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2021 Big V Women’s: Round 10

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

Hawthorn (52) defeated by Bulleen (65)

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

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

Whittlesea (59) defeated by Hume (80)

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

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

Wyndham (84) defeated Keilor (67)

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

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

Sunbury (74) defeated Casey (57)

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

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

McKinnon (84) defeated Southern Peninsula (60)

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

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

Round 11:

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

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2021 Big V Women’s: Round 9

ROUND 9 rolled around in Big V Women’s with a number of blowout margins dictating the round. Sunbury also got back on the winner’s list after falling off last week with a shock loss while Hume Broncos snuck home with a narrow seven-point victory to edge their way up the ladder.

Wyndham (73) defeated by Bulleen (85)

Bulleen recorded their eighth win of the season to hold firm on second spot, downing Wyndham by 12 points. The Boomers raced out to an early lead piling on 25 points to 18 and while they looked to build on that in the second Wyndham had other plans as they inched their way back into the contest. The class of Bulleen once again rose to the top as they poured on the scoreboard pressure in the third term to create a handy 13 point buffer. With the game all but over both sides engaged in a bit of back and forth and while Wyndham outscored their opponents in the final term, it was the Boomers that ran out with the win.

Nicola Handreck proved to be the go-to girl for Wyndham as she top-scored with 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals in a strong performance. Teammates Courtney Midapp and Georgia Taushke also got involved in the play with 16 and 12 points respectively as the latter also racked up eight defensive rebounds. Jessica Scannell worked hard for her eight points but could have been more accurate only converting at 25 per cent from the field. Looking at the Boomers and it was another scintillating performance from Rebecca Cole as she dominated credit to her 33 points. Cole was a real menace and while she lacked the accuracy sitting at a 39 per cent clip she was not denied opportunity as she spurred her side onto victory. Cole also picked up 11 rebounds as Kate Gaze also got busy for Bulleen thanks to her 21 points with her long range shooting on point draining three of her four attempts. Louella Tomlinson recorded another double-double producing 13 points and 10 rebounds all of which were defensive.

Hume (63) defeated Hawthorn (54)

Hume Broncos prevailed in a hard slog against Hawthorn with both sides struggling to generate much scoreboard power in the first half. Both sides struggled to find the basket in the second quarter with nine and five points scored respectively in a relatively low scoring affair. However, scoring freed up in the second half and while the Magic were the first team to strike it was short lived as the Broncos came to play in the final term piling on 23 points to 14. They showcased plenty of grit and determination to work their way back into the contest and steal the win.

Jessica Azzopardi was the main influence on the scoreboard for Hume sinking 15 points while also picking up six rebounds and four steals. Tashia Overby plied her trade registering 12 points as Sophie Byrnes was influential draining 11 points of her own in the win. Although Hailey Wynd was not as productive on the scoring front finishing with seven points she showcased her strength off the boards with 11. For the Magic it was Bella Niven-Brown that forged the path stacking on 16 points at 54 per cent from the field. She fell just short of a double-double amassing nine rebounds while teammate Ella Crump also got busy with 12 points. Sian Gallam was the only other player to reach double-digits credit to her 10 points.

Casey (108) defeated Southern Peninsula (52)

It was a comprehensive victory by Casey who ran rampant against the struggling Southern Peninsula to secure a 56-point win. It was a one-sided affair as Casey controlled proceedings from the get-go leaving the Sharks looking for answers. Casey rendered the Sharks to 15 points or below every quarter while they did not drop below 26 points, a clear testament of their attacking nous and skillset. Their best quarter came in the last when the home side notched up 27 points while putting the clamp on their opponents to keep them to a mere 11.

Once again it was the Shereesha Richards show as she drained a whopping 36 points at 56 per cent from the field. Richards was a real livewire, setting up a wealth of attacking forays as shown through her 13 offensive rebounds and backing herself at every opportunity. Her defensive tendencies also came to the fore as she pulled in four additional rebounds and racked up four steals. She received plenty of support from Rachel Bell, who well and truly found her groove thanks to her 29 points and nine rebounds as Georgia Koopmans was no slouch with her 20 points. Myra Wood was the only Sharks player able to get out of single-digits piling on 10 points while Ashleigh Wright and Jayde Popovski worked in overdrive to produce nine points apiece. Tanarly Hood was quiet by her lofty standards recording eight points, five rebounds and four assists.

McKinnon (84) defeated Whittlesea (45)

McKinnon notched up yet another win, as Whittlesea sit anchored to the bottom of the ladder going down by 39 points. It was McKinnon’s game to lose given they sit higher on the ladder and all expectations were on them and they did not disappoint, coming out with a real pep in their step from the opening buzzer. McKinnon won every single quarter and really flexed their muscles in the third when they sunk 20 points and kept the Pacers to a mere seven. Although Whittlesea showed some grit in the fourth stanza to only go down by two points (14-12) the game was all but done.

The scoring load was well shared amongst a trio of players for McKinnon with Tegan Cunningham, Tara Bruno and Hana Bektas all making their presence felt. Cunningham led the way with a team-high 21 points and did so at an impressive accuracy rate of 73 from the field. Cunningham also managed seven rebounds in her outing as teammate Bektas managed 18 points and 13 rebounds to walk away with a double-double. Bruno notched up 16 points while Amelia Todhunter did not have the same impact finishing with just seven points, four rebounds and five steals in the win. Lyndsey Hoogenhout once again stepped up to the plate for the Pacers despite the disappointing loss racking up 12 points and a whopping 15 rebounds. Emily Verey also got busy with 10 points in her 25 minutes on court while Saule Kontautaite was solid

Keilor (52) defeated Sunbury (80)

The final game of the round saw Sunbury topple Keilor Thunder by 28 points. After a relatively even start to the game which saw Keilor up at half time Sunbury shifted gears in the second half determined not to drop their second game in a row. In fact the Jets blew the Thunder away limiting them to a mere 17 points while they stacked on a whopping 47 points of their own. It was a game of two halves with the Thunder unable to combat anything the Jets threw at them.

Keilor spread the love when it came to points scorers as Bianca Babic, Emily Suckling and Ellen Kett all plied their trade. Babic finished with a team-high 14 points as Suckling slotted 12 and Kett managed 10 to accompany her eight rebounds and seven assists. For the Jets the combination of Jacinta Beckley and Bianca Dufelmeier worked wonders as they produced 19 points apiece. Beckley shot at 47 per cent from the field and also recorded nine rebounds and four assists as Dufelmeier shot at a 55 per cent clip and walked away with six rebounds to her name. Tess Barnes was a helping hand contributing nine points to the Jets’ winning score while Orla O’Reilly also chimed in with eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Round 10:

The upcoming Round of Big V is set to be an enthralling one as Hawthorn and Bulleen lock horns while the clash between Hume and Whittlesea will draw plenty of attention with the latter still on the hunt for their first win. Wyndham and Keilor will battle it out as Keilor look to get back on the winners list as a tantalising clash between top of the table and third placed Casey is set to ensue. The final game of the round sees McKinnon take on Southern Peninsula who will be hoping to bounce back after a disappointing loss.

Photo credit: Big V FaceBook

2021 Big V Women’s: Round 8

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

Southern Peninsula (73) defeated Whittlesea (52)

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

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

 Casey (77) defeated Wyndham (62)

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

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

Bulleen (87) defeated Hume (68)

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

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

McKinnon (72) defeated Sunbury (67)

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

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

Keilor (74) defeated Hawthorn (58)

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

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

Round 9:

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

2021 Big V Women’s wrap: Round 6

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

Southern Peninsula (49) defeated by Hume (65)

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

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

Keilor (69) defeated by Casey (78)

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

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

Whittlesea (49) defeated by Hawthorn (79)

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

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

McKinnon (49) defeated by Bulleen (81)

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

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

Sunbury (73) defeated Wyndham (72)

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

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

Round 7

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

Big V: Stats leaders – Round 3

WITH three rounds of the Big V competition done and dusted some of the top performers are coming to the fore in both the men’s and women’s. Draft Central takes a look at who is dominating in their respective areas and which teams are impressing so far.

MENS:

Average points:

Luke Sist (Keilor) 24
Matt Turner (Western Port) 23
Daryl Corletto (Western Port) 21.33
Bul Niop (Blackburn) 21
Aaron Dolny (Wyndham) 20

Luke Sist has been a force to be reckoned with for Keilor, leading the way averaging a whopping 24 points each time he steps out on court. Western Port has proven to have a multi-pronged attack with both Matt Turner and Daryl Corletto lighting up the court with 23 points and 21.33 points respectively per game. Bul Niop is a steady stream of points for Blackburn while Aaron Dolny is a strong option for Wyndham thanks to his 20 points.

Average rebounds:

Luke Sist (Keilor) 23
Trevon Clayton (Sunbury) 14.33
Mark Steiner (Hawthorn) 11
Nathan Frost (Chelsea) 10
Mackeui Puondak (Hume) 9.67

Sist is not only a menace on the points-scoring front but so too when it comes to rebounds, leading the competition with 23 while Trevon Clayton is hot on his heels with 14.33 per game. Clayton has been integral for the Sunbury Jets, consistently bobbing up when needed and reeling in the rebounds – much like Mark Steiner for Hawthorn, who averages 11 per game. Nathan Frost is strong for Chelsea with 10 while Mackeui Puondak is lively for the Hume Broncos.

Average assists:

Matt Spencer (Keilor) 6.67
Jordan Geer (McKinnon) 6.33
Nic Laycock (McKinnon) 6
Mitch Lukey (Keilor) 5.67
Shayan Mahboobi (Hume) 4.67

Matt Spencer leads the way for assists producing 6.67 per game for the Thunder while Jordan Geer is handy with ball in hand for McKinnon registering 6.33 assists. Teammate Nic Laycock is also a dominant presence for McKinnon recording six assists each outing while Mitch Lukey is a reliable player for Keilor Thunder recording 5.67 assists. The final player to make it into the top five is Shayan Mahboobi with the Broncos representative registering 4.67.

Average blocks:

Jordan Vandenberg (McKinnon) 1.33
Nathan Marshall (Sunbury) 1
Tonga Matapule (Keilor) 1
Anthony Dell’Orso (Hume) 1
Tomi Ayilara (Wyndham) 0.67

McKinnon’s Jordan Vandenberg tops the table with 1.33 blocks per game while Nathan Marshall, Tonga Matpule and Anthony Dell’Orso are also influential with one block apiece. Tomi Ayilara averages just under one block per game with 0.67 to his name for Wyndham.

WOMENS

Average points:

Rebecca Cole (Bulleen) 30.5
Shereesha Richards (Casey) 26
Orla O’Reilly (Sunbury) 20
Louella Tomlinson (Bulleen) 19.67
Kate Gaze (Bulleen) 19.33

It is no surprise that three of the top five players when it comes to scoring are from Bulleen, given their dominance over the competition. Rebecca Cole has been a shooting sensation averaging 30.5 points a game while Louella Tomlinson and Kate Gaze are dynamic registering 19.67 and 19.33 points respectively. Shereesha Richards has been a consistent figure for Casey with 26 points while Orla O’Reilly has also proven to have a hot hand averaging 20 points per game.

Average rebounds:

Shereesha Richards (Casey) 13.33
Sian Gillam (Hawthorn) 13
Lyndsey Hoogenhout (Whittlesea) 13
Louella Tomlinson (Bulleen) 12.33
Fiona Darnell (Southern Peninsula) 9.67

Richards is not only handy on the scoreboard but so too off the boards, leading the competition with an average of 13.33 rebounds a game. Hawthorn’s Sian Gillam is the next in line with 13 rebounds per outing while Lyndsey Hoogenhout is a real livewire for the Whittlesea Pacers able to reel in the rebounds. Tomlinson has made her presence felt with an average of 12.33 rebounds while Fiona Darnell rounds out the top five thanks to her 9.67 rebounds.

Average assists:

Ellen Kett (Keilor) 7.33
Rebecca Cole (Bulleen) 7
Taylor Lee (Casey) 5
Sophie Byrnes (Hume) 5
Tegan Fowler (Casey) 4.33

Ellen Kett leads the way for assists producing 7.33 per game while Cole is hot on her heels proving to be a key facilitator for the Boomers with an average of seven per game. Taylor Lee is handy with ball in hand dishing off five dimes a game for Casey while teammate Tegan Fowler also features in the top five thanks to her 4.33 assists. The last player is Sophie Byrnes with the Hume Broncos representative racking up an average of five dimes a game.

Average blocks:

Louella Tomlinson (Bulleen) 6.67
Jessica Azzopardi (Hume) 2
Hailey Merrigan (Bulleen) 1.67
Fiona Darnell (Southern Peninsula) 1.33
Ella Crump (Hawthorn) 1

When it comes to blocks, Tomlinson has been a star leading the competition with a whopping 6.67 a game while Jessica Azzopardi is strong boasting two blocks a game. Hailey Merrigan is a force to be reckoned with for the Boomers credit to her 1.67 blocks as Darnell and Ella Crump round out the top performers in this respective field with 1.33 and one block per outings.

2021 Big V Women’s: Round 4 preview

BIG V Women’s Round 4 commences on Saturday with Hume still on the hunt for their first win of the 2021 season. Meanwhile Sunbury Jets and Keilor look to make it four on the trot and create some ladder separation on the ladder.

Southern Peninsula vs. McKinnon
Saturday, April 10 @5:00pm

Southern Peninsula is enjoying a bit of a purple patch recording two wins in a row while McKinnon is coming off a narrow one point win. Although Peninsula sit higher on the ladder thanks to its two wins to one, both sides have proven they know how to win in close contests making for an enthralling clash.

Tanarly Hood is a real playmaker for Southern Peninsula, able to play large amounts of game time and hit the scoreboard at a regular rate. Teammates Shanara Notman and Fiona Darnell have both proven to be exciting players for the Sharks with their tenacity and rebounding ability a couple of key factors. Claire Ioannidis had a game to remember last round and will be eager to replicate her form after posting 19 points and five rebounds while Amelia Todhunter can be a real game changer when given enough time and space. Todhunter was relatively quiet by her standards but that does not happen twice so expect a big performance from the Bendigo Spirit representative. Katie Bluzer and Maxine Allan are also known to chime in with some handy points.

Casey vs. Keilor
Saturday, April 10 @6:00pm

Keilor currently boast an undefeated record with three wins straight and will have no intention of ruining that streak against Casey. Casey will be ruing their missed chance from last week, narrowly going down by a point and will be chomping at the bit to make amends and assert themselves on the competition. Expect a hotly contested game between the two sides given their scoring proficiency.

There is no denying that Shereesha Richards is the go to girl for Casey, often able to light up the court with her flair and sheer determination to work her way to the basket and score. She led the way in Round 3 with 14 points and will be looking to back up that performance this round. Georgia Koopmans chimed in with a handy 10 points while Rebekka Mawdsley will be one to keep an eye on in this clash. Keilor have multiple players that are capable of demanding the ball and changing the course of a game as shown through Emily Suckling’s performance last round. Zoe Zwerling and Ally Keating are other notable names for Keilor with the pair able to knock back the points.

Bulleen vs. Wyndham
Saturday, April 10 @8:00pm

The contest between Bulleen and Wyndham will be an interesting one with Wyndham dropping the last two games and Bulleen undefeated. The Boomers are littered with star players across the court and will be looking to expose Wyndham who have lacked a sense of consistency.

Rebecca Cole was missing from action last week but her addition would push the Boomers even further ahead given her explosive nature and scoring prowess. Teammates Louella Tomlinson and Kate Gaze both stepped up in her absence and are more than capable of single-handedly controlling the outcome of a game combining for 37 points last week alone. Kaylah Pangbourne and Kayla Vitale are also point scorers for the Boomers. Courtney Middap will be hoping to continue her hot start to the season with another strong outing as will Jessica Scannell who managed 11 points. Nicola Handreck cannot be underestimated able to turn on the heat when needed to hit the scoreboard and get her side the win. But it will have to be a full team effort if they are any chance to topple the undefeated Boomers.

Hume vs. Whittlesea
Saturday, April 10 @8:00pm

It will be a battle of the winless sides as Hume and Whittlesea go head-to-head in search of their first victory for the season. The Broncos have struggled to get points on the board in season 2021 and will be hoping to rectify that issue against Whittlesea in order to claim their maiden win. Similarly, the Pacers have been unable to find any real form, and are coming off a big loss in Round 3.

Indiana Bodley is the main facilitator for the Pacers able to consistently hit the scoreboard and ply her trade at either end of the court. She racked up 21 points in Round 3 while Lyndsey Hoogenhout and Saule Kontautaite are other key players for Whittlesea. The Broncos rely on a number of players being able to step up to the plate and hit the scoreboard instead of relying on the services of one players. Leilani Siamoa is known to bob up and hit the scoreboard for the Broncos as is Hailey Wynd and Tashia Overby. Sophie Byrnes is another livewire for Hume that will be looking to get amongst the action on Saturday night.

Hawthorn vs. Sunbury
Sunday, April 11 @2:00pm

Sunbury is yet to drop a game this season and up against the winless Hawthorn could make it four wins straight. The Magic have not been successful in terms of victories so far this year but have shown glimpses of brilliance to get within touching distance of their opponents. On the other hand, the Jets have been in scintillating form, with a number of their key players hitting the scoreboard with great ease.

Emily Kurkowski is coming off a strong Round 3 performance thanks to her 14 points and five rebounds while Bella Niven-Brown is another to keep an eye on after topscoring with her 15 points. The support from the likes of Ella Crump and Gemma Fyffe will also be important if the Magic are any chance of running over the top of the unbeaten Sunbury side. there are a handful of players for the Jets that are more than capable of keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Orla O’Reilly has been a consistent figure for the Jets coming off a 15-point, three-rebound, four-assist and three-steal performance. Courtenay Wragg and Tahnee Cannan are a dynamic duo for the Jets that are able to light up the court with their points scoring capabilities as is Emily Conn.

2021 Big V Women’s: Round 3

ROUND 3 of the Big V Women’s saw Sunbury and Bulleen remain undefeated notching up convincing wins in their respective outings. McKinnon registered their first win of the season with a thrilling narrow victory over Casey.

Sunbury (74) defeated Hume (47)

Sunbury made light work of Hume Broncos disposing of them by 27 points. It was a fast start by the Jets and that ultimately set the tone as Hume were forced to play catch-up and they simply could not match the output of Sunbury. The Jets played with a sense of urgency and most importantly attacking prowess to keep the scoreboard constantly ticking over and keep the game well and truly out of reach from Hume.

The Jets had no shortage of players bob up and ply their trade in the win with Orla O’Reilly leading the pack with her 15 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals. Courtenay Wragg and Emily Conn both came up big with 14 points apiece. It did not stop there for Wragg who racked up seven rebounds, four rebounds and two blocks as Conn dished off seven dimes. Tahnee Cannan was the only other player to reach double figures for the Jets finishing the match with 13 points to her name. Points were hard to come by for the Broncos but Leilani Siamoa was the main contributor producing 11 points albeit at a lowly 50 per cent from the field. Hayley Wynd worked relentlessly for her eight points and four rebounds as did Tashia Overby who managed five rebounds on top of her eight points.

McKinnon (52) defeated Casey (51)

It was a tight tussle between McKinnon and Casey with the game decided by a mere point showcasing the intensity of the match. In the end it was McKinnon that got the last laugh, doing enough to just limp over the line and secure their first win for season 2021. Casey burst out of the blocks limiting McKinnon to a lowly 15 points in the first half before they came out a whole new side in the second half to take out the win.

Claire Ioannidis did the damage for McKinnon recording a team-high 19 points while also dragging in five rebounds, all of which were defensive. The scoring fell off after that with the next closest Amelia Todhunter with nine points. Todhunter also managed six rebounds and four assists in the win while Morgan Ili just fell short of a double-double with nine points and nine assists. For Casey, the ever-reliable Shereesha Richards made her presence felt finishing with a double-double, reeling in 14 rebounds and 14 points in an all-round strong performance. Georgia Koopmans plied her trade with 10 points while Stephanie Leclerc managed eight points in her 16 minutes.

Keilor (78) defeated Wyndham (66)

The Thunder kept their undefeated record intact, proving they are a real threat to be reckoned with this season. Both sides were neck and neck for majority of the game as Keilor tried to break away but Wyndham lingered to keep fans guessing which way the game was going to go. But Keilor’s ability to withstand the barrage of attacking forays was evident, riding out the wave from Wyndham and then counterpunching to hit the scoreboard themselves and deliver.

There were a trio of stars that did the heavy lifting for Keilor as Emily Suckling produced a game-high 22 points at 50 per cent from the field. Ally Keating also chimed in with a handy 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals in a strong showing while Zoe Zwerling also impacted the play thanks to her 10 points. Olivia Tsantarlis impressed in her 18 minutes on court recording eight points and 10 rebounds. For Wyndham, Courtney Middap continued her hot start to the season with 18 points, four rebounds and five assists. Teammate Jessica Scannell was the next closest finishing with 11 points as Nicola Handreck proved to be a menace off the boards credit to her 10 rebounds and seven points.

Bulleen (95) defeated Whittlesea (57)

A scintillating first quarter from Bulleen all but set up the win against a struggling Whittlesea side. The Boomers inflicted a wealth of scoreboard pain thanks to their 24-6 first term margin and from there they never looked like losing. In the opening half alone they managed 54 points and although the scoring died off in the second half as the Pacers upped the ante the damage was already done. It was all one-way traffic with the Pacers never really finding their groove despite winning the final term – albeit by two points – as Bulleen ran out with a convincing 38-point win.

The Boomers were missing key cog Rebecca Cole but that did not seem to faze the side as Louella Tomlinson spearheaded the attack thanks to her 23 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and five blocks. Kate Gaze was up to her usual tricks posting 14 points, six rebounds and two steals in another strong performance. Kaylah Pangbourne and Kayla Vitale were the other two players to reach double figures with 13 and 10 points respectively. But it did not stop there, with every single player on the Boomers list managing to register on the scoreboard, highlighting just how much of a team effort the win was. For the Pacers, it was Indiana Bodley that proved to be the go-to girl knocking back 21 points, four rebounds and two assists while teammate Saule Kontautaite plied her trade thanks to her 16 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Although Lyndsey Hoogenhout only managed two points in her 35 minutes on court, her strength off the boards was unmatched reeling in 12 rebounds.

Hawthorn (56) defeated Southern Peninsula (63)

It was a close contest between Hawthorn and Southern Peninsula with the latter just sneaking over the line with a seven point win. After an even start to the game Southern Peninsula put the foot down in the second term to really claim the ascendancy and create some much needed separation with a 21-12 term.

There were two main contributors for the Magic with Bella Niven-Brown topscoring with 15 points and a whopping 14 rebounds, with nine of them defensive. Emily Kurkowski was another main port of call for Hawthorn racking up 14 points, five rebounds and a block. Teammate Ella Crump also had an influence despite being in a losing side posting nine points and six rebounds. For Southern Peninsula, Tanarly Hood did the most damage with 16 points while reeling in eight rebounds all of which were defensive as she continued her hot start to the season. Shanara Notman was dynamic for her 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals as teammate Fiona Darnell also made a splash thanks to her eight points and eight rebounds.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC preview: Round 9

THE Knox Raiders and Bulleen Boomers will headline Round 9 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division in what could be a preview for the Grand Final. The match-up between Geelong and Southern Peninsula also looks to be a crucial contest, with a win necessary to their finals hopes.

Knox Raiders (2nd, 13-3-1) vs Bulleen Boomers (1st, 14-3)

The Knox Raiders will open Round 9 against top-end rivals, Bulleen Boomers, in a game that could present as a foretaste for the Grand Final. In terms of success, the Raiders’ last fortnight has been less than ideal, having recorded a 51-55 loss to Diamond Valley before tying with the fourteenth-placed, Geelong Supercats. In comparison, Bulleen’s last month has been faultless. Besides recording four consecutive wins, Bullen have made short work of Dandenong and Bulleen, as well as assumed top-spot one week out of finals. Olivia Tsantarlis and Casey Valenti-Paea were standout in Bulleen’s last outing, recording 16 and 14 points respectively. Valenti-Paea moved to sixth spot for points per game (PPG) following her performance, while Alexandra Keating continues to hold in second (17 PPG). For Knox, Zoe Jenkins(16) and Rhiannon Ockwell (15) were big in last week’s draw and will be expected to maintain form as they attempt to hold their top-two spot.

Geelong Supercats (14th, 7-9-1) vs Southern Peninsula (13th, 8-9)

One spot remains as we lead into finals, with the Geelong Supercats hosting the Southern Peninsula. Both sides sit at the bottom of the table, having shown little success since the division separation. Given their positions, Geelong’s 5-2-1 home record threatens the Peninsula’s chances. In recent weeks, both outfits have lifted on form, with Southern Peninsula recording consecutive wins, which include fair scalps over Hawthorn and Bendigo. Similarly, Geelong presented well against the Raiders, tying with the top-end team and likely instilling confidence. NBL1 representatives, Carly Remmos and Alishia Knights, presented well in Geelong’s draw; recording 14 and 13 points respectively. The pair match-up on Emirson Devenie and Charli Dobson this week, who both sit higher on the table for league-average with 15.5 and 13.6. Last week, Devenie recorded 25 points on her way to a four-point victory over Hawthorn. The Geelong star moves to third on the table as we lead into tomorrow’s game.

Dandenong Rangers (7th, 11-6) vs Nunawading Spectres (4th, 12-5)

With a second a chance still available for the Dandenong Rangers, it presents a lot to gain when they host the Nunawading Spectres on Friday. Prior to last week’s loss, Dandenong was stnading strong having recorded five consecutive wins after two narrow losses in the opening rounds. For Nunawading, the last two weeks have been disappointing, losing two consecutive to Bulleen and Altona. Dandenong will look to NBL1 representative, Elly Morgan, to continue her form recording 12, 19 and 16 in her last three outings. Hannah Rapp and Leia Hanafin have also presented well recently recording 13 and 11 in their win over Knox. Comparatively, the Spectres boast top league scorer, Louisa Fakalata, who averages 19.1 PPG in the Championship Division, along with Maddison Zugna who averages 11.9.

Hawthorn Magic (9th, 8-7-2) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (11th, 8-8-1)

The Hawthorn Magic desperately need to return to the winner’s list when they host the Diamond Valley Eagles, with loser of this match-up potentially missing out on finals. Currently, the Eagles sit on five consecutive losses, slipping further down in form and on the table as we approach finals. Diamond Valley took a big loss on the road last week against Bendigo, worsening their abysmal away record (2-6). Similarly, Hawthorn’s success at home has been underwhelming at 3-4-1, so it is difficult to pick a winner in this contest. For Hawthorn, Ryleh Killian has been in solid form, averaging 14.3 PPG for seven outings. Last week, Georgia Gray and Ella Crump recorded 17 and 14 points respectively and will need to maintain form if they intend on competing for finals. For Diamond Valley, Caitlyn Meagher was standout in in their loss to Bendigo recording a team-high 15 points, followed next by Georgia Kitchell on 11.

Bendigo Braves (8th, 10-7) vs Altona Gators (6th, 11-5-1)

The Altona Gators continue their push for a top four spot as they travel to Bendigo to face the Braves. Last week, Altona rejoined the winner’s list with a comprehensive showing over Nunawading Spectres. Their lift in form comes off the back of their poor performance against the Supercats one round prior. In Bendigo’s last outing, they recorded a big 28-point margin over the Diamond Valley Eagles. They continue to boast a stellar record at home at 6-2, looking to maintain it as they host the Gators on Friday. In the match-up, the Braves will look to Piper Dunlop and Tess Barnes to maintain their dominance with pair having averaged 14.7 and 14.4 from their seven outings. For the Gators, Kayla Salmons has been standout with 12.3 PPG, alongside Monique Marcetic-Vaotangi with 8.6.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC review: Round 8 – Geelong causes an upset

TOP-END competitors, Knox Raiders slipped from the top of the table in Melbourne United Victorian Junior Championship Division (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division with a 57-57 tie against bottom-end, Geelong Supercats.

The Raiders’ away record took its first non-winning result, sitting at 8-0-1 following the round. In the match-up both teams opened with 25 points in the first term before dipping substantially with an 8-7 second term in favour of Geelong. Geelong extended their lead in the third with a 19-14 term before Knox closed the gap with 11 points (five) in the last. Zoe Jenkins and Rhiannon Ockwell controlled the floor with 16 and 15 points respectively. For Geelong, NBL1 representatives, Carly Remmos and Alishia Knights led on the board with 14 and 13 boards respectively. Remmos’ performance moves to eleventh in the league for points per game (PPG), while Knights sits one below in twelfth.

Nunawading Spectres recorded their second loss in a fortnight after falling to Altona Gators on the road. The Spectres are third on the table but risk missing out on a second-chance for finals as Altona and Dandenong press one win below. The Gators set their sights on the top-four, rebounding well from their 55-40 loss against Geelong in the round prior. In the contest, it was a 21-5 second term that took Nunawading out of the race, despite tying and winning the subsequent terms. Alicia Sciberras tore up the floor with 19 points alongside Kayla Salmons, who recorded 15 for the night. NBL1 representative, Louisa Fakalata led her side with a 19-point performance, but lacked support on the board with Maddison Zugna following next on eight. Fakalata moves to top spot for total points (134) and average points per game (PPG) (19.1) with her dominant performance.

Bulleen Boomers have secured a home final following their win over the Dandenong Rangers on the road. The Boomers moved two wins outside the top two as they pick up their fourth consecutive win, defeating notable sides such as Nunawading and Dandenong in the past fortnight. The Boomers cleaned up in the first half, taking a 39-21 lead into the main break. The Boomers conceded the third (14-7) before finishing 12-14 in the final term. Olivia Tsantarlis led scoring for the Bulleen Boomers with a 16-point performance, followed next by Casey Valenti-Paea with 14. Valenti-Paea moves to sixth on the table for PPG at 14.4 following her performance. NBL1 Representative, Elly Morgan led on the board for Dandenong with 12 points, followed next by Hannah Rapp on nine. Morgan’s performance moves to 17th in the league for PPG.

The Boroondara Sports Complex was treated to one of the games of the round with Southern Peninsula sharks defeating the Hawthorn Magic (61-57) on the road. The result moves Southern Peninsula back into finals contention as they equal their record with Hawthorn in ninth despite placing thirteenth. The loss marks Hawthorn’s fifth consecutive loss, raising questions regarding their validity for finals. In the contest, Hawthorn opened strong at 17-9. They retained dominance in the next two terms (19-18, 17-15) before losing touch in the final term (4-19) to lose by four points. Emirson Devenie dominated at the board for Peninsula with a game-high 25 points, moving to third for PPG on 15.5, while Gemma Simon was next best with 13 points. For Hawthorn, Georgia Gray and Ella Crump were both dominant on 17 and 14 points respectively.

The Bendigo Braves rebounded hard against the Diamond Valley Eagles to pick up a 77-49 victory at home. Their win follows a 45-69 loss against the Southern Peninsula in the round prior, responding well to lock themselves in for finals. Diamond Valley’s away record takes another big hit (2-6-0) as they risk being rubbed out for the finals in the last round. In the match-up, the Braves shut the game down early with a 44-24 opening half, going on to claim a comfortable 28-point victory. Tess Barnes led on the floor for the Braves with 20 points, while NBL representative, Piper Dunlop followed closely with 17. Barnes move into fifth spot on the league-scoring table, one position below Dunlop in fourth. For Diamond Valley, Caitlin Meagher held strong with 15 points, followed by Georgia Kitchell on 11.

In the Reserve Grade, McKinnon lost at home to the Dandenong Rangers, while Kilsyth Cobras held up against Melbourne Tigers and Nunawading Spectres proved better than the Broadmeadows Broncos. The round continued with the Frankston Blues defeating the Keilor Thunder and Pakenham Warriors losing out to Warrandyte Venom.

In the Championship Division next round, Geelong Supercats face Southern Peninsula Sharks, while Knox Raiders host Bulleen Boomers and Hawthorn Magic come up against Diamond Valley Eagles. The round finishes Bendigo Braves hosting Altona Gators and Dandenong Rangers hosting Nunawading Spectres.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC preview: Round 6

THIS week in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division, only two teams within the top eight face off. Knox Raiders host Bendigo Braves in what will likely be the match of the round, while the match-up between Nunawading Spectres and Hawthorn Magic also looks set to impress.

Knox Raiders (1st, 12-2) vs Bendigo Braves (6th, 9-5)

After suffering a rare loss to the Dandenong Rangers in Round 5, the Knox Raiders face a similarly placed Bendigo Braves in a match that they hope will return them to the winner’s list. Since joining the Championship Division, the Raiders have won three of their five games but are yet to take a scalp from a top-end contender. Also, two of their three wins have come from margins below three points, raising questions regarding their worthiness for the top spot. Comparatively, the Braves have also lost two of their five outings in the Championship Division – one of which was a forfeit. Unlike Knox, the Braves have taken big wins against Dandenong and Boomers, making them seem the favourites coming into this match-up. Charlise Dunn, has been in decent form for the Raiders, averaging 11.5 points per game (PPG) from two outings. She’s followed close by Georgia Baldwin, who averages 10.8 from five appearances. For the Braves, Piper Dunlop continues to impress as she placed third across the league for PPG (16.5) from four outings, alongside Tess Barnes who averages 13.5 in ninth spot.

Nunawading Spectres (3rd, 11-3) vs Hawthorn Magic (9th, 8-4-2)

Hawthorn Magic face a huge challenge this week as they face Nunawading Spectres on the road. This year the Spectres have boasted the most dominant streak (11) seen in recent times – going through teams high and low to make it happen. The Magic have faced two top-end sides in recent weeks but may face their biggest yet when they travel to Nunawading. Hawthorn have not had a genuine win in the Championship Division since the opening round against Geelong (41-60) – following up with a draw then a forfeited win against the Braves. With their record in mind, the Magic seem unlikely to break the streak. The Spectres also boast second-best league scorer in Louisa Fakalata (19.5), followed close by Maddison Zugna (15.2) in sixth place. The Magic seem unlikely to match, despite holding Ryleh Killian (15.8) in fifth spot. With Ella Crump just barely rounding out the top-40 in scoring with 6.8 PPG.

Southern Peninsula Sharks (14th, 6-8) vs Dandenong Rangers (5th, 9-5)

Dandenong Rangers will hope to crack into the top four this week as they face the struggling Southern Peninsula Sharks on the road. Still yet to record a win in the Championship Division, the Sharks have the odds stacked against them. The Rangers have won their last three outings and sit two wins away from second spot. A win will help them press for second-chance territory in the coming weeks. Though despite Southern Peninsula’s current record, they still boast three players in the top 20 for league scoring. Charli Dobson has been in top-form, sitting in fourth spot with 16.2 PPG, alongside Emirson Devenie in 12th with 12.2 PPG and Gemma Simon in fourteenth with 11.6. Comparatively, the Rangers only have one player in the top 20, with Emily Sewell averaging 14 points from three outings in seventh spot. Hannah Rapp has also been impressive for the Rangers with 9 PPG.

Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 11-3) vs Geelong Supercats (13th, 6-8)

Bulleen Boomers home record (6-3-0) will be tested this week when they face Geelong Supercats this Friday. Though when compared with Geelong’s away record (2-6-0), it seems unlikely that the Boomers will fall. Since joining the Championship Division, the Boomers have won all but one of their outings. Though much like Knox, Boomers have been so far blessed with an easier fixture and are yet to take a win against a top-end sides. It is not unbelievable that the Supercats cause an upset this week – presenting an impressive contest (53-51) against the league’s most dominant side, Nunawading Spectres. Bulleen’s, Alexandra Keating leads the league in scoring with 21.8 PPG from four outings. She has been accompanied well by Casey Valenti-Paea who averages 13.8 in eighth spot, while the Supercats’ top players, Alishia Knights (13.4), Carly Remmos (12) and Chloe Skinner (10.3), sit below in eleventh, thirteenth and nineteenth respectively.

Diamond Valley Eagles (12th, 7-6-1) vs Altona Gators (7th, 9-4-1)

Looking to make it three in a row, Altona Gators look a serious chance to climb the table when they face Diamond Valley Eagles on the road this week. The Eagles have been less than successful in the Championship Division but boast an impressive 6-1-1 record at home. Considered with Altona’s 5-2-0 record on the road, this game has the potential to be a big one with both sides set to lift a few spots with a positive result. Jade Dunne has been impressive for the Eagles all season, averaging 13.4 PPG from her five outings in tenth for league scoring, alongside Abby Hildebrand who has been similarly impressive with 10.5 in eighteenth. Comparatively, the Gators’ best players both round out the top-20 with Kayla Salmons (10.5) in seventeenth and Trinity Steele (10.3) in 20th.