Tag: elly morgan

Victorian Under-20 and Ivor Burge teams announced

BASKETBALL Victoria has announced the Victorian 2021 Under-20 and Ivor Burge teams, selected to represent the state at the next Australian Junior Championships.

The six teams will make their way to Mackay, Queensland in May for the Australian Under-20 Junior Championships and Ivor Burge Championships for athletes with an intellectual disability.

Victoria Under-20 Navy Blue Men

The Victoria Under-20 Navy Blue Men’s team features national champions Harry Johnson and Mason Perry, and former Victorian representative Christian D’Angelo. The side is set to be coached by Basketball Victoria High Performance Head Coach (Metropolitan Men) Ash Arnott, and will be assisted by Nathan Cooper-Brown, Zach Moult and Neil Mottram.


Anthony Dell’Orso (Broadmeadows)
Harry Johnson (Knox)
Christian D’Angelo (Traralgon/Nunawading)
Joseph Locandro (Waverley)
Kane Hynes (Wyndham)
Mason Perry (Dandenong)
Matthew Power (Camberwell)
Noah Todd (Diamond Valley)
Tom Carroll (Dandenong)
Will Hynes (Ballarat) 


Austin McKenzie (Horsham)
Dylan Bucknell (Casey)
Elijah Duol (Dandenong)
Ned Dillon (Eltham)
Patrick Twigg (Melbourne)

Victoria Under-20 Navy Blue Women

The Victoria Under-20 Navy Blue Women’s team will be coached by Australian Opals legend Jenni Screen, who is currently working as Basketball Victoria’s High Performance head coach (Metropolitan Women). She will be working alongside former national championship winning head coach Zoe Carr, Jo Wood and Kerryn O’Donnell. An on-court leader to look out for is VNPP athlete Jasmine Whately.


Courtney Willemse (Diamond Valley)
Janthin Yat (Dandenong)
Jasmine Whately (Geelong United)
Kodie Myszka (Dandenong)
Maggie Kratochvil (Melbourne)
Nya Lok (Waverley)
Lauren Jones (Wyndham)
Perina Leime (Dandenong)
Sarae Beveridge (Nunawading)
Tyla Paraha (Altona) 


Mariah Derksen (Kilsyth)
Tayla Hooper (Melbourne) 

Victoria Ivor Burge Men

The Victoria Ivor Burge Men’s team is looking to return to the top of the podium with a few familiar faces. Returning to the 2021 lineup are experienced mainstays Jake De La Motte, James Myers and Frazer Dawber. The only two new additions to the team are rising stars Jack Inella and Matthew Farrar.

Head coach Ryan Holloway is keen see the team play at the Championships.

“These championships mean everything to this team – they’re passionate and excited to be able to represent Victoria on the national stage,” he said.

“It’s going to be another tough year of competition with the Ivor Burge competition, but as a team we’ll be ready to hit the floor running.”

Holloway will be assisted by Adrian Carfora, Glen Jordan, and Karen Patterson.


Frazer Dawber
Jack Inella
Ryan Lethlean
Jake De La Motte
James Debetta
James Myers
Luke Nicholls
Matthew Farrar
Michael Snyders
Nick Cluning 


Ryan Briggs
Jake Booth

Victoria Ivor Burge Women

Unfortunately due to a lack of competing teams from other states, the 2021 Ivor Burge Women’s tournament will not go ahead. The side that won the 2020 Ivor Burge Women’s title in Canberra were reselected in the 2021 lineup.

Head coach Simon Robinson said despite these challenges, the program will try to put on alternative events to keep athletes involved and interested.

“I know a lot of the athletes well, know the families well – I do feel a big sense of obligation and duty to provide as many opportunities as we can [to] make it the best experience that we can,” he said.

“We’ll definitely be trying to give opportunities to the athletes to keep them engaged and get back to some sense of normalcy and 2022 will hopefully be like what it was in 2020.”

Robinson will be assisted by Justin May and O’Donnell.


Danielle Phillips
Evie Patterson
Jasmine Dellas
Jessica McCulloch
Kate Leckenby
Kaitlyn Papworth
Kaitlin Zonneveld
Montana Haag-Witherden
Natasha Exell
Rachel Potter 

Victoria Under-20 Women

The Victoria Under-20 Women’s team features a number of junior talent, including WNBL athletes Gemma Potter and Jade Melbourne, as well as current Centre of Excellence athletes Charlise Dunn, Emily Sewell and Olivia Pollard.

Head coach Katrina Hibbert says the group’s versatility mixed with elite level experience is a recipe for success.

“This team has the ability to play several different line-ups with the group we have selected – we can play big and dominate the paint and we can play with a smaller line-up with versatility through all positions to stretch oppositions and be aggressive and disruptive defensively,” she says.

“I’m looking forward to working with a talented group pf female athletes in a challenging tournament environment against the other top female players of their age group in Australia.”

Hibbert is assisted by Kerryn Mitchell (Frankston), Taylor Lee (Casey), and Lisa Page.


Charlise Dunn (Knox/COE)
Emily Sewell (Dandenong/COE)
Gemma Potter (Dandenong)
Georgia Booth (Kilsyth)
Hailey Merrigan (Bulleen)
Jade Melbourne (Traralgon/COE)
Kayla Salmons (Altona)
Luisa Fakalata (Nunawading)
Maddie Condron (Bendigo)
Olivia Pollerd (Southern Peninsula/COE) 


Elly Morgan (Dandenong)
Tess Barnes (Bendigo) 

Victoria Under-20 Men

The Victoria Under-20 Men’s team brings together the best of the Country and Metropolitan. Featuring Australian Boomers tandem Dyson Daniel and Patrick Ryan, NBA Global Academy representative Bol Dengdit and former Victorian representatives Brody Nunn, Josh Duach, Joe Moli, Keith Robinson, Riley Simmons and Owen Foxwell, this team is shaping up for success.

Head coach Matthew Nunn says the groups spark and intensity will make for some exciting baseball to watch.

“I think we have a very versatile and balanced team that will have very strong guard play at both ends,” he says.

“I think it is a great outcome for the Under-20 age group to participate at the championships this year, as it is a critical pathway for many young athletes to launch their future goals within the sport.”

Nunn is assisted by Andrew Cutler (Nunawading), Braden Cotter (Knox), and Wayne Bird.


Austin Shelley (Moe / Knox)
Brody Nunn (Knox)
Bol Dengdit (Melton/NBA Global Academy)
Dyson Daniels (Bendigo/COE)
Josh Duach (Kilsyth)
Jye Moli (Knox)
Keith Robinson (Phillip Island / Casey)
Owen Foxwell (Bulleen)
Patrick Ryan (Phillip Island / COE)
Riley Simmons (Dandenong) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC preview: Grand Final

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division will host the championship game tonight, with the Dandenong Rangers going head-to-head with the Knox Raiders.

Last month, Knox opened the finals series with a tight win over now Grand Final opponents, Dandenong (54-51), sending them straight into the preliminaries. After the loss, Dandenong responded appropriately against Bendigo in a 24-point demolition at Broadmeadows – recording three consecutive terms over 20 points. Knox also remained atop their game come preliminaries, snaring a 70-50 win over Nunawading, while Dandenong charged through the once finals favourites, Bulleen, to join Knox in the championship match-up. Friday’s contest boasts three players from the 2019 FIBA Under-17 Oceania Championship squad in Charlise Dunn, Leia Hanafin and Emily Sewell. Though with Sewell yet to take part in this finals series, it seems to be just a battle between Dunn and Hanafin.

Currently Dunn retains top spot for shooters in this match-up, averaging 13.7 points per game (PPG), ranked ninth across the league. In last week’s hit-out, the forward scored 19 points for the Raiders to back up her 19 the week prior. Though Hanafin ranks outside the top-20 for her average (9), the Dandenong guard has presented exceptionally well over the last fortnight with 18 and 11 points. Elly Morgan also remains impressive, scoring 22 and 16 to move to fifteenth for PPG. The Raiders will rely heavily on Dunn in this match-up and hope for Zoe Jenkins to continue last week’s form – managing a game-high 22 points. Of the three times these outfits have faced, Knox have won two but never by more than five points. This Friday, we will find out if Knox can cement themselves as decisive victors or if Dandenong can pull off the most important win of the four.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC review: Preliminary Finals – Raiders mount a stellar comeback

THE State Basketball Centre hosted the one of the year’s best last Friday when the Dandenong Rangers took out the Bulleen Boomers by three points in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division preliminary, while Knox Raiders came from behind to record a big 20-point victory.

Bulleen Boomers 52 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 55

Despite defeating Dandenong in both encounters this year, Bulleen pulled up short in the second and fourth terms in the preliminary final. It was an 18-8 closer that carried the Rangers across the line, with NBL1 guards, Elly Morgan and Leia Hanafin, controlling the floor with 16 and 11 points respectively. Morgan moves into the Grand Final at fifteenth for points per game (PPG), while Casey Valenti-Paea finishes in seventh (14.3 PPG) following her 16 point performance for Bulleen. Sascha Korakis and Olivia Tsantarlis also impressed with 11 and 10 points respectively, while Alexandra Keating finishes her season in third (16.8) with six points for the game.

Knox Raiders 70 defeated Nunawading Spectres 50

The Knox Raiders produced one of the best halves of the season last week as they took out the Nunawading Spectres at 70-50. In the first two terms, they recorded consecutive 12-point periods and trailed by eight points into half-time (24-32). Momentum switched in the second half, building toward two terms over 20 points while keeping the Spectres below 10 in each. Zoe Jenkins made her mark on the preliminaries, recording the highest score for the round with 22 with Charlise Dunn following on 19. Dunn moves up to ninth spot with 13.7 PPG, as Jenkins drifts into eighteenth. For Knox, Louisa Fakalata reclaims top spot (17.3) with 18 points in her final game. Lucy Wales also carried herself well in the loss, recording 14 points, while Maddison Zugna rounds out the top-20 with 9.7 PPG.

The Championship Division hosts a much-anticipated Dandenong Rangers and Knox Raiders Grand Finals at the State Basketball Centre next week, as Bulleen and Nunawading’s season come to end.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC preview: Preliminary finals

THE Under-18 Girls kick off the Preliminary finals this week in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Championship Division. Mullum Mullum is set to host the clash between the Knox Raiders and Nunawading Spectres, while the State Basketball Centre holds a must-win match between the Bulleen Boomers and Dandenong Rangers.

Knox Raiders (2nd, 13-4-1) vs Nunawading Spectres (4th, 12-6)

In the first preliminary final, the Knox Raiders come up against the Nunawading Spectres. Last week, the Spectres came out firing against Southern Peninsula to record a 70-48 win in Dandenong. It was two poor terms from their opponents that set Nunawading into the preliminaries – recording a 22-11 second term with 17-7 in the fourth. The week prior, the Raiders pulled of a tight 54-51 victory over the Rangers in Sandringham. NBL1 representative, Charlise Dunn, dominated in the Raiders’ last game with 19 points. The forward has averaged 12.6 points per game (PPG) this season in twelfth, while Georgia Baldwin follows close with 9.6 PPG in ninth. For the Spectres, Louisa Fakalata remains one of the league’s most damaging scorers with 17.2 PPG from 10 outings. In her last clash, she recorded 13 points with Lucy Wales and Maddison Zugna scoring 14 and 12 points respectively.

Bulleen Boomers (1st, 15-3) vs Dandenong Rangers (3rd, 12-6)

The Bulleen Boomers and Dandenong Rangers will compete for the last spot in the Grand Final at State Basketball Centre. Last week, Dandenong put up a comprehensive display over the Bendigo Braves (87-53) in Broadmeadows. The Rangers’ win came off the back of three consecutive terms over 20 points, while Bulleen enjoyed a week off following their 53-46 win over Nunawading. For Bulleen, Alexandra Keating currently leads the league in PPG (18.1), dropping 21 points in last fortnight’s clash. Casey Valenti-Paea has also put up impressive numbers with 14.1 PPG, sitting in seventh position from eight outings. The Rangers will rely heavily on Elly Morgan to deliver on last week’s efforts (22). In their decisive victory over Bendigo, Dandenong boasted four players in double-digits, with Leia Hanafin (18), Leah Mackenzie (14) and Hannah Rapp (10) all putting up impressive numbers.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC review: Preliminary Finals – Dandenong and Nunawading advance

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division saw the top four sides of Dandenong Rangers and Nunawading Spectres advance without too much trouble, running out combined 56-point winners over Bendigo Braves and Southern Peninsula Sharks respectively.

Dandenong Rangers 87 defeated Bendigo Braves 53

In the first semi-final, Dandenong Rangers defeated the Bendigo Braves by 34 points. The Rangers progress to the preliminaries with their decisive 34-point victory coming off the back of three consecutive terms over 20 points. The Braves put up fair numbers throughout but could not hold the Rangers on defense. Four Dandenong players managed double-digits in the victory, with Hannah Rapp (10), Leah Mackenzie (14) and Leia Hanafin (18) all impressing in the paint. Though it was NBL1 representative, Elly Morgan, who led from the front with 22 points – moving to fifteenth in the league for points per game (PPG). For Bendigo, Piper Dunlop led with 19 points, followed by Tess Barnes on nine. Dunlop moves to fourth for PPG, ending her season with 16.1 average.

Nunawading Spectres 70 defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks 48

The second semi-final saw the Nunawading Spectres earn a 70-48 win over the Southern Peninsula Sharks at Dandenong Stadium. The Spectres progressed to a Preliminary Final, with a 41-27 first half easing them into a relaxed second half (29-21). The Peninsula did well to take back a term (12-14) in the third but faded hard in the fourth with a 17-7 closer. Lucy Wales stood up for the Spectres, leading her side with 14 points alongside Louisa Fakalata (13) and Maddison Zugna (12). Fakalata moves to second place for PPG with 17.2, followed by Zugna in sixteenth (10.1) in her eleventh outing. For Southern Peninsula, Emirson Devenie performed well in the loss to record a game-high 20 points. Devenie finishes her season in third for PPG (17.1), while Dobson trails in eighth with 13 points in her final game.

The Championship Division kicks off the Preliminary Finals next week with the Nunawading Spectres versing the Knox Raiders at Mullum Mullum Stadium, while the Bulleen Boomers go head to with the Dandenong Rangers at the State Basketball Centre, with the winners to advance through to the 2019 Grand Final.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC preview: Semi-finals

THE Under-18 Girls Semi-Finals kick off in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Championship Division this week with Dandenong Rangers facing the Bendigo Braves and the Nunawading Spectres facing Southern Peninsula Sharks. The Bulleen Boomers and the Knox Raiders enjoy a week off with the Preliminary Finals just over a week away.

Dandenong Rangers (3rd, 12-6) vs Bendigo Braves (6th, 11-7)

The first semi-final kicks off in Broadmeadows with the Dandenong Rangers facing the Bendigo Braves. Last week, the Rangers fell three points short against Knox Raiders, conceding 19-10 in the fourth for the biggest margin all game. In Sunbury, Bendigo proved better over Diamond Valley (77-64). In their last meeting with Dandenong, they walked away two-point victors, and with only one win separating them, stand a fair chance to repeat. Elly Morgan (15 points) stood tall in the last week’s loss against Knox, alongside fellow NBL1 representatives Kodie Myszka (11) and Hannah Rapp (10). On the points per game (PPG) leaderboard, Emily Sewell currently leads for Dandenong with 12.5, followed next by Morgan on 10.4. The Braves will look to top-five scorer, Piper Dunlop (15.8 PPG) to maintain form, having scored 23 points alongside Meg McCarthy (23) in last week’s victory. Tess Barnes also remains a threat with a 13.8 average – in ninth for PPG.

Nunawading Spectres (4th, 12-6) vs Southern Peninsula Sharks (8th 9-9)

The Nunawading Spectres and Southern Peninsula Sharks close out the other semi-final in Dandenong. The Spectres came up short last week against Bulleen (53-46), collecting their fourth consecutive loss. Comparatively, the Sharks managed to snare their fourth win in a row last week after decisively shutting down Altona. Despite sitting four positions below with three less wins, the Sharks enter this match-up as clear favourites. Louisa Fakalata remains a positive for the Spectres, boasting second position (PPG) with 17.7 from nine outings. Last week, the NBL1 representative managed just 10 points, having good support in Lucy Wales (13) and Tayha Watkins (14). For Southern Peninsula, overall scoring leader, Emirson Devenie (168 points), will look to back up her 18 points last week. The Sharks continue to boast a high scoring roster, with four players making double-digits last week, and three players within the top 20 for PPG. Charli Dobson (11) and Gemma Simon (10) are two of which looking to maintain form.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC review: Qualifying and Elimination Finals – Bulleen and Knox advance to preliminaries

THE Bulleen Boomers kicked off the first week of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division finals by winning their qualifying ginal over the Nunawading Spectres (53-46). The result marks Bulleen’s second win over Nunawading in the last month, advancing to the preliminaries next fortnight. In the first half, Nunawading proved the better side – leading 28-24 into half-time. Proceeding into the third, Nunawading conceded 17-7 to lose the lead, as Bulleen cruised comfortably to a win with a 12-11 closer. Alexandra Keating held up well in the contest to record 21 points and remain first across the league for points per game (PPG). Casey Valenti-Paea also impressed with 12 points, while Nunawading’s Tayha Watkins and Lucy Wales both starred with 14 and 13 points respectively. NBL1 representative, Louisa Fakalata continues to trail Keating in second – dropping 10 points in the loss.

The Knox Raiders and Dandenong Rangers kicked off the second qualifying final, with Knox snaring a 54-51 victory in Waverley. Despite losing their last encounter at home (48-52), the Raiders’ record on the road (8-0-1) proved too good for the Rangers. In the match-up, both teams won two terms, with a 22-22 tie leading them into the main break. It was a 19-10 final term which closed the win out for the Raiders, after conceding 13-19 in the term prior. NBL1 representative, Charlise Dunn was immense for the Raiders – scoring 19 points on her way to twelfth for PPG (12.6). Meg Robinson followed next with nine points, while NBL1 representatives, Elly Morgan (15), Kodie Myszka (11) and Hannah Rapp (10) all manage double-digits for the Rangers.

Diamond Valley Eagles copped the first elimination in the MUVJBL after losing 64-77 to the Bendigo Braves. Both sides went score for score in the first half – recording 22-22 in the opener and 16-16 in the second. In the latter half, Bendigo maintained momentum and tightened up on defense. They closed out the game with 21-12 and 18-14 to beat the Eagles by 13 points. Meg Mccarthy and Piper Dunlop both impressed in the win to record 23 points each for the Braves. Dunlop’s efforts move her fourth for PPG (15.8). For Dandenong, Keeley Evans stood up in the absence of Jade Dunne to record 18 points. The NBL1 representative moves her way into the top-20 for PPG (9.6) to close out her season.

The second elimination final saw the Altona Gators fall 46-62 against the Southern Peninsula Sharks in Sandringham. Last time it was Southern Peninsula who lost to the Gators by 16 points, but on this occasion they looked set to deliver. Peninsula’s second term was huge, dropping a unmatched 29 points to extend to 46-25 lead into half-time. Despite conceding the remaining terms, Peninsula’s lead remained unassailable. Emirson Devenie led for the Peninsula with 18 points – taking her to third points for PPG (16.8) and first for total points (168). Charli Dobson also lifts to seventh for PPG (14.2) with 11 points. For Altona, Jordan Wilson stood strong to record a game-high 21 points in the absence of Kayla Salmons – followed next by Trinity Steele on 12.

In the Reserve grade, the Melbourne Tigers bested the Frankston Blues (71-60), the Kilsyth Cobras fell short against the Nunawading Spectres (72-73), the Dandenong Rangers slipped to the Pakenham Warriors (46-48), and the Keilor Thunder suffered the same to the Broadmeadows Broncos (50-51).

The Championship Division commences the Semi-Finals next week with the Dandenong Rangers versing the Bendigo Braves, and Nunawading Spectres facing the Southern Peninsula Sharks. Bulleen and Knox will enjoy a week off as they proceed into the preliminaries.

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.