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:
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)
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)