Tag: jade dunne

2021 NBL1 South preview: Round 5

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 South Round 5 preview features Diamond Valley Eagles as the winless women’s side comes up against the fellow winless side Hobart Chargers, while the 4-1 Eagles’ mens side take on North West Thunder on Saturday, which looms as a huge weekend for the northern suburb based side.

WOMEN’S:

Something has to give in the opening clash between the winless Hobart Chargers and Diamond Valley Eagles. Both teams have struggled to-date, playing five games apiece and yet to get any points on the board. They sit 15th and 17th respectively, with the home Chargers having a percentage of 84, while the Eagles are lower with 70, just ahead of cellar dwellers, Albury-Wodonga Bandits. A win for the successful team means they not only kick-start their season, but break the drought that has been building in the opening rounds.

Hobart Chargers have a quartet of talented stars who have made a promising start to the NBL1 South season despite the five consecutive losses. Madeleine Garrick has been sensational in the opening month, racking up 21.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.4 steals to lead her side well. Garrick has teamed up well with fellow back-courters Ellie Collins (15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists) and Sharna Thompson (11.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists). Up the front, Tayla Roberts has been a source of scoring knocking down 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

The Eagles have had an even spread of contributors that has not quite been enough to get over the line, with Olivia Bontempelli averaging 13.3 points and 5.5 rebounds from the back court. Jade Dunne (10.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 steals) has also averaged double-figure points, while teenage star Sophie Burrows has shown just how much potential she has with the 16-year-old putting up 9.8 points, 7.3 points and 2.8 steals per match. Teah Reichert is another to keep an eye on at the five spot, with the 17-year-old grabbing 8.4 rebounds to go with 7.2 points and 1.4 blocks per game.

In other fixtures, the Eagles do the double on the Apple Isle up against the 3-2 Launceston Tornadoes, while fellow 0-5 sides Mt Gambier Pioneers and Albury-Wodonga Bandits face the Waverley Falcons (3-2) and Knox Raiders (4-0) respectively. One of the matches of the round will be the 4-1 Bendigo Braves hosting the undefeated Eltham Wildcats (5-0), with the Wildcats playing host to the Sandringham Sabres (3-2) on Sunday. The Braves have a tough weekend also needing to take on the Frankston Blues (5-0) on Sunday, as the Blues will be coming off a trip against close rivals, Dandenong Rangers (2-3) on the Saturday. In the final matches of the weekend, Geelong Supercats host Melbourne Tigers, Kilsyth Cobras host Nunawading Spectres, the Ballarat Rush travel to Ringwood Hawks, and the Tigers lock horns with the Rangers in another Sunday fixture.

FIXTURES:

Hobart Chargers (0-5) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (0-5)
Geelong Supercats (1-4) vs. Melbourne Tigers (4-2)
Bendigo Braves (4-1) vs. Eltham Wildcats (5-0)
Dandenong Rangers (2-3) vs. Frankston Blues (5-0)
Kilsyth Cobras (3-1) vs. Nunawading Spectres (3-2)
Albury-Wodonga Bandits (0-5) vs. Waverley Falcons (3-2)
Ringwood Hawks (2-2) vs. Ballarat Rush (2-3)
Mt Gambier Pioneers (0-5) vs. Knox Raiders (4-0)
Launceston Tornadoes (3-2) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (0-5)
Eltham Wildcats (5-0) vs. Sandringham Sabres (3-2)
Melbourne Tigers (4-2) vs. Dandenong Rangers (2-3)
Frankston Blues (5-0) vs, Bendigo Braves (4-1)

MEN’S:

Diamond Valley Eagles also feature in our NBL1 South men’s match of the week this weekend, but at the opposite end of the ladder, winning four of their past five games to start the year, the same as North West Tasmania Thunder who they play on Saturday. Having clashed with Hobart Chargers on Friday night, the Eagles will be ready and raring to go for a second game against a Tasmanian rival. The Eagles are coming off back-to-back wins, whilst for the Thunder, they will be gunning for four in a row at OBC Stadium.

Three Diamond Valley Eagles players have averaged the double-figure points with Blacio Owili almost knocking down the 19.2 points and 9.2 rebounds out of the five. The experienced 33-year-old is a difficult man to stop at both ends and will be a key player in this match. They have great depth in the five spot, with Ben Allen (8.2 points, 5.2 rebounds) also having an impressive game, as Ngor Manyang (16.0 points, 5.4 rebounds) and Darcy Harding (11.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists) have also put up double-figure points in season 2021.

Whilst the Eagles have the two players averaging 15-plus points, the Thunder have not had the standout shooter, but instead have six players averaging more than eight points per game. Leading the way is Joseph Chilcott who is averaging 12.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game, slightly ahead of teammate Bradley Simpson (12.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists). The 18-year-old Sejr Deans (11.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game) is also averaging double-figure points but has thus far only managed the two games. Paul Campbell (10.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists) standing tall at the five, and the back court duo of Taran Armstrong (9.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals) and Mason Bragg (9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals) have also impressed when they have played.

In other fixtures, the only winless sides remaining are the Dandenong Rangers – who face Frankston Blues (3-2) and Melbourne Tigers (1-5) – and Albury-Wodonga Bandits – who face Waverley Falcons (3-2) – will be keen to get on the board in season 2021. The Tigers face the double-up taking on Geelong Supercats on the Saturday, while the likes of Blues meet Bendigo Braves on Sunday. Bendigo double-up against Eltham Wildcats themselves who the latter play their second game against Sandringham Sabres. Meanwhile Ringwood Hawks host Ballarat Miners, Kilsyth Cobras host Nunawading Spectres and Mt Gambier Pioneers lock horns with Knox Raiders in the other clashes across the NBL1 South men’s competition.

FIXTURES:

Hobart Chargers (3-2) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (4-1)
Geelong Supercats (4-1) vs. Melbourne Tigers (1-5)
Bendigo Braves (4-1) vs. Eltham Wildcats (1-4)
Dandenong Rangers (0-5) vs. Frankston Blues (3-2)
Kilsyth Cobras (3-1) vs. Nunawading Spectres (3-2)
Albury-Wodonga Bandits (0-5) vs. Waverley Falcons (3-2)
Ringwood Hawks (2-2) vs. Ballarat Miners (2-3)
Mt Gambier Pioneers (4-1) vs. Knox Raiders (2-2)
North West Tasmania (4-1) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (4-1)
Eltham Wildcats (1-4) vs. Sandringham Sabres (1-4)
Melbourne Tigers (1-5) vs. Dandenong Rangers (0-5)
Frankston Blues (3-2) vs. Bendigo Braves (4-1)

Picture credit: Lauri Jean Photography

2021 NBL1 South Women’s wrap: Round 4

ELTHAM Wildcats have moved to the top of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s competition ladder following back-to-back wins on the Apple Isle. Nunawading Spectres also won a couple of games to move up the table, while Frankston Blues and Knox Raiders continued their unbeaten runs to the end of Round 4.

Hobart Chargers (75) def. by Eltham Wildcats (88)

Hobart Chargers’ winless start to the season continued when Eltham Wildcats claimed the first of two victories to stand on top of the NBL1 South women’s table. The Wildcats took control early to lead by seven points at the first change, though the Chargers hit back in the second with a dominant 20-11 quarter to grab a two-point advantage into half-time. Just as it looked like the underdogs had the momentum, Eltham found its groove again, piling on 52 points to 37 in the second half to run away with the contest, 88-75. Anneli Maley had another ridiculous effort of the boards with 29 rebounds – only one less than the entire Hobart side – as well as 10 points and three assists. Lily Scanlon (25 points, four assists) and Rebecca Pizzey (21 points, three rebounds) combined for plenty of points in the match while Tess Heal (15 points, three rebounds) also contributed strongly. For the Chargers, Tayla Roberts led the way with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists, shooting at an elite 85.7 per cent from the field – all from inside the arc – while Madeleine Garrick (18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals) did it all, and Ellie Collins (15 points, four rebounds) also stood up in defeat.

Sandringham Sabres (79) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (57)

Sandringham Sabres sentenced Diamond Valley Eagles to another loss with a comfortable 22-point win at home. The Sabres dominated the opening half to win each quarter by eight points, then won the third term by seven to race out to a 23-point three quarter time lead. The Eagles ground out a 15-14 final term, but it was not enough to go down, 57-79. Rachel Jarry (22 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Amy O’Neill (14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals) did a bit of everything, while Jenna O’Hea led the scoring with 24 points, four steals, three assists and two rebounds, and Katie Jewell was a thief all night (seven steals, seven points four rebounds and three assists). Olivia Bontempelli (14 points, six rebounds), Ivana Vasiljevic (13 points, three rebounds) and Jade Dunne (13 points) led the way for the Eagles, as Sophie Burrows (six points, seven rebounds, three steals and two – of her side’s four – assists) tried hard.

Geelong Supercats (78) def. by Nunawading Spectres (81)

Nunawading Spectres started off a good weekend on the road with a narrow win over Geelong Supercats, getting up by three points down the highway. The Spectres trailed at both quarter time and half-time, but dominated the third term 26-14, to take a six-point advantage into the final break. The Supercats won a third quarter of the four in the final term, but it was the previous quarter that proved the difference with the Spectres getting up 81-78. Izzy Wright (23 points, 12 rebounds and two assists) picked up a double-double, while Louise Brown (21 points, seven rebounds and two steals) and Rachel Brewster (16 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks) were really busy, and Penina Davidson (eight points, 11 rebounds) came close to a double-double in the win. Stephanie Blicavs led the way for the losers, picking up 22 points, eight rebounds and two steals, while Aimie Clydesdale (19 points, three assists), Sarah Elsworthy (15 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals) and Sarah O’Neill (15 points, two rebounds) also held their own in the loss.

Ballarat Rush (50) def. by Frankston Blues (61)

Another team winning on the road was Frankston Blues who extended their unbeaten streak in season 2021 to five following a low-scoring 11-point triumph against Ballarat Rush. No side scored more than 16 points in any one term, but it was Frankston that won the first three quarters, then were level in the final term to win 61-50. Tessa Lavey (18 points, six rebounds and six assists) was sensational once again, with Taylah Giliam (14 points, seven rebounds) and Darcee Garbin (11 points, four rebounds, three steals and three blocks) also busy. Claire Constable (14 points, three rebounds) was the only double-figure points scorer for the Rush, while Alicia Froling (six points, 19 rebounds) and Millie Cracknell (eight points, 11 rebounds and three assists) kept their side in the contest with their work off the boards.

Bendigo Braves (83) def. Melbourne Tigers (68)

In a battle of two genuine contenders, Bendigo Braves got the job done at home to secure their fourth win of the season and move to within touching distance of the top four which includes the Melbourne Tigers. The Braves took control in the opening half, piling on 49 points to 33, before the Tigers hit back in the third term to cut the deficit to just five points heading into the last quarter. A strong defensive effort in the fourth term resulted in the Braves scoring 21-10 and winning by 15 points, 83-68. Four players hit double-figure points for the winners, with Tess Madgen (20 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals), Abigail Wehrung (18 points, five rebounds and six assists), Kate Oliver (16 points, 11 rebounds, three rebounds and three steals) and Piper Dunlop (13 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) contributing three double-doubles between them. Isabella Brancatisano (16 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Monique Conti (16 points, eight rebounds and five assists) top-scored for the Tigers, while Zitina Aokuso impacted off the boards with a match-high 14 rebounds to go with her seven points.

Dandenong Rangers (88) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (84)

Dandenong Rangers came from behind at quarter time and then held firm in tense moments to win by four points over Mt Gambier Pioneers in a thrilling overtime contest. The Pioneers burst out of the blocks to lead by nine points at quarter time, but then the Rangers stole back the momentum to level the scores by the final break. A 19-apiece final term saw neither team able to win it after four quarters, and then a tight overtime period – which the Rangers won 10-6 – saw the home team get up 88-84 much to the delight of the crowd. Emilee Harmon was the dominant scorer for the Rangers putting up 26 points and collecting nine rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Dallas Loughbridge (19 points, seven assists and three rebounds), Tenaya Sooalo (12 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Alison Downie (nine points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also strong in the victory. For the Pioneers, Jasmin Howe was a dead-eye shooter with five of nine from long-range for a total field efficiency of 61.9 per cent on her way to 35 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Sherrie Calleia (20 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Hannah Young (14 points, seven rebounds) were among the other key players for the pioneers.

Launceston Tornadoes (73) def. by Eltham Wildcats (86)

Eltham Wildcats made it two from two travelling across the Tasman to defeat Launceston Tornadoes by 13 points, 86-73. The teams were evenly matched in the first term, and much like their other Apple Isle adventure early in the round, the Wildcats found themselves trailing early, down by eight points at the half. They halved that deficit by the final break, and then put the foot down in a dominant final term of 23-6 to run out winners for the fifth straight time this season. Pizzey top-scored with 23 points, six rebounds and three blocks, as Maley’s rebounding exploits continued thanks to 19 points, 18 rebounds and five assists, while Heal (17 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Erin Riley (14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals) all stood up in the win. Launceston Tornadoes were led by Keely Froling who capitalised with 23 points and 18 rebounds, well supported by the likes of Mariah Payne (18 points, eight assists) and Teyla Evans (13 points, eight rebounds) in the match.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (78) def. by Kilsyth Cobras (100)

Kilsyth Cobras managed to secured their third win of the season, toppling the winless Albury-Wodonga Bandits by 22 points on the road. The Cobras trailed by five points at quarter time, but blitz the Bandits after that, piling on 34-17 in the second term, and 23-15 in the third quarter to take the game away from their opposition on their way to a big 100-78 victory. Lauren Scherf (30 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) led the way, knocking down five of 10 from long-range. Similarly, Nikita Young (18 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals) hit four of six from three-point range, and Carly Turner (17 points, eight rebounds) nailed three of seven. For the Bandits, it was a two-player show with Emma Mahady doing everything in her power to drag her team across the line, piling on a ridiculous 41 points – including eight of 17 from long-range – as well as three rebounds. Brodie-Paige Theodore was the other key scorer for the losing side, recording 28 points, three rebounds and two assists in the loss.

Ringwood Hawks (69) def. by Knox Raiders (83)

Knox Raiders blitzed Ringwood Hawks in the opening term to set up a memorable 14-point win and claim their fourth victory of the season. The Raiders piled on 32 points to 17 in the first quarter, and then lead by 17 points at the main break. The Hawks hit back to cut the deficit to 10 by the final break, but the Raiders got back on top to win the last quarter 20-16 and salute, 83-69. Marianna Tolo (21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks) was sensational, teaming up with Leah Santomaggio (22 points, three rebounds and three blocks) for the scoring, while Klara Wischer (14 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals) almost collected a triple-double, and Chelsea Burns (10 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks) was also impactful. Marena Whittle was a one-player scoring machine, dropping a ridiculous 38 points – five of six from long-range – as well as 15 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Her Hawks teammates Jacqueline Trotto (13 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Toni Farnworth (10 points) were the next best in terms of scoring for the losers.

Waverley Falcons (64) def. Geelong Supercats (61)

Piling on more pain to the Geelong Supercats, Waverley Falcons grabbed a narrow three-point win, the same result inflicted on the Supercats the day before. The visiting team lead by three points at the first break and half-time, but a strong second half from the Falcons to just grind out two quarters and win both by six points saw them reverse the deficit into a winning margin, 64-61. Aneta Bandilovska had 26 points, five rebounds and two steals in the win, while Kelly Bowen helped herself to 12 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Renae Mokrzycki was the other key player for the Falcons, picking up eight points and nine rebounds. Rebekah O’Donnell had a team-high 15 points and 12 rebounds, as well as three assists and two blocks for the Supercats, while Blicavs (11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals) and Elsworthy (six points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals) also tried hard.

Melbourne Tigers (106) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (64)

After both teams suffered losses the day before, it was Melbourne Tigers that came away with the massive 42-point win at home over the Mt Gambier Pioneers. Following a tight first erm, the Tigers put the foot down in the final three quarters to score at least 28 points in each quarter, and restrict the Pioneers to 17 or less on the Tigers’ way to a huge 106-64 triumph. Geraldine McCorkell led the scoring for the winners with 23 points, as well as five rebounds and five assists while Conti came agonisingly close to a triple-double of 22 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and six steals. Isabella Brancatisano had another strong game with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals, while Aokuso finished with nine points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals. Howe had a team-high 20 points, also picking up five rebounds, five assists and three assists, while Young (10 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals) collected a double-double and Shakera Reilly managed 11 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Nunawading Spectres (106) def. Dandenong Rangers (82)

In a battle of two teams who had already picked up a win in Round 4, the Nunawading Spectres went back-to-back thanks to a 24-point triumph over Dandenong Rangers. The Spectres took control from the opening tip-off to lead by 27 points at half-time. Whilst the Rangers managed to win the third term and nullify the contest in the second half, the damage was done, going down 82-106. Wright had 24 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals, with Brewster (22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists) picking up a double-double and Davidson (21 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Brown (20 points, seven rebounds) also prolific in the match. Loughbridge was the top scorer for the Rangers, knocking down 27 points – four from eight from long-range – and having three assists, while Harmon (23 points, six rebounds and two steals) and Sooalo (14 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals) were the other two key scorers.

Picture credit: Rachel Louise Photography

NBL1 South Womens: Round 2 wrap – Blues standalone with 3-0 record

FRANKSTON Blues stand alone as the only side to record three wins so far in the 2021 National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s competition, as the results played out over the weekend. We recap how each of the games went down and who the top performers were with some one-sided results.

Bendigo Braves (70) def. by Frankston Blues (76)

The first of two wins for the weekend for the Blues saw them claim a narrow six-point victory over Bendigo Braves in a come-from-behind triumph. The Braves raced out to a 21-9 lead at quarter time after a dominant first term, with the Blues clawing their way back to within six points at the final break, before slamming on 24-12 in the last quarter to win, 76-70. Darcee Garbin was again a prolific scorer for the Blues, adding 23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in a standout performance. She teamed up well with Tessa Lavey (14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals) and Taylah Gilliam (14 points, four rebounds). For the Braves, Abigail Wehrung nailed 24 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks, though it was Tess Madgen who came agonisingly close to a triple-double of 16 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals. Piper Dunlop (11 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Kate Oliver (10 points, seven rebounds and four assists) were both impressive for the losers.

Hobart Chargers (61) def. by Ballarat Rush (62)

A two-pointer from Ballarat Rush’s Kasey Burton in the final 30 seconds – and a missed three-point attempt from Hobart Chargers’ Madeleine Garrick helped the Rush grab a one-point thrilling victory at Kingborough Sports Centre. The visitors trailed by five at quarter time, led by one and then four at the next two breaks, then were caught by the Chargers, only to win at the death. Burton had an equal team-high 13 points, as well as six rebounds, but it was the amazing effort of Alicia Froling (10 points, 20 rebounds and five assists) that stood out, while Kristy Rinaldi (seven points, 13 rebounds) also dominated off the boards. Annie Collins had the 13 points and two rebounds to equal Burton on the scoring front. For the Chargers, Garrick finished with a double-double of 19 points – including five of 11 from long-range – and 10 rebounds, while Ellie Collins had 16 points and 15 rebounds in an equally amazing effort. Tayla Roberts came close to a double-double herself picking up 16 points and nine rebounds.

Frankston Blues (78) def. Dandenong Rangers (75)

It was billed as the match of the round, and it certainly lived up to expectations with Frankston Blues moving to 3-0 for the NBL1 South season, defeating Dandenong Rangers by three points. The teams traded blows throughout the match, though the Blues led by 11 points at the final break, before Dandenong hit back with a 23-15 final quarter to get within three points, but fall short, 78-75. Garbin had another outstanding game with 30 points – four of 10 from long-range – and eight assists, while Lavey picked up 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the win. Gililam (13 points, three rebounds and four assists) and Saraid Taylor (seven points, 10 rebounds and three assists) were others who stood out. For the Ranges, Gemma Potter was on fire with six triples leading to her 28 points, as well as five rebounds and two assists. Emilee Harmon (23 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Tenaya Sooalo (16 points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks) were also busy.

Knox Raiders (82) def. Kilsyth Cobras (70)

Knox Raiders proved too strong for Kilsyth Cobras in their clash at the State Basketball Centre, winning three of the four quarters to post a 12-point win at home. The teams were fairly even at half-time after counter-contrasting first and second terms, with Kilsyth leading by one point. Knox piled on 24-14 after half-time to set up the win, then held on in the final term for the 82-70 victory. Klara Wischer was the star for the Raiders, picking up a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, as well as three steals and two assists. Marianna Tolo (14 points, seven rebounds) and Kiera Rowe (12 points, five rebounds and four assists) were also busy in the match among a host of other contributors. Lauren Scherf stood tall for the Cobras with 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, notching up a double-double while Briahna Whatman (145 points, five assists and three rebounds) and Carly Turner (five points, 10 rebounds and three assists) were also productive.

Sandringham Sabres (72) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (70)

Sandringham Sabres survived a thriller with a two-point win over the cross-border Mt Gambier Pioneers on Saturday evening. The Sabres held a narrow lead early, and extended it out to as much as 13 points by the final break, before the Pioneers hit back with a massive fourth quarter. The 29-18 term in favour of the visitors would not be enough however, as the Sabres triumphed 72-70. Jenna O’Hea had 27 points, six rebounds and five assists in the win for the Sabres, leading the way from Rachel Jarry (14 points, six rebounds and two steals), Cassandra Hill (10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Amy O’Neill (eight points, six rebounds and two assists). For the Pioneers, Hannah Young racked up an important double-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds and two steals, while Jasmine Howe (15 points, six rebounds) and Shakera Reilly (11 points, eight rebounds) also stood up on both the scoring and rebounding fronts.

Eltham Wildcats (84) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (52)

Eltham Wildcats made it two from two this season in the NBL1 South competition, dominating the Diamond Valley Eagles to win by 32 points. The Wildcats won by nine, seven, nine and seven points in each of the respective four quarters during the 84-52 victory. Anneli Maley had a ridiculous 29 rebounds – 20 defensive – to be unbeatable off the boards, as well as pick up 21 points, two assists two steals. Rebecca Pizzey (11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks), Shelby Britten (16 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals) were also impressive as Chloe Hilderbrand (10 points, five rebounds and four assists) and Tess Heal (10 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals) also hit double-figure points. In a disappointing loss for the Eagles, Teah Reichert picked up a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Imogen Rock (12 points, five steals) and Sophie Burrows (seven points, six rebounds) tried hard.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (68) def. by Melbourne Tigers (116)

Melbourne Tigers were on from the first tip-off as they completely dismantled Albury-Wodonga Bandits in a dominant 48-point win. Storming to a 31-13 lead at quarter time, the Tigers lost the second term by three, but then piled on the points in the second half with 62 points to 29 to run out 116-68 victors. Monique Conti impressed with 28 points, six assists and three steals, teaming up brilliantly with fellow WNBL talent Zitina Aokuso (18 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks) doing it all. Isabella Brancatisano (25 points, six rebounds, eight assists and seven steals) was arguably the best on the court, while Melissa Prior (17 points, six rebounds) was also outstanding in the win. The Bandits were led by Emma Mahady (24 points, five rebounds), while Jade McCowan (15 points, three rebounds) and Brodie-Paige Theodore (12 points) reached double-figure points in the loss.

Melbourne Tigers’ Monique Conti puts up a shot. Picture credit: NBL1

Ringwood Hawks (84) def. Geelong Supercats (55)

Bouncing back from a Round 1 loss, Ringwood Hawks proved too much for Geelong Supercats, running out 29-point victors at The Rings on Saturday evening. The Hawks won the first two quarters to stamp their authority on the match and lead by 20 points at the half, before Geelong edged back one point, only for Ringwood to go again and score 22-12 in the final term a for a 84-55 victory. Marena Whittle had a night out with 20 points and 13 rebounds, as well as six assists and two blocks. Funda Nakkasoglu (16 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals), Hope Terdich (13 points, six rebounds) and Demi Skinner (12 points, four rebounds) also stepped up in the win. For the Supercats, Stephanie Blicavs knocked down 17 points, along with three rebounds and two assists, while Aimee Clydesdale was the other prominent scorer with 11 points and five rebounds in the loss.

Launceston Tornadoes (92) def. Ballarat Rush (61)

Launceston Tornadoes have stormed to a dominant 31-point win over Ballarat Rush to go 2-0 this season, with Keely Froling picking up another huge double-double against her sister. The Tornadoes never looked like losing, winning the first half by 23 points, then the second half by another eight to secure the 92-61 victory. Froling finished with 28 points, 19 rebounds – 17 defensive – five assists and four steals, while Mariah Payne (22 points, five rebounds and six assists) and Teyla Evans (15 points, six rebounds and five assists) were other double-digit scorers. For the Rush, Alicia Froling hit up 27 points, seven rebounds and four blocks to be the best of the losers, while Kasey Burton (13 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Kristy Rinaldi (10 points, four rebounds and three assists) were both strong.

Nunawading Spectres (83) defeated Sandringham Sabres (70)

Nunawading Spectres bounced back from a Round 1 loss to hand the Sandringham Sabres their first loss in three games. The Sabres took control to lead by six points at half-time, but having already played a game this round, the Sabres tired in the second half as the Spectres ran over the top of them, courtesy of a dominant 44-25 half to win, 83-70. Izzy Wright (21 points, nine rebounds) and Louise Brown (20 points, five rebounds and four assists) did the damage on the scoreboard, with Rachel Antoniadou (18 points, four rebounds and five assists) not far behind. Rachel Brewster (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Penina Davidson (10 points, 10 rebounds) also picked up double-doubles to share the load across the court. O’Hea was again the standout for the Sabres, picking up 27 points and eight rebounds not leaving the court for a second, while Jarry (16 points, 12 rebounds and two assists) and Amy O’Neill (six points, 11 rebounds) were prominent off the boards.

Waverley Falcons (74) defeated Diamond Valley Eagles (66)

After their heartbreaking one-point loss last week the Waverley Falcons bounced back to win by eight points against Diamond Valley Eagles, handing their opponents a third consecutive loss in the process. The Falcons were led by Aneta Bandilovska (20 points, two rebounds and two assists) on the scoring front, with Renae Mokrzycki (11 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals) recording a double-double. Nyakoang Lok (15 points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Kelly Bowen (13 points, five rebounds) were the other double-digit scorers. For the Eagles, Burrows scored a double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, while Jade Dunne (17 points, four assists, four steals and two rebounds) and Olivia Bontempelli (12 points, five rebounds and two locks) were also steadfast in the loss.

Picture credit: Ian Knight Photography

2020 MUVJBL U18 Boys/Girls Round 2 preview: Undefeated Wildcats and Raiders to battle it out

ROUND 2 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division is set to be a big one with Eltham, Coburg, Bulleen, Diamond Valley and Knox all looking to win their second consecutive games.

In the final game of the Ashe Pool on Friday night, Eltham and Knox are set to do battle with both sides sitting at a win apiece and looking to keep their undefeated record intact. Although it is only Round 2 a hot start can all but set up a successful campaign for the year something both sides will be keen to grasp. Eltham currently sits in second place thanks to a percentage boosting performance last round while Knox have fifth spot sewn up and will be hoping to improve their positioning with a win. Eltham’s ability to score beyond the arc is a key component of their game sinking seven three-pointers last week a feat they will be hoping to replicate once again to get the win over Knox. But the Raiders are pretty handy in the same department making 10 three-pointers last week meaning this game could quite easily turn into a shoot off given Knox have shown just how easily they can apply scoreboard pressure.

In what could arguably be the game of the round, expect Thomas Stockwell and Fletcher Parkinson to come up big in front of a home crowd. The Eltham duo brought out the party tricks last round with 16 and 14 points respectively showcasing just how damaging they can be when on song. Stockwell starred from the three-point range with three maximums while Harrison Stones was the next closest with two three-pointers. Throw in contributions from the likes of Patrick Dozzi and the Wildcats have plenty of potential and could down Knox if they get their game plan flowing early.

For the Raiders, they had four players reach double digits last round, and if they bring that same scoreboard intensity could rattle Eltham and notch up their second win of the year. Jordan Anderson led from the front in Round 1 finishing with 16 points, he did get himself into some personal foul trouble however, racking up four fouls and will have to address that this round to ensure he can have a full quarter impact. Jyelin Moli was close behind in the scoring department with 15 points for his efforts. But the scoring options do not stop there with Ethan Taylor and Harry Johnson knocking back 11 points apiece displaying just how much depth Knox have when it comes to scoring prowess.

In other matches, Bulleen will be hoping to make it two on the trot with a win against Camberwell to kick start the season while Diamond Valley are in the same boat up against Coburg. Early wins on the board for both sides will give them early ascendancy while the battle between Geelong United and Ringwood will result in one side getting their first win on the board. In the only other game in the Ashe Pool, Dandenong will take on Eltham 2. Switching conferences and the first-place Nunawading are set to lock horns with Hawthorn while Bendigo and Pakenham are looking for their first win. Keilor and Ballarat face off with Melbourne and McKinnon also vying off for the win. The last game of the round is between Waverley and Kilsyth.

Fixtures Round 2:

Ashe Pool:

Camberwell v. Bulleen
Geelong United v. Ringwod
Coburg v. Diamond Valley
Dandenong v. Eltham 2
Eltham v. Knox

Watson Pool:

Bendigo v. Pakenham
Hawthorn v. Nunawading
Keilor v. Ballarat
Melbourne v. McKinnoneltham
Waverley v. Kilsyth

IN a battle of third versus fourth the clash between Diamond Valley and Hawthorn will help to give one side the upper hand early with two wins on the trot. The Eagles put on a clinic last round with a 35-point drubbing of McKinnon sending an early warning shot to the rest of the competition while Hawthorn also plied their trade with a solid 18-point victory. Despite going quiet in the second and third terms Hawthorn managed to string together a dominant win and will know that they have the firepower to wreak havoc once again however, Diamond Valley got better as the game went on scoring a whopping 42 points in the second half making for a tantalising match-up. The home sides three-point shooting is one to be impressed with while Hawthorn is just as effective.

Three players reached double digits for the Eagles with Sophie Burrows proving to be the most dominant of the lot with 17 points. If Burrows can duplicate that form in Round 2 given her ability to back herself from beyond the arc and skill to do damage in the paint she could put her side in good stead. Along with Burrows both Jade Dunne and Imogen Rock are viable options to the basket coming off a 14-point showing last round an effort they will be hoping to repeat. Georgia Kitchell should not be underestimated able to chime in on the scoreboard and will be looking to have more of an impact this match.

On the other hand, Hawthorn haS a couple of key cogs when it comes to scoring with the load shared between Nikki Stanic, Emma Gebert and Amy O’Hara. The trio did the bulk of the shooting and if are kept under control in their Round 2 clash the Magic could struggle to get the win. Stanic managed a team-high 14 points last round while Gebert 11 and O’Hara 10 also played their part but will have to up the ante against a high scoring opposition. Solid performances from the likes of Ally Marshall and Sophie Palmer will also assist in notching up their second win.

In other games, Ballarat play host to the bottom placed Geelong United, while the first versus second in the Kilsyth and Nunawading clash will draw plenty of attention. Bulleen and McKinnon face off with Waverley and Keilor set to cap off the round for the Watson Pool. On the other hand, Dandenong and Melbourne kick things off for the Ashe Pool with Ringwood welcoming Nunawading 2. Expect the clash between Broadmeadows and Altona to be interesting with Frankston up against it in their Round 2 draw against Sandringham. Knox play the bottom placed Eltham in hope to secure their first win of the season.

Fixture:

Ashe Pool:

Dandenong v. Melbourne
Ringwood v. Nunawading
Broadmeadows v. Altona
Frankston v. Sandringham
Knox v. Eltham

Watson Pool:

Ballarat v. Geelong United
Diamond Valley v. Hawthorn
Kilsyth v. Nunawading
Bulleen v. McKinnon
Waverley v. Keilor

MUVJBL Under 18 Girls Round 1 review: Sandringham gets home in thriller over Broadmeadows

SANDRINGHAM Sabres were able to find an extra effort in the final term to down Broadmeadows Broncos at home in Round 1 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Girls competition. The Sabres had the upperhand in the opening half, scoring 25 points to 20 to lead by five at the main break, but a huge third term from the visitors put the game on an even keel. Broadmeadows scored 11 points to six in a low-scoring term to level the scores at the last change, but Sandringham was able to find that burst in front of its home fans to score a game-high 20 points in the term, and win by four, 51-47.

Summer Keating was the main source of scoring for the Sabres, putting up 15 points including one from long range. She was far from alone however, as Maya Dear (12 points) and Charlotte Ryan (11) both combined well on the scoring front for the winners. Looking at Broadmeadows, the Broncos had the two key scorers on the night with Chrissy Triantafyllopoulos producing a team-high 14 points, whilst Emma Povh was the only player on court to successful sink multiple triples on her way to a respectable 10 points on the night.

Speaking of points, Dandenong Rangers had a flurry of them on their way to a massive 34-point win over Eltham Wildcats on the road. A 25-6 third term all but nailed the coffin shut for the Rangers who led by as much as 45 points at the final break before easing off in the last. Leah Mackenzie was unstoppable across the court with 21 points – including three triples – well supported by Nyadiew Puoch (15 points, one triple), Dallas Loughbridge (14, two) and Myah Healey (11, one). Megan Talevski scored a team-high 14 points for the Wildcats, whilst Keely Toohey and Mia Klaic both recorded 12 points in the loss.

Meanwhile Altona Gators defeated Knox Raiders by 12 points thanks to Monique Marcetic-Vaotangi (16 points) who worked well with Jordan Wilson (12) and Tyla Paraha (10) in the win, as Meg Robinson finished with a match-high 17. A 38-11 first half saw Melbourne Tigers completely destroy Ringwood Hawks before the visitors hit back for a final score of 60-43. Three Tigers scored double-figure points to Ringwood’s nine, as Victoria Poulos (16) was the top scorer, well aided by Tylah Hooper (13, including three triples). Finally, a Nunawading Spectres 2’s first term of 27-8 was all the home side needed on its way to a 20-point win over Frankston Blues. Ebony McMillan (17 points), Stephanie Georgantas (14) and Alannah Gillespie (13) were the most prominent scorers for the Spectres, whiles Gemma Simon sank three of the four match triples on her way to a team-high 13 points.

After a tight first term, Nunawading Spectres lifted the intensity to blow away Waverley Falcons by 44 points in the Watson Pool. The Spectres led by just two points at quarter time, but a 28-5 second term saw the home side run away with the contest early, and continued that momentum into the second half. Nunawading scored 18-8 in the third quarter and 17-8 in the final term on its way to a 79-35 win at home. Tayha Watkins shot a match-high 19 points which included a huge four triples, as she was well assisted by Luisa Fakalata (12 points), Stephanie Wales (12) and Grace Graham (10) in the victory. Falcons’ Hannah Griffith was the only scorer with double-figure points, shooting two triples on her way to a respectable 10 points.

The only other side to see the Spectres’ effort and go a step further was Kilsyth Cobras who completely dismantled Geelong United by 59 points. The Cobras’ defence kept United to just nine points in the second half as they piled on 54 points themselves to cruise to a huge 94-35 win. Ruby Nick (19 points) led the way, followed by Georgia Booth and Mariah Derkson (both 15). Meanwhile Diamond Valley also had a big win, downing McKinnon Cougars on the road by 35 points. Sophie Burrows dug deep for 17 points, while Jade Dunne and Imogen Rock put up 14 points apiece in the victory. Romy Price was a lone hand on the scoring front for the Cougars, drilling 12 of her team’s 30 points.

In the remaining two matches, Hawthorn Magic got past Ballarat Rush after keeping the Rush to just seven points in the first half, with Nikki Stanic shooting 14 points – including two three-pointers – while Emma Gebert (11) and Amy O’Hara (10) assisted strongly. Georgia Cox was the best on the losing side with 14 points. Keilor Thunder also mounted a huge come-from-behind four-point win over Bulleen Boomers, having trailed by nine at the final break. Led by Tess Heal (25 points), the Thunder roared to life in the final term with 17 points to four to run over the top of the Boomers. It was a great display of shooting prowess from two stars with Heal having an individual battle with Antoinette Emma-Nnopu (18 points) in the clash.

Round 1 results:

Ashe Pool:

Altona Gators (59) defeated Knox Raiders (47)
Eltham Wildcats (49) defeated by Dandenong Rangers (83)
Melbourne Tigers (60) defeated Ringwood Hawks (423)
Nunawading Spectres 2 (68) defeated Frankston Blues (48)
Sandringham Sabres (51) defeated Broadmeadows Broncos (47)

Watson Pool:

McKinnon Cougars (30) defeated by Diamond Valley Eagles (65)
Geelong United (35) defeated by Kilsyth Cobras (94)
Hawthorn Magic (53) defeated Ballarat Miners (35)
Keilor Thunder (49) defeated Bulleen Boomers (45)
Nunawading Spectres (79) defeated Waverley (35)

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: Qualifying and Elimination Finals

THE Qualifying and Elimination finals kick off this week in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League Under-18 Girls Championship Division. Six of the eight teams will proceed at the round’s end, with Bendigo, Diamond Valley, Altona and Southern Peninsula all facing off in the first leg of elimination finals.

Bulleen Boomers (1st, 15-3) vs Nunawading Spectres (4th, 12-6)

Bulleen Boomers will look to hold their dominance into the finals as they face the Nunawading Spectres in Hawthorn. In their last match-up, Bulleen got the better on the road. Unsurprisingly, Bulleen’s away record remains without blemish (8-0), while Nunawading hold at 6-3 on both ends. At neutral territory, the Boomers seem a lock, having paved their way to five consecutive wins, while Nunawading lost three in a row in the lead-up. Besides advancing to finals, this game presents a lot in the way of match-ups. Bulleen’s second-placed shooter, Alexandra Keating will face Nunawading’s top-league scorer, Louisa Fakalata. Keating currently sits at 17.7 points per game (PPG) with 124 points overall. She’s been well accompanied by Casey Valenti-Paea who follows close with 14.4 PPG. For Nunawading, Fakalata tops the table with 18.6 PPG and 149 points overall, with Maddison Zugna trailing inside the top-20 on 10.7. In their last match-up, Fakalata scored 18, while Keating was absent.

Knox Raiders (2nd, 13-4-1) vs Dandenong Rangers (3rd, 12-6)

In the second qualifying final, the Knox Raiders travel to Batesford Reserve to face the Dandenong Rangers. Without a loss on their away record, Knox enter the neutral territory as favourites. Though comparatively, Dandenong’s last five have been a lot better – winning four compared to one. In their last match-up Dandenong proved better again, but conceded a loss in March at the height of the Raiders’ form. Charlise Dunn continues to be solid for the Raiders averaging 11 PPG from four outings, Georgia Baldwin follows close with 10.1. In last week’s loss, Meg Robinson led the way with 11 points, and sat the only player to crack double-digits. For Dandenong, Hannah Rapp (nine) and Emily Sewell (12.5) have starred. In last week’s win, Leah Mackenzie controlled the floor with 16 points, and will be expected to repeat this week.

Altona Gators (5th, 11-6-1) vs Southern Peninsula (8th, 9-9)

The elimination finals also tip off tonight when the Altona Gators face the Southern Peninsula Sharks in Sandringham. The Gators will be desperate to regain some form with a long road ahead, while the Sharks boasting one of the better months in the league. Of their last four, the Gators have picked up three wins to claw their way back into finals. Comparatively, the Gators have beaten Nunawading and conceded defeat to Geelong, so inconsistency is likely to cost them. Kayla Salmons has been impressive for Altona this season averaging 12.3 PPG, along with Monique Marcetic-Vaotangi (8.6). Last week, Marcetic-Vaotangi led on the board with 10, followed next by Salmons’ seven. For Southern Peninsula Emirson Devenie has dominated, sitting third in the league for PPG (16.7), while Charli Dobson follows with 14.6. In their win last week, Devenie led the way with 26, followed close by Dobson on 22.

Bendigo Braves (6th, 11-7) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (7th, 9-8-1)

The second elimination final pits the Bendigo Braves against the Diamond Valley Eagles for the second time in a month. Bendigo has managed consecutive wins over the past fortnight, defeating Altona Gators and Diamond Valley Eagles. Comparatively, the Eagles rebounded from their thrashing against Bendigo to defeat the Hawthorn Magic. On neutral territory, neither side looks to have the advantage but history declares Bendigo winner. Piper Dunlop and Tess Barnes have been immense for the Braves this season, averaging 14.7 and 14.4 PPG respectively. The pair boast fifth and eighth spots in the league for PPG from seven outings each. For Diamond Valley, Jade Dunne stands as the greatest weapon, averaging 14.4 PPG. In last week’s win, she recorded 19 points, while Keeley Evans also impressed with 15.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC review: Round 9 – Bulleen wins top two clash

ROUND 9 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division closed out the regular season with a finals preview between the Knox Raiders and Bulleen Boomers. The Boomers got the better in the contest with a 54-43 victory over the home side, remaining two wins ahead of their second-placed competitors in first. In the contest, the Boomers earned two seven-point wins in the first and last term, Knox tied 18-18 in the second before winning 11-8 in the third term. Alexandra Keating showed why she is one of the league’s best, recording 22 points in the win. Keating’s efforts move her to second in points per game (PPG), while Antoniette Emma-Nnopu also impressed with 12 points. For Knox, Meg Robinson was the only player to hit double-digits with 11 points, while Georgia Baldwin finished next on nine.

The next final preview pitted Dandenong Rangers against Nunawading Spectres. The Rangers earned a 53-48 victory over the Spectres, taking them to third spot, while the Spectres lost their third in a row. The Spectres boasted real scoring capacity in the first half, taking a 32-23 lead into the main break. Their third term lost them the game after only recording three points to the opposition’s 12. The Rangers went on to score 18-13 to close out the game, taking the game and the better position into finals. Leah Mackenzie led scoring for the Rangers with 16 points, followed next by NBL1 representative, Hannah Rapp, on nine. The Spectres also boasted considerable performances by Louisa Fakalata (15) and Tayha Watkins (11). Fakalata finishes the league in the highest spot for PPG (18.6) and second for overall scoring, down one point at 149, with one less game.

The Diamond Valley Eagles ended the Hawthorn Magic’s final chances with a 51-63 victory on the road. After snatching the last spot in the Championship Division in the final game pre-split, Hawthorn was unable to do it again this time post-split, missing out on finals. In the contest, the Magic opened both halves below par, conceding 8-15 in the first and 10-21 in the third. Though they managed to tie in the second (18-18) and win in the last (15-9), their efforts were not enough to get them over the line due to the two disappointing quarters. Jade Dunne managed 19 points for Diamond Valley, alongside NBL1 representative, Keeley Evans, who had 15. For Hawthorn, Ryleh Killian had 19 points while Alycia Kennedy finished next on seven points.

Southern Peninsula Sharks broke their way into the finals with a 81-77 victory over the Geelong Supercats, finishing the regular season in eighth place with their third consecutive win. Despite an impressive 44-33 second half, Peninsula’s 33-48 first half was too much for Geelong to come back from closing out the game by four points. Emirson Devenie and Charli Dobson had top performances for the Peninsula, recording 26 and 22 points respectively. Keeley Toohey also scored 16 points for the Peninsula, while NBL representative, Carly Remmos led the Supercats with 21 points. Alishia Knights also impressed on 17, followed next by Jasmine Whatley on 12.

The Altona Gators missed their chance for a top four spot after losing 51-46 to the Bendigo Braves. Bendigo moved to sixth with their second consecutive win, while Altona held onto fifth.

In the Reserve grade, the Frankston Blues lost 66-72 against Dandenong Rangers, McKinnon Cougars defeated Broadmeadows Broncos (41-66), and Keilor Thunder won 56-48 over Warrandyte Venom. The round ended with the Nunawading Spectres winning 57-51 over Kilsyth Cobras, and Pakenham Warriors winning 52-47 over Melbourne Tigers.

In the Championship Division, the finals kick off with the Altona Gators hosting the Southern Peninsula Sharks and the Bendigo Braves facing the Diamond Valley Eagles in the elimination finals. The qualifying finals kick off soon after with the Bulleen Boomers hosting the Nunawading Spectres and the Knox Raiders facing the Dandenong Rangers.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC preview: Round 8

THE penultimate round of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Victorian Championship Division gets underway tomorrow night with some teams’ last chance for finals, while others hope to secure home finals with important wins.

Geelong Supercats (13th, 7-9) vs. Knox Raiders (2nd, 13-3)

Geelong Supercats are relying on an upset win against title contender Knox Raiders, and a victory in the final round to have any hope of making finals. They sit second bottom of the Championship Division teams, but do hold a strong record of five wins from seven matches at home. Their opponents are unbeaten on the road though, which means this match will be as tough as it gets for the home team. With the Raiders facing top-of-the-table Bulleen Boomers in the final round, this is a must-win to keep in contention for top spot. Charlise Dunn averages 11.0 points per game as the top Raiders shooter in what has been an even team season along with Georgia Baldwin (10.4). For Geelong, Carly Remmos and Alisha Knights have both averaged 12.4 points per game in the Championship Division.

Bendigo Braves (8th. 9-7) vs. Diamond Valley Eagles (10th, 8-7-1)

A win for the visitors in the Bendigo-Diamond Valley clash will secure the Eagles a finals spot, and potentially move them clear of a couple of opponents to even position themselves for a home elimination final. They are just two wins from seven matches away though, while the Braves have won five from seven at home. They win and they are able to keep touch with Altona Gators just above them, and will be keen to also secure a home elimination final. Piper Dunlop (14.3 points per game) and Tess Barnes (13.5) are players to watch from the home side, while Jade Dunne (13.7) has been a standout shooter for Diamond Valley this season.

Altona Gators (7th, 10-5-1) vs. Nunawading Spectres (3rd, 12-4)

In another crucial clash for these sides, Altona Gators must win to ensure they grab a home final, but more importantly put themselves in pole position for a double chance. The Spectres might have a double chance locked up barring a complete disaster run – two losses and Altona and Dandenong both overtake them, but will be keen to take advantage of a top two clash in the final round to potentially grab a home qualifying final. The Gators are four wins and a draw from seven games at home, while the Spectres have not done too much wrong on the road with just the one loss from seven games, and losing its first game last week in a number of months. Louisa Fakalata has been a scoring machine, averaging 19.2 points per game and the top points scorer in the competition, while Maddison Zugna (12.4) has also been impressive this season. For Altona, Kayla Salmons has been a shining light, contributing 11.8 points per game.

Hawthorn Magic (9th, 8-6-2) vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks (14th, 7-9)

The lowest ranked side in the Championship Division, Southern Peninsula Sharks are coming off a win last round by 22 points over Bendigo Braves and will be keen to make it two on the trot to give themselves any chance of finals. They need to win both games and Diamond Valley and Geelong Falcons to lose both in order to lock up a finals spot. For the Magic, they need to win to maintain their spot in the top eight with Diamond Valley chasing their spot, along with the bottom two sides trying to force their way into the top eight. The Magic is three wins and a draw from seven games, while the Sharks have won three from seven on the road making this head-to-head tough to predict. Ryleh Killian has been a super player in the grade, sinking an average of 15.0 points per game, while for the Sharks, Charli Dobson and Emirson Devenie have both notched up 14.1 points per game.

Dandenong Rangers (5th, 11-5) vs. Bulleen Boomers (1st, 13-3)

In a game which could mirror a qualifying final in a fortnight, the top-of-the-table Boomers travel to Dandenong to face the fourth placed – in the Championship Division – Rangers. Dandenong has won five on the trot and is in fine form with five wins from eight games, while the Boomers have won the past three with an undefeated run when travelling from six matches. Alexandra Keating averages the most points of any player in the competition, with the Boomers shooter putting up 19.4 points per game, teaming well with Casey Valenti-Paea (14.5) and Erin Riley (10.3). The Rangers have also shared it around, with Emily Sewell (14.0), Elly Morgan (10.1) and Leia Hanafin (10.0) all showing they have the capability to put good numbers up when in the side.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC review: Round 7 – Eagles cause upset as Boomers pounce on top spot

DIAMOND Valley Eagles have shaken up the run to the finals with a crucial upset over previously top-of-the-table Knox Raiders in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division competition, allowing Bulleen Boomers to pounce on top spot. The result also meant Diamond Valley moved into eighth spot, and sit just one point behind seventh placed Hawthorn Magic when talking Championship Division finals.

The thrilling 55-51 upset victory was the story of the weekend for Diamond Valley, having to come from behind at quarter time to run rampant in the middle two quarters and extend the lead out to nine points heading into the last break. Knox threw everything at the Eagles in the last term, but fell four points short in the end. Jade Dunne (13 points) and Abby Hildebrand (12) were the key scorers for the Eagles in the victory, while Georgia Baldwin (14) reached double figures for the Raiders.

Bulleen took advantage of Knox’s slip-up in the best way possible, not only winning its match, but completely outplaying the third placed Nunawading Spectres in the second half. The Boomers lead by six points at half-time but put the foot down after the main break, piling on 36 points to nine to run away with the 68-45 victory and claim top spot on the table with two rounds remaining. Casey Valenti-Paea continued her scoring spree with 21 points, while Erin Riley (19) and Antoinette Emma-Nnopu (11) were also important in the victory. Louisa Fakalata posted up 18 points in the losing side, aided by Tayha Watkins (10).

Dandenong Rangers put the clamps on Hawthorn Magic early to set up an important 58-40 victory and retain fourth spot in terms of Victorian Championship Division finals. The Rangers piled on 18 points to five in the first term and then withstood a Hawthorn fightback in the second quarter, before adding 29 points to 21 in the second half and enjoying an 18-point win. Leia Hanafin scored 13 points, while Felicity Hilford (11) and Hannah Rapp (10) both assisted with big games. Ryleh Killian put in a terrific effort on the scoreboard, finishing with 15 points in the loss.

Southern Peninsula Sharks moved a step closer to finals whilst pushing Bendigo Braves a step back thanks to an upset win on the road. The Sharks kept their finals hopes alive, restricting the Braves to just two points in the first term, and then winning three terms in total to run away with a more than handy 69-47 victory. Emirson Devenie (23 points) and Keely Toohey (17) were key for the Sharks, while Tess Barnes sank 18 in a hard-working effort for the home side.

Geelong kept its finals hopes alive with an important 15-point win over Altona Gators at home. The Supercats arguably could have won by more after racing to a 25-point lead at the final break, having restricted the Gators to 13 points in the first half, and 24 by the last change. Altona got back on top in the final quarter to score 16 points to four and cut the final score to 40-55, but it was too little, too late. Carly Remmos (16 points) and Alisha Knights (12) were both important in the victory as the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s pair took control of the game. Monique Marcetic-Vaotangi was a shining light in Altona’s loss, reaching a team-high 10 points.

In the Reserve grade, Kilsyth Cobras and Keilor Thunder continued their impressive winning streaks, making it seven and six on the trot respectively against Frankston Blues and Broadmeadows Broncos. Pakenham Warriors gained extra separation on McKinnon Cougars courtesy of a 16-point road win, while Melbourne Tigers downed Warrandyte Venom by 19 points, and Dandenong’s second side defeated Nunawading’s second side by just three points.

In Round 8 of the Victorian Championship, Bulleen Boomers travel to Dandenong Rangers in what could be the game of the round and massive for top four calculations, while the reformed Geelong Supercats have a tough ask up against a Knox Raiders side ready to bounce back from a rare loss. In other games, Altona Gators hopes to cause an upset against Nunawading Spectres, while finals places are on the line between mid-table sides, Bendigo Braves and Diamond Valley Eagles, and Hawthorn Magic and Southern Peninsula Sharks.