Tag: brodie mabilia

CBL Gippsland: Moe Meteors win through to grand final

MAFFRA Eagles and Moe Meteors both scraped through to the grand final in the Country Basketball League (CBL) Men’s division recording narrow wins in their respective semi-finals clashes. The Eagles triumphed over Korumburra Wildcats by a mere three points (89-86) while the Meteors stole the show with a four point victory over Warragul Warriors (76-72).

It was a three-pronged attack that stepped up to the plate for the Eagles as Elliot Hunt impressed with 28 points while Coby Burgiel also made his presence felt with 22 points of his own. Samuel Whelan was another hot hand for Maffra posting 19 points as Frazer Brouns finished with 11 points in the win. For the Wildcats, Keith Robinson was the main target leading the way with 29 points as Brodie Mabilia also featured with 20 points.

Christian D’Angelo was a key cog for the Meteors in their win, sinking a team-high 21 points as Luis D’Angelo was the next best with 17. Stephen O’Brien was a dominant figure knocking back 15 points as Liam Fitzpatrick was the only other Moe player to reach double-digits. Jarryd Moss led the way for Warragul sinking 23 points as Murray Myers also managed 14 points but it was not enough to overcome their opponents.

The Eagles and Meteors will meet in the grand final with one of them set to be crowned the champions.

In the women’s division it was Warragul Warriors and Moe Meteors that flexed their muscles in their semi-finals to earn passage into the grand final. Maffra put up a strong fight contesting hard but in the end the Warriors had the last laugh securing a five point win (52-47) while the Wildcats worked tirelessly against Moe but ultimately fell short (61-55).

Mikaela Dickson led the Warriors to victory, posting 20 points with her attack on full display while teammate Tanarly Hood getting into some foul trouble with four to her name but still managed to put away 12 points. Myah Healey also contributed to the scoreboard with 10 points. For the Eagles Paige Biddle did not muck around, nailing 16 points with Alex Gallatly and Emmerson Connolly recording 12 and 10 points respectively in the loss.

The other semi-final between Moe and Korumburra brought plenty of excitement as Abbey Noblett shone for the Meteors recording a game 22 points with teammate Samantha Labros not far behind on 21 points. Chloe Hogg was the leading figure for the Wildcats posting 15 points while Macey McGlead was the only other player to secure double digits with 11 points.

The Warriors and Meteors will meet in the grand final with the Warriors walking away with the chocolates the last time these two sides met in Round 3.

CBL Gippsland: Warragul Warriors and Korumburra Eagles impress

THERE was no shortage of Country Basketball League action over the weekend as teams went head to head in the Gippsland division. The Eagles tasted success in both men’s outings, while it was the same fate for Warragul Warriors in the women’s as they created separation on top of the ladder.

GIPPSLAND MEN’S

It was a mixed bag of results for Korumburra who managed a 16-point win against Sale Sonics followed by a 15-point loss over the weekend to the Eagles. Meanwhile Maffra Eagles enjoyed a good run of form notching up consecutive wins to continue their hot form and keep them on top spot. Moe Meteors claimed victory against Churchill Blue Devils by 30 points in a strong showing as a number of players stepped up to the plate and delivered when needed.

There was a trio of players that led the way for the Wildcats with Brodie Mabilia showcasing his scoring prowess with his 20 points. He was assisted by Keith Robinson who slotted 17 points as Nick Prowd also registered 11 points in the win. Although Sale Sonics failed to get the “W” it did not stop Harper Fraser from finding the basket downing 17 points. Josh Backway and Benjamin Dessent chimed in with 11 and 10 points respectively. The Eagles were spearheaded by Samuel Whelan and Frazar Brouns as the two managed 27 and 24 points to get their side well and truly over the line in their first game of the round. Thomas Stephenson was the only other real influence in the win dropping 14 points in the clash against Warragul Warriors. But Whelan took his game to a whole other level in the outing against the Wildcats sinking a staggering 42 points as Coby Burgiel landed 21 points in a commanding performance.

Although the Warriors did not get over the line Luke McKenzie starred draining 19 points as teammates, Jarryd Moss and Tom Muir recorded 16 and 14 points respectively in their sole outing for the round. Speaking of sole outings, Christian D’Angelo was the money-maker notching up a game high 23 points in the Meteors win. Liam Fitzpatrick and Luis D’Angelo found their groove with 16 points each while Jayden Van Dyk also proved a handy option on the scoreboard with 14 points. In the loss, Ryan Canovan led the charge with 22 points for Churchill Blue Devils with Jordan Canovan the next best with 15 points to his name.

ROUND 5 RESULTS:

Korumburra Wildcats (76) defeated Sale Sonics (60)
Maffra Eagles (91) defeated Warragul Warriors (82)
Korumburra Wildcats (81) defeated by Maffra Eagles (96)
Moe Meteors (90) defeated Churchill Blue Devils (60)

GIPPSLAND WOMEN’S

There were a number of blowouts in Round 5 of the CBL women’s division as Moe Meteors and Warragul Warriors recording resounding wins. The Meteors collected a 62-point win over Lakes Entrance Pelicans flexing their muscles before having the tables turned on them in their second game against the Warriors. It was a good weekend for Warragul who secured a 27-point victory against the Eagles and a narrow victory over the Meteors. It was a close contest between Korumburra Wildcats and Maffra Eagles as the game was decided by a mere seven points with the former walking away with the chocolates.

The Warriors were littered with stars across the court as Tanarly Hood starred with a game high 19 points. Hot on her heels was teammate Myah Healey who collected 18 points as Dallas Loughridge drained 17 herself. Mikaela Dickson was the only other player to manage double digits with 14 points in the win. Hood delivered in her second game producing 18 points as Loughridge also dominated with 24 points against the Meteors. The Eagles struggled to generate much flow, dropping both of their games over the weekend however Julie Float and Emerson Connolly hit the scoreboard with 10 points each in game one before Paige Biddle dominated with 23 points and Jamie Gallatly slotted 18.

The scoring was shared between a number of players in the Meteors as Samantha Labros topped the table and walked away with 22 points as Caitlin Demczuk also chimed in with a handy 13 points in the win. Tahni Hodgens recorded 12 points as Abbey Noblett produced 10 and this vein of form continued in their match up against the Warriors as Noblett starred with 26 points despite losing. Natalie Bire was the main contributor for Lakes Entrance with a team high 16 points. The contest between the Eagles and Wildcats was close as Chloe Hogg showcased her scoring prowess to notch up 19 points and Brylee Angwin 17. They were ably assisted by Gemma Dixon with 10 as they just snuck over the line against Maffra.

ROUND 5 RESULTS:

Maffra Eagles (54) defeated by Warragul Warriors (81)
Lakes Entrance Pelicans (39) defeated by Moe Meteors (101)
Korumburra Wildcats (66) defeated Maffra Eagles (59)
Moe Meteors (79) defeated by Warragul Warriors (84)

Picture credit: Basketball Victoria

CBL Gippsland: Round 4 – Maffra and Warragul go undefeated in respective competitions

MAFFRA Eagles and Warragul Warriors remain the teams to beat in the Gippsland Country Basketball League (CBL) competitions after they won top-of-the-table clashes. It was an action-packed round of basketball action, with just three rounds now remaining and the season surpassing the halfway mark at the end of Round 4.

GIPPSLAND MEN:

Five games played out across Round 4 in the men’s CBL Gippsland competition, with no side picking up two wins. Moe Meteors managed to pick up one win from two matches, whilst the bottom two sides in Lakes Entrance Pelicans and Churchill Blue Devils lost both their matches. Maffra Eagles went outright top and remained undefeated, while Warragul Warriors and Sale Sonics also picked up important wins as the ladder has started to take shape.

The match of the round built up prior to the weekend was the top-of-the-table clash between the unbeaten sides in Maffra Eagles and Moe Meteors. Knowing only one could come away with the victory, it was the Eagles – who have played one less game – that claimed the win by 11 points, 90-79. Samuel Whelan (22 points), Frazar Brouns (19), Elliot Hunt (17) and James Whelan (12) all shared the points around in a big day out for the winners. Moe had its fair share of scorers, as Christian D’Angelo (15 points), Josh Pearce (14), Rhys Anderson (12) and Jayden Van Dyk (11) hit double figures.

Moe managed to bounce back against Lakes Entrance Pelicans on Sunday, with D’Angelo hitting up another 25 points, while Ben Van Dyk (14) was three more than Jayden Van Dyk (11) and Stephen O’Brien (11). Andrew Savige and Thomas Stephenson both scored 13 points, and Jesse Pearce finished with 10, but the Pelicans could not overcome the Meteors, going down by 22 points.

It was the second loss of the round of the Pelicans who hosted Korumburra Wildcats on Saturday. The Wildcats ran out dominant winners despite the long road trip, picking up the highest score of the round with a 103-71 victory. Teenagers Keith Robinson (33 points) and Brodie Mabilia (21) tore the Pelicans apart, while William Lumby (13) and Matt Kennewell (12) also contributed strongly. Thomas Stephenson (16 points), Jesse Pearce (14) and Jordi Williams (11) were the top scorers for Lakes Entrance.

The other game on Saturday was Warragul Warriors’ 15-point win over Churchill Blue Devils. The Warriors hosted the winless Blue Devils and managed to control proceedings to get up, 87-72. Murray Myers (15 points), Tom Muir (13) and Jarryd Moss (12) all registered impressive final tallies, as Zac Bezzina (17) hit a match-high score in defeat, and Jordan Canovan (14) was also solid in the loss.

Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, their luck did not change on Sunday, losing out to Sale Sonics by nine points. Canovan (18 points) and Bezzina (16) were again the key players in the 67-76 defeat, though Nick Linton also added 13 points to the tally. Owen Gallagher (17 points), Jake Hutchins (16), Luke Williams (15) and Harper Fraser (10) all hit up double-figure points for the losers.

ROUND 4 RESULTS:

Lakes Entrance Pelicans (71) defeated by Korumburra Wildcats (103)
Warragul Warriors (87) defeated Churchill Blue Devils (72)
Maffra Eagles (90) defeated Moe Meteors (79)
Churchill Blue Devils (67) defeated by Sale Sonics (76)
Moe Meteors (90) defeated Lakes Entrance Pelicans (68)

GIPPSLAND WOMEN:

Looking to the women’s competition, Moe Meteors turned the tables on Maffra Eagles in their head-to-head and then went on to smash Lakes Entrance Pelicans, while the Pelicans had a similarly one-sided loss at the hands of Korumburra Wildcats, as Warragul Warriors fended off the Wildcats on Sunday.

After two losses to start the season, Moe Meteors came up trumps in Round 4, defeating the two sides above them on the table to finish on an even 2-2 from four matches. In the opening game of the round, the Meteors won 78-65 over Maffra Eagles on the road, as Samantha Labros (16 points) and Caitlin Demczuk (15) led the way. Abbey Noblett (11 points) also contributed in the win, while Alex Gallatly (18), Jaime Gallatly (16) and Emerson Connolly (13) were the best for the Eagles.

Moe had a much easier time against Lakes Entrance Pelicans, smashing their way to a massive 101-28 victory. Labros was near-unstoppable with 27 points, though she was far from alone as Cassandra Wass (14), Noblett (12) and Demczuk (11) all had productive outings. No Pelicans player reached double-figure points, though Natalie Bire (nine) was the top scorer from the losing team.

A day earlier the Pelicans suffered a 71-point defeat at the hands of Korumburra Wildcats at home. Chloe Hogg put up a ridiculous 35 points in the win, while Alahna Arnason (21) and Tyla Angwin (11) both hit double-figure points. Jasmine Witham (seven points) was the top scorer for the Pelicans on the day.

In a top-of-the-table match to close out the round, Warragul Warriors remained undefeated – albeit having played just the two games – securing an 83-72 win over Korumburra Wildcats. Dallas Loughridge (24 points), Mikaela Dickson (17), Tanarly Hood (12) and Peta Rhodes (10) all contributed well to knock off one of the contenders, while Hogg and Arnason still caused plenty of headaches with 22 points apiece, but it was not enough in the 11-point defeat.

ROUND 4 RESULTS:

Maffra Eagles (65) defeated by Moe Meteors (78)
Lakes Entrance Pelicans (32) defeated by Korumburra Wildcats (103)
Moe Meteors (101) defeated Lakes Entrance Pelicans (28)
Warragul Warriors (83) defeated Korumburra Wildcats (72)

Picture credit: Basketball Victoria

CBL Gippsland: Maffra men and Korumburra women tip-off season in style

TWO rounds down and the Country Basketball League (CBL) teams are starting to get a feel for the 2021 action. After a challenging 2020 year, the multiple leagues across Victoria have started, and each week we will focus on a different competition. This week, we take a look at how Gippsland is fairing following the first two rounds of competition in both the men’s and women’s leagues.

Gippsland Men:

Just three teams remain undefeated in the Gippsland Men’s competition, following Round 2 of action on the weekend. Maffra Eagles sit pretty with two wins from as many games, whilst Warragul Warriors and Moe Meteors – who have had a bye each – both won their first game to start proceedings. In the middle of the table, Lakes Entrance Pelicans and Korumburra Wildcats both have a win to their name, while Churchill Blue Devils and Sale Sonics are yet to taste victory from two attempts.

It was the young guns of Keith Robertson (40 points) and Brodie Mabilia (23) who stood out for the Wildcats in Round 2, steering their side to an 11-point win over Churchill. They picked up 63 of the team’s 90 points, while Jordan Canovan (27) and Zac Bezzina (21) provided a damaging duo for the Blue Devils. Bezzina was particularly damaging from long-range with five triples in the loss.

The Robinson-Mabilia duo got off the chain compared to the Round 1 defeat at the hands of Moe Meteors, as Robinson (17 points) was the top scorer. Mabilia only managed the seven in that game, as Nick McKenzie put up 10 points in the loss. Christian D’Angelo starred for the winners with 27, while Rhys Anderson (13) also contributed throughout Moe’s 86-57 victory to ensure it tipped off season 2021 in style.

Joining them with a percentage of 150 is Warragul, a side that posted an impressive 28-point victory over Sale Sonics in Round 2. Luke McKenzie (20 points) and Jarryd Moss (18) were the key players in the win, whilst the Sonics shared the points around. Jonty McGuiness both scored 12 points, while Josh Backway (11) and Benjamin Dessent (10) hit double-figures.

Rewind to the previous round, and the Sonics also suffered defeat, this time to Maffa Eagles by 15 points. Jake Hutchins hit 14 points and Luke Williams finished with 11 as the team amassed 54 points, one less than the next week. Samuel Whelan and Byron Sandeman both managed the 14 points for Maffra, while Frazar Brouns (12) and Jack Hrehoresen (10) managed the double-figure points.

The win kick-started Maffra’s season, as the Eagles went on to knock off Lakes Entrance Pelicans by 18 points in Round 2. It was a shared effort from the top side, as Elliot Hunt hit the most points this time with 24, while Floyd Fulton (20), Coby Burgiel (17) and Marcus Cope (13) were all impressive in the win. Jordi Williams (19) and James Russell (11) were the standouts for Lakes Entrance.

The Pelicans had a more memorable result in Round 1, toppling Churchill Blue Devils by three points in a thriller. In that match, Williams’ efforts were enough, guiding the team with 25 points, while Andrew Savige (16), Russell (15) and Jesse Pearce (10) all chipped in. Canovan starred for the losing side once again, knocking down 28 points, while Jeremy Sheers (13) and Bezzina (11) reached double-figure points.

ROUND 1&2 RESULTS:

Maffra Eagles 69 defeated Sale Sonics 54
Lakes Entrance Pelicans 86 defeated Churchill Blue Devils 83
Moe Meteors 86 defeated Korumburra Wildcats 57
Warragul Warriors 83 defeated Sale Sonics 55
Maffra Eagles 91 defeated Lakes Entrance Pelicans
Korumburra Wildcats 90 defeated Churchill Blue Devils 79

 

GIPPSLAND WOMEN:

Gippsland Women’s competition features just the five sides, with only four of them having taken the court in the opening two rounds. Korumburra Wildcats lead the way with two wins from as many games, defeating Maffra Eagles and Moe Meteors. The Eagles did pick up a win though, producing a comprehensive win over Lakes Entrance Pelicans. Warragul Warriors are yet to play a game in the 2021 competition.

In the standalone Round 1 match, the Wildcats enjoyed a narrow 13-point win over the Meteors on the road. Sharing the points around, Grace Matser top scored with 16 points, while Darci Holmes, Chloe Hogg and Alahna Arnason all put up 12. For the Meteors, Samantha Labros hit 17 points, and Caitlin Demczuk scored 15 in the loss.

On the weekend, the Wildcats backed up their Round 1 victory with an 18-point triumph over the Maffra Eagles. Matser (24 points) stood out once again, while Hogg (18) and Arnason (12) are a problem for opposition guards. Maffra’s top shooters were Alex Gallatly (17 points) and Emerson Connolly (11) who both hit double-figures in the match.

The loss followed a massive Maffra victory, with the Eagles far too good for Lakes Entrance Pelicans, winning 90-26 on the road. Lillie Schacht (16 points) was one of three players to reach double-figure points, while Gallatly (13) and Paige Biddle (12) both made life difficult for the opposition. Chloe Watson (nine points) and Amber Harrison (six) were the two highest scorers for the Pelicans.

ROUND 1&2 RESULTS

Korumburra Wildcats 71 defeated Moe Meteors 58
Lakes Entrance 26 defeated by Maffra Eagles 90
Maffra Eagles 45 defeated Korumburra Wildcats 63

Picture credit: Basketball Victoria

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Round 8

A TOP three clash headlines Round 8 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division with the bottom four sides battling for the last two spots in the eight.

Dandenong Rangers (3rd, 11-3-2) vs. Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 12-4)

The match of the round pits third placed Dandenong Rangers against second placed Nunawading Spectres in what could eventuate into a battle for a home final. The teams are on the same amount of points, with the Spectres having one extra win, but one extra loss as well compared to the Rangers’ two draws. The Rangers have only lost one game at home and the Spectres are seven from eight on the road, so it makes for an enticing contest. Harrison Bowater (13.1 points per game) and Riley Simmons (12.1) have been crucial for the Rangers this season and could form a damaging duo, while Nunawading’s James Roche (19.7) will be a danger to watch, as will his teammate Curtis Brecko (11.1). The winner all but takes second spot if they do not stumble in the final round before finals.

Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 12-1-3) vs. Bendigo Braves (10th, 8-7-1)

Top-of-the-table Kilsyth Cobras should not have any problems against Bendigo with an unbeaten run at home from seven games against a Braves outfit that is just two from seven on the road. The Braves are actually sixth on the table when it comes to Championship Division finals, but are still only three points clear of the division cellar dwellers in Korumburra. If they can cause an upset they are guaranteed finals, but a loss and the sides below them move a step closer, though they would need to lose both remaining matches to drop out. As for the Cobras, they could drop to third mathematically with two losses, but will likely secure the minor premiership this round with a superior percentage to all bar Dandenong. Josh Duach (14.1 points per game) and David Okwera (12.2) have been the key scorers, going up against overall division leading scorer Caleb Connick (20.0), who would love to see Dyson Daniels (15.0) return with the young star missing due to National Basketball League (NBL)1 and national representative commitments.

Diamond Valley Eagles (13th, 7-9) vs. Korumburra Wildcats (14th, 7-9)

The bottom two sides clash in what is effectively the last chance saloon for one of the sides to make finals. The loser will be out of the finals race, while the winner will leap frog the loser of the Keilor Thunder-Werribee Devils game and put themselves into the top eight sides. The Eagles are just three from seven at home, while the Wildcats are not any better on the road, with two from seven. What works in the Wildcats’ favour is the fact that the Eagles are yet to win since the post-grade split, dropping seven consecutive games after heading into the new grade as 7-2. Korumburra’s Keith Robinson has been a source of points, averaging 18.7 points per game, teaming well with Brodie Mabilia (12.6) and Luis D’Angelo (12.2), while Diamond Valley looks to Ethan Bateman who is leading the side with 12.1 per game.

Keilor Thunder (12th, 8-8) vs. Werribee Devils (11th, 8-8)

Sitting seventh and eighth in the division, it goes without saying a win in this game is crucial. The winner is set to play finals, while the loser will drop outside the top eight meaning their finals hopes will then rely on favourable results in the last round. Keilor has dropped its past five games and are just three from eight at home, while Werribee has not won for a few rounds now and sit with three wins from seven games on the road. Neither side has a great percentage, both well below the two teams chasing them, meaning a loss here would all but end finals chances. Paul Tsapatolis was a welcome return for Keilor in Round 7 averaging the second most points of any player with 19.8 points per game this season, while Werribee relies on two key shooters in Darrien Herbert and Makur Jongkuch who have the identical output of 15.0 points per game.

Melbourne Tigers (5th, 10-6) vs. Bulleen Boomers (4th, 11-3-2)

The other game set to create interest is the fourth and fifth clash at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC). A win for Melbourne will draw them within two points and give the Tigers hope they can snatch fourth spot with a win in the final round, but any other result assures the Boomers of a double chance. The Tigers are safe from Bendigo overtaking them unless they lose twice and the Braves win both remaining games. Melbourne has an even spread of scorers with Ezrah Vaigafa, Lyzel Mataika and Patrick Twigg combining for an average of 31 points per game. The Boomers have a number of high volume scorers with Anthony Dell’Orso (17.3 points per game), Owen Foxwell (14.1) and Nicholas Woodall (12.3) all key players.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC review: Round 7 – Top 5 grab wins

THE top five teams were able to gain some separation from the bottom five sides in Round 7 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys competition with the dominant sides all getting wins over their lower ranked opponents three weeks out from finals. The bottom five teams are just one win apart from sixth to tenth, as three sides look to round out the top eight finals spots.

The closest game of the round was Nunawading Spectres’ six-point victory over Werribee Devils. The second placed Spectres maintained their top two ranking and extended their record on the road to eight wins from nine encounters. They led by just one point at the main break, but gained some separation in the second half, scoring 29 points to 24. James Roche was important with 24 points himself, while Luke Spurling (10) was a key contributor in the win. For the Devils, it was Makur Jongkuch who was everywhere sinking 27 points, while teammate Darrien Herbert managed 10 in the loss.

The top-of-the-table Kilsyth Cobras maintained their advantage with an eight-point win over Diamond Valley Eagles. They found themselves seven points down at the main break, but piled on 42 points to 27 in the second half to run over the top of the Eagles, 66-58. Roosevelt Williams stood out with 22 points, well aided by 16 from David Okwera, while Josh Duach (nine) was also impressive. For the Eagles, Ethan Bateman finished with 15 points, while Ryan Hoffman slotted 11.

Fifth placed Melbourne Tigers kept touch with the top four courtesy of an eight-point win over Keilor Thunder. The Tigers raced out to an 18-11 opening term advantage, but the Thunder reeled them in to trail by a point at half-time. The Tigers regained control in the second half to post 30 points to 23 in the 56-48 victory. Keilor’s Paul Tsapatolis sank 22 points to be the standout scorer despite the loss, while Tonga Matapule Otutaha was next best with 10. Melbourne shared its points around with Patrick Twigg (12 points), Tom Koppens (11), Ezrah Vaigafa (10) and Lyzel Mataika (nine) all having plenty of impact on the court.

Fourth placed Bulleen Boomers took control in the first half against Korumburra Wildcats to set up an impressive 10-point victory. The Boomers held a 16-point lead at the main break and extended that to 18 by the last chance. The Wildcats hit back in the final stanza but could not recover from the heavy deficit, going down 62-72. Anthony Dell’Orso sank 21 points for the Boomers, one of a trio of stars who went big as Owen Foxwell and Nicholas Woodall both delivered 15 points. For Korumburra, Keith Robinson scored 18 points, while Luis D’Angelo and Brodie Mabilia helped themselves to 13 apiece.

The biggest win of the round went to Dandenong Rangers who toppled Bendigo Braves by 20 points, The Rangers showed no mercy in the first half, racing away to 22 points and while it was much closer in the second half, the damage was done. Harrison Bowater scored a game-high 26 points, as Jyelin Moli (15), Riley Simmons (10) and Mason Perry (10) all reached double figures. Contrastingly, Caleb Connick was a lone scoring machine with 20 points for the Braves as the sole scorer to reach double figures in the loss.

In the Reserve grade, Ballarat Magic and Eltham Wildcats continued their dominance in the grade, picking up wins over Geelong Supercats and Waverley Falcons respectively to make it six and four wins on the trot. In other results, Hawthorn Magic defeated Geelong Supercats by 10 points, Collingwood All Stars downed Knox Raiders in a two-point thriller, while Dandenong Rangers 2 piled on more pain for Ringwood Hawks with 63-56, making it eight consecutive defeats for the Hawks.

Next week, Dandenong hosts Nunawading and Melbourne plays Bulleen in a couple of matches that will shape the order of the top eight, while Kilsyth will look to go further on top with a home match against Bendigo. In the other two games, finals hopes are on the line when Korumburra travels to Diamond Valley and Werribee meets Keilor.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Round 7

WITH the regular season nearly reaching a close, Round 7 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division hopes to be a percentage booster for a few of the top-eight. As the fixture stands, no two teams will face within the top eight this round – with seven positions or over separating each match-up. Bulleen’s contest with Korumburra will be an important contest for the home-side, with the Boomers recording consecutive ties over the last fortnight. Also, with back-to-back wins in the last two rounds, the Braves will look to make it three in a row against the Rangers as they attempt to crack into the eight.

Bulleen Boomers (4th, 10-3-2) vs Korumburra Wildcats (14th, 7-8)

After recording consecutive draws over the last fortnight, the Boomers look to hold their top-four spot this week as they face the Korumburra Wildcats at home. In their last two outings, the Boomers hosted Dandenong (56-56) and Kilsyth (63-63), who sit first and third. Despite the results, the Boomers remain undefeated at home, and should remain as such when the Wildcats visit. Despite impressive at the season’s open, the Wildcats have only won two of their six outings. They put Keilor away early last week with a 32-15 first half, riding home comfortably to a 65-50 win. This week they face a few of the league’s top scorers in Anthony Dell’Orso and Owen Foxwell – who average 16.7 and 14 points per game (PPG) in fifth and eleventh for league-average. Korumburra boast Keith Robinson in fourth spot, averaging 18.8 PPG from five outings – followed next by Brodie Mabilia on 12.5.

Dandenong Rangers (3rd, 10-3-2) vs Bendigo Braves (10th, 8-6-1)

With a top eight spot in jeopardy, Bendigo Braves need to take a big scalp in Dandenong Rangers this week if they hope to play finals. On the road, the Braves have been disappointing (2-4-0), and despite two consecutive wins on the board, are yet to prove they can handle travelling. Last week, the Rangers were the only winning team within the top-four, taking consecutive draws in the rounds prior. Werribee copped a belting in Dandenong’s return to form last week (49-93), with the Braves likely to suffer similarly with the top-two up for grabs. Riley Simmons and Zac Taylor continued their form last week with 13 and 20 points respectively. Currently, Simmons averages 12.2 PPG in 14th across the league, while Taylor follows in seventeenth with 11.8. The Braves have league-leader, Caleb Connick, at the helm – averaging 20 PPG with 20 points in last week’s win.

Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 11-1-3) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (13th, 7-8)

This week Kilsyth Cobras boast the easiest fixture as they come up against a struggling Diamond Valley Eagles at home. Since losing last week’s match-up to Bendigo, the Eagles hold at six consecutive losses in the Championship Division. Their record looks set to worsen when they face the undefeated Cobras at home this week. Last week, the Cobras recorded their first non-winning result in the new division after drawing 63-63 with the Boomers. With the competition pressing, an easy fixture is all they need to reassert their position. David Okwera emerged in Kilsyth’s clash last week with 17 points, as Josh Duach retained form with 12 of his own. Duach places sixth for average points (15), while Okwera makes his way to eighteenth with 11.4. For the Eagles, Ethan Bateman has been impressive – averaging 11.7 PPG in twelfth. Joseph Brazier impressed in their loss last week with a team-high 11 points.

Werribee Devils (11th, 8-7) vs Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 11-4)

The Werribee Devils face the Nunawading Spectres at home this week as the Spectres make a play for top-spot. After recording a rare 57-60 loss last week against the Melbourne Tigers, the Spectres will look to show off a dominant away record when they travel to Werribee. The Devils copped a flogging against a resurging Dandenong Rangers at home last week, and will not want to concede consecutive beltings. Last week, James Roche held strong for the Spectres with 16 points – followed next by Curtis Brecko with 11. The pair rank second and eleventh for average points and face strong competition in Darrien Herbert (4th) and Makur Jongkuch (8th). Herbert held strong in last week’s loss, recording 14 points – Jongkuch following on seven.

Keilor Thunder (12th, 8-7) vs Melbourne Tigers (5th, 9-6)

Despite the discrepancy in positions, only one win separates the Keilor Thunder and Melbourne Tigers. This week the Thunder host the Tigers, with a lot riding on both sides’ hopes for finals. The Thunder currently hold four consecutive losses on the board and have conceded 912 points to 850. Last week, the Wildcats defeated them 65-50, and the week prior they lost 81-50 against the Spectres. Comparatively, the Tigers are coming off an impressive win against the Spectres and remained more competitive than most in their loss to the Kilsyth Cobras (62-50). The Thunder missed their top three league scorer in Paul Tssapatolis (19 PPG) of late, but boasted solid performances from Aleksander Bandilovski (11) and Tonga Matapule Otutaha (11). Comparatively, Melbourne are still without a top 20 scorer. Though last week had impressive performances from both Patrick Twigg (14) and Lyzel Mataika (12).

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC review: Round 6 – The top-four tightens with another big draw

FOR the second week in a row in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division, the Bulleen Boomers have picked up a draw against a top-end side – finishing 63-63 at home against the Kilsyth Cobras. In the contest, both sides remained close throughout. Bulleen opened the first term 23-18 before letting Kilsyth back in touch in the second with a 17-18 term. The Cobras tied up the third term at 53-53, with both teams scoring 10 points each to continue the trend into the final buzzer. On the board, Bulleen had a lot to like. Anthony Dell’Orso led his team in scoring with a solid 18-point performance, taking him to fifth spot in the league for points per game (PPG). He was accompanied well by Thomas Giannatos and Isaiah Harvey who emerged with 15 and 12 points respectively. For the Cobras, David Okwera made himself known with 17 points, cracking into nineteenth spot in the top 20, while Josh Duach continues to hold strong in the top-10 (seventh) with a 12-point performance.

Dandenong Rangers rebounded in dominant fashion this round with a big 48-93 thrashing on the road against the Werribee Devils. After taking a 56-56 draw at home last round against Bulleen, Dandenong looked to set the record straight. They opened the first term 29-12 before following up with 22-16 to take a 23-point lead into the main break. Werribee remained competitive for the third term to keep the Rangers to 16-14, but they let off the accelerator in the final term as they Rangers surged home with 26-7 closer – winning by 44 points. Seven Dandenong players cracked into double-digits on the scoreboard, with Zac Taylor leading the way on 20 points – moving to seventeenth spot on the league scoring table. Riley Simmons (13), Joshua Heywood (12) and Harrison Bowater (11) were among others who impressed for the Rangers. For Werribee, Darrien Herbert led the way with 14 points, followed next by Kaelan Matejin with eight.

Nunawading Spectres missed their opportunity to snare top-spot after losing 57-60 to a resilient Melbourne Tigers at home. After losing to the Cobras in the round prior, the Tigers looked to rebound against their competition as they push closer to the top four. Despite losing the second-half, their dominant work in the first two terms set them up perfectly for victory – taking a 35-28 lead into the main break. The result, along with the Bulleen and Kilsyth tie, has made the top-four and top-two available for a lot more teams as we pass the halfway mark of the season. Patrick Twigg led scoring for the Tigers with 14 points, while Lyzel Mataika followed close with 12. Despite the result, Nunawading boasted a solid performance from James Roche – scoring 16 points to retain second spot for league scoring. He was accompanied well by Curtis Brecko who had 11 to move to fifteenth.

A major streak continued as the Diamond Valley Eagles suffered their sixth consecutive loss against the Bendigo Braves (52-45) on the road. Despite keeping close for most terms – with only three points separating them at the main break (16-19), the Braves’ work in the third shut the Eagles out with 20 points to nine to effectively win them the game. League-leader, Caleb Connick, was immense in the match-up with 20 points, alongside Ethan Cunningham (eight), Jordan Michel (seven) and Isaac Murphy (seven), who all combined well on the floor. The Eagles had Joseph Brazier hold strong in the loss with a team-high 11 points. Ethan Bateman followed next with 10 points to move to eighteenth spot for league-scoring.

Korumburra Wildcats also kept one of the division’s less-glamourous streaks alive after handing the Keilor Thunder their fourth consecutive loss (65-50). Despite sitting two positions below Keilor in fourteenth, the Wildcats held the game from the very beginning. They scored 17-6 in first term and 15-9 in the second – taking a 32-15 lead into the second half. The Thunder won the next two terms by a point each but the Wildcats closed out the game with ease. Brodie Mabilia was dominant on the floor with 17 points, moving to 13th spot for league-scoring. NBL1 representative, Patrick Ryan (14) and Luis D’Angelo (13) were also impressive – standing up in the absence of top-scorer, Keith Robinson. For Keilor, Aleksander Bandilovski and Tonga Matapule Otutaha held up strong with 11 points each.

In the Reserve grade, the Casey Cavaliers took a 52-41 win over Collingwood All-Stars, Ringwood Hawks copped a 56-80 belting at home against the Ballarat Rush, and Knox Raiders picked up a big 66-77 win on the road against Hawthorn Magic. The round continued with Geelong Supercats losing 64-71 to Eltham Wildcats and Dandenong Rangers losing to Waverley Falcons (52-69).

In the Championship Division for Round 7, Dandenong Rangers hosted the Bendigo Braves, Keilor Thunder face an in-form Melbourne Tigers, and Kilsyth Cobras look to re-join the winners’ list against the Melbourne Tigers. We finish the round with Bulleen Boomers hosting Korumburra Wildcats and the Werribee Devils hosting the Nunawading Spectres.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Round 6

ROUND 6 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division kicks off on Friday night across Victoria with a few contests likely to go either way. As the Werribee Devils continue to build off the break, they look to make it three in a row when they face the Dandenong Rangers at home. The Nunawading Spectres also boast a similar affair against the Melbourne Tigers, with the match of round looking to be between the Bulleen Boomers and Kilsyth Cobras in a grapple for top spot.

Bulleen Boomers (3rd, 10-3-1) vs Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 11-1-2)

In recent weeks, the Kilsyth Cobras have been tested. Before returning to the winner’s list last week following their victory over the Melbourne Tigers, the Cobras copped their second draw against a formidable, Dandenong Rangers. This week the Cobras face another top four side in the Bulleen Boomers, who have also suffered a draw against the Rangers in recent weeks. Prior to last round, Bulleen enjoyed four consecutive wins in the Championship Division – taking notable victories from Nunawading and Keilor. With Anthony Dell’Orso and Owen Foxwell averaging 16.4 and 14.4 points per game (PPG) respectively; in fifth and eleventh for league scoring from five outings, the Cobras could struggle to match. Josh Duach (15.6 PPG) has been in top form for Kilsyth over the recent months but lacks a consistent partnership similar to Bulleen. Regardless, David Okwera (10) and Roosevelt Williams (nine) continue to be huge assets for the Cobras, with Okwera dropping a game-high 25 points in last week’s win over Melbourne. If Okwera can get up again, it will be interesting to see which duo prevails.

Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 11-3) vs Melbourne Tigers (5th, 8-6)

With the Nunawading Spectres on the climb, the Melbourne Tigers face a serious challenge this Friday as they hope to get back a win on the road. Last week the Tigers fell to a rebounding Kilsyth, dropping them into dangerous territory on the table (fifth) with three teams equaling their current record. Prior to their loss, the Tigers looked to be building, earning a 32-point win over Diamond Valley before returning from the break to defeat Bendigo at home. Currently, they sit a 2-3 in the Championship Division, compared to Nunawading’s 4-1. Though like Melbourne, the Spectres are yet to knock-off a major contender, losing their biggest match-up this year against the Boomers. This game will be a test for both sides, who have been fortunate not to contend with many top-five teams since the division separated. All eyes should be on James Roche as he pushes for the number one spot for league scoring. Currently, he averages 19.6 PPG from five games, assisted well by Curtis Brecko (12.2) who also sits in the top 20. Melbourne’s, Ezrah Vaigafa rounds out 20th spot in the league, averaging 11 PPG in front of Jordan Adams (10.6) and Lyzel Mataika (10.4) who hold 21st and 22nd respectively.

Werribee Devils (7th, 8-6) vs Dandenong Rangers (4th, 9-3-2)

Making the long trip to Werribee for Friday’s clash, the Dandenong Rangers hope to end their two-game draw streak against an in-form Devils outfit. After facing Bulleen and Kilsyth in recent weeks, the Rangers should revel to face an opponent outside the top-four. The Devils have managed consecutive five-point victories in the last fortnight but have not fared as well against top-end sides such as Bulleen (70-58) and Kilsyth (45-71). With that in mind, the Rangers should put their weak fortnight behind them with a win on the road. So far, Riley Simmons leads scoring for the Rangers with a 12-point average from five appearances. He’s followed close by Harrison Bowater with 11PPG – rounding out the top 20 in nineteenth. For the Devils, Darrien Herbert has been immense with his 16.2-point average placing him in sixth overall for the league. Makur Jongkuch has accompanied him well with 14.2 – sitting 12th across the league. In this match-up, Werribee look a lot more dangerous on the board but lack Dandenong’s two-way game.

Bendigo Braves (13th, 7-6-1) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (11th, 7-7)

The Diamond Valley Eagles hope to finally join the winner’s list when they face the Bendigo Braves on the road this Friday. Since joining the Championship Division the Eagles have recorded five consecutive losses – despite joining the competition at 7-2. The Braves have so far collected 2-3 from their time in the new division, earning their second last week against Korumburra. Currently, the Braves hold a fair 5-2-1 record at home – impressive given their position on the table. The Braves also boast the top league scorer in Caleb Connick who averages 20PPG, and Dyson Daniels who has been in good form in ninth spot with 15 PPG. Comparatively, Diamond Valley only average one player in the top 20 with Ethan Bateman averaging 12 PPG in fourteenth spot, while Matt Marasco and Erik Kafritsas follow next with 8 and 7.8 points respectively.

Korumburra Wildcats (14th, 6-8) vs Keilor Thunder (8th, 8-6)

In one of the most interesting match-ups of the round, the Korumburra Wildcats and Keilor Thunder both risk suffering four consecutive losses when they face on Friday. In recent weeks, the Thunder have fell to three top four sides in Nunawading, Bulleen and Dandenong. Comparatively, Korumburra have suffered losses to Bendigo and Werribee after falling by 35 points in a loss to Kilsyth before the break. The Thunder sit only one win below fourth, while the Wildcats could press for the top eight in the coming rounds. Paul Tsapatolis has been in good form for the Thunder, sitting third for league scoring with 19 PPG. Unfortunately for Keilor, Daelon Ateru is Keilor’s next best scorer on eight. For the Wildcats, Keith Robinson leads scoring with 18.8 PPG, one spot behind Tsapatolis in fourth. Unlike Keilor, Robinson has great support with Luis D’Angelo and Brodie Mabilia averaging 11.8 and 11.6 PPG respectively.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC review: Round 5 – Dandenong tie two weeks in a row

DANDENONG Rangers picked up their second consecutive draw in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division with a 56-56 result against Bulleen Boomers. The Rangers dropped to fourth after recording five consecutive wins prior to the break. Comparatively, the Boomers returned well before this week, recording consecutive wins. The tie puts them in third with Nunawading and Kilsyth moving to 11 wins in the top-two to finish the round. In the match-up, the Rangers opened with a four-point advantage in the first, forcing Boomers to work back into the contest for the rest of the game. Anthony Dell’Orso led scoring for the Boomers with 22 points, moving to fifth for league scoring for his fifth game. Thomas Giannatos and Isaiah Harvey were also impressive, scoring eight points each for the home side. For the Rangers, Marcus Winghager emerged with 17 points, followed next by Mason Perry who dropped 10 points in the draw.

In dominant fashion, Nunawading Spectres moved to second spot with a huge 81-50 win over Keilor Thunder at home. The win marks three consecutive for the home side as Keilor slipped to eighth place with their third loss in a row. Spectres opened well, outscoring their visitors 23-9 in the first and 22-7 in the second. The Thunder resurged in the third, lifting their game to 19 to 23 points before tying 15-15 in the final term. For the Spectres, James Roche was immense, leading the game with 23 points to move into second for league scoring. Max Vandersteen followed next on 12 – Dihan Wiggett with 11. For Keilor, Derhyse Matautia and Daelon Eteru led scoring with 12 points each – still without their highest scorer (and third highest average overall in the league), Paul Tsapatolis (19 PPG).

Kilsyth Cobras retained top-spot with a 62-50 win over Melbourne Tigers at home. The Cobras remain undefeated at home following the result as the in-form Melbourne Tigers slip to fifth with their fourth loss on the road. The Tigers held a 30-28 lead at the main break, but loss touch in the third with a 12-25 third term. The Cobras moved to unassailable lead in the fourth, closing out the game 9-8. Josh Duach impressed in the victory, moving to seventh spot on the league scoring list with a 20 point performance. Though it was David Okwera who led scoring for the game, amassing to 25 points for the Cobras. For the Tigers, Patrick Twigg led scoring with 13 points, followed next by Justin Bond who had 11 for the game.

Bendigo Braves get a win on the board against a struggling Korumburra Wildcats, beating the visitors by 11 points (75-64). The Braves added to their impressive home record, picking up their fifth win from eight games despite sitting thirteenth on the table. The Wildcats dropped to fourteenth following the result, moving to 2-4 on the road. Caleb Connick moves to top spot for league scoring with a 20-point average, dropping 22 points against the Wildcats. Dyson Daniels and Jordan Michel also impressed, with 15 and 13 points respectively. Korumburra’s, Keith Robinson, moves to fourth spot for league scoring, recording 19 points in the loss. Brodie Mabilia followed with 17 points, with Nick Prowd also impressing on 14.

Werribee Devils snare a tight five-point win over Diamond Valley Eagles with a 58-53 result. The Devils move to seventh spot following the result and pick up their consecutive win since coming back from break. The Eagles remain without a win in the Championship Division, losing five consecutive despite sitting 7-2 at the beginning of the season. In the contest, scoring was slow in the first half with Diamond Valley entering the break with a 19-16 lead. Both sides emerged in the third with the Devils responding with a 20-17 term. Scoring continue into the final term – Werribee finishing 22-17. Darrien Herbert led scoring for the Devils with 27 points, followed next by Makur Jongkuch who had 11. For the Eagles, Ethan Bateman led scoring with 12 points. His teammates, Ryan Hoffman and Matt Marasco, followed next with 11 and 10 points respectively.

For the Reserve grade, Casey Cavaliers snared a 78-62 win over Geelong Supercats, Ringwood Hawks fell short against Collingwood All Stars (55-58) and Hawthorn Magic outscored Ballarat Miners (58-39). Closing out the round, Eltham Wildcats defeated Dandenong Rangers on the road (68-73), and Knox Raiders beat Waverley Falcons at home (58-55).

For Round 6, the Bendigo Braves open at home against the Diamond Valley Eagles, the Korumburra Wildcats face the Keilor Thunder at home, and the Bulleen Boomers hope to re-join the winner’s list when face the Kilsyth Cobras in front of the home crowd. The round continues with the Werribee Devils facing the Dandenong Rangers and the Nunwading Spectres versing the Melbourne Tigers at home.