Tag: kristian ferronato

MUVJBL Under 16 Boys Round 1 review: Geelong united in win over Whittlesea

A DOMINANT second term from Geelong United’s Under 16 Boys Championship Division side has helped the visiting team get up over Whittlesea Pacers in the opening round of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) competition. Trailing by four points at quarter time, Geelong piled on 21 points to six to take an 11-point lead into half-time. The Pacers hit back to cut it to a single-digit deficit with a 13-11 term, before United got back on top in the final quarter to add 22 points to 15 and run out 66-50 winners in the Watson Pool.

Whilst Whittlesea had a standout shooter in Dimitar Talevski who sank 24 points – including three from long-range – it was Geelong’s even spread of scorers that handed United the upperhand. Jesse Ombega (19 points), and Kane Thornburgh (13) led the way with scoring for the visiting side, while Jack Connelly and Joe Pike both contributed with 10 in the victory at Mill Park. It was the biggest margin of the Pool with all other matches decided by 12 points or less.

Sandringham Sabres won by 12 points at Nunawading, defeating the Spectres’ second side 61-49. It could have been even more had it not been for a 17-6 final term in favour of the home side, though the work from Michael Aminov (18 points) and Oscar Humble (10) was enough to get the Sabres up against a Acelin Adama-inspired (12 points) Spectres outfit. It was better news for Nunawading’s first side with the Spectres winning by 10 on the road against Kilsyth Cobras. A 25-5 third quarter was the difference for the Spectres after trailing by five at the final break and losing all bar that one term. Tristan Devers (17 points) led the way for the winning side, but he was far from alone as long-range shooter Lucas Koch (14), and Billy Hicks (11) also played well. Wyatt Stewart was a one-man scoring machine for the Cobras, dropping 27 points on the night on his way to picking up more than 50 per cent of his team’s score.

In the closest match of the Watson Pool, Pakenham Warriors won on the road against Ballarat Miners, 62-55. After a slow start to trail by five, Pakenham won each of the last four quarters to secure the seven-point victory. Lachlan Currie (22 points), Cooper Lanting (16) and Kobe Wilson (12) all contributed to their team’s score, whilst Alex Molan (16) and Ned Renfree (12) were the best for the Miners. In the second closest game of the round, Hawthorn Magic was the only home team in the pool to get up, winning by eight points over Casey Cavaliers. The Magic dominated the third term 20-8 which was the difference in the end, though Maximus Baker (14 points), Phoenix Windsor (12) and Hayden Loader (10) all put in strong efforts. It was a two-man show for Casey with Brian Vengesayi and Ethan Bolton both nailing 19 points piece on the night.

In the Ashe Pool, Bendigo Braves opened their account with a convincing 89-54 victory over Ringwood Hawks at home, winning every quarter by at least six on their way to a superb start to the season. Josiah Patterson was unstoppable from long range with five triples helping him on his way to 24 points in the game. Martin Steen (19 points) and Siologa Siu (13) also impressed the scorers with their shooting capability. Ringwood had a couple of impressive shooters as well, with Ethan Ramirez sinking 19 points and Luke Macauley putting up 12 for the losing side. In a much tighter contest, Bulleen Boomers recorded a four-point win over Keilor Thunder after trailing by a point at half-time. The Boomers scored 18-13 in the third term to turn it around then broke even with the Thunder in the last quarter to win 66-62. Joel Foxwell put in an effort to remember shooting 33 points, including five triples to haul his team over the line. Max Zalakos assisted with 13 points of his own, whilst for the Thunder it was a three-pronged attack led by Mate Mandic (19) as Anthony Gennaccaro and Ben Parker both finished the game with 10.

Heading down the Mornington Peninsula, Frankston Blues won 71-53, with a 21-7 second term doing the bulk of the damage in the 18-point victory over Southern Peninsula Sharks at Dromana. Kynan Philippe (20 points) and Sam Shinsky (18) led the way with scoring, while Corey Hastings and Thomas Field combined for 23 points in the losing home side. In another close contest, Dandenong Rangers won 72-65 over Eltham Wildcats at home. Lachlan Smith (14 points), Luke Fennell (11) and Noah Suarjaya (10) were the leaders in a side where each of the nine players got on the scoreboard. Kristian Ferronato could not have done much more for his side in a losing effort, recording a massive 27 points for the Wildcats, whilst Jed Wallace finished with 17. The final game of the pool between Knox Raiders and Melbourne Tigers saw the Tigers get up by 10 points in a tight one. Rook Barry put up 15 points, whilst Sebastian Duffy sank 13. Fraser Roxburgh scored 15 points for the Raiders in defeat.

Round 1 results:

Ashe Pool:

Southern Peninsula Sharks (53) defeated by Frankston Blues (71)
Dandenong Rangers (72) defeated Eltham Wildcats (65)
Knox Raiders (47) defeated by Melbourne Tigers (57)
Buleen Boomers (66) defeated Keilor Thunder (62)
Bendigo Braves (89) defeated Ringwood Hawks (54)

Watson Pool:

Ballarat Miners (55) defeated by Pakenham Warriors (62)
Hawthorn Magic (61) defeated Casey Cavaliers (53)
Kilsyth Cobras (53) defeated Nunawading Spectres (63)
Whittlesea Pacers (50) defeated by Geelong United (66)
Nunawading Spectres 2 (49) defeated by Sandringham Sabres (61)

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC review: Grand Final – Waverley redeems for a championship

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division came to a close on Friday with the Waverley Falcons defeating the Eltham Wildcats (67-69) in the Grand Final.

Throughout the finals both teams presented well. Eltham defeated their Grand Final rivals 79-69 in the qualifiers before advancing into the preliminaries with a 72-42 win over Dandenong. After losing the opening round, Waverley recorded consecutive six point wins against Geelong then Bulleen to find themselves against Eltham in the finals once again. Both sides opened with 13 each in the first term and 16 apiece for the third. It was the two closing quarters which separated them at the final buzzer, with Waverley’s 13-19 second term taking them to a six-point lead into the closer. Eltham and Falcons fought it out hard in the fourth, recording 25-21 with Waverley holding on to be two-point victors.

Waverley’s Nemuel Soliven led scoring for the night with 19 points, followed close by Tesloch Thong on 17. The pair finish their seasons in 17th an 15th for points per game (PPG) across the league with a 10.9 and 11.8 average from the season. Matt Jefferson topped them in fourteenth (12.2), rounding out his season with 13 points. For Eltham, Harrison Stones (18), Zahn Agosta (15) and Kristian Ferronato (13) all starred in the paint. Ferronato finished his season in twelfth for PPG (13), with Bradley Moorey claiming twentieth (10.6) with nine points in his final game.

This rounds out the MUVJBL Under-16 Boys season for 2019 with Waverley claiming the championship, bringing a stellar season to its close.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC preview: Grand Final

THE Eltham Wildcats will face off with the Waverley Falcons in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division Grand Final.

This game marks their second finals encounter with one another, after Waverley fell to Eltham at Mullum Mullum in a 79-69 qualifier. Since then the Falcons have fought hard to earn redemption, taking out the Supercats (71-65) last fortnight, as well as eliminating Bulleen (61-55) the following week. Eltham’s second match-up against Dandenong was the most decisive win of the series, defeating them by 30-points (72-42). Eltham and Waverley’s previous meetings have the league leaders at two to one. They both hold impressive records on the road, with Eltham at 7-1 and Waverly at 9-2. Eltham’s high defensive capabilities will be put to the test against Waverley’s high scoring capacity in the season’s most pivotal game.

Waverley’s David Amum ranks as the main scoring threat heading into Friday night – averaging 15.5 points per game (PPG) in sixth place across the league. In his last two matches he recorded 12 and 15 points, with Matt Jefferson hitting back to back games of 14. Jefferson and Tesloch Thong also hold in fourteenth and fifteenth respectively overall – averaging 12.1 and 11.4 PPG. For Eltham, Kristian Ferronato, Bradley Moorey and Anton Stratov have all presented well through the series. Ferronato opened strong in the qualifiers with 18 points, before hitting 22 in the preliminary. Moorey opened with 15 in the first before dipping to eight against Dandenong, while Stratov managed 11 and 12 in his two contests.

The MUVJBL Under-16 Boys Grand Final kicks off at 9:30pm at Dandenong Basketball Stadium tonight, bringing the Championship Division to close as we present the winners of the 2019 season.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC review: Preliminary Finals – Falcons earn chance for redemption

THE Eltham Wildcats continued their strong season with a dominant performance in the Melbourne United Victoria Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division preliminary finals. The Wildcats easily moved past Dandenong Rangers, while in the other game, Waverley Falcons upset second placed Bulleen Boomers to face Eltham in the 2019 decider.

Eltham Wildcats 72 defeated Dandenong Rangers 42

The league-leaders pulled no punches on their way to the big dance, recording a dominant second half at 42-18. Eltham held better on the defensive end, keeping the Rangers below 10 in the second and third terms, while Kristian Ferronato stepped up in offense. The Vic Metro representative led his side with 22, moving his way to twelfth for points per game (PPG) as Anton Stratov and Zahn Agosta follow with 12 and 10 points respectively. Dandenong’s Nyareth Mayoum rounds out his season with a team-high 11 points in the absence of team scoring leader, Beau Tranter (14.5 PPG), followed by Jerome Pierre with eight and Arian Berisha and Dennis Ameti on seven apiece. Pierre finishes his season just below Tranter in tenth (14 PPG).

Bulleen Boomers 55 defeated by Waverley Falcons 61

In a tighter affair, the Waverley Falcons progress to a Grand Final over the second-place, Bulleen Boomers, with a 55-61 win at State Basketball Centre. Waverley secure their chance at a title and redemption as they come up against their qualifying rivals in the championship game. In the contest, Bulleen controlled the first term, recording a 19-12 opener. Though Waverley rebounded well in the second to record a game-high 20-point (15) term, before taking control of the remainder of the game with consecutive winning terms. David Amum managed 15 points for the Falcons, taking himself to sixth for PPG (15.5), while Matt Jefferson (14) and Tesloch Thong (10) both provided support in offense. Jefferson’s performance moves him one spot past Thong (11.4 PPG) into fourteenth (12.1). For the Boomers, Marcel Haj (14) and Daniel Poelsma (13) put up respectable ends to their seasons – finishing at fourth (16.3) and seventh (15.1) for PPG.

In the Championship Division next week, the Waverley Falcons get their shot to make amends in the Grand Final against the Eltham Wildcats, who bested them in the qualifiers, while Bulleen and Dandenong bring their seasons to a close with 15 and 10 wins respectively.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC preview: Preliminary finals

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division tips off the Preliminary finals this week, with Eltham Wildcats going head-to-head against Dandenong Rangers, and Bulleen Boomers facing the Waverley Falcons.

Eltham Wildcats (1st, 15-3) vs Dandenong Rangers (6th, 10-7-1)

The first preliminary pits the Eltham Wildcats against the Dandenong Rangers at Mullum Mullum Stadium with the Rangers facing their biggest challenge yet after picking up wins over Knox (61-54) and Keilor (56-51). The Rangers came through in the last term against the Thunder, stretching their one-point lead to four on their way into this week. In the week prior, the Wildcats proved better over Waverley (79-69) to enjoy some time off during the Semi-finals. Eltham will rely heavily on Kristian Ferronato to maintain his efforts at the board – leading his side with 12 points per game (PPG) from eight outings, while Bradley Moorey trails with 11.1 PPG from nine. In last fortnight’s clash, the pair led their side with 18 and 15 points respectively, with Harrison Stones also impressing in the paint (13). Jerome Pierre and Beau Tranter have both had solid years for Dandenong. Currently, the pair sit ninth and tenth for PPG with 14.6 and 14.5 PPG respectively. Last week, Tranter carried his team into a preliminary final with 18 points, following on from his 21 points the week prior.

Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 15-3) vs Waverley Falcons (4th, 12-6)

For the last spot in the Grand Final, the Bulleen Boomers go head-to-head with the Waverley Falcons. Last week, the Falcons revived their finals chances following a 71-65 win over Geelong. Both sides shot consistently for four terms, with Waverley’s biggest lead coming in the final term. Comparatively, Bulleen earned their spot in the preliminaries with one of the largest margins seen in the MUVJBL this year, defeating Keilor 90-40 with six players recording double digits in the win. Will Rimmington (17), Daniel Johnston (16), Marcel Haj (10) and Copper Ferdinando (10) all stepped up in Bulleen’s big win last fortnight, while Daniel Poelsma led from the front with 22 points – carrying him to seventh for PPG with Haj above in fourth.The Falcons currently boast four players in the top 20 for PPG with David Amum (15.5), Matt Jefferson (11.9), Tesloch Thong (11.5) and Nemuel Soliven all placing. Last week, Soliven led the Falcons with 17 points, followed next by Jefferson (14) and Amum (12), and will look to do the same this week against an in-form line-up.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC review: Qualifying and Elimination Finals – Bulleen sets the standard

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division kicked off finals this week with the Eltham Wildcats defeating Waverley Falcons in the first qualifier (79-69). Eltham proceed into the preliminary while Waverley look to use their second chance next week. In the match-up, Waverley was competitive early, following 22-20 at quarter-time. In the second, their efforts dipped as the Wildcats continued to a game-high 26-7. Despite a good response in the third (11-25), Waverley’s rebound could not affect the win. For the Wildcats, Kristian Ferronato (18 points) and Bradley Moorey (15) controlled the floor. With 12 points per game, Ferronato remains Eltham’s most consistent scorer and a threat heading deeper into finals. David Amum (18) led for Waverley and was accompanied well by Matt Jefferson (15). Amum’s performance moves him to fifth for PPG (15.9) in his tenth consecutive game in the Championship Division.

The second Qualifying Final saw the Bulleen Boomers advance into the preliminaries following a 50-point thrashing over Keilor Thunder. In the contest, Bulleen controlled from the very beginning. They set the tone with 25-4 in the first, before slowing to 16-6 in the second. By the main break, Bulleen led 41-10 – scoring Keilor’s total score by the first half. Although Keilor managed double-digits for consecutive terms in the second half, it was not enough to contend. Bulleen boasted plenty standouts in the win, with Will Rimmington (17), Daniel Johnston (16) and Joe Foxwell (15) all cracking above 10 points. Though most impressive was Daniel Poelsma, who moves to seventh spot for PPG (15.3) following his game-high 22 points. For Keilor, Cooper Colson managed 10 points, followed next by Xavier Maye and Jackson Djatschenko with seven each.

The first of the eliminations occurred after Dandenong Rangers defeated the Knox Raiders (61-54). The Rangers advance into the semi-finals as the Raiders season reaches its conclusion. At Batesford Reserve, Dandenong was keen to set the pace. They controlled both sides of the floor, scoring 16 and 19 in the first half, while keeping the Raiders below 10 in both. The Raiders took over in the second half, winning consecutive terms (16-22, 10-17), but could not escape their poor openers to snare the win. Beau Tranter starred for the Rangers with a team-high 22 points and finished the only Dandenong player over 10 points. Tyson Leys finished next best with eight. For the Raiders, Jordan Anderson earned a game-high 27 points, followed next by Lachlan Heron‘s 14. Anderson finishes his season in second place for PPG with 20.4 from 10 outings.

The last Elimination Final saw the Geelong Supercats earned a 74-54 win over Bendigo Braves. The Melton affair seemed over fast for the Braves, having conceded 18-9 in the first term. Like the rest, Bendigo’s first half took them out of the contest despite some valiant efforts in the second half. Both teams lifted in the closers, but the Braves were just unable to shut down on defense. For the Supercats, Jet Kneebone led the way with 19 points, followed next by the league’s third best scorer in Olivier Northam (16). Northam currently averages 19.9 PPG from 10 outings, while Kneebone follows on 12.6. Jacob Nihil proved good in attack for Bendigo, picking up a team-high 18 points. Michael Kiraly also impressed on his way to 11 points in his last for the season.

In the Reserve grade, the Diamond Valley Eagles defeated the Eltham Wildcats (61-49), the Nunawading Spectres fell short to Casey Cavaliers (45-58), Kilsyth Cobras lost 53-56 against the Whittlesea Pacers and Hawthorn Magic closed out the round with a 64-53 win over Melbourne Tigers. In the semi-finals for the Championship Division, Waverley Falcons face the Dandenong Rangers and Keilor Thunder face Geelong Supercats. The Eltham Wildcats and Bulleen Boomers advance into the Preliminary Finals.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC preview: Qualifying and Elimination Finals

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division kicks off their first leg of finals this week, with four teams up for elimination and the remaining four squaring off in the qualifying finals

Eltham Wildcats (1st, 15-3) vs Waverley Falcons (4th, 12-6)

The first qualifying final pits Eltham Wildcats against Waverley Falcons. From their previous encounters they sit at one win apiece, with Waverley earning the most recent victory in late June (67-58). Though the most interesting feature of their third match-up is the neutral territory, with both teams sitting on one loss apiece from their time on the road. Kristian Ferronato will be watched closely, having averaged 11.3 points per game (PPG) from eight outings. He continues to be Eltham’s most consistent shooter, alongside Bradley Moorey (10.6), who delivered a team-high 16 points in last week’s win. For Waverley, David Amum should expect a lot of attention at the board. Along with Tesloch Thong (12.3), Amum sits as one of the league’s most dominant scorers, averaging 15.7 PPG in sixth spot.

Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 15-3) vs Keilor Thunder (3rd, 12-5-1)

The second qualifying final kicks off at Mill Park Stadium with Bulleen Boomers facing Keilor Thunder. In their last encounter, Keilor handed Bulleen their first and only loss at home, despite holding an average record on the road and three wins between them. Since the loss, Bulleen have turned things around, recording five consecutive wins, while Keilor have recorded a loss and draw over the past fortnight. Bulleen will look to Marcel Haj (17.2 PPG) and Daniel Poelsma (14.6) to have an impact, having recorded 34 and 11 in last week’s win. For Keilor, Cooper Colson (13.9) and Brodie McWhinney (12.2) will look to build on their nine and 12 points from last week.

Geelong Supercats (5th, 10-7-1) vs Bendigo Braves (8th, 10-8)

Geelong Supercats and Bendigo Braves kick off the first of two elimination finals. The last time these two teams faced, Geelong walked away decisive victors (74-68). In the weeks leading in, both teams have suffered poor runs, with Geelong losing three of their last four and Bendigo losing three of their last five. Despite similar records, Bendigo’s success on the road has them winning this one. Geelong will rely heavily on Olivier Northam (20.3 PPG) and Jet Kneebone (11.9) to drive offense. Currently, Northam sits at the top scorer in the finals series, ranking first in overall points and second behind Latrobe’s, Coby Burgiel (21.9), on 20.3 PPG. Comparatively, Bendigo lack top-end scorers. Macey Eaton currently leads with 11.3 PPG, followed next by Jacob Nihil on 8.9.

Dandenong Rangers (6th, 10-7-1) vs Knox Raiders (7th, 10-8)

The first leg of elimination finals caps off with Dandenong Rangers facing Knox Raiders. In their last meeting, Dandenong proved the better outfit, defeating Knox by five points. Though in the time that preceded it, Knox issued a much higher standard to defeat Dandenong (81-58). Though with three consecutive losses currently plaguing Knox, it seems they might be over the hill. The Rangers will have Jerome Pierre (16.4 PPG) and Beau Tranter (13.4) managing offense, with Tranter reaching 15 points in last week’s fight-back draw against Keilor. For Knox, Jordan Anderson continues to be standout, ranking third in the competition for PPG (20.3) and second for overall points (177). Last fortnight, he hit 23 points in the loss to Geelong, followed next by Zachary Greeves (16).

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC preview: Round 9

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division finalists might be set in stone, but home finals, and even the minor premiership is still up for grabs in what is expected to be a huge final round.

Waverley Falcons (4th, 11-6) vs. Geelong Supercats (5th, 10-6-1)

The battle for the final spot in the top four is well and truly on with Waverley Falcons and Geelong Supercats to determine who grabs a double chance in the finals. The Falcons could even grab third if Keilor Thunder has a shock loss to Dandenong Ranges, while a loss for the Supercats could see them fall as low as eighth. The Falcons have been shaky at home with just three wins from eight games, while the Supercats are four wins and a draw from the same amount of matches on the road. Olivier Northam is the top shooter in the clash, averaging 20.6 points per game to rank second overall, while David Amum (15.6) and Tesloch Thong (13.4) are also ranked inside the top 10 after their performances so far this season for Waverley.

Bulleen Boomers (1st, 14-3) vs. Bendigo Braves (8th, 10-7)

The top eight is done and dusted, but Bendigo is still in line for a home final if the Braves can cause a monumental upset over title favourites, Bulleen Boomers. The Boomers have only dropped one game at home, while the Braves are comfortable hitting the road with six wins from eight matches. If they win, they will likely jump at least one team, while for the Boomers, a minor premiership is on the line as Bulleen is level on points with Eltham Wildcats. It is no surprise the top side has plenty of scoring options, led by top 10 shooters, Marcel Haj (17.3 points per game) and Daniel Poelsma (15.0). The Braves do have Macey Eaton inside the top 20, who is averaging 12.1 points per game this season.

Pakenham Warriors (14th, 7-9-1) vs. Latrobe Energy (12th, 8-9)

In the game that has no bearing on finals, the winner will ensure they do not finish bottom in the Championship Division. With Latrobe sitting two wins adrift of Dandenong sitting in the last finals spot, there is no chance the Energy will see past this week, but will be keen to go out on a high after four consecutive losses. The Warriors would also be keen to bounce back from a loss last week, but regardless both these teams are having their last showing for the season. Despite sitting low on the ladder, the Energy actually have a damaging trio, but much of the scoring power is relied upon them. Coby Burgiel (20.5 points per game) and Jack Hrehoresen (19.5) are ranked third and fourth respectively in the league, while Koby Tibballs (13.7) is ranked ninth. For the Warriors, the eighteenth placed Kayne Taylor is their top scorer with 11 points per game in his eight outings.

Eltham Wildcats (2nd, 14-3) vs. Knox Raiders (6th, 10-7)

This game has a fair bit of interest with the minor premiership on the line for Eltham, while Knox has the chance to secure a home final with victory. Currently sitting sixth, the Raiders will move past the Supercats if they win and Geelong lose, but cannot surpass Waverley under the head-to-head rule. The Wildcats would love to grab top spot as whichever teams falls into fourth will be an easier task than the third placed Keilor Thunder. Eltham will need to find a way to contain Raiders’ star Jordan Anderson who has been a shooting machine this season putting up 22.1 points per game. He is the top ranked shooter in the competition, while Zachary Greeves also makes his way into the top 20 with 11.9 points per game. For the Wildcats, it is a shared contribution with Kristian Ferronato (12.3 points) the only player in the top 20, but Bradley Moorey (9.9) and Anton Stratov (8.8) not far behind.

Dandenong Rangers (9th, 10-7) vs. Keilor Thunder (3rd, 12-5)

Hard to see the Rangers causing an upset against the Thunder in this game, though there is more on the line for the Rangers. They could potentially leapfrog a couple of teams and snatch a home elimination final, where a loss guarantees them eighth. For the Thunder, a win would lock up third spot, but a loss and Waverley move past them based on the Falcons’ three-point win recently. Jerome Pierre holds the key to the Rangers’ success this season, shooting 17.6 points per game, well aided by partner-in-crime Beau Tranter (13.3). For the Thunder, Brodie McWhinney (13.0) and Cooper Colson (13.0) sit in eleventh and twelfth spot on the scorers table respectively.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC preview: Round 8

ONLY two rounds remain in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division with finals still available for all 10 teams. With the top-four all vying for a home-final, the contest between the Eltham Wildcats and Keilor Thunder has potential to better the winner’s chances next fortnight. The Dandenong Rangers’ match-up with Bulleen Boomers presents similar gain – with both contests likely indicating how prepared each side is for finals.

Eltham Wildcats (2nd, 13-3) vs Keilor Thunder (3rd, 12-4)

The match-up between the Eltham Wildcats and Keilor Thunder at Eltham High could set the winner up for a home final next fortnight. Both sides have boasted a good deal of success in the Championship Division, with Eltham picking up their fourth consecutive win over Dandenong last round, as Keilor re-joined the winner’s list against the Latrobe Energy. Dandenong challenged the Wildcats more than most but failed to match at the boards – conceding the first and second highest scoring terms. Bradley Moorey and Harrison Stones were Eltham’s biggest utilities, scoring 14 and 12 points respectively. Top-scorer, Kristian Ferronato (eight) lacked his usual impact but remains in ninth for league-scoring. Comparatively, Keilor boasted one of their easiest match-ups yet, beating Latrobe 78-53 with an impressive 31-point final term. Nikolas Ellul (14), Xavier Maye (12) and Brodie McWhinney (12) combined well on the scoreboard – with McWhinney moving to 10th for league-scoring. Despite missing the top-end, Cooper Colson’s nine-points moved him to fifteenth for points per game (PPG).

Dandenong Rangers (6th, 10-6) vs Bulleen Boomers (1st, 13-3)

Dandenong Rangers present a chance to join the top-four this week when they host Bulleen Boomers. Last week, the Rangers competed well against the Wildcats – losing 50-45 after recording four consecutive wins, while the Boomers recorded their third win in a row, this time over the Geelong Supercats (82-67). Jerome Pierre was at his usual best for Dandenong, recording 18 points in the loss to move to sixth in the league for PPG. Beau Tranter holds in eleventh spot following his nine-point performance, averaging 13.3 PPG. The Boomers recorded three terms over 20 points in their win, with Marcel Haj absolutely dominating the floor with 34 points. Haj moves to third for points (125) across the league and fifth for PPG with a 17.9 average. Joe Foxwell also proved himself in the contest, scoring 16 points. This week, Dandenong will put their impressive 6-1-0 home record to the test against the best in the league, with Pierre and Haj both in top form.

Pakenham Warriors (13th, 7-8-1) vs Bendigo Braves (9th, 9-7)

Pakenham Warriors host Bendigo Braves this week, with both sides desperately needing a win to stay in touch for finals. Last week, both sides returned to the winner’s list. Pakenham impressed at home against the fourth placed, Knox Raiders, defeating the top-end side 65-61, while the Bendigo Braves took a similarly big scalp over the Waverley Falcons (70-77), exposing Waverley’s weak record at home (2-5-0). In their match-up with Knox, Pakenham opened both halves (11-17, 15-18) weaker than their visitors, though took control when it mattered to close out with the win (19-10, 20-16). Jarrod Small led on the scoreboard for the Warriors with 17 points, followed next by Kobe Wilson on 12. Kayne Taylor still sits as Pakenham’s only player within the top 20 for PPG, averaging 11.7 from seven outings despite recording five against Knox. Bendigo will look to Macey Eaton (14) and Jett Vandenberg (13) to continue their form from last week, with Eaton having a 12.8 PPG average – remaining Bendigo’s only player within the top 20.

Knox Raiders (4th, 10-6) vs Geelong Supercats (8th, 9-6-1)

Knox Raiders will be desperate to return to the winner’s list this round when they host a struggling Geelong Supercats. The Raiders pulled up short against Pakenham (65-61) last week – conceding 20 points in the final term after taking a 45-45 tie into the closer. Similarly, Geelong suffered a loss to Bulleen on their way to their second defeat in a fortnight. Their success in recent weeks does not bode well as they face their third top four side in a month. In the Raiders’ match, Jordan Anderson and Lachlan Heron impressed with 20 and 15 points respectively. Anderson retains the top spot for PPG (22) and overall points (154), while Zachary Greeves moves to 17th following a nine-point performance. Koby Tranys emerged for the Supercats with 20 points, while Olivier Northam recorded one of the league’s best games with 31. Northam moves to second spot for overall points and third for PPG as he comes up against his top-end rival in Anderson.

Waverley Falcons (5th, 10-6) vs Latrobe Energy (12th, 8-8)

Latrobe Energy hope to keep their finals’ chances alive this week when they travel to Waverley to face the Falcons. Last week, the Falcons faced a surprising loss against the bottom-end, Bendigo Braves. Despite winning their second half with consecutive 18-point terms, the Braves’ dominance in the first (16-24, 18-22) was too much for the Falcons. For Latrobe, success has been hard to find. They suffered their third consecutive loss at the hands of the Keilor Thunder last round, moving to 12th – one spot out of finals. In Waverley’s match-up, David Amum delivered with 25 points, followed next by Tesloch Thong on 14. The pair both boast spots within the top-20 for PPG, with Amum in seventh and Thong in thirteenth. Matt Jefferson also rounds out the top-20 with 10.2 PPG. For Latrobe, Kody Tibballs (21) and Coby Burgiel (17) delivered on the board last week, with Tibballs moving to twelfth for PPG and Burgiel to second. Jack Hrehoresen also boasts fourth spot with 19.5 PPG, but has only played four games in the Championship Division.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC preview: Round 7

ROUND 7 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division poses one more chance for teams outside finals territory – with a clean run home necessary for both Bendigo and Pakenham. The Eltham Wildcats will host the Dandenong Rangers in the match of the round, while the Geelong Supercats face the Bulleen Boomers in a similarly wrought contest.

Eltham Wildcats (2nd, 12-3) vs Dandenong Rangers (6th, 10-5)

This week, the Eltham Wildcats host the Dandenong Rangers in a contest that should set the winner up for finals. A win for the Wildcats keeps them inside the top-two – granting a home final and a second-chance. If the Rangers win, they continue their push for top-four, and with only two wins between them and first, could threaten for something better in the coming rounds. Kristian Ferronato has been one of the league’s most damaging scorers all season. Last week, he put up a game-high 18 points in Eltham’s win, alongside an emerging Zahn Agosta (13). This week they face a damaging pair in Beau Tranter and Jerome Pierre. Pierre sits fifth in the league for points per game (PPG) on 16.4 and dominated in last week’s clash against Latrobe with 25 points. Tranter sits in tenth spot, averaging 14 PPG from six outings.

Bulleen Boomers (1st, 12-3) vs Geelong Supercats (7th, 9-5-1)

With the top spot still in contention, the Bulleen Boomers’ clash at home against the Geelong Supercats will be a must-win. The top-four has tightened over the last few rounds, with Eltham equalling Bulleen’s record and Keilor rising. Despite sitting in 7th, a top-four shot is still attainable for the Supercats – sitting only one win behind fourth. Though more importantly, Geelong risk slipping entirely if Bendigo and Pakenham can get off the bottom. The match-up between Bulleen’s, Marcel Haj, and Geelong’s, Olivier Northam, should be big in deciding the result. This season, Haj has averaged 15.2 PPG from six appearances, and recorded 14 points in last week’s clash to Pakenham. Joe Foxwell was the biggest highlight of that game – recording a game-high 15. Northam has been similarly impressive – averaging 18.7 PPG in fourth and second for overall points (112). Jet Kneebone has also been strong for Geelong with 12 PPG in 15th.

Pakenham Warriors (13th, 6-8-1) vs Knox Raiders (4th, 10-5)

The Knox Raiders sit on the edge of the top-four as they face the Pakenham Warriors on the road this Friday. After losing big to the Keilor Thunder (59-37) last fortnight, the Raiders rebounded strong against the Bendigo Braves (46-66) to stay in touch with the top-four. The Warriors have been in poor form since joining the Championship Division – adding their sixth consecutive loss last week against the Bulleen Boomers (79-61). Kayne Taylor pulled up well in the loss to record 20 points. He moves to twelfth for PPG across the league with 12.8 average from six outings. Drue Maher was also big in the slog with 14 points. Though when compared with the Raiders’, Jordan Anderson, the pair seem a bit outmatched. Anderson currently boasts the most points in the league (134) and second spot for PPG on 22.3. The league-leader had 16 points in last week’s clash – equal with teammate Blake Stratton, who hopefully carries his form into finals.

Keilor Thunder (3rd, 11-4) vs Latrobe Energy (10th, 8-7)

The Keilor Thunder will hope to join the winner’s list this week when they face the Latrobe Energy at home. Last week, Keilor had their longstanding streak ended at the hands of the Waverley Falcons. Before losing to the Falcons, the Thunder were the most dominant team in the Championship Division with seven consecutive wins. Comparatively, Latrobe have won two of their six outings in the new division. They showed up well last week against the Rangers, coming close with 29 points in the third term, but went onto lose touch with 10-23 in the closer. Keilor will look to Brodie McWhinney to perform, having averaged 13.5 PPG in eleventh spot across the league. He has been supported well by Cooper Colson (12.5 PPG and ranked fifteenth), who had 11 against Waverley. For Latrobe, eyes will be on Jack Hrehoresen (19.5) and Kody Tibballs – ranked in third and eighteenth respectively.

Waverley Falcons (5th, 10-5) vs Bendigo Braves (11th, 8-7)

After ending the league’s longest standing streak last week, the Waverley Falcons should hope to resume form as they host the Bendigo Braves. Before last fortnight, the Falcons held a strong winning record. Though after losing grip, returned the week after to put down Keilor’s dominant run. The Braves nurse three consecutive losses after adding their third against a rebounding Knox (46-66) last week. A win is a must for the Braves if they intend on playing finals, but with David Amum, Tesloch Thong and Nemuel Soliven at the helm for Waverley, it could prove difficult. On the leaderboard, Amum (14) leads the Falcons in ninth, while Thong (12.7) and Soliven (11) follow next in thirteenth and nineteenth. The Braves will have Macey Eaton to counter, averaging 12.6 PPG in thirteenth. Though unfortunately, the Braves had no player record double-digits last week, so require a big lift if they hope to compete.