along with eight rebounds. Claire Ioannidis made her presence felt with 12 points as Isobel Anstey also got busy off the boards to finish with 10 rebounds.

Whittlesea (38) defeated by Sunbury (96)

Sunbury once again proved why they are top of the table with a resounding win over the last placed Whittlesea Pacers. The victory is Sunbury’s seventh straight, with the side yet to drop a game all season while the Pacers remain winless. It was all one-way traffic for Sunbury from the opening stanza and only got better as the game went on, dominating the second term with a 29 to nine point effort. They put the final nail in the coffin in the last quarter as they shut down the ball movement from the Pacers, keeping them to a mere six points while adding 21 to their own tally.

Lyndsey Hoogenhout did the most damage for the Pacers with 14 points but converted at a lowly 32 per cent. Hoogenhout got a hand in just about everything racking up eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Both Lauren Killmister and Jayde Illievski put on six points each but it hardly troubled the scoreboard. For the Jets the effort from Orla O’Reilly could not be matched as she stacked on 24 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals. Bianca Dufelmeier chimed in with a commanding 22 points at 60 per cent from the field while also amassing three rebounds, four steals and four assists. Hannah Mrakov and Jacinta Beckley both got busy with 14 and 12 points respectively in the win.

Bulleen (84) defeated Casey (72)  

The top of the table battle brought plenty of intensity and excitement as the Boomers got the job done against Casey. Bulleen handed Casey only their second loss of the season while they managed to string together their second consecutive win. Creating an eight point lead at the first break, Bulleen worked hard to maintain it however Casey showed their class to rally and reduce the buffer to four at half time. But that was short lived as the Boomers held onto the momentum in the second half, sinking 29 points to 22 in the third term alone to re-establish that much needed buffer.

Once again the efforts from WNBL stars Rebecca Cole and Louella Tomlinson stood tall and dominated the scoring. Cole nailed 25 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals in what was an all-round stellar performance. Tomlinson also played a vital role with her double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Kate Gaze showcased her skill with 20 points at 50 per cent from the field as Annie Garrick sunk 11 points of her own in the win. Shereesha Richards was her dominant best, single-handedly spurring her side on thanks to her 27 points and 10 rebounds. She received some support from Rachel Bell with 16 points as Alannah Gillespie slotted 14 points.

Round 8

It will be a battle of the bottom sides as Southern Peninsula and Whittlesea lock horns while Casey and Wyndham get proceedings underway at Casey Stadium. Sunbury will be aiming to make it eight straight with a win over McKinnon as Bulleen hope to stay in touching distance of the Jets with a win against the lowly Broncos. The final game of the round sees Keilor host Hawthorn.

2021 Big V Women’s wrap: Round 6

ROUND 6 of the Big V Women’s played host to a mixed bag of results as Sunbury just edged ahead of Wyndham by a mere point while Casey also secured their fifth win of the season. Whittlesea still remain at the bottom of the ladder yet to earn a win.

Southern Peninsula (49) defeated by Hume (65)

Hume Broncos got the job done against Southern Peninsula running out 16-point winners in what was a convincing performance by the visiting side. The Broncos burst out of the blocks in the first quarter piling on 23 points to nine and while the Sharks fought back in the second to eat into the margin they could not get within striking distance. The second half continued down a similar path as the Broncos held the ascendancy in the third and the fourth to secure their second win of the season.

Tanarly Hood was once again the standout player for Southern Peninsula producing a team-high 16 points while also reeling in seven rebounds and two assists. Fiona Darnell was a helping hand with her eight points and six rebounds in her 25 minutes on court while Annaliese Rogers also made her presence felt with six points. The combination between Hailey Wynd and Paige Tawaf caused headaches as they sunk 15 and 13 points respectively. Wynd also got busy with seven rebounds and two blocks as Tawaf also reeled in eight rebounds. Leilani Siamoa continued her strong start to the season nailing nine points and seven rebounds as Ellen Wright proved to be a menace off the boards with her 10 rebounds evenly split in offence and defence.

Keilor (69) defeated by Casey (78)

The top four battle between Keilor and Casey well and truly lived up to the hype as both sides showcased their scoring prowess and ability to lather on the pressure but in the end it was Casey that got the job done. Casey landed the first blow skipping out to a handy nine point lead but Keilor remained in touch in the second to get back within six. The Thunder simply could not emulate that second quarter of play in the third as Casey once again piled on the points and kept them at arms distance.

Keilor had a trio of players that bobbed up in Bianca Babic, Emily Suckling and Zoe Zwerling with the former leading the troops with 15 points in her 31 minutes on court. Suckling shot at a lowly 33 per cent from the field for her 11 points as Zwerling managed 11 points of her own but an improved rate of 44 per cent along with five assists. Ellen Kett and Jess Francke also got busy with nine points with the latter also managing four rebounds. For the winners, Rachel Bell was the gamechanger with her 27 points and conversion rate of 53 per cent. Bell also reigned in nine rebounds all of which were defensive. Shereesha Richards was the next best on court nailing 18 points at an impressive 75 per cent from the field along with nine rebounds as teammates Tegan Fowler and Sarah Parsons produced 13 and 10 points apiece.

Whittlesea (49) defeated by Hawthorn (79)

Hawthorn kept Whittlesea winless as they notched up their third victory for the season. The Magic held the ascendancy early and showed no signs of giving it up as they won every single quarter and did so convincingly. Hawthorn’s best quarter came in the second as they held the Pacers to a mere nine points while adding 20 to their total.

The familiar faces for the Pacers in Lyndsey Hoogenhout and Saule Kontautaite steered the ship in the loss as they got busy on the points scoring front. Hoogenhout topscored with 16 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks while Kontautaite produced 13 points and three assists in the loss. Emily Verey also chimed in with a handy six points and seven rebounds. It was a complete team performance from the Magic as four of the seven players hit double-digits. Gemma Fyffe was a real livewire with her 16 points and five rebounds as Sian Gillam was hot on her heels with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists. Ella Crump slotted 14 points for the game as Amy O’Hara sunk 13 at an impressive 83 per cent clip along with her nine rebounds.

McKinnon (49) defeated by Bulleen (81)

Bulleen Boomers got back on the winners list after a shock loss in Round 5 to defeat McKinnon in style. After a sluggish start from both sides the Boomers kicked into gear in the second and maintained that level of momentum for the rest of the game, really putting the clamps on in the third term as they went on a scoring tear, shooting 31 points to nine. Although they took the pedal off in the final stanza the damage had already been done as Bulleen claimed a 32-point win.

It was a tough day at the office for McKinnon as only a handful of players managed to effectively hit the scoreboard. Rosie Fadljevic was the most prominent shooter for McKinnon walking away with 11 points for the night along with eight rebounds. Claire Ioannidis and Morgan Ili chimed in with 10 points apiece as Tegan Cunningham made her presence felt through her seven points and eight rebound effort. For the Boomers there was no denying that Rebecca Cole was a standout sinking 30 points at 44 per cent from the field while also amassing six rebounds and five assists. Kate Gaze also got busy with her 22 points and although Louella Tomlinson was not as prominent on the scoring front only registering eight points she dazzled off the boards with 17 rebounds.

Sunbury (73) defeated Wyndham (72)

The final game of the round went right down to the wire as Sunbury just pipped Wyndham at the post in a thrilling one point ball game. The Jets established a four point lead at the first break before both sides put on a tight battle in the second to nail 22 points each. Sunbury just kept their noses in front in the third term outscoring their opponents 21-20 to hold a narrow lead at the final change. But with it all to play for in the final quarter it was Wyndham that brought the heat pegging back the margin to fall agonisingly short.

There were multiple key contributors for Sunbury as Jacinta Beckley dominated with 19 points and six rebounds as partner in crime Bianca Dufelmeier showcased her class and scoring capacity to notch up 15 points at 56 per cent from the field. Tess Barnes and Emily Conn played their roles well registering 13 and 11 points apiece as Courtney Wragg imposed herself in multiple facets of the game with her nine points, eight rebounds, two assists and three steals. Georgia Tauschke led all-comers with a game-high 24 points while both Nicola Handreck and Jamilee Pearce plied their trade with 13 and 12 points respectively.

Round 7

Hume will take on Keilor who will be looking to get back in the winners books while Wyndham will be ruing their chances and hoping to go one better against the struggling Southern Peninsula side. Hawthorn and McKinnon lock horns as the winless Whittlesea take on the high flying and undefeated Sunbury Jets. The final game sees another top four battle as Bulleen and Casey go head to head.

VJBL U18 Grading Phase Pool 1 wrap: Round 2

IN the second round of the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Grading Phase Pool 1 wrap, teams began to assert themselves in their respective groups, setting up either virtual grand finals, or setting up likely promotion tilts across the Under 18 Boys and Under 18 Girls grades.


Pool 1A:

Whittlesea Pacers grabbed prime position to advance through to the VJBL Championship division with a win over Melbourne Tigers in Round 2. The battle of the two unbeaten sides saw the Pacers win by five points, 50-45, with Jack Tatter having a day out finishing with 26 points. In the battle between the winless sides, Waverley Falcons got up over Wyndham Basketball by 17 points.

Whittlesea Pacers (50) defeated Melbourne Tigers (45)
Jack Tatter (Whittlesea) 26
Oskar Jones (Melbourne) 15
Jack Hrehoresen (Melbourne) 12

Waverley Falcons (59) defeated Wyndham Basketball (42)
Nemuel Soliven (Waverley) 14
Matthew Jefferson (Waverley) 10
Jacob Bord (Wyndham) 14
Emmanwiel Deng (Wyndham) 12


Pool 1B:

In Pool 1B, it was Nunawading who dominated Eltham Wildcats to move to a 2-0 record and edge closer to automatic qualification. Tristan Devers led the way and was one of seven players on the court who reached double-figures, putting up a match-high 22 points in the 73-58 victory. Meanwhile Hawthorn Magic got past Dandenong Rangers’ second side in a tight five-point win.

Dandenong Rangers 2 (45) defeated by Hawthorn Magic (51)
Ned Caldwell (Hawthorn) 15
Denzel Timmons (Hawthorn) 13
Lachlan Currie (Dandenong) 15

Nunawading Spectres (73) defeated Eltham Wildcats (58)
Tristan Devers (Nunawading) 22
Dean Simos (Nunawading) 14
Lucas Koch (Nunawading) 10
Brody Glenn (Eltham) 17
Kristian Ferronato (Eltham) 14
Zahn Agosta (Eltham) 12
Bradley Moorey (Eltham) 11


Pool 1C:

In Pool 1C it was Bulleen who have completely dismantled their second team in as many weeks, destroying Craigieburn Eagles by 53 points to storm to a massive 224.14 per cent. They are 130 per cent more than any other side, and are raging favourites to go ahead. In the other game, Casey Cavaliers got over Diamond Valley Eagles after a loss to Bulleen in week one, to keep their chances of second spot alive.

Diamond Valley Eagles (34) defeated by Casey Cavaliers (44)
Ethan Bolton (Diamond Valley) 13
Blake Shankland (Diamond Valley) 13
Corey Rutherford (Casey) 9

Bulleen Boomers (79) defeated Craigieburn Eagles (26)
Will Rimmington (Bulleen) 13
Max Zalakos (Bulleen) 10
Lochlan Redford (Bulleen) 10
Oliver Slawinski (Bulleen) 10
Kaan Karabulut (Craigieburn) 7


Pool 1D:

Kilsyth Cobras became the sole undefeated side in Pool 1D after a narrow 11-point victory over Frankston Blues. The two winners from Round 1 engaged in a low-scoring affair, but 16 points from Harrison Adams was the standout performance. The other contest was a free-flowing shootout as Dandenong Rangers claimed a vital two-point win over Pakenham Warriors to move up to second overall following the 64-62 triumph.

Dandenong Rangers (64) defeated Pakenham Warriors (62)
Harrison Scott (Dandenong) 13
Coby Burgiel (Dandenong) 11
Noah Suarjaya (Dandenong) 10
Jarred Small (Pakenham) 22
Kaleb Beveridge (Pakenham) 14

Frankston Blues (35) defeated by Kilsyth Cobras (46)
Harrison Adams (Kilsyth) 15
Seth McCubbin (Kilsyth) 12
Cameron Clarke (Frankston) 7


Pool 1E:

McKinnon Cougars are looking good to move into the VJBL Championship Division following an eight-point win over Bendigo Braves. Both sides won in the first week of the competition, and whilst the Cougars had a lower percentage, they were able to get the job done against the Braves in a 51-43 effort. In the other match, Southern Peninsula Sharks made sure they were a win away from dropping to the next group stage, defeating Eltham Wildcats’ second team by 11 points.

McKinnon Cougars (51) defeated Bendigo Braves (43)
Denver Lund (13)
Luke Lyngberg (10)
Lachlan Somerville (17)

Eltham Wildcats 2 (43) defeated by Southern Peninsula Sharks (54)
Darcy Jones (Southern Peninsula) 15
Corey Hastings (Southern Peninsula) 13
Tarrant Wallace (Southern Peninsula) 11
Anthony Prestia (Eltham) 14


Pool 1F:

Rounding out the Pools was 1F, where Geelong United dominated Sunbury Jets to take control in the sixth group. United won 66-31 in a one-sided performance where Olivier Northam and Jamie Bottrell scored the same amount as the entire Sunbury side. In the other max, Knox Raiders grabbed their first win with a victory over Keilor Thunder, getting up by 18 points.

Sunbury Jets (31) defeated Geelong United (66)
Olivier Northam (Geelong) 16
Jamie Bottrell (Geelong) 15
Jet Kneebone (Geelong) 11
David Angove (Sunbury) 9

Knox Raiders (46) defeated Keilor Thunder (28)
Beau Tranter (Knox) 11
Fraser Roxburgh (Knox) 11
Cooper Colson (Keilor) 9

U18 Girls:

Pool 1A:

The two standout teams have been decided in Pool 1A, setting up a virtual grand final to determine which side automatically qualifies for the VJBL Championships. Dandenong Rangers’ first side was too good for Frankston Blues, winning by 14 points to secure their second win of the group stage, while the Rangers’ second side fell again, this time to an inspired Waverley Falcons outfit by 33 points. It means the winner of the Falcons and Rangers 1 side tonight, automatically qualifies.

Dandenong Rangers 2 (27) defeated by Waverley Falcons (60)
Liana Kinkela (Waverley) 18
Emily Gough (Waverley) 14
Alana Poulton (Dandenong) 7

Dandenong Rangers 1 (42) defeated Frankston Blues (28)
Dallas Loughridge (Dandenong) 13
Zoe Harvey (Frankston) 10


Pool 1B:

Despite being a couple of lower-scoring encounters, Keilor Thunder and McKinnon Cougars have set up a virtual grand final in the third round of the group stage tonight. The Thunder accounted for Sunbury Jets 49-38 as Tess Heal was the star with 19 points, while the Cougars won in a low-scoring thriller, 25-20 to keep themselves in contention for automatic promotion.

Keilor Thunder (49) defeated Sunbury Jets (38)
Tess Heal (Keilor) 19
Erin Condron (Sunbury) 9

Kilsyth Cobras (20) defeated by McKinnon Cougars (25)
Tayja Maki (Kilsyth) 5
Romy Price (McKinnon) 6


Pool 1C:

After losing their first game last week, Bellarine Storm bounced back to record a 12-point win over Melbourne Tigers thanks to 12 points from Alivia Osborne being the difference. Meanwhile Bulleen Boomers have put themselves in pole position to claim the automatic qualification spot after a 43-30 victory over fellow first round winners Knox Raiders, with Tabitha Betson (17 points) being the standout shooter.

Bellarine Storm (31) defeated Melbourne Tigers (19)
Alivia Osborne (Bellarine) 12
Taliyah Gomez-Sankari (Melbourne) 6

Bulleen Boomers (43) defeated Knox Raiders (30)
Tabitha Betson (Bulleen) 17
Paige Burrows (Knox) 10


Pool 1D:

Diamond Valley Eagles moved to two wins from two games in Pool 1D, fending off Hawthorn Magic in what has shaped as the most even group of the lot. The Eagles won against the Magic by just four points to go outright top of the table, as Sophie Burrows starred with 19 points. In the other game, Casey Cavaliers bounced back from a week one loss to win 41-33 over Eltham Wildcats, credit to Dakota Crichton‘s 18 points.

Diamond Valley Eagles (41) defeated Hawthorn Magic (37)
Sophie Burrows (Diamond Valley) 19
Genevieve Broadbent (Diamond Valley) 11
Isabel Whitelaw (Hawthorn) 10
Amy O’Hara (Hawthorn) 10

Casey Cavaliers (41) defeated Eltham Wildcats (33)
Dakota Crichton (Casey) 18
Jessica Del Brocco (Eltham) 13


Pool 1E:

In another tight group, Melbourne Tigers moved to two wins from two games by defeating Altona Gators in a thrilling five-point game. Despite Aseka Ratnayake‘s 18 points for the losers, the Tigers triumphed to move to the top of the group. In the other match, Sandringham Sabres bounced back from a loss in week one to cruise to a 24-point victory over Bendigo Braves, 45-21.

Altona Gators (37) defeated by Melbourne Tigers (42)
Hayley Cumming (Melbourne) 14
Leila Davis (Melbourne) 12
Aseka Ratnayake (Altona) 18

Bendigo Braves (21) defeated by Sandringham Sabres (45)
Jaida Reid (Sandringham) 13
Caitlin Richardson (Bendigo) 10


Pool 1F:

In the final group, the two standout sides have emerged, setting up a virtual grand final tonight. Nunawading Spectres and Ballarat Rush both side undefeated from two games after notching up another couple of wins. In the tighter game, the Spectres won by four points over a gallant Ringwood Hawks, while the Rush had a much easier time, accounting for Southern Peninsula Sharks, 66-27 with Georgia Cox‘s 17 points the standout game.

Ringwood Hawks (40) defeated by Nunawading Spectres (44)
Olivia Morris (Nunawading) 10
Katrina Warton (Ringwood) 16

Ballarat Rush (66) defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks (27)
Georgia Cox (Ballarat) 17
Rosie Todd (Ballarat) 14
Rebecca Rylance (Southern Peninsula) 9

2020 MUVJBL U18 Boys/Girls Round 2 preview: Undefeated Wildcats and Raiders to battle it out

ROUND 2 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division is set to be a big one with Eltham, Coburg, Bulleen, Diamond Valley and Knox all looking to win their second consecutive games.

In the final game of the Ashe Pool on Friday night, Eltham and Knox are set to do battle with both sides sitting at a win apiece and looking to keep their undefeated record intact. Although it is only Round 2 a hot start can all but set up a successful campaign for the year something both sides will be keen to grasp. Eltham currently sits in second place thanks to a percentage boosting performance last round while Knox have fifth spot sewn up and will be hoping to improve their positioning with a win. Eltham’s ability to score beyond the arc is a key component of their game sinking seven three-pointers last week a feat they will be hoping to replicate once again to get the win over Knox. But the Raiders are pretty handy in the same department making 10 three-pointers last week meaning this game could quite easily turn into a shoot off given Knox have shown just how easily they can apply scoreboard pressure.

In what could arguably be the game of the round, expect Thomas Stockwell and Fletcher Parkinson to come up big in front of a home crowd. The Eltham duo brought out the party tricks last round with 16 and 14 points respectively showcasing just how damaging they can be when on song. Stockwell starred from the three-point range with three maximums while Harrison Stones was the next closest with two three-pointers. Throw in contributions from the likes of Patrick Dozzi and the Wildcats have plenty of potential and could down Knox if they get their game plan flowing early.

For the Raiders, they had four players reach double digits last round, and if they bring that same scoreboard intensity could rattle Eltham and notch up their second win of the year. Jordan Anderson led from the front in Round 1 finishing with 16 points, he did get himself into some personal foul trouble however, racking up four fouls and will have to address that this round to ensure he can have a full quarter impact. Jyelin Moli was close behind in the scoring department with 15 points for his efforts. But the scoring options do not stop there with Ethan Taylor and Harry Johnson knocking back 11 points apiece displaying just how much depth Knox have when it comes to scoring prowess.

In other matches, Bulleen will be hoping to make it two on the trot with a win against Camberwell to kick start the season while Diamond Valley are in the same boat up against Coburg. Early wins on the board for both sides will give them early ascendancy while the battle between Geelong United and Ringwood will result in one side getting their first win on the board. In the only other game in the Ashe Pool, Dandenong will take on Eltham 2. Switching conferences and the first-place Nunawading are set to lock horns with Hawthorn while Bendigo and Pakenham are looking for their first win. Keilor and Ballarat face off with Melbourne and McKinnon also vying off for the win. The last game of the round is between Waverley and Kilsyth.

Fixtures Round 2:

Ashe Pool:

Camberwell v. Bulleen
Geelong United v. Ringwod
Coburg v. Diamond Valley
Dandenong v. Eltham 2
Eltham v. Knox

Watson Pool:

Bendigo v. Pakenham
Hawthorn v. Nunawading
Keilor v. Ballarat
Melbourne v. McKinnoneltham
Waverley v. Kilsyth

IN a battle of third versus fourth the clash between Diamond Valley and Hawthorn will help to give one side the upper hand early with two wins on the trot. The Eagles put on a clinic last round with a 35-point drubbing of McKinnon sending an early warning shot to the rest of the competition while Hawthorn also plied their trade with a solid 18-point victory. Despite going quiet in the second and third terms Hawthorn managed to string together a dominant win and will know that they have the firepower to wreak havoc once again however, Diamond Valley got better as the game went on scoring a whopping 42 points in the second half making for a tantalising match-up. The home sides three-point shooting is one to be impressed with while Hawthorn is just as effective.

Three players reached double digits for the Eagles with Sophie Burrows proving to be the most dominant of the lot with 17 points. If Burrows can duplicate that form in Round 2 given her ability to back herself from beyond the arc and skill to do damage in the paint she could put her side in good stead. Along with Burrows both Jade Dunne and Imogen Rock are viable options to the basket coming off a 14-point showing last round an effort they will be hoping to repeat. Georgia Kitchell should not be underestimated able to chime in on the scoreboard and will be looking to have more of an impact this match.

On the other hand, Hawthorn haS a couple of key cogs when it comes to scoring with the load shared between Nikki Stanic, Emma Gebert and Amy O’Hara. The trio did the bulk of the shooting and if are kept under control in their Round 2 clash the Magic could struggle to get the win. Stanic managed a team-high 14 points last round while Gebert 11 and O’Hara 10 also played their part but will have to up the ante against a high scoring opposition. Solid performances from the likes of Ally Marshall and Sophie Palmer will also assist in notching up their second win.

In other games, Ballarat play host to the bottom placed Geelong United, while the first versus second in the Kilsyth and Nunawading clash will draw plenty of attention. Bulleen and McKinnon face off with Waverley and Keilor set to cap off the round for the Watson Pool. On the other hand, Dandenong and Melbourne kick things off for the Ashe Pool with Ringwood welcoming Nunawading 2. Expect the clash between Broadmeadows and Altona to be interesting with Frankston up against it in their Round 2 draw against Sandringham. Knox play the bottom placed Eltham in hope to secure their first win of the season.


Ashe Pool:

Dandenong v. Melbourne
Ringwood v. Nunawading
Broadmeadows v. Altona
Frankston v. Sandringham
Knox v. Eltham

Watson Pool:

Ballarat v. Geelong United
Diamond Valley v. Hawthorn
Kilsyth v. Nunawading
Bulleen v. McKinnon
Waverley v. Keilor

MUVJBL Under 18 Girls Round 1 review: Sandringham gets home in thriller over Broadmeadows

SANDRINGHAM Sabres were able to find an extra effort in the final term to down Broadmeadows Broncos at home in Round 1 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Girls competition. The Sabres had the upperhand in the opening half, scoring 25 points to 20 to lead by five at the main break, but a huge third term from the visitors put the game on an even keel. Broadmeadows scored 11 points to six in a low-scoring term to level the scores at the last change, but Sandringham was able to find that burst in front of its home fans to score a game-high 20 points in the term, and win by four, 51-47.

Summer Keating was the main source of scoring for the Sabres, putting up 15 points including one from long range. She was far from alone however, as Maya Dear (12 points) and Charlotte Ryan (11) both combined well on the scoring front for the winners. Looking at Broadmeadows, the Broncos had the two key scorers on the night with Chrissy Triantafyllopoulos producing a team-high 14 points, whilst Emma Povh was the only player on court to successful sink multiple triples on her way to a respectable 10 points on the night.

Speaking of points, Dandenong Rangers had a flurry of them on their way to a massive 34-point win over Eltham Wildcats on the road. A 25-6 third term all but nailed the coffin shut for the Rangers who led by as much as 45 points at the final break before easing off in the last. Leah Mackenzie was unstoppable across the court with 21 points – including three triples – well supported by Nyadiew Puoch (15 points, one triple), Dallas Loughbridge (14, two) and Myah Healey (11, one). Megan Talevski scored a team-high 14 points for the Wildcats, whilst Keely Toohey and Mia Klaic both recorded 12 points in the loss.

Meanwhile Altona Gators defeated Knox Raiders by 12 points thanks to Monique Marcetic-Vaotangi (16 points) who worked well with Jordan Wilson (12) and Tyla Paraha (10) in the win, as Meg Robinson finished with a match-high 17. A 38-11 first half saw Melbourne Tigers completely destroy Ringwood Hawks before the visitors hit back for a final score of 60-43. Three Tigers scored double-figure points to Ringwood’s nine, as Victoria Poulos (16) was the top scorer, well aided by Tylah Hooper (13, including three triples). Finally, a Nunawading Spectres 2’s first term of 27-8 was all the home side needed on its way to a 20-point win over Frankston Blues. Ebony McMillan (17 points), Stephanie Georgantas (14) and Alannah Gillespie (13) were the most prominent scorers for the Spectres, whiles Gemma Simon sank three of the four match triples on her way to a team-high 13 points.

After a tight first term, Nunawading Spectres lifted the intensity to blow away Waverley Falcons by 44 points in the Watson Pool. The Spectres led by just two points at quarter time, but a 28-5 second term saw the home side run away with the contest early, and continued that momentum into the second half. Nunawading scored 18-8 in the third quarter and 17-8 in the final term on its way to a 79-35 win at home. Tayha Watkins shot a match-high 19 points which included a huge four triples, as she was well assisted by Luisa Fakalata (12 points), Stephanie Wales (12) and Grace Graham (10) in the victory. Falcons’ Hannah Griffith was the only scorer with double-figure points, shooting two triples on her way to a respectable 10 points.

The only other side to see the Spectres’ effort and go a step further was Kilsyth Cobras who completely dismantled Geelong United by 59 points. The Cobras’ defence kept United to just nine points in the second half as they piled on 54 points themselves to cruise to a huge 94-35 win. Ruby Nick (19 points) led the way, followed by Georgia Booth and Mariah Derkson (both 15). Meanwhile Diamond Valley also had a big win, downing McKinnon Cougars on the road by 35 points. Sophie Burrows dug deep for 17 points, while Jade Dunne and Imogen Rock put up 14 points apiece in the victory. Romy Price was a lone hand on the scoring front for the Cougars, drilling 12 of her team’s 30 points.

In the remaining two matches, Hawthorn Magic got past Ballarat Rush after keeping the Rush to just seven points in the first half, with Nikki Stanic shooting 14 points – including two three-pointers – while Emma Gebert (11) and Amy O’Hara (10) assisted strongly. Georgia Cox was the best on the losing side with 14 points. Keilor Thunder also mounted a huge come-from-behind four-point win over Bulleen Boomers, having trailed by nine at the final break. Led by Tess Heal (25 points), the Thunder roared to life in the final term with 17 points to four to run over the top of the Boomers. It was a great display of shooting prowess from two stars with Heal having an individual battle with Antoinette Emma-Nnopu (18 points) in the clash.

Round 1 results:

Ashe Pool:

Altona Gators (59) defeated Knox Raiders (47)
Eltham Wildcats (49) defeated by Dandenong Rangers (83)
Melbourne Tigers (60) defeated Ringwood Hawks (423)
Nunawading Spectres 2 (68) defeated Frankston Blues (48)
Sandringham Sabres (51) defeated Broadmeadows Broncos (47)

Watson Pool:

McKinnon Cougars (30) defeated by Diamond Valley Eagles (65)
Geelong United (35) defeated by Kilsyth Cobras (94)
Hawthorn Magic (53) defeated Ballarat Miners (35)
Keilor Thunder (49) defeated Bulleen Boomers (45)
Nunawading Spectres (79) defeated Waverley (35)

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC review: Round 9 – Dandenong the team to beat

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division finals preview between the Dandenong Rangers and Bulleen Boomers headlined Round 9’s fixture. The 56-41 match-up ended in Dandenong’s favour, leading them to their twelfth consecutive win. Not only did the Rangers top the ladder in, but they also managed to do it undefeated in the post-split division. Despite valiant efforts for three terms, Bulleen’s opener (16-6) made it difficult for them to come back. Though despite their result, Bulleen’s second half (14-13, 10-11) still bodes well for finals. Dallas Loughridge was firing all over the court for Dandenong recording 20 points, followed close by Nyadiew Puoch on 14. The pair finish the regular season in third and fourth for points per game (PPG). For Bulleen, only one player finished on double-digits, with Tabitha Betson hitting 10 ahead of Kiralee Collings and Ella McIntyre who had eight each.

Diamond Valley Eagles earned a second chance in finals following their 60-68 win over the Melbourne Tigers. With three consecutive wins and an even home (7-2-0) and away (7-2-0) record, the Eagles present well for finals regardless of where they play. In the match-up, they opened strong with 25 points. In the second, the Tigers won their first and only term (11-9) before conceding 12-16 and 18-18 to close out the game. Jessica Delbrocco and Teah Reichert were dominant on the floor for Diamond Valley, recording 13 and 12 points respectively. For the Tigers, Hayley Cummings led at the board with 21 points, followed close by Leila Davis on 14. Davis finishes in twelfth for PPG (10.3) across the league, while Diamond Valley finish without a player in the top-20.

In the tightest game of the round, the Keilor Thunder reaped top-four rewards after ending Hawthorn’s finals chances in a 47-52 clash. Up until the final term, Hawthorn looked the more consistent side. They recorded 10 and 13 points in the first half compared with Keilor’s eight and 18. Despite trailing by three at the break, Hawthorn maintained their scoring and took a lead into the final break. Unfortunately, just like in the second, Keilor rose when it mattered and closed out the final term 11-19 to win the game. Overall (161) and PPG (17.9) leader, Tess Heal, closed out her season with a dominant 25 points, followed next by Bella Peterson on 15. For Hawthorn, Amy Ohara starred with 17 points, followed next by Evangeline King on seven. Ohara’s scoring average (11.3) places her in seventh at the regular season’s end.

The Nunawading Spectres enter the finals with a bit of momentum after passing the Ballarat Rush on the table with a 61-49 victory. Typically, a home win is a rare occurrence for the Spectres, having recorded seven of their 10 wins on the road. Comparatively, the Rush finished the league at 5-5 on the road but will have a chance to make a mend as they face Nunawading in the same game next week. In Round 9’s match-up, the Spectres started better, recording 18-7 in the first and 14-7 in the third. These terms would go on to cost Ballarat the game despite tying the second (16-16) and winning the fourth (13-19). Evelyn Curtis and Madison Sinclair were immense for the Spectres, recording 16 and 15 points respectively. For the Rush, Milly Rush led with 15, followed next by Georgia Cox on 13.

The Sandringham Sabres closed out the regular season with a comfortable 51-34 win over the Knox Raiders, collecting a home game in their first elimination final. The win marks the Sabres’ second consecutive win, while the Raiders top off a poor season with their fourth loss in a row. In the first-half, Knox struggled to crack double-digits, recording consecutive six-point terms. They picked up their efforts in the third but lacked Sandringham’s scoring capacity as they closed out trailing by 17 points. Hannah Wickstrom starred for the Sabres, recording 18 points to take herself to second across the league for PPG (14.1). Jemima O’Toole (10) also impressed for Sandringham, while Gemma O’Donnell (10) and Paige Burrows (8) held strong for Knox.

In the Reserve grade, the Bendigo Braves clinched a 49-47 victory over the Eltham Wildcats, Frankston Blues fell 43-45 against the Kilsyth Cobras, and the Waverley Falcons won 46-39 over the Ringwood Hawks. Round 9 continued with Sunbury Jets thrashing the Altona Gators (71-47) and the Bellarine Storm winning a close one over the Southern Peninsula Sharks (48-38).

In the Championship Division, the elimination finals kick off with the Sandringham Sabres hosting the Melbourne Tigers, and Nunawading Spectres hosting the Ballarat Rush. The qualifying finals kick off soon after with the Dandenong Rangers hosting the Keilor Thunder, and the Bulleen Boomers hosting the Diamond Valley Eagles.

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC review: Round 8 – Hawthorn keeps finals magic alive

HAWTHORN Magic have kept their finals dream alive with an upset eight-point win on the road over Nunawading Spectres to move within a point of Melbourne Tigers in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division.

The Magic just scraped into the top grade on the back of terrific late form pre-split, and could repeat the effort with their win over the Spectres giving them belief they can make finals. In the match against Nunawading, a 16-8 first term set up the win, with the Spectres fighting back to lead by three at the final break before a dominant 16-5 last quarter saw the visitors secure the victory. Ally Marshall scored 16 points in the win, as Evangeline King and Amy O’Hara both scored 10. Madison Sinclair was the top shooter for the home side, scoring 12 points in the loss.

The team in the firing line for Hawthorn’s late run is eighth placed Melbourne Tigers who suffered a huge loss at the hands of title contender Bulleen Boomers. The Boomers were restricted to 11 points in three of the four quarters combined, as Bulleen won each of the four quarters in a dominant performance. The heavy loss also meant Melbourne’s percentage dipped below Hawthorn’s, with a win in the final round against third placed Diamond Valley Eagles the only way to guarantee a finals place, though the Magic play fourth placed Keilor Thunder. In the match on Friday night, Bulleen’s Emily Maltezos was the only player to reach double figures, registering 14 points.

They might be unable to achieve a double chance in this year’s finals series, but Sandringham Sabres went a long way to securing a home final thanks to a three-point victory over fourth placed Keilor Thunder. In a match-up that could well be repeated in the finals series, the Sabres overcame a five-point deficit at the final break to pile on 15 points to seven in the last term and run over the top of their opponents, 49-46. Hannah Wickstrom (14 points) and Maya Dear (13) were the top two shooters in the winning side, while Tess Heal (12) and Bella Peterson (11) produced good numbers for Keilor.

Despite Bulleen’s percentage-boosting win, Diamond Valley Eagles kept on the Boomers’ tail with an impressive 53-37 win over Knox Raiders. While they were playing the bottom side, the Eagles did what they had to do in the penultimate round, winning every quarter on their way to the 16-point victory. Aseka Ratnayake was the dominant scorer for the Eagles with 15, slightly bettered by Knox’s Jaida Reid (17).

Meanwhile Dandenong Rangers sent a message to the competition with their eleventh straight win, destroying Ballarat Rush by 32 points at home. They scored 28 points to nine in the first half, and despite a spirited fight by the Rush in the third quarter, still extended the lead by five, and then controlled the final term 15-7, to win 60-28. Nyadiew Puoch (17 points), Jessica-Belle Catheray-Harvey (13) and Dallas Loughridge (11) outscored the Rush themselves, while Milly Simpson (11) did all she could on the losing side.

In the Reserve grade, top side Waverley Falcons got the points against Eltham Wildcats, 42-32, while Frankston Blues and Bellarine Storm maintained their places inside the top four with wins over Southern Peninsula Sharks and Bendigo Braves respectively. In the other games, Kilsyth Cobras had a shock loss to Sunbury Jets, while Ringwood Hawks got up over Altona Gators in the bottom two clash, 71-53.

In the final round of the Championship Division, it is hard to look past the two huge ladder-defining clashes of Melbourne Tigers hosting Diamond Valley Eagles and Hawthorn Magic taking on Keilor Thunder to determine who slots into eighth place. Not to be overshadowed, a top-of-the-table clash between Dandenong Rangers and Bulleen Boomers means all eyes will be on the Dandenong Stadium clash. In the other games, Nunawding Spectres hope to break what has been a home hoodoo of two wins from eight games – and also a three-game losing streak – when they face Ballarat Rush, while Sandringham Sabres can secure a home final with a win over Knox Raiders.

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC preview: Round 8

THE top four and top eight are all but set barring disaster for the teams in fourth and eighth, but stranger things have happened in sport and all eyes are on the penultimate round of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division.

Diamond Valley Eagles (3rd, 12-4) vs. Knox Raiders (15th, 5-9-2)

Knox Raiders are already out of finals contention barring a complete miracle that sees Melbourne drop both games and the Raiders pick up two wins. They have a tough ask up against third placed Diamond Valley Eagles who are very keen to try and grab back a top two spot and play a home final. They must take care of business here and officially rule the Raiders out of the finals race. With a 6-2 record at home, the Eagles are more than comfortable there, while the Raiders are three wins and a draw from eight games on the road. Eleanor Bollands leads the way for Diamond Valley with 11.0 points per game, while Jaida Reid is the highest Knox Raiders’ scorer with 8.2.

Melbourne Tigers (10th, 8-8) vs. Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 12-2-2)

Melbourne Tigers hold the coveted eighth spot on the table in terms of Championship Division sides, but they must pick up at least one win to secure their spot in the finals series. They have one of the toughest challenges this round in Bulleen, with the Boomers out of the running for top spot, but need to keep winning to ensure they maintain second spot – and a home final – given Diamond Valley is just two points behind with a much superior percentage. The Tigers are four wins from seven games at home, while the Boomers have five wins and a draw from seven matches away. The Tigers rely on Amy Kurkowski (12.4 points) and Leila Davis (11.0) as their top scorers, while the Boomers have a mix of shooters including Tabitha Betson (9.7) and Ella McIntyre (9.3).

Dandenong Rangers (1st, 15-1) vs. Ballarat Rush (5th, 10-6)

Dandenong Rangers have a couple of dead rubbers to finish the season, easily 30 per cent clear of second placed Bulleen, even if they dropped both games. They could officially rule out the Rush from making top four with a win here, although given the rush need to recover almost 15 per cent on fourth placed Keilor Thunder in the final two rounds – as well as win both and need the Thunder to lose both – it is a tough ask even without the rough fixture. The Rangers dropped their only game at home in six appearances, while the Rush have five wins from eight games both home and a away. Dandenong Rangers have the biggest spread of shooters up the top-end, as Dallas Loughridge (12.8 points per game), Nyadiew Puoch (12.7) and Myah Healey (12.0) all rank inside the top 10 shooters. For the Rush, Georgia Cox is the dominant scorer with 11.2 points per game just ahead of Milly Simpson (10.6).

Sandringham Sabres (6th, 9-6-1) vs. Keilor Thunder (4th, 12-4)

In arguably the game of the round, fourth placed Keilor Thunder can officially rule out any mathematical chance of missing top four. Better still, they are still in the hunt for second with Bulleen and Diamond Valley both within two points, although percentage is the big difference. The Sabres currently have a home final lined up, but with back-to-back losses and Nunawading having the easier fixture this round, they could drop to seventh and take their fate out of their own hands in the final round. Keilor is strong on the road too with six wins from seven games, while Sandringham have a 50 per cent win-loss ratio at home. Hannah Wickstrom leads the way when it comes to points scorers for the Sabres with 13.4 – ranked second overall, while the only player ahead of her is Tess Heal (Keilor) who has sank a massive 17.7 points per game, while Jaz Salon (12.0) has also been prolific.

Nunawading Spectres (7th, 9-7) vs. Hawthorn Magic (14th, 6-9-1)

In the final game of the round, Nunawading Spectres should be able to take care of Hawthorn Magic, though the Magic still have a mathematical chance of making finals if the Tigers drop both and the Magic can pick up two wins. Taking it one week at a time, the Spectres will be no easy beats, though a 2-5 record a home does not inspire terrific confidence for the home side, especially when the Magic have split their road trips with four wins from eight games. Evie Curtis averages 10.6 points per game for the Spectres, while Olivia Morris is just behind with 10.4, while for the Magic, Amy Ohara has an average of 10.7.