Tag: emily maltezos

VJBL U18 Grading Phase Pool 1 wrap: Round 1

THE Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) got underway last week and we recap all the results from the top Pool in the Under 18s Boys and Girls competitions. The second round is completed tonight, with a third and final round robin stage to be done next Friday night to determine which six teams in each grade automatically qualify for the VJBL Championship division.



In Pool 1A, Emmanwiel Deng was the difference between Whittlesea Pacers and Wyndham Basketball, as Deng put up 22 points – 10 more than anyone else on the court – for the Pacers during a narrow seven-point win. In the other match, Melbourne Tigers proved too strong for Waverley Falcons, with three players hitting double-figures, led by Kobe Shewry (15).

Whittlesea Pacers (49) defeated Wyndham Basketball (42)
Emmanwiel Deng (Whittlesea) 22
Jack Tatter (Wyndham) 12
Callum Stojanovic (Wyndham) 10

Melbourne Tigers (47) defeated Waverley Falcons (36)
Kobe Shewry (Melbourne) 15
Ihsaan Bongso (Melbourne) 13
Kai Garnaut (Melbourne) 11
Harvey Moore (Waverley) 12
Matthew Jefferson (Waverley) 10


In the highest score of the entire round for the Under 18 Boys competition, Eltham Wildcats put Dandenong Rangers’ second side to the sword throughout a 29-point blitz. Led by Riley Lewis (17 points), the Wildcats easily got the points over the Rangers, winning 68-29. In the other game, it was a lot closer with just 12 points separating the teams, though Nunawading Spectres won 60-48 off a round-high individual effort of 25 points thanks to Tristan Devers.

Nunawading Spectres (60) defeated Hawthorn Magic (48)
Tristan Devers (Nunawading) 25
Jarryd Remy (Hawthorn) 9

Eltham Wildcats (68) defeated Dandenong Rangers 2 (39)
Riley Lewis (Eltham) 17
Bradley Moorey (Eltham) 11
Harrison Stones (Eltham) 10
Jak Morris-Burney (Dandenong) 9


Diamond Valley Eagles claimed an early win in the Pool stage thanks to a narrow five-point triumph over Craigieburn Eagles. Marley Lambert (15 points) led the way for the winners, though James Bonnici scored half of Craigieburn’s points with a 23-point effort. In the other match, Bulleen Boomers easily accounted for Casey Cavaliers by 19 points in what was a real shared team win.

Bulleen Boomers (51) defeated Casey Cavaliers (32)
Marcel Haj (Bulleen) 11
Ky Taylor (Casey) 9

Diamond Valley Eagles (52) defeated Craigieburn Eagles (47)
Marley Lambert (Diamond Valley) 15
Isaac Callaghan (Diamond Valley) 10
James Bonnici (Craigieburn) 23
Steven Pestrucci (Craigieburn) 12

Pool 1D:

The highly anticipated match of the round did not disappoint in Pool 1D, with Kilsyth Cobras escaping with the points against an equally-talented Dandenong Rangers outfit. Rhys Crossley and Harrison Adams both put up 15 points in equal match-high efforts during the 55-49 victory. An understrength Frankston Blues team won by a point against Pakenham Warriors, getting the victory courtesy of a low-scoring 36-35 win.

Kilsyth Cobras (55) defeated Dandenong Rangers (49)
Rhys Crossley (Kilsyth) 15
Harrison Adams (Kilsyth) 15
Wyatt Stewart (Kilsyth) 12
Coby Burgiel (Dandenong) 13

Frankston Blues (36) defeated Pakenham Warriors (35)
Liam Atkinson (Frankston) 8
Lauchlan Mark (Pakenham) 10

Pool 1E:

In another couple of high-scoring wins, Bendigo Braves obliterated Eltham Wildcats’ second side, getting up 61-25 in an impressive showing. Jacob Nihill led the scoring with 11 in a real team effort, whilst in the other game, McKinnon Cougars – led by Nathan Scollo‘s 19 points – were too strong for Southern Peninsula Sharks. Despite Corey Hastings‘ game-high 20 points for the Sharks, they went down by 13 points.

Bendigo Braves (61) defeated Eltham Wildcats 2 (25)
Jacob Nihill (Bendigo) 11
Malik Gordon (Bendigo) 10
Felix Bell (Eltham 2) 8

McKinnon Cougars (60) defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks (47)
Nathan Scollo (McKinnon) 19
Denver Lund (McKinnon) 14
Luke Lyngberg (McKinnon) 13
Corey Hastings (Southern Peninsula) 20
Tarrant Wallace (Southern Peninsula) 10

Pool 1F:

In what could be considered a ‘Group of Death’, three of the four sides are genuine automatic promotion chances. In the tight game, Geelong United won by seven points over Knox Raiders as Olivier Northam (19 points) top scored, though Bailey Nunn (16) put in a great effort for the Raiders. Keilor Thunder also flexed their muscles with a big win over Sunbury Jets, as Cooper Colson (12 points) was the top scorer in that match.

Keilor Thunder (65) defeated Sunbury Jets (31)
Cooper Colson (Keilor) 12
Brodie McWhinney (Keilor) 10
Nikolas Ellul (Keilor) 10
Angus McSwiggan (Sunbury) 10

Geelong United (61) defeated Knox Raiders (54)
Olivier Northam (Geelong) 19
Nicholas Hough (Geelong) 12
Bailey Nunn (Knox) 16
Jordan Anderson (Knox) 15


Pool 1A:

In an all-Dandenong Rangers clash in Pool 1A, things went as one would expect with the first side easily accounting for the second side. Nyadiew Puoch was far too strong, nailing 20 points in a massive 67-32 effort, whilst in the other game, Waverley Falcons claimed a 20-point win over Frankston Blues thanks to Jasmine Connell and Liana Kinkela sharing in 11 points apiece.

Waverley Falcons (42) defeated Frankston Blues (22)
Jasmine Connell (Waverley) 11
Liana Kinkela (Waverley) 11
Elle Schonfelder (Frankston) 6

Dandenong Rangers 1 (67) defeated Dandenong Rangers 2 (32)
Nyadiew Puoch (Dandenong 1) 20
Dallas Loughridge (Dandenong 1) 11
Tahlia Soukup (Dandenong 2) 8

Pool 1B:

In Pool 1B, it was McKinnon Cougars and Keilor Thunder that took away the points on opening night. The Cougars won narrowly over Sunbury Jets, 46-38, as Romy Price put up 15 points for the Cougars, one less than Sunbury’s Maddison Ford (16). The Thunder won 51-30 over Kilsyth Cobras in a comfortable victory, as Tess Heal and Jaz Salon finished with 13 points apiece.

McKinnon Cougars (46) defeated Sunbury Jets (38)
Romy Price (McKinnon) 15
Hannah McGillen (McKinnon) 10
Maddison Ford (Sunbury) 16

Keilor Thunder (51) defeated Kilsyth Cobras (30)
Tess Heal (Keilor) 13
Jaz Salon (Keilor) 13
Gemma Hancock (Kilsyth) 11

Pool 1C:

Knox Raiders and Bulleen Boomers showed themselves to be the clear top two sides in Pool 1C, with Bulleen the most likely to top the group. Tabitha Betson (14 points) was one of three Boomers to hit double-figure points in the 30-point win over Bellarine Storm, whilst Gemma O’Donnell shot 19 in Knox Raiders’ 48-23 triumph over Melbourne Tigers’ second side.

Knox Raiders (48) defeated Melbourne Tigers 2 (23)
Gemma O’Donnell (Knox) 19
Lotus Billington (Melbourne 2) 7

Bulleen Boomers (57) defeated Bellarine Storm (27)
Tabitha Betson (Bulleen) 14
Emily Maltezos (Bulleen) 13
Rebecca Horvat (Bulleen) 10
Aimee Wookey (Bellarine) 7
Alivia Osborne (Bellarine) 7

Pool 1D:

Hawthorn Magic and Diamond Valley Eagles both ran out to solid wins in their respective Pool 1D clashes to start off on the right note. The Eagles defeated Casey Cavaliers 45-32 despite no Eagles’ player scoring double-figure points while Casey’s Dakota Crichton finished with 15 points. In the other match, the Magic were too good for Eltham Wildcats, running out 15-point winners.

Hawthorn Magic 41 defeated Eltham Wildcats 26

Diamond Valley Eagles 45 defeated Casey Cavaliers 32
Genevieve Broadbent (Diamond Valley) 9
Hayley Sparks (Diamond Valley) 9
Dakota Crichton (Casey) 15

Pool 1E:

Bendigo Braves managed to secure a nail-biting one-point win in Pool 1E, defeating Altona Gators 39-38. Caitlin Richardson (14 points) was the top scorer in that match for the Braves, while Cassie Dodemaide put up 11 for the Gators. Melbourne Tigers won the other match in the Pool, accounting for Sandringham Sabres by 12 points.

Bendigo Braves 39 defeated Altona Gators 38
Caitlin Richardson (Bendigo) 14
Phoebe Radford (Bendigo) 10
Cassie Dodemaide (Altona) 11

Melbourne Tigers 33 defeated Sandringham Sabres 21

Pool 1F:

Two one-sided contests in Pool 1F marked a couple of contenders, as Nunawading Spectres showed no mercy on defence against Southern Peninsula Sharks. Only conceding 11 points to the Sharks, the Spectres had a real team contribution on their way to 54 points, with Olivia Morris finishing with 12 in the 43-point triumph. Meanwhile Milly Simpson (13 points) led a Ballarat Rush outfit to a 22-point win over Ringwood Hawks.

Nunawading Spectres 54 defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks 11
Olivia Morris (Nunawading) 12
Ruby Deeprose (Southern Peninsula) 3

Ballarat Rush 47 defeated Ringwood Hawks 25
Milly Simpson (Ballarat) 13
Rosie Todd (Ringwood) 11

Picture: Dandenong Rangers Facebook

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC review: Preliminary Finals – Heal takes over

A rematch of the qualifying final between Dandenong Rangers and Keilor Thunder is on the cards for Grand Final night on Friday with both sides advancing through to the decider after big wins in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division preliminary finals.

Diamond Valley Eagles 44 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 46

The Dandenong Rangers bared one of the tightest victories in the finals series with a 46-44 win against the Diamond Valley Eagles. The 17-win side retained their dominance into the championship match-up with one of their lowest scores in recent memory. With 22-all tying up the second half, it was a slow start that brought the Eagles’ downfall (13-9). Despite the low score, Nyadiew Puoch (16) and Grace Montgomery (14) pulled up with fair numbers for Dandenong with Puoch’s efforts moving her to third for points per game (PPG) with 14.1, while Dallas Loughridge trails in sixth (12.8) following a five point performance. Sophie Burrows was the only Eagles player to record double-digits with 10, followed close by Eleanor Bollands and Aeska Ratnayake with nine each.

Keilor Thunder 83 defeated Bulleen Boomers 55

The second of the preliminaries was much more one-sided, with the Keilor Thunder mounting an 83-55 victory over the Bulleen Boomers. Keilor set the tone early in the first, scoring 26-16 before conceding a point in the second (8-9). They carried their efforts well into the second half, recording 17-13 and 32-17 to close out a strong performance. League leader, Tess Heal went to work for the Thunder, recording a game-high 27 points, with Jaz Salon (16) and Bella Peterson (11) providing support at the board. Salon’s game moved her to seventh for PPG (11.3), followed by Peterson in 12th. For the Boomers, Emily Maltezos and Aleisha Cadee rounded out their season well with 10 points each in the loss. Maltezos finishes her season in nineteenth above teammate, Tabitha Betson who managed eight in her final game of the season.

The Championship Division prepares to host the Keilor Thunder and Dandenong Rangers Grand Final next week at the State Basketball Centre, as Diamond Valley and Bulleen close out their season with 14 and 13 wins each.

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC preview: Preliminary finals

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) makes way for the third round of finals this week with the Diamond Valley Eagles set to take on the Dandenong Rangers at Mullum Mullum Stadium and Keilor Thunder looking to cement their spot in the Grand Final when they face Bulleen Boomers at Broadmeadows Stadium.

Diamond Valley Eagles (3rd, 14-4) vs Dandenong Rangers (1st, 17-1)

League-leaders Dandenong Rangers progressed to the preliminaries last week to face the Diamond Valley Eagles. After falling in a shock loss to Keilor two weeks ago, the Rangers worked hard to respond against Sandringham (69-65). The four-point victory came off the back of a big second half – scoring 41-28 after conceding 28-37 in the opening terms. Comparatively, Diamond Valley were at the positive end of an upset in their win over Bulleen (39-53), enjoying a week off during the semi-finals. Genevieve Broadbent stood up in the Eagles’ low scoring finals affair against Bulleen to record a game-high 11 points. Despite only recording five points last fortnight, Eleanor Broadbent remains Diamond Valley’s most consistent shooter – averaging 15 points per game (PPG) in fifteenth across the league. For the Rangers, three players boasts spots inside the top 20. Nyadiew Puoch and Dallas Loughridge sit third and fourth for PPG with 13.9 and 13.6 respectively. Myah Healey holds the twentieth spot with 9.3 PPG from 10 outings.

Keilor Thunder (4th, 13-5) vs Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 13-3-2)

After the biggest MUVJBL upset in the first round of finals, Keilor Thunder look to continue their top form against a similarly damaging Bulleen Boomers. Much like Dandenong, Bulleen fell in the first round against a lower side. In the second round, they returned to form against Ballarat to record a comfortable 15-point win (70-65). Keilor also proved damaging over Dandenong in the week prior – defeating the league-leaders with fair numbers in the second and third terms. Keilor’s Tess Heal and Jaz Salon were at their usual best last fortnight – recording 18 and 12 points respectively. Currently, Heal leads the league in PPG with 17.9, while Salon holds in ninth (10.8) and Bella Peterson follows close in twelfth (10.3). The Boomers boasted huge performances from Tabitha Betson and Emily Maltezos last week, as the paired picked up 19 points each alongside an impressive Kobie Kino (13). Betson currently holds the only top-20 spot for Bulleen, sitting in eighteenth with 9.4 PPG.

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC review: Preliminary Finals – Bulleen and Dandenong earn a second shot

BULLEEN Boomers and Dandenong Rangers have survived tight encounters during the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division semi-finals to advance through to the preliminary finals. The Boomers just got past the Keilor Thunder by five points, while Dandenong’s dominance during the regular season earned it top spot, but the Rangers only just got past a plucky Sandringham Sabres outfit by four points after going down in the qualifying final the week before.

Bulleen Boomers (70) defeated Keilor Thunder (65)

Bulleen would have sighed a breath of relief after just getting past Keilor in a tight semi-final contest. Both Bulleen and Keilor opened with 19 points in the first term, before Bulleen stretched to a three-point lead into half-time. They followed their good work into the third with 24 points to 18 – conceding the fourth (13-17) but finishing comfortably with the win. Tabitha Betson and Emily Maltezos led for the Boomers with 19 points, followed by Kobie Kino on 13. Betson finishes the league in 18th for points per game (PPG). For Ballarat, Rosie Todd stood up well with 14 points, followed by Milly Sharp on 11. Georgia Cox and Milly Simpson finished the season in seventh and 11th for PPG.

Dandenong Rangers (69) defeated Sandringham Sabres (65)

Dandenong has survived an alimighty scare to see off Sandringham in a thrilling semi-final. The Sabres started strongly in the first half to lead the Rangers by 10 points into the main break and almost looking like causing an upset, before the Rangers got back on top with a 41-27 second half to run out narrow winners. It was the 26-point closer which carried the Rangers to their preliminary final. The Rangers continued to take the hard way into finals and do so marginally to progress against Diamond Valley. Dallas Loughridge and Nyadiew Puoch carried themselves well to 20 points each against the Sabres, moving to third and fourth for PPG. Maya Dear and Hannah Wickstrom followed close for the Sabres with 20 and 19 points respectively. Despite the impressive performances from her opponents, Wickstrom closes out the league above in second place for PPG, while Dear finishes in thirteenth.

The Championship Division tips off the Preliminary Finals on Friday night with the Diamond Valley Eagles facing Dandenong Rangers at Mullum Mullum, while the Keilor Thunder come up against the Bulleen Boomers at Broadmeadows.

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC preview: Semi-finals

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division pits the Bulleen Boomers against the Ballarat Rush and the Dandenong Rangers against the Sandringham Sabres for the long awaited semi-finals.

Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 13-3-2) vs Ballarat Rush (7th, 8-10)

The Bulleen Boomers kick things off against Ballarat Rush in Keilor. Last week, the Rush were one of two top two teams to fall in the first week of finals after losing 39-53 against the Diamond Valley Eagles. The Rush will play their second game in Keilor within the fortnight after defeating the Nunawading Spectres there last week (46-56). While effective for Bulleen throughout the year, Ella McIntyre (8.3), Tabitha Betson (8.3) and Emily Maltezos (8.2) all remain outside the top 20 for points per game (PPG). Last week, no Bulleen player managed over 10 points, with Aleisha Cadee leading on eight. For Ballarat, Georgia Cox (20) had a standout game last week. Cox currently leads her side for PPG (11.5), followed next by Milly Simpson on 11.3. With a spot in the preliminaries on the line, the pair are expected to lift.

Dandenong Rangers (1st, 17-1) vs Sandringham Sabres (5th, 11-6-1)

The second semi-final sees the Dandenong Rangers up against the Sandringham Sabres at Batesford Reserve. Despite seeming untouchable all year, the Rangers pulled up short in the qualifiers to lose to Keilor by five points (42-47). Comparatively, the Sabres snared their third consecutive win in their qualifier, defeating the Melbourne Tigers by the second biggest margin of the round (63-50). Nyadiew Puoch has been Dandenong’s most consistent scorer all year with a 13.2 average in fourth place for PPG, and a solid performance in last week’s loss (12). Dallas Loughridge trails close in sixth with 12.9, making Dandenong a real threat in the coming weeks. For Sandringham, second-placed Hannah Wickstrom >remains a force. Last week, Wickstrom led her side to victory with 22 points, accompanied well by Lily Mao, Maya Dear and Jemima O’Toole who all recorded 12 points. Summer Keating and O’Toole round out the top 20 with 10 and 9.9 PPG.

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC preview: Qualifying and Elimination Finals

A HUGE night of finals action takes place in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division tonight with red-hot favourites Dandenong taking on the only side to find a chink in its armour, while do-or-die clashes include a rematch from last round.

Dandenong Rangers (1st, 17-1) vs. Keilor Thunder (4th, 13-5)

The top-of-the-table Dandenong Rangers look to make it 13 consecutive wins when they host Keilor Thunder at Hawthorn tonight. In their last clash, the Rangers won on the road by 16 points, 53-37 reversing the result from the earlier game between the sides back in May. In that match, Keilor broke history being the only side to defeat the Rangers, winning 40-33 on the road in a memorable match. Good luck to Keilor trying to stop the machine that ended the regular season with 154.1 per cent which included the best offence and best defence in the competition. Dandenong is also yet to lose on the road with 10 wins from 10 games, while the Thunder are not too far behind with seven wins from nine games. This game pits the top three shooters against each other with Dandenong duo Dallas Loughridge (13.5 points per game) and Nyadiew Puoch (13.4) going up against Tess Heal (17.9) who will be crucial to Keilor’s victory, along with Jaz Salon (10.7) and Bella Peterson (10.9). Dandenong’s Myah Healey (10.1) is the other scorer in the game averaging more than 10 points per match.

Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 13-3-2) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (3rd, 14-4)

These sides have just played the once, and it went down to the wire, with Bulleen getting up 44-41 at home. It was the difference in the end with these sides finishing on the same amount of points, though the Eagles had the extra win to their name. The Boomers had one less loss, and two draws to level the proceedings, though the Eagles finished the season with a massive percentage of 135.1 per cent. Bulleen was fairly healthy itself with 123.5 per cent, and had no fear on the road with six wins and a draw from nine matches. Diamond Valley also just had the two losses, recording seven wins. Both these sides can rack up big numbers with Emily Maltezos (9.1 points per game) one of three players in the top 20 for the Boomers, while Eleanor Bollands (10.1) leads the way for Diamond Valley.

Sandringham Sabres (5th, 11-6-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (8th, 8-10)

While it is not a home ground advantage, the Sabres do not have to travel to far when they play Melbourne Tigers in a do-or-die elimination final at GESAC in East Bentleigh. They have accounted for the Tigers on both previous meetings, getting up by 17 points in May and then 14 points in June, but have not played for more than two months. The Sabres finished seven points clear of their eighth placed opponents and won five and drew one of eight games on the road, while Melbourne finished with four wins from nine games both home and away. Sandringham heads into the game as strong favourites, but anything can happen in finals. Hannah Wickstrom averages the second most points of any player in the competition, with the Sabres’ shooter banking 14.1 points per game, while Jemima O’Toole has 9.6. Melbourne has just one scorer in the top 20, with Leila Davis (10.3 points per game) the main avenue to points.

Nunawading Spectres (6th, 10-8) vs. Ballarat Rush (7th, 10-8)

In the final game of the round, Nunawading Spectres face Ballarat Rush, and you only have to look to last week for when the Spectres got up by 12 points over the Rush in a 61-49 victory at home. They have traditionally been better on the road with seven victories from nine outings, while the Rush have split their 10 games, 5-5. It was the two sides only clash for the year, and now there is no turning back in the elimination final held at Keilor. Evelyn Curtis (10.9 points per game) and Olivia Morris (10.0) are the two key scorers for the Spectres, while Milly Simpson (11.3) and Georgia Cox (10.3) average double-figure points for the Rush.

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC preview: Round 9

WITH a round to play in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL), there are still two teams fighting out for one finals place, and a home final on the line for two of the sides.

Hawthorn Magic (13th, 7-9-1) vs. Keilor Thunder (4th, 12-5)

On face value the Magic will need every bit of their moniker to get up over the fourth placed Keilor Thunder who cannot be moved from their spot. After dropping a game they had in their keeping against Sandringham Sabres last round, the Thunder will be keen to bounce back with a victory heading into finals. Make no mistake, if Hawthorn lose, then the finals are set and the Magic will finish ninth. For Keilor, they will be facing Dandenong Rangers regardless in the first week of finals. Tess Heal leads all-comers in the point-scoring stakes with 17.0 points per game, just ahead of Ally Marshall with 13.3 points per game, and ranked second in overall points.

Dandenong Rangers (1st, 16-1) vs. Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 13-2-2)

Both these teams are keen to get a win for for a mental advantage in the finals with the teams likely to face off at some stage, the Boomers still need to win to secure a top two spot and home final. The Rangers have the minor premiership in their grasp, but would like to add another win to the 11-game winning streak. If the Boomers lose and the Diamond Valley Eagles win, the Boomers remain in second spot due to the head-to-head victory over the Eagles. The Rangers have a trio of stars who can cause damage to the opposition with Nyadiew Puoch (13.3 points per game), Dallas Loughridge (12.6) and Myah Healey (11.0) all inside the top 10, while Bulleen relies on a more even spread led by Emily Maltezos (9.4).

Melbourne Tigers (11th, 8-9) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (3rd, 13-4)

In what looms as a must-win for Melbourne, they have to knock off top four side Diamond Valley to guarantee a spot in the finals series. If Hawthorn upstages Keilor, then the Tigers could drop outside the top eight with a loss. Meanwhile the Eagles cannot drop from third with a superior head-to-head points advantage (and percentage) ahead of fourth placed Keilor, and will prepare to play Bulleen in the first round of finals. Eleanor Bollands has been the top scorer for Diamond Valley Eagles with 10.7 points per game, while for the Tigers, Amy Kurkowski has slotted 12.4 points per game.

Nunawading Spectres (8th, 9-8) vs. Ballarat Rush (6th, 10-7)

Nunawading has the opportunity to snatch a home final with victory over Ballarat Rush, with the sides likely to meet again the following week in the elimination final. Providing Sandringham Sabres gets the job done against the lowly Knox Raiders, these sides will meet two weeks in a row, though with a home record of 2-6 and an away record of 7-2, it might be thought the Spectres might relish travelling, though the mental advantage of a win would be of huge benefit going into the finals. Evelyn Curtis (10.3 points per game) and Olivia Morris (10.2) are the dominant scoring duo for the Spectres this season, while for Ballarat, Milly Simpson (10.7) and Georgia Cox (9.8) are both in the top 20.

Sandringham Sabres (5th, 10-6-1) vs. Knox Raiders (15th, 5-10-2)

In the final game of the round, the Sandringham Sabres just have to knock off the cellar dwelling Knox Raiders to ensure a fifth placed finish and elimination final against either Melbourne or Hawthorn. The Sabres are only a point ahead of Ballarat Rush so cannot afford to drop the game, though they will still host Nunawading in the elimination final, but then potentially meet one of the Boomers or Eagles in the semi-finals. Sandringham’s Hannah Wickstrom averages 13.5 points per game to be second overall on average, while Jaida Reid‘s 9.4 points per game sees her equal twentieth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC review: Round 7 – Top four locked with Rangers guaranteed top spot

DANDENONG Rangers have locked up top spot in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division following their tenth win. The Rangers moved two games and a massive percentage clear of second with two matches remaining, making certain they would finish as minor premiers. The top five sides all won over the weekend, giving them some breathing space, and more importantly guaranteeing Bulleen Boomers, Diamond Valley Eagles and Keilor Thunder all double chances in the finals series.

Dandenong Rangers made it 10 consecutive victories by defeating Sandringham Sabres as the Rangers loom as the clear team to beat this season. They did not have it all their own way, leading by just two points at the main break, but a 28-17 second half made the difference for the Rangers who took out the match, 52-39. Nyadiew Puoch top-scored with 18 points, while teammate Myah Healey posted 14. For the Sabres, Hannah Wickstrom helped herself to 12 of her own.

Diamond Valley Eagles bounced back after their Round 6 loss to record a comfortable 20-point win over Nunawading Spectres. It took them a half to really take control however, trailing by two points at the main break before going ballistic in the second half, sinking 29 points to a measly seven and completely dominating the game to win, 54-34. Sophie Burrows (10 points) and Evelyn Curtis (11) were the only two double-figure scorers in the game for their respective sides.

Bulleen Boomers scored a regulation 17-point win over Hawthorn Magic with a similar performance to that of the Eagles. It was close for the first half with the Boomers finding themselves two points down at the half, before deciding enough was enough and sinking 28 points to just nine to run away with the 54-37 victory. Emily Maltezos scored 14 points in the win, while Rianna Thiele was prominent with 13 for the Magic.

Keilor Thunder got the vital win over lowly Knox Raiders but it was a lot closer than the Thunder would have liked, escaping with a six-point win to guarantee a top four spot on the table. The Thunder raced to a five-point lead at quarter time, but Knox reeled them in by a point at half-time only for the Thunder to regain ascendancy and extend the advantage to eight by the final break. The last term was a high scoring quarter, with the Raiders winning the term 17-15, but it was not enough with the Thunder getting up, 47-41. Keilor’s Tess Heal scored an impressive 20 points, while Bella Peterson finished with 12, as Zoe Shaw (11) was the key scorer for the Raiders.

In the final game, Ballarat Rush leapfrogged Sandringham with a narrow four-point victory over Melbourne Tigers. The Rush came from four points down at quarter time to have a dominant middle two terms and lead by eight at the final break. Melbourne hit back to cut the final margin to four again but still went down 40-44. Georgia Cox was a dominant player with a round-high 23 points for the Rush, while Neve Giddey was one to watch for the Tigers, sinking 12.

In the Reserve grade, Kilsyth Cobras and Waverley Falcons remain the teams to beat, registering wins over Bendigo Braves and Frankston Blues respectively, while bottom three sides Sunbury Jets and Ringwood Hawks picked up unlikely wins over Southern Peninsula Sharks and Eltham Wildcats, while Bellarine Storm handed Altona Gators yet another loss.

Looking ahead to next round, it will be Ballarat Rush’s turn to try and take down the raging machine of Dandenong Rangers on the road, while Keilor Thunder and Sandringham Sabres looms as an entertaining clash. Diamond Valley Eagles and Bulleen Boomers will be keen to record wins over their lowly opponents in Knox Raiders and Melbourne Tigers respectively, while in the other game, Nunawading Spectres and Hawthorn Magic will get the chance to redeem themselves after a disappointing Round 7.

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC review: Round 6 – Dandenong moves three wins ahead

SUCCESS continues to follow the Dandenong Rangers in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division, as they picked up a 27-67 win over a struggling, Knox Raiders. The result takes the Rangers to their ninth consecutive win overall and their tenth consecutive win on the road – undefeated at 10-0-0. In the match-up, the Rangers opened the half strong – leading 38-16 at the main break. They continued strong into the remaining quarters, keeping Knox under 10 points for each term. The Rangers were led well by Dallas Loughridge, who scored 19 points on her way to third spot in points per game (PPG) for the league, while Myah Healey supported well with 10 points. Jaida Reid came close to recording double-digits for the Raiders, recording nine points in the low-scoring outfit alongside Paige Burrows, who made five.

The Bulleen Boomers closed the gap between the top four with a vital 44-41 win over the second-placed, Diamond Valley Eagles. The Eagles lost touch with the Dandenong Rangers following the loss, as their top spot opponents moved three wins ahead. In the match-up, Bulleen opened poorly at 3-13 – forcing the home side to play catch-up most of the night. They went on to win the remaining three terms, running home with a big 18-10 closer to win them the game. Emily Maltezos was her usual best throughout the night, recording 12 points alongside Ella McIntyre, who had 10. McIntyre moves to sixteenth place for PPG in the league, with five games under her belt. For the Eagles, Hayley Sparks recorded a team-high nine points, followed next by Genevieve Broadbent on eight.

Despite a dominant away record, Nunawading Spectres fell short to a dominant Keilor Thunder outfit on the road (55-42). The result created a gap between the top four and those outside, as Keilor jumped two wins (11-4) ahead of positions fifth to seventh. They now contest for second spot – equalling wins with Diamond Valley and Bulleen in second and third respectively. In the match-up, Nunawading led 40-35 at the end of third, but gave it up massively as they conceded 20-2 in the final term. In her sixth outing for the year, Jaz Salon put up 25 points on her way to sixth spot for PPG. League-leader, Tess Heal, retains her spot with 15 points after another dominant performance. For the Spectres, Evelyn Curtis led on the board with 17 points, while Madison Sinclair followed next on 10.

Melbourne Tigers earned a rare 55-51 win on the road over the Hawthorn Magic. Despite starting slow at 8-13, the Tigers went onto lead for the majority of the game, before tying at 16-16 to close out the win. Melbourne hold in eighth following the result, while Hawthorn dip to 13th. The Tigers’ boasted a big scorer in Amy Kurkowski, who collected a game-high 21 points on her way to 11th for PPG. Hayley Hermus and Leila Davis followed next with 13 and 10 points respectively – Davis moving to seventh for PPG. For the Magic, Ally Marshall was the only player to crack into double-digits, recording 10 points to hold second spot across the league. Rianna Thiele also impressed for Hawthorn with nine.

The Ballarat Rush handed the Sandringham Sabres their first loss on the road with a 60-44 win at home. The result moves Ballarat to seventh, while Sandringham lost touch with Keilor – two wins ahead in fourth.

In the Reserve grade, the Waverley Falcons defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks (43-34) on the road, Ringwood Hawks lost 45-47 at home to the Frankston Blues, and Bendigo Braves earned a big 57-37 win over the Sunbury Jets. The round continued with the Kilsyth Cobras beat the Altona Gators (72-45), and the Eltham Wildcats lost at home to the Bellarine Storm.

In the Championship Division for Round 7, Hawthorn Magic face Bulleen Boomers at home, Sandringham Sabres travel to Dandenong to face the Rangers, and Knox Raiders come up against Keilor Thunder. The round continues with Melbourne Tigers hosting Ballarat Rush and Nunawading Spectres hosting Diamond Valley Eagles.