Tag: arielle mackey-williams

Gold Rush win back-to-back games as Dream starts to fade

OTAGO Gold Rush are running hot in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) 18IN18 competition, winning back-to-back games to level their condensed season at 2-2, whilst also handing reigning premiers Auckland Dream the same fate after downing them by 10 points last night. It was the third consecutive night with a 10-point differential between the sides, as Otago won 73-63 off the back of a dominant rebounding display.

Needing to start strong after their first loss a couple of nights ago, the Dream got off with the first basket to Amanda Wayment, and a triple to Sharne Robati. It would be Robati who scored seven of the first 11 points in the game, as Savanna Handevidt scored the only Gold Rush basket in the opening four minutes. The Dream were up 9-2 and looking hot from the get-go, but the next four points to Lisa Wallbutton settled the Gold Rush down.

Rionne Papa hit an an impressive hookshot with four minutes remaining in the term to extend the Dream’s lead out to five again, but back-to-back baskets – including a triple – from Otago’s Hannah Matahaere tied the scores. Olivia Berry put her side back in front, only for Tara Clement to hit a triple and regain the lead for the Gold Rush. From there, the Gold Rush managed to hold it for the rest of the term, as a second Clement triple in the final minute helped Otago lead 19-14 at the first break.

Straight out of the break it was Handevidt getting on the board and extending the Gold Rush’s lead out to seven, before Amanda Buck and Robati cut it to three in response. The teams traded baskets through Zoe Richards – who scored her first points of the night – and Wayment – though it was the red-hot Handevidt who hit the next five points and the Gold Rush raced to an eight-point lead with four minutes to play in the half.

A triple from Berry gave her side some hope, though both teams continually missed shots in the final few minutes of the second term. In fact it was just Jelena Vucinic with three free throws either side of the Berry basket that eventually counted, and the Dream were back within two points at half-time and it was game on.

Eight seconds into the third quarter and Bronwyn Kjestrup was on the board from a quick-fire jumper, followed by a Handevidt basket. Arielle Williams-Mackey had not been a factor in the first half, but she was quick on her long-range bomb to cut the deficit back to three within 90 seconds of the quarter. The Gold Rush seemed to do it the hard way with four points in the next couple of minutes, only for Casyn Buchman to land a three-pointer 20 seconds later and the seven-point lead was cut to four.

It was back to just one with another Williams-Mackey triple, though Matahaere responded in time as the term ticked past the midway point. It was not until the six-and-a-half-minute mark when the Dream hit the front following a third Williams-Mackey triple, and another Berry basket. Once again it was Clement who nailed a long-range attempt of her own to regain the Gold Rush the lead, though no sooner had she done that and Wayment had put the Dream back in front. It was a see-sawing contest to the end of the term, with the Dream in front with 1:45 on the clock, but the last six points of the quarter went to the Gold Rush to retake the lead by four at the final change.

Whilst many expected the Dream to come out firing in the last term, it was the Gold Rush that piled on the pressure early thanks to baskets from Kjestrup and Te Araroa Sopoaga, and the lead was out to nine. Robati, Williams-Mackey and Berry all struck back to continue their scoring run and reduce the deficit to three with 6:25 on the clock, though Richards hit back-to-back baskets through a layup and then jumper for the Gold Rush to be seven up with five minutes to play.

Katelin Noyer scored a crucial triple for the trailing side to get back within four points but each time the Dream got closer, the Gold Rush pulled away. They scored seven of the next eight points to go out to a 10-point lead and were never headed from there. Though the final two minutes from a frantic one, with the scores going from 66-56 to 73-63, as the Gold Rush maintained the rage and got up in a great performance to keep their semi-finals hopes alive and put doubt in Auckland’s chances.

Otago Gold Rush dominated the rebound count 56-39, whilst also capitalising on the second chance points (18-13) and having more points off the bench (25-20). Turnovers did hurt the winning side however, clocking up 24-18 which allowed the Dream to score off those turnovers, with just under half their score (28 points) come from Gold Rush turnovers. The assists were level and the Dream led the fast break points (13-11) and steals (11-9).

Handevidt scored at 60 per cent from the field, hitting six of 10 for 15 points, as well as nine rebounds – five offensive – and three steals. Teaming up well was Sopoaga who ended her night with 19 points, and had contribution off the boards with six rebounds and also seven assists in a starring role. Richards picked up 14 rebounds to go with her nine points, while Clement’s three triples totalled her entire nine points, as well as four rebounds and two steals, as Wallbutton (eight points, 10 rebounds) came close to a double-double.

For the Dream, Robati led all-comers with 15 points, as well as eight rebounds and two assists, while Williams-Mackey managed 13 points despite hitting just four of 20 from the field – all of which were long-range bombs. Buchman had seven points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals in an all-round game, while Wayment picked up six points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Off the bench Berry had 10 points and two steals.

Just four matches remain in the NZNZBL 18IN18 competition, with the Dream taking on the undefeated Harbour Breeze tomorrow night to try and remain in the semi-final hunt, while the Gold Rush lock horns with Canterbury Wildcats on Thursday in the final night of the condensed regular season.

Dream start to the 18IN18 season for Auckland

AUCKLAND Dream have built on the momentum of their dying seconds winner against Waikato Wizards to secure a more comfortable victory over Canterbury Wildcats only 24 hours later. The New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) 18IN18 tournament has gone exactly to plan thus far for the Dream, who have won their first two games of five in the condensed competition, earning a hard earned rest. Starting strong to lead by 13 points at half-time, they were able to maintain the age and get up by 15 in a thrilling contest.

The Wildcats were the first team on the board in the match, with Terai-Ma-Teata Elia dropping both free throws in the opening minute. That was soon countered by a red-hot Casyn Buchman who hit a triple, grabbed a defensive board off a Rosalia Samia long-range attempt, then made another two-pointer to grab her team the early lead. It set the tone for the Dream’s intensity as game one winner, Arielle Mackey-Williams got on the board, as did the Wildcats’ Brittany Richards for a high-scoring opening few minutes.

Leading by just a point four minutes in, the Dream started to take control and notched up back-to-back layups from Olivia Berry and Amanda Wayment, before a crucial Gemma Etheredge jumper reduced the deficit to four with just under two minutes left. Six seconds later, Jelena Vucinic drilled a triple off a Buchman assist, and despite both teams having chances, the margin was seven at the first break with the Dream ahead, 15-8.

The Dream certainly had the momentum heading into the second term, and Sharne Robati was quick on the trigger to grab four points in the opening 80 seconds, as Shea Crotty, Richards and Samia had multiple chances from long-range but could not get it happening despite consecutive boards. Wayment soon grabbed one and Robarti had scored the first six points for her side in the term, with only a Richards basket in between. For all the attacking nature of the Wildcats, it was Wayment who extended the lead out to 13 after two and a half minutes.

The high-scoring opening few minutes slowed a little as both teams had settled down defensively in the term, but for everything the Wildcats threw at the Dream, the in-form side had the answers. An Ekka basket was matched by Robati, and then a Wayment jump shot and Rionne Papa free-throw extended the lead out to 15. Etheredge quickly replied by Williams-Mackey went to work building towards another big performance with five consecutive points and handing her side an 18-point lead. The Wildcats had all the scoring in the final two minutes of the term thanks to a Katherine Jones triple and two success Etheredge free throws, but they still trailed by 13 points.

The Wildcats needed a spark in the second half and Richards and Elia were quick on the board, but back-to-back triples by Robati and Buchman either side of a Samia layup drove the dagger further in. Every challenge by Canterbury was suitably answered, with Etheredge becoming a problem close to the basket, but the likes of Robati and Vucinic standing up, with Buchman creating on offence. The Wildcats could not seem to get a crucial jump shot, instead Etheredge kept getting to the line and making the most of it.

Unfortunately for Canterbury, they could only get within 13 points, as the pairing of Williams-Mackey and Waynment were back on after a rest in the last couple of minutes and having an immediate impact. Jones put the deficit to within 14 with a minute to play, but a late Williams-Mackey basket extended it out to 16 at the final break.

Wayment was first on the board in the final term to all but end the contest. Emily Knight got her first points of the game for the Wildcats, as her second basket drove her team to within 12 points for the first time in two quarters. When Etheredge made a jump shot with 97 seconds left in the match, the deficit was still a tough ask, and then Mackey-Williams decided that was enough of that, draining back-to-back triples to put the final nail in the coffin. Despite Etheredge’s best work – sinking a triple in response, Wayment’s last basket in the final 30 seconds secured the 66-51 victory.

The Dream were once again the more efficient team on offence, shooting at 42 per cent compared to 26 from the field, and the Wildcats drained just three of 26 triples, compared to the Dream six of 15, showing their determination to look to secure baskets from close range. The rebound count was even, with the Wildcats ahead, as well as making the most of 19 second chance points thanks to their healthy work off the offensive boards. The Dream led the assist count (15-9), as well as the steals (14-13), blocks (2-0) and crucially, had four less turnover s (19-23).

Mackey-Williams backed up her game-winning performance on night one with a match-high 19 points, as well as five rebounds, one assist and two steals. Robarti had 14 points, five rebounds and two assists, while the best player coming off the bench was clearly Wayment, who had 13 points and 13 rebounds – including a massive eight offensive – to go with three assists and two blocks. Buchman played a crucial role with seven rebounds and four assists to go with her eight points.

For the Wildcats, Etheredge was by far the best player, dropping team-highs in points (17) and rebounds (12), particularly damaging off the offensive boards with nine. She also got to the free-throw line for 10 chances, making eight of them, and had three assists and two steals. Elia was the other double-digit scorer with 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals, while Samia (five points, five rebounds and three steals) and Jones (six points, six rebounds) also tried hard across the board.

Now the Wildcats look to bounce back against Capital Swish tonight, while Auckland Dream earn a week’s break before also taking on the Swish next Friday, November 27.

Picture: Photosport

Dream snatches narrow win in dying seconds

AUCKLAND Dream have kept their momentum rolling from the Schick 3X3 Cup title win with an opening night win in the Sal’s National Basketball League (NBL) 18IN18 competition thanks to a three-pointer from Arielle Mackey-Williams with just seven seconds remaining. The Dream might have got up in the 3X3 tournament, but it was clear that Waikato Wizards were up for the fight early on, winning the first two quarters before the home team hit back to escape with a 61-58 victory.

It was somewhat of an omen that Mackey-Williams was the first to get on the board for the season, making a layup 14 seconds into the match. Both teams were a little nervous and off target at first, before Sharne Pupuke-Robati scored the only other basket in the first two an a half minutes. Finally hitting the scoreboard, the Wizards’ Matangiroa Flavell nailed an important jump shot and swung the momentum back in the underdogs’ favour.

Both teams traded back-and forth baskets in the first term, with the lead out to as much as four points when Zarya Poulava completed an And-One chance with 27 remaining. Amanda Wayment secured a couple of free throws with four seconds left in the first term to help her Dream side to get within two points.

The second term was much like the first with both teams able to hit the scoreboard, but also miss some golden chances. Flavell extended the Wizards’ lead out to four points with a triple just a couple of minutes into the term, which was followed up by Natasha Lenden‘s free throws that resulted in a match-high six-point advantage.

Each time the Wizards skipped away, the Dream reeled them in, with as much as a six-point lead with 88 seconds left in the half, with Flavell again productive on the offensive end. A couple of late free throws in the final 30 seconds to Mackey-Williams cut the deficit to four, and the term was identical to the first at 14-12 in favour of the Wizards.

Needing a spark after half-time, Casyn Buchman hit an early two-pointer, and the teams traded blows with Alyssa Hirawani four points in response. Pupuke-Robati was starting to get a feel for it though for Auckland and between her and Buchman, the pair combined for their team’s first 13 points of the half. It led them to a lead, which never got more than two points as both teams remained capable of taking back the momentum. A late Jayzelee Waihi layup for the Wizards tied up the game at 47-47, but most importantly for the Dream, they had won the quarter by four.

The stage was set for a ripping last term, but early on it was the Dream that looked liked running away with it. Mackey-Williams and Pupuke-Robati extended the gap on the scoreboard out to five, as the Wizards only scored their first basket four minutes and 20 seconds into the term. A couple of misses for the Dream opened the door for the Wizards, as Makayla Daysh and Hirawani levelled the scores with just over three minutes to play.

Missing a chance moments early, Wayment stepped up with an important layup to again hand her team the lead, but Daysh hit the match-levelling free throws with two minutes and 56 seconds left on the clock. Both teams committed an array of errors or missed shots in the final couple of minutes as the pressure was through the roof. Plenty of substitutions were made on and off in a bid to gain the advantage, but it took until Arielle Parai made the fade away jumper to hand the Wizards the lead with 33 seconds on the clock.

A Dream timeout and reset seemed to do the trick, as Pupuke-Robati hit the layup play off the Buchman assist to level the scores with 31 seconds remaining. The Wizards took their turn at a timeout but Hirawani missed her layup opportunity, with Pupuke-Robati scooping up the rebound getting it to Buchman who again provided the crucial dime to Mackey-Williams from long-range who made no mistake with the game winner. Hirawani had a rushed shot with one second remaining, but it was not going to get there and the Dream escaped in a thriller.

Looking at the overall stats, the teams will want to improve on their shooting efficiency, recording just 32 and 33 per cent from the field, though both were impressive off the boards. The Wizards won the count 48-47, and also had more steals (14-8), while the Dream had more assists (16-12) and blocks (6-5), as well as less turnovers (20-22).

Pupuke-Robati was the standout with 23 points, 10 rebounds, one assist and one steal, whilst Buchman also picked up a double-double for the Dream thanks to 13 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and one steal. Mackey-Williams had the 11 points and three assists, while Wayment finished with a handy six points, seven rebounds, three assists and a massive five blocks.

For the Wizards, Flavell led the way with points thanks to 12, as well as four rebounds and five steals, but it was Daysh who was clearly best-on in the losing side. The forward racked up 10 points, 12 rebounds – six offensive – and two blocks. Parai (nine points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Hirawani (six points, four rebounds and three steals) also impressed.

The Dream will not have too long to bask in glory having to back up tonight against Canterbury Wildcats, while for the Wizards, they get a long break before coming up against Otago Gold Rush and the Wildcats back-to-back on November 24-25.

Picture: Photosport

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC review: Grand Final – Hanafin takes over for Dandenong

THE Dandenong Rangers clinched a 60-59 thriller against the Knox Raiders last Friday in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division Grand Final to be named league champions.

The opening term saw Dandenong control the offensive end right away, scoring 8-2 in the first minutes with Leia Hanafin dictating a lot of play alongside Elly Morgan. The Raiders’ offensive and defensive structures let them down in the first. Despite having bigger bodies, Knox elected to play the perimeter and struggled identifying lanes in their zone, often appearing disjointed in defense.

Leah Mackenzie sunk the first to open the second term as the Raiders continued with their press established late in the first. More issues presented for Knox at the foul line, having missed five by the halfway mark of the second term. Morgan was let off the chain more so in the second, losing defenders through the paint, while Charlise Dunn took control for the Raiders with a three-pointer and body work at the ring. While impressing defensely, Rhiannon Ockwell pulled up poo rly from the foul line in the second, recording two from six attempts. The term closed out with Arielle Mackey-Williams sinking a two-pointer to draw level, followed immediately by Hailey Merrigan‘s three-point buzzer beater to reclaim the Rangers’ lead.

The third term was Dandenong’s best – earning a game-high 20 points. Kodie Myszka increased efforts to claim three consecutive buckets, forcing the Raiders into a time-out, with Mackenzie claiming the one percenters on either end. Morgan and Hanafin maintained their dominance, with Morgan sinking consecutive three-pointers and Hanafin taking control on the inside.Zoe Jenkins impressed in the paint for the Raiders, showcasing her footwork at the rim, while Dunn and Meg Robinson found form from the perimeter as their team began lifting. Knox maintained that form into fourth as they began penetrating harder, beating defenders and move the ball more through offense.

Bottom-ager, Dunn, got things rolling with a three-pointer and subsequent steal as her teammates began locking down on defense and applying themselves better in transition. They game drew level in the final minutes with Knox eventually taking the lead from the foul line. With 12 seconds left Hanafin went alone to the rim, losing Robinson to reclaim the game with a floater. Dunn tried for a three-pointer in the closing seconds but rimmed the ball to the line for the Dandenong win. Hanafin put her side on her back in the final term, recording a game-high 19 points with her work on the inside. Morgan followed on 14 with clean movements through the paint, while Mackenzie (8) showcased outstanding vision on both ends. For Knox Dunn led off the bench, recording three three-pointers with 17 points to close out her season. Mackey-Williams and Robinson also impressed, both recording 11 points.

This concludes the MUVJBL Under-18 Championship Division for this year as Dandenong claim a thriller to be named the 2019 champions over Knox.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC preview: Round 2

IN Round 2 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls competition, just one match pits two sides that are yet to play this season against each other. It will likely be the game of the round with Bulleen Boomers hosting Bendigo Braves, while Dandenong Rangers travelling to face Diamond Valley Eagles will be another cracking contest.

Bulleen Boomers (3rd, 1-0) vs. Bendigo Braves (4th, 1-0)

The only game of the round that sees sides without history against each other this season is a top four clash between Bulleen Boomers and Bendigo Braves. The Boomers are coming off a really successful month, winning the National Junior Classic over the long weekend, and then knocking off the highly fancied Diamond Valley Eagles in Round 1. The Braves have been a solid team all season and have one of the tougher assignments in the league, travelling to Bulleen to try and come away with an upset win. Alexandra Keating (27 points) and Casey Valenti-Paea (20) were on fire in Round 1 for the Boomers and are just a couple of the names Bendigo will need to stop if they are to win this game, while the Braves have some talented players of their own, with Tess Barnes (15) and Piper Dunlop (13) among the top scorers from the opening match. Bulleen go in as favourites given their accolades and likelihood to be overall favourites with Knox Raiders to take out the title, but Bendigo are capable of an upset.

Southern Peninsula Sharks (10th, 0-1) vs. Knox Raiders (5th, 1-0)

Last time: Knox Raiders 64 defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks 40

These teams come into the match with differing results from the previous round, as the Sharks were humbled by the red-hot Nunawading Spectres, while Knox got over the line against Altona in a battle of the two top sides from the previous Pools. In the last match they had, Knox got home fairly easily with a 24-point win. Alannah Chatfield (12 points) led the way, as Charlise Dunn and Arielle Mackey-Williams (both 10) contributed in the 64-40 victory. Southern Peninsula’s Charli Dobson had a huge game of 25 points, but also picked up the majority of her side’s final score. In this match the Sharks will need to share the points around if they are to cause an upset, with the home court advantage something playing in their favour. In saying that, the Raiders are one of the most damaging teams, who can share the points around and have multiple scoring options, so expect them to come home with the points.

Diamond Valley Eagles (8th, 0-1) vs. Dandenong Rangers (7th, 0-1)

Last time: Dandenong Rangers 70 defeated Diamond Valley Eagles 43

While the final points scorers were not confirmed in the last time they met, Dandenong Rangers comfortably got home over Diamond Valley Eagles in a 27-point victory. Now both sit side-by-side on the table with an opening round loss, albeit against two of the contenders in the competition in Bulleen Boomers and Bendigo Braves. Whilst their ladder position might not look idea, they lost by a combined five points, so expect both these sides to be red-hot in this rounds searching for victory. Abby Hildebrand reached 20 points for the Eagles in the last match, with Jade Dunne and Keeley Evans both notching up 12 apiece. For the Rangers, Emily Sewell sank 14 points in a shared effort. A tough match to pick given both sides’ form against quality opposition, but the Rangers will head in arguable favourites despite being the visiting side.

Nunawading Spectres (1st, 1-0) vs. Geelong Supercats (9th, 0-1)

Last time: Geelong Supercats 65 defeated Nunawading Spectres 43

Nunawading Spectres had no issues blowing aside Southern Peninsula Sharks, and one of the title contenders is ready to make amends for a shock loss in the Pool stage. With their place in the Championship Division settled, the Spectres went down to the Supercats by 22 points which was a bit of a surprise, but credit to the desperate Geelong side determined to make the top grade. In that game, every player from the Supercats got their name on the scoresheet, led by Alisha Knights (20 points) and Grace Brown (14). Louisa Fakalata scored 16 points, one of eight players to get her name on the scoresheet from the Spectres. Considering the sparse differences in their Round 1 results, Nunawading will head into the match as strong favourites and will be keen to make it two consecutive wins, while the Supercats hope lightning can strike twice and they can try and penetrate the Spectres’ fortress.

Altona Gators (6th, 0-1) vs. Hawthorn Magic (2nd, 1-0)

Last time: Hawthorn Magic 39 defeated by Altona Gators 48

The last time these sides met, Altona grabbed the points in a low-scoring contest on their way to topping the Pool. The Gators suffered a loss in Round 1, but it was a one-point defeat at the hands of the super talented Knox Raiders outfit. The Magic on the other hand made light work of Geelong, running out 19-point victors on the road. When they met in the Pool stage, it was a 15-6 third term that was the difference for the Gators, as Trinity Steele (18 points) and Kayla Salmons (13) led the way. Ryleh Killian and Alycia Kennedy both scored 14 points for the losing side, but did not have enough contributors across the board. Altona will be favourites in this game, especially at home, but you cannot discount the Magic after a strong first round appearance.

MUVJBL U18 Girls review: Supercats, Boomers make it four in a row

GEELONG Supercats and Bulleen Boomers have maintained touch with top-of-the-table Altona Gators and Knox Raiders in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Girls championship division after wins in Round 5 last Friday night.

Ashe Pool:

Bulleen has claimed a solid eight-point win over Diamond Valley Eagles to make it four consecutive victories in the Ashe Pool with a strong first half the difference in the match. The Boomers scored 29 points to 20 in the opening half, with the Eagles cutting the deficit back by one at the final break but could not chisel it down any further, going down 52-44. Sascha Korakis scored 14 points as Erin Riley nailed 11, while for the Eagles, Keeley Evans‘ 22 was the most of any player in the match.

Knox Raiders showed no mercy against the bottom-of-the-table McKinnon Cougars, racing away to a 29-6 lead at quarter time and holding a 47-15 advantage by half-time. They did not stop there, piling on another 18 points to six in the third term to extend that margin to 44 by the final break. McKinnon managed to grab some consolation points at the end to score 15 to Knox’s 17, but eventually fell 82-36. Alannah Chatfield starred with 19 points, while Arielle Mackey-Williams (15) and Georgia Baldwin (13) were prolific on the scoreboard. For the Cougars, Natasha Rivas Lee was once again the shining light with 16 points.

In other results, Broadmeadows Broncos proved too strong for Dandenong Rangers 2, scoring 38-24 in the first half to set up a 14-point win. Shanae Hoffman scored a team-high 16 points, followed by Chrisy Triantafyllopoulos (15), while Rebecca Orwin stood up in the defeat with 21. Meanwhile Southern Peninsula won a thriller over Kilsyth Cobras, holding on despite a third term comeback to win 57-53. Emirson Devenie scored 16 points for the winners, while Charli Dobson (15) and Gemma Simon (10) were also productive. Nikita Young (18 points) and Georgia Booth (17) were the standouts for the Cobras. Frankston Blues also picked up a win over Pakenham Warriors, 69-60. Kassie Boorer was the standout with 18 points, while Shanae Williamson and Tyla Scorah both scored 13.

Watson Pool:

Geelong’s winning run continued on Friday with a strong 47-39 victory over Keilor Thunder. The Supercats led by eight at the first break before having the deficit cut to six by the main break. Geelong scored 11-7 in the third term to extend the lead back out to double figures, while the Thunder came back to eventually go down by eight points. Alannah Northam scored 15 points in the win, ably assisted by Grace Brown (13), while for the Thunder, Amelia Velardo (12 points) led the way ahead of Imogen Wardley (seven).

The match of the round was a 51-all draw between Hawthorn Magic and Melbourne Tigers. The Magic led by three points at the first break before the Tigers hit back to lead by two at half-time. Melbourne continued its great form with a 14-9 third term to suddenly hold a seven-point advantage at the final break. Agonisingly close to their first win, the Tigers unfortunately slipped at the final hurdle as Hawthorn stormed home to score 18 points to 11 in the final term to grab a point from the game. Despite the draw, Melbourne had a number of impressive players with Tylah Hooper (17 points), Trinity Skenderis (11) and Harmony Harder (10), while for Hawthorn, Ryleh Killian (17) and Bridget Patel (12) were the double-figure scorers.

In other results, Altona Gators chalked up win number five with a 22-point win over the winless Warrandyte Venom. The Gators did all the work in the first half to pile on 30 points to 10, before the Venom held sway in the second half to score 19-21 in a competitive half. Jordan Wilson and Caitlin Munro both scored eight points for the Gators, while Ella Whiting-Le Cras was the standout on court for shooting with 11 points for the Venom. Meanwhile Dandenong Ranges picked up a 52-47 victory over Nunawading Spectres 2, as Felicity Hilford (12 points) was the top scorer. Grace Graham was terrific for the Spectres, sinking 19 points in the loss. Nunawading Spectres’ first side turned the result around with a great five-point win over Bendigo Braves. Louisa Fakalata scored a competition-high 29 points for the round, while Tess Barnes‘ 26 was good for the Braves in the 70-65 loss.

MUVJBL U18 Girls review: Raiders make it four consecutive wins

THE Knox Raiders continued their winning streak, making it four in a row while the Altona Gators joined them with another dominant performance in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL).

Ashe Pool:

The Kilsyth Cobras held a narrow one-point margin at half-time before the Bulleen Boomers put their foot down with a dominant fourth term, slotting 20 points to the Cobras 11. The Cobras were led in attack by Tia Wotherspoon who showcased her hot hand nailing 16 points, while Nikita Young made her presence felt on the court with her 12 points. It was not enough to stop the scoring dominance of the Boomers who looked to Casey Valenti-Paea to do the damage on the scoreboard. Her drive down the court and ability to convert proved hard to be limit finishing the game with a game high 23 points. She was aided in attack by teammate Antoinette Emma-Nnopu who worked her magic off the boards with 15 points helping to push her side over the line.

The Nunawading Spectres proved to be too much to handle for the Dandenong Rangers 2 running out 28 point victors. The Spectres but out a dominant performance and really came out all guns blazing in the second half shooting 46 points to a mere 17. Nunawading was led by Louisa Fakalata who dominated the court with her 19 points, she was aided by teammate Saje Phillips-Snowden who registered 14 points for the game. Lucy Oakford and Tayha Watkins also chipped in on the scoreboard for Nunawading. The attacking pressure of the Spectres proved to be too much for the Rangers who struggle to combat their intensity. For Dandenong, the likes of Ilma Hajdarovic worked hard for her 10 points and combined well with Caitlyn Bradley (7) and Perina Leime (6).

In a top-of-the-table clash it was the Knox Raiders that claimed a four-point victory over the Diamond Valley Eagles who fought back to stay in the contest. A sluggish first quarter put the Eagles behind the eight ball and they will be rueing their opportunity to make the most of the close encounter. The Raiders had a lot of even contributors across the court with Meg Robinson, Arielle Mackey-Williams and Charlise Dunn all registering eight points while Louise Karajic Powell top scored with 11. For the Eagles Jade Dunn made her presence felt on the court with 16 points for the game. Eliza Bannan and Jessica Fitzgerald also chipped in to try and get the Eagles over the line.

Watson Pool:

The Altona Gators once again proved their dominance with a convincing win against the Hawthorn Magic. After an impressive third quarter the Gators seemed to have the game wrapped up slotting 15 points to the Magic’s six. Ryleh Killian and Hawthorn teammate Alycia Kennedy dropped 14 points each showcasing their attacking prowess. For the Gators Trinity Steele impressed with her attack on the scoreboard with a game high 18 points. She was closely followed by Kayla Salmons who shot 13 points for the game.

In what was a convincing affair the Bendigo Braves flexed their muscles with a 24-point win over the Keilor Thunder. The Braves virtually had the game won at half-time with a 40-17 lead credit to their offensive and defensive pressure across the court. Piper Dunlop led the way in attack for Bendigo amassing 20 touches and proving her ability to find the net even under pressure. Teammates, Tess Barnes (13), Meg McCarthy (9) and Maddison Nash (8) also helped out on the scoreboard. Keilor will be impressed with Imogen Wardley who stepped up slotting 12 points for the game while the next bests were Georgia Hanna and Amelia Velardo who both registered eight points.

In another blowout game the Broadmeadows Broncos proved a point with 19-point win against the Warrandyte Venom. The Broncos really pushed in the third term shooting a whopping 24 points. They had plenty of contributors across the scoreboard with Chrissy Triantafyllopolous forging ahead with 20 points. She was ably assisted by Emma Povh (17), Tamsyn Kirk (15) and Oriana Siamoa (11) who all made their presence felt on the scoreboard. For the Warrandyte Venom Ella Whiting Le-Cras top scored with 14 points and Hannah Wildner helped out in attack with her 11 points for the game.

MUVJBL Under 18 Girls weekend preview: Round 3

TOP sides will be tested in Round 3 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Girls championship division. Headlining the games across both pools is first against third and second against third matches, sure to keep crowds entertained.

Ashe Pool:

Diamond Valley Eagles (4th, 2-0) vs Pakenham Warriors (8th, 0-2)
Dandenong Rangers (1st, 2-0) vs. Knox Raiders (3rd, 2-0)
Bulleen Boomers (6th, 1-1) vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks (5th, 1-1)
Nunawading Spectres 2 (7th, 0-2) vs. McKinnon Cougars (9th, 0-2)
Frankston Blues (10th, 0-2) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (2nd, 2-0)

In an all-important mid-table clash between Bulleen Boomers and Southern Peninsula Sharks, the top two leading shooters will go head-to-head. Bulleen’s Casey Valenti-Paea is averaging 23 points per game in season 2019, marginally ahead of the Sharks’ Charli Dobson (21.5). The top-of the table Dandenong Rangers have no trouble with fire power, as Elly Morgan (19.5 points per game) and Emily Sewell (18) have had great starts to the season and will look to continue that form against third placed Knox Raiders, who have Arielle Mackey-Williams (14) and Alannah Chatfield (11.5). Likewise for Kilsyth, they hope to pile on more pain against Frankston, led by Tia Wotherspoon (19.5) and Nikita Young (18). In other games, fourth placed Diamond Valley Eagles hope to keep touch with the other three undefeated sides with a win over Pakenham Warriors, while Nunawading Spectres 2 and McKinnon Cougars go head-to-head as both sides search for their first victory.

Watson Pool:

Warrandyte Venom (10th, 0-2) vs. Dandenong Rangers 2 (7th, 1-1)
Nunawading Spectres (9th, 0-2) vs. Hawthorn Magic (1st, 2-0)
Geelong Supercats (4th, 1-1) vs. Broadmeadows Broncos (6th, 1-1)
Altona Gators (3rd, 2-0) vs. Keilor Thunder (2nd, 2-0)
Bendigo Braves (5th, 1-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (8th, 0-2)

The number one shooter from the Watson pool is Hawthorn Magic’s Ryleh Killian who has posted 40 points this season at an average of 20 per game. They take on the ninth placed Nunawading Spectres, whose top ranked shooter is Louisa Fakalata (25 at 12.5). The match of the round has to be third placed Altona against second placed Keilor Thunder. The Gators escaped last round with a close win over Melbourne Tigers, and Jordan Wilson leads the way in points with 13.5 per game. For the Thunder, Georgia Hanna (14.5) and Victoria Ikenasio (12) are both in good form early. The Tigers hope to bounce back against Bendigo in Round 3, with Emily Kurkowski leading the way so far this season (15 points per game), while Braves’ shooter Tess Barnes has sunk 25 points at 12.5 per game. In other matches, cellar dwellers Warrandyte Venom hope to get on the board against Dandenong Rangers 2 at home, while Geelong Supercats engage in a mid-table battle with sixth placed Broadmeadows Broncos.

MUVJBL U18 Girls review: Dandenong Rangers storm to second victory

DANDENONG Rangers have continued their stellar start to the season in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Girls championship division after another huge victory, this time against Frankston Blues by 50 points. Travelling to Frankston, Rangers duo, Elly Morgan and Emily Sewell piled on 20 points apiece to be dominant up the offensive end, while Leah McKenzie (nine), Leia Hanafin (seven) and Hannah Rapp (seven) were also productive. Frankston’s Manuao Hakaria-Graham finished the game with 11 points as the sole double-figure scorer, while Alexandra Mason posted six.

The Ashe Pool is starting to take shape already with just two sides on one win, one loss with four sides having remained undefeated, or gone winless two rounds into the season. After a victory over Frankston last week, Southern Peninsula Sharks felt the full brunt of Knox Raiders in Round 2 as the Raiders recorded a 24-point victory over the Sharks. They shared the ball aroud with Alannah Chatfield top scoring with 12 points, while Charlise Dunn and Arielle Mackey-Williams both sunk 10 in the victory. Charli Dobson was a lone hand for the Sharks, shooting 25 points as Lani Thornton (six) was the next highest for the losing side.

In other Ashe Pool results, Bulleen Boomers recorded their first victory with a 14-point win over Nunawading Spectres 2. Casey Valenti-Paea was a constant danger with 24 points, while Stephanie Wales scored 14 for the Spectres. Diamond Valley Eagles poured more pain on McKinnon Cougars with a 14-point victory as Keeley Evans sunk 22 points and Jade Dunne assisted with 14. McKinnon had its fair share of scorers, with Natasha Rivas Lee and Lily Tait both sinking 15 points. Pakenham Warriors came close to their first win but fell short to Kilsyth Cobras by seven points. Tia Wotherspoon was dominant for the Cobras with 23 points, while Nikita Young sunk 16. Caitlin Demczuk finished with 19 points for the Warriors, while Alahna Arnason (15) was also impressive.

In the Watson Pool, top-of-the-table Hawthorn Magic continued their hot start to the season with a 31-point win over Dandenong Rangers 2. The Magic shared the points around in the 75-44 victory, as Ryleh Killian (19 points) top scored, while Bridget Patel (17) and Georgia Gray (12) were busy in the forward half. For the Rangers, Caitlyn Bradley scored 12 points, while Eleni Stefanakis posted 10 in the loss. Meanwhile Altona Gators remained undefeated, but only just as the winless Melbourne Tigers pushed them all the way in a two-point thriller. Altona won 54-52, as Jordan Wilson (15 points) and Monique Marcetic-Vaotangi (10) busy for the Gators. De-Arne Baker (12 points), Emily Kurkowski (nine) and Tylah Hooper (nine) were the prominent shooters on the losing side.

In other results, Keilor Thunder knocked off Broadmeadows Broncos by 10 points to remain undefeated, with Amelia Velardo (13 points), Victoria Ikenasio (12) and Georgia Hanna (10) leading the way. Chrisy Triantafyllopoulous (14 points) and Emma Povh (12) stood up for the Broncos in the defeat. Geelong Supercats brought up their first win with a 22-point thrashing of Nunawading Spectres. Alisha Knights posted 20 points, while Grace Brown (14) and Alice Irving (11) were busy. For the Spectres, Louisa Fakalata finished with a team-high 16 points. Bendigo Braves had an equally impressive win over Warrandyte Venom by 22 points in a 65-43 victory. Madeline Marks (14 points) was one of four players to post double figures, while Casey Donner (12) was the Venom’s highest scorer.

MUVJBL Under 18 Girls weekend preview: Round 2

LAST week one Pool was close and another had a number of beltings and in Round 2, the Under 18 Girls look to do battle again in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) championship division.

Ashe Pool:

McKinnon Cougars (10th, 0-1) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (4th, 1-0)
Frankston Blues (8th, 0-1) vs. Dandenong Rangers (2nd, 1-0)
Knox Raiders (5th, 1-0) vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks (3rd, 1-0)
Pakenham Warriors (9th, 0-1) vs. Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 1-0)
Nunawading Spectres 2 (7th, 0-1) vs. Bulleen Boomers (6th, 0-1)

In Round 1, the Ashe Pool had some mighty thrashings, and first placed Kilsyth Cobras will be looking to back up their big victory with another against ninth placed Pakenham Warriors. Georgia Booth (21 points) and Nikita Young (20) were the top scorers for the Cobras in their win against McKinnon Cougars. A highly anticipated clash will be that of fifth placed Knox Raiders hosting third placed Southern Peninsula Sharks. Arielle Mackey-Williams and Charli Dobson scored 18 points each for their respective Raiders and Sharks sides, while the Sharks also had Emirson Devenie (21) and Gemma Simon (20).

In the other matches, McKinnon Cougars will be keen to improve on their Round 1 effort, this round hosting Diamond Valley Eagles. Frankston Blues will also search for their first win when they come up against Dandenong Rangers, while Nunwading Spectres 2 host Bulleen Boomers, with Boomers’ Casey Valenti-Paea’s 22-point effort in Round 1 the most for any player in the grade.

Watson Pool:

Keilor Thunder (3rd, 1-0) vs. Broadmeadows Broncos (4th, 1-0)
Geelong Supercats (6th, 0-1) vs. Nunawading Spectres (7th, 0-1)
Hawthorn Magic (1st, 1-0) vs. Dandenong Rangers 2 (5th, 1-0)
Bendigo Braves (9th, 0-1) vs. Warrandyte Venom (10th, 0-1)
Melbourne Tigers (8th, 0-1) vs. Altona Gators (2nd, 1-0)

In the Watson Pool, the Round 1 matches were considerably closer, and a bottom two clash between Bendigo Braves and Warrandyte Venom is still likely to cause plenty of intrigue. Up the other end of the ladder, Hawthorn Magic takes on fifth placed Dandenong Rangers 2. Magic shooter, Ryleh Killian finished last round with 21 points, while Remi Langmaid top scored for the Rangers with 14. Third placed Keilor Thunder and fourth placed Broadmeadows Broncos also face off to try and go 2-0 to start the season. Georgia Hanna scored 19 points for the Thunder, while Emma Povh was the top shooter for Broadmeadows Broncos with 16.

In the other games, sixth placed Geelong Supercats and seventh placed Nunwading Spectres go head-to-head in a battle of the two narrowest losers from Round 1. Eighth placed Melbourne Tigers also look to get their first win on the board, but will have a tough task at Melton against second placed Altona Gators.