Tag: maddison zugna

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

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

Bulleen Boomers 52 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 55

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

Knox Raiders 70 defeated Nunawading Spectres 50

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

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

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC preview: Preliminary finals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dandenong Rangers 87 defeated Bendigo Braves 53

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

Nunawading Spectres 70 defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks 48

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

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

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC preview: 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 preview: Round 9

THE Knox Raiders and Bulleen Boomers will headline Round 9 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division in what could be a preview for the Grand Final. The match-up between Geelong and Southern Peninsula also looks to be a crucial contest, with a win necessary to their finals hopes.

Knox Raiders (2nd, 13-3-1) vs Bulleen Boomers (1st, 14-3)

The Knox Raiders will open Round 9 against top-end rivals, Bulleen Boomers, in a game that could present as a foretaste for the Grand Final. In terms of success, the Raiders’ last fortnight has been less than ideal, having recorded a 51-55 loss to Diamond Valley before tying with the fourteenth-placed, Geelong Supercats. In comparison, Bulleen’s last month has been faultless. Besides recording four consecutive wins, Bullen have made short work of Dandenong and Bulleen, as well as assumed top-spot one week out of finals. Olivia Tsantarlis and Casey Valenti-Paea were standout in Bulleen’s last outing, recording 16 and 14 points respectively. Valenti-Paea moved to sixth spot for points per game (PPG) following her performance, while Alexandra Keating continues to hold in second (17 PPG). For Knox, Zoe Jenkins(16) and Rhiannon Ockwell (15) were big in last week’s draw and will be expected to maintain form as they attempt to hold their top-two spot.

Geelong Supercats (14th, 7-9-1) vs Southern Peninsula (13th, 8-9)

One spot remains as we lead into finals, with the Geelong Supercats hosting the Southern Peninsula. Both sides sit at the bottom of the table, having shown little success since the division separation. Given their positions, Geelong’s 5-2-1 home record threatens the Peninsula’s chances. In recent weeks, both outfits have lifted on form, with Southern Peninsula recording consecutive wins, which include fair scalps over Hawthorn and Bendigo. Similarly, Geelong presented well against the Raiders, tying with the top-end team and likely instilling confidence. NBL1 representatives, Carly Remmos and Alishia Knights, presented well in Geelong’s draw; recording 14 and 13 points respectively. The pair match-up on Emirson Devenie and Charli Dobson this week, who both sit higher on the table for league-average with 15.5 and 13.6. Last week, Devenie recorded 25 points on her way to a four-point victory over Hawthorn. The Geelong star moves to third on the table as we lead into tomorrow’s game.

Dandenong Rangers (7th, 11-6) vs Nunawading Spectres (4th, 12-5)

With a second a chance still available for the Dandenong Rangers, it presents a lot to gain when they host the Nunawading Spectres on Friday. Prior to last week’s loss, Dandenong was stnading strong having recorded five consecutive wins after two narrow losses in the opening rounds. For Nunawading, the last two weeks have been disappointing, losing two consecutive to Bulleen and Altona. Dandenong will look to NBL1 representative, Elly Morgan, to continue her form recording 12, 19 and 16 in her last three outings. Hannah Rapp and Leia Hanafin have also presented well recently recording 13 and 11 in their win over Knox. Comparatively, the Spectres boast top league scorer, Louisa Fakalata, who averages 19.1 PPG in the Championship Division, along with Maddison Zugna who averages 11.9.

Hawthorn Magic (9th, 8-7-2) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (11th, 8-8-1)

The Hawthorn Magic desperately need to return to the winner’s list when they host the Diamond Valley Eagles, with loser of this match-up potentially missing out on finals. Currently, the Eagles sit on five consecutive losses, slipping further down in form and on the table as we approach finals. Diamond Valley took a big loss on the road last week against Bendigo, worsening their abysmal away record (2-6). Similarly, Hawthorn’s success at home has been underwhelming at 3-4-1, so it is difficult to pick a winner in this contest. For Hawthorn, Ryleh Killian has been in solid form, averaging 14.3 PPG for seven outings. Last week, Georgia Gray and Ella Crump recorded 17 and 14 points respectively and will need to maintain form if they intend on competing for finals. For Diamond Valley, Caitlyn Meagher was standout in in their loss to Bendigo recording a team-high 15 points, followed next by Georgia Kitchell on 11.

Bendigo Braves (8th, 10-7) vs Altona Gators (6th, 11-5-1)

The Altona Gators continue their push for a top four spot as they travel to Bendigo to face the Braves. Last week, Altona rejoined the winner’s list with a comprehensive showing over Nunawading Spectres. Their lift in form comes off the back of their poor performance against the Supercats one round prior. In Bendigo’s last outing, they recorded a big 28-point margin over the Diamond Valley Eagles. They continue to boast a stellar record at home at 6-2, looking to maintain it as they host the Gators on Friday. In the match-up, the Braves will look to Piper Dunlop and Tess Barnes to maintain their dominance with pair having averaged 14.7 and 14.4 from their seven outings. For the Gators, Kayla Salmons has been standout with 12.3 PPG, alongside Monique Marcetic-Vaotangi with 8.6.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC review: Round 8 – Geelong causes an upset

TOP-END competitors, Knox Raiders slipped from the top of the table in Melbourne United Victorian Junior Championship Division (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division with a 57-57 tie against bottom-end, Geelong Supercats.

The Raiders’ away record took its first non-winning result, sitting at 8-0-1 following the round. In the match-up both teams opened with 25 points in the first term before dipping substantially with an 8-7 second term in favour of Geelong. Geelong extended their lead in the third with a 19-14 term before Knox closed the gap with 11 points (five) in the last. Zoe Jenkins and Rhiannon Ockwell controlled the floor with 16 and 15 points respectively. For Geelong, NBL1 representatives, Carly Remmos and Alishia Knights led on the board with 14 and 13 boards respectively. Remmos’ performance moves to eleventh in the league for points per game (PPG), while Knights sits one below in twelfth.

Nunawading Spectres recorded their second loss in a fortnight after falling to Altona Gators on the road. The Spectres are third on the table but risk missing out on a second-chance for finals as Altona and Dandenong press one win below. The Gators set their sights on the top-four, rebounding well from their 55-40 loss against Geelong in the round prior. In the contest, it was a 21-5 second term that took Nunawading out of the race, despite tying and winning the subsequent terms. Alicia Sciberras tore up the floor with 19 points alongside Kayla Salmons, who recorded 15 for the night. NBL1 representative, Louisa Fakalata led her side with a 19-point performance, but lacked support on the board with Maddison Zugna following next on eight. Fakalata moves to top spot for total points (134) and average points per game (PPG) (19.1) with her dominant performance.

Bulleen Boomers have secured a home final following their win over the Dandenong Rangers on the road. The Boomers moved two wins outside the top two as they pick up their fourth consecutive win, defeating notable sides such as Nunawading and Dandenong in the past fortnight. The Boomers cleaned up in the first half, taking a 39-21 lead into the main break. The Boomers conceded the third (14-7) before finishing 12-14 in the final term. Olivia Tsantarlis led scoring for the Bulleen Boomers with a 16-point performance, followed next by Casey Valenti-Paea with 14. Valenti-Paea moves to sixth on the table for PPG at 14.4 following her performance. NBL1 Representative, Elly Morgan led on the board for Dandenong with 12 points, followed next by Hannah Rapp on nine. Morgan’s performance moves to 17th in the league for PPG.

The Boroondara Sports Complex was treated to one of the games of the round with Southern Peninsula sharks defeating the Hawthorn Magic (61-57) on the road. The result moves Southern Peninsula back into finals contention as they equal their record with Hawthorn in ninth despite placing thirteenth. The loss marks Hawthorn’s fifth consecutive loss, raising questions regarding their validity for finals. In the contest, Hawthorn opened strong at 17-9. They retained dominance in the next two terms (19-18, 17-15) before losing touch in the final term (4-19) to lose by four points. Emirson Devenie dominated at the board for Peninsula with a game-high 25 points, moving to third for PPG on 15.5, while Gemma Simon was next best with 13 points. For Hawthorn, Georgia Gray and Ella Crump were both dominant on 17 and 14 points respectively.

The Bendigo Braves rebounded hard against the Diamond Valley Eagles to pick up a 77-49 victory at home. Their win follows a 45-69 loss against the Southern Peninsula in the round prior, responding well to lock themselves in for finals. Diamond Valley’s away record takes another big hit (2-6-0) as they risk being rubbed out for the finals in the last round. In the match-up, the Braves shut the game down early with a 44-24 opening half, going on to claim a comfortable 28-point victory. Tess Barnes led on the floor for the Braves with 20 points, while NBL representative, Piper Dunlop followed closely with 17. Barnes move into fifth spot on the league-scoring table, one position below Dunlop in fourth. For Diamond Valley, Caitlin Meagher held strong with 15 points, followed by Georgia Kitchell on 11.

In the Reserve Grade, McKinnon lost at home to the Dandenong Rangers, while Kilsyth Cobras held up against Melbourne Tigers and Nunawading Spectres proved better than the Broadmeadows Broncos. The round continued with the Frankston Blues defeating the Keilor Thunder and Pakenham Warriors losing out to Warrandyte Venom.

In the Championship Division next round, Geelong Supercats face Southern Peninsula Sharks, while Knox Raiders host Bulleen Boomers and Hawthorn Magic come up against Diamond Valley Eagles. The round finishes Bendigo Braves hosting Altona Gators and Dandenong Rangers hosting Nunawading Spectres.

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 preview: Round 7

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division nears finals as we enter Round 7, with seemingly one spot remaining in the top four. Four teams continue to battle out for a second chance – all equal with 10 wins from fourth to seventh. This week’s game of the round will likely be between Nunawading Spectres and Bulleen Boomers, with the winner taking second place and putting themselves in the box seat for a much-desired home final. The match-up between Hawthorn and Dandenong also presents to be a good one, as the home side vies for a top eight spot.

Nunawading Spectres (3rd, 12-3) vs Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 12-3)

The third placed Nunawading Spectres host their top-end rivals, Bulleen Boomers, in a game that may seal their second-chance home final. Last week, the Spectres grabbed their twelfth consecutive win of the season, knocking off the Hawthorn Magic 61-38 at home. It was an unusual game, with the in-form side only scoring 11 points for the first half. They resurged following the break and went onto score 34 points in the fourth term to close out the curious affair. The Boomers boast two comfortable wins in the last fortnight – beating Hawthorn (59-50) and Geelong (50-41) at home. Though given their position, we expect higher margins against teams outside the eight, but it seems the Boomers have scraped a couple together in the last fortnight. This week, the league’s two best scorers go head to head. Nunawading’s Louis Fakalata has been in top form across her five outings, averaging 19.4 points per game (PPG) in equal-first with Bulleen’s Alexandra Keating. Maddison Zugna continues to be great support for Fakalata, having averaged 13 PPG from six outings, while Keating shares the load well with Casey Valenti-Paea (13.2).

Hawthorn Magic (9th, 8-5-2) vs Dandenong Rangers (5th, 10-5)

Hawthorn Magic host Dandenong Rangers this week in a game that may settle their finals future. Since returning from the break, the Magic have been in poor form – recording three consecutive losses, including a big 61-38 defeat against the Nunawading Spectres. Comparatively, the Rangers sit as one of the league’s most in-form side. Last week, they recorded one their biggest wins of the season after beating the Southern Peninsula by 42 points. The week prior, the Rangers knocked off league-leaders, Knox Raiders (48-52), on the road to make a big case for the top-four. Ryleh Killian stepped up for the Magic in last week’s loss – recording 12 points alongside Casey Dunstan’s 10. The pair will be expected to deliver big in this match-up – especially with NBL1 representative, Elly Morgan, and Leah Mackenzie recording big last week. Morgan shot 19 in the win to move seventeenth for league scoring average, while Hawthorn’s Killian holds strong in fifth.

Knox Raiders (1st, 13-2) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (12th, 7-7-1)

Knox Raiders will look to record an easy win this week against the bottom-end Diamond Valley Eagles, in a game that might secure their number one spot. Last fortnight, the Raiders recorded their second loss in the Championship Division – losing to Dandenong after conceding to Nunawading earlier in the season. Despite sitting atop the table, the Raiders are yet to record a big win in the new division. Since the break, the Eagles have recorded consecutive losses. They fell victim to the Nunawading streak last fortnight and copped a fair knock against the Gators in Round 6. Despite sitting low, Diamond Valley still sit in the finals race, but will need a perfect run home. NBL1 representative, Charlise Dunn, led with 17 points in last week’s clash Bendigo. Currently, she boasts eighth spot across the league – followed next by Georgia Baldwin (9.8 PPG) in eighteenth. For Diamond Valley, Jade Dunne (16) and Georgia Kitchell (12) held up against Altona. Dunne boasts seventh spot in the league following her efforts.

Geelong Supercats (13th, 6-9) vs Altona Gators (6th, 10-4-1)

Altona Gators travel to Geelong this week where they face the Supercats for a chance to snare a spot in the top-four. The Gators added their third consecutive win last week against the Diamond Valley Eagles (51-67) as they continue to show their dominance on the road (6-2-0). In theme of three streaks, the Supercats add their third consecutive loss after falling to Bulleen (50-41) on the road. As it stands, the Supercats will not play finals. They have been one of the more competitive sides in the Championship Division but have not shown enough just yet. Alishia Knights and Carly Remmos will be Altona’s biggest issue, with the pair averaging 12.5 and 11.8 PPG respectively. The Gators will rely heavily on Kayla Salmons (12.8) and Trinity Steele (9.4) to deliver once again. Last week, Salmons stepped up with 22 points, while Tyla Paraha followed close on 17.

Bendigo Braves (8th, 9-6) vs Southern Peninsula (14th, 6-9)

Even though Southern Peninsula are without a win in the Championship Division, Bendigo can never be too cautious when they are in the lower regions of the finals race. Last week, the Braves lost to the Raiders on the road – winning one of their last four outings. As with Peninsula, the Braves have been unsuccessful in the new division and could be the team to miss out on finals. The highlight of Peninsula’s season would be their near win against the Raiders in Round 2 (77-79). Though since then, have dropped off dramatically. Piper Dunlop has been in form for the Braves since beginning the new division, recording 15.8 PPG in third across the league. Tess Barnes has been a similar commodity in thirteenth with 12.6 PPG. With one spot between their opposition, Charli Dobson sits in fourth with 15.2 PPG for Peninsula – followed by Emirson Devenie in twelfth with 12.7

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC preview: Round 6

THIS week in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls Championship Division, only two teams within the top eight face off. Knox Raiders host Bendigo Braves in what will likely be the match of the round, while the match-up between Nunawading Spectres and Hawthorn Magic also looks set to impress.

Knox Raiders (1st, 12-2) vs Bendigo Braves (6th, 9-5)

After suffering a rare loss to the Dandenong Rangers in Round 5, the Knox Raiders face a similarly placed Bendigo Braves in a match that they hope will return them to the winner’s list. Since joining the Championship Division, the Raiders have won three of their five games but are yet to take a scalp from a top-end contender. Also, two of their three wins have come from margins below three points, raising questions regarding their worthiness for the top spot. Comparatively, the Braves have also lost two of their five outings in the Championship Division – one of which was a forfeit. Unlike Knox, the Braves have taken big wins against Dandenong and Boomers, making them seem the favourites coming into this match-up. Charlise Dunn, has been in decent form for the Raiders, averaging 11.5 points per game (PPG) from two outings. She’s followed close by Georgia Baldwin, who averages 10.8 from five appearances. For the Braves, Piper Dunlop continues to impress as she placed third across the league for PPG (16.5) from four outings, alongside Tess Barnes who averages 13.5 in ninth spot.

Nunawading Spectres (3rd, 11-3) vs Hawthorn Magic (9th, 8-4-2)

Hawthorn Magic face a huge challenge this week as they face Nunawading Spectres on the road. This year the Spectres have boasted the most dominant streak (11) seen in recent times – going through teams high and low to make it happen. The Magic have faced two top-end sides in recent weeks but may face their biggest yet when they travel to Nunawading. Hawthorn have not had a genuine win in the Championship Division since the opening round against Geelong (41-60) – following up with a draw then a forfeited win against the Braves. With their record in mind, the Magic seem unlikely to break the streak. The Spectres also boast second-best league scorer in Louisa Fakalata (19.5), followed close by Maddison Zugna (15.2) in sixth place. The Magic seem unlikely to match, despite holding Ryleh Killian (15.8) in fifth spot. With Ella Crump just barely rounding out the top-40 in scoring with 6.8 PPG.

Southern Peninsula Sharks (14th, 6-8) vs Dandenong Rangers (5th, 9-5)

Dandenong Rangers will hope to crack into the top four this week as they face the struggling Southern Peninsula Sharks on the road. Still yet to record a win in the Championship Division, the Sharks have the odds stacked against them. The Rangers have won their last three outings and sit two wins away from second spot. A win will help them press for second-chance territory in the coming weeks. Though despite Southern Peninsula’s current record, they still boast three players in the top 20 for league scoring. Charli Dobson has been in top-form, sitting in fourth spot with 16.2 PPG, alongside Emirson Devenie in 12th with 12.2 PPG and Gemma Simon in fourteenth with 11.6. Comparatively, the Rangers only have one player in the top 20, with Emily Sewell averaging 14 points from three outings in seventh spot. Hannah Rapp has also been impressive for the Rangers with 9 PPG.

Bulleen Boomers (2nd, 11-3) vs Geelong Supercats (13th, 6-8)

Bulleen Boomers home record (6-3-0) will be tested this week when they face Geelong Supercats this Friday. Though when compared with Geelong’s away record (2-6-0), it seems unlikely that the Boomers will fall. Since joining the Championship Division, the Boomers have won all but one of their outings. Though much like Knox, Boomers have been so far blessed with an easier fixture and are yet to take a win against a top-end sides. It is not unbelievable that the Supercats cause an upset this week – presenting an impressive contest (53-51) against the league’s most dominant side, Nunawading Spectres. Bulleen’s, Alexandra Keating leads the league in scoring with 21.8 PPG from four outings. She has been accompanied well by Casey Valenti-Paea who averages 13.8 in eighth spot, while the Supercats’ top players, Alishia Knights (13.4), Carly Remmos (12) and Chloe Skinner (10.3), sit below in eleventh, thirteenth and nineteenth respectively.

Diamond Valley Eagles (12th, 7-6-1) vs Altona Gators (7th, 9-4-1)

Looking to make it three in a row, Altona Gators look a serious chance to climb the table when they face Diamond Valley Eagles on the road this week. The Eagles have been less than successful in the Championship Division but boast an impressive 6-1-1 record at home. Considered with Altona’s 5-2-0 record on the road, this game has the potential to be a big one with both sides set to lift a few spots with a positive result. Jade Dunne has been impressive for the Eagles all season, averaging 13.4 PPG from her five outings in tenth for league scoring, alongside Abby Hildebrand who has been similarly impressive with 10.5 in eighteenth. Comparatively, the Gators’ best players both round out the top-20 with Kayla Salmons (10.5) in seventeenth and Trinity Steele (10.3) in 20th.

MUVJBL U18 Girls VC review: Round 5 – Nunawading snares its eleventh consecutive win

IN Round 5 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Girls competition, Dandenong Rangers got a huge win on the road against a dominant Knox Raiders. The result marks only the Raiders second loss for the year – having lost two at home from six appearances. The Rangers snare their third consecutive win as they begin to make their case for top-four, contending in fifth with three sides also contesting on nine wins. NBL1 Representative, Elly Morgan, was dominant for the Rangers, putting up a game-high 16 points alongside NBL1 teammates, Hannah Rapp and Leia Hanafin who had 13 and 11 points respectively. For the Raiders, Zoe Jenkins starred, dropping 12 points in the result. NBL representative, Charlise Dunn was also impressive, amassing 10 points on her way to 15th spot for league scoring.

Nunawading Spectres closed the gap on Knox following their 69-48 win over Diamond Valley Eagles at home. The Spectres move to third, equal with Bulleen Boomers on 11 wins and three losses. The win marks Nunawading’s eleventh consecutive win, while Diamond Valley worsen their away record with a fifth loss from their sixth outing. In the match, the Spectres won every term. In the second they scored a game-high 22 points to take a 38-26 lead into the main break as Nunawading’s lead continued to grow throughout the second half. NBL1 representative, Louisa Fakalata dropped 16 points for the Spectres and moved to second spot for league scoring. Maddison Zugna also continued her good form with 13 points – moving into sixth for league scoring. For the Eagles, Eliza Bannan led scoring with 12 points, followed next by Jade Dunne and Abby Hildebrand who had seven each.

Bulleen Boomers pressed on Knox in second place following their 59-50 win at home against the Hawthorn Magic. The Magic dropped out of the eight following the result, as five teams sit just one win above them. In the match-up, the Boomers led scoring for both opening terms to take a 39-33 lead into the break. They followed with consecutive 10-point terms as Hawthorn went 3-14 to close out the game. Casey Valenti-Paea took centre stage for the Boomers, dropping a team-high 19 points on her way to eighth spot for league scoring, while Alexandra Keating retains top spot following a 16-point performance. For the Magic, Ryleh Killian took control to lead the game with 20 points against a two of the league’s best scorers. Her efforts moves her to fifth across the league, assisted well by Ella Crump who had nine.

To snare sixth spot on the table, Bendigo Braves defeated Geelong Supercats on the road (54-59) in a five-point thriller. The Braves now contest with a handful of teams four the final spot in the top-four, with the remaining three sitting two wins ahead. The Supercats fall to thirteenth following the result, suffering a rare loss at home given their previous 4-1 record. In the game, Geelong owned the first half – entering the break with 29-25 lead. Though they failed to withstand the Braves in the second, falling to a game-high 20 points in the third and recording the game’s lowest score (9-14) for the final term. NBL representative, Piper Dunlop dominated the floor for the Braves, recording 21 points to move to third spot for league scoring. Meg McCarthy was next best for the Braves with nine points. For the Supercats, NBL1 representatives, Alishia Knights and Carly Remmos, led scoring with 17 and 13 points respectively.

Altona Gators join the top-eight following their huge 58-74 win on the road against Southern Peninsula. The loss marks five consecutive for the Sharks as they slip to fourteenth on the table. The Gators snare their second consecutive victory – returning from the break in top form as they move up the table. In the contest, the Gators took a 32-29 lead into the break before shutting out the game with a 24-11 third term. Trinity Steele had a huge game for the Gators, scoring 21 points to move to twentieth spot for league scoring. Kayla Salmons and Alicia Sciberras were also impressive, dropping 14 and 12 points respectively. For Peninsula, Charli Dobson holds in fourth spot for league scoring with 15 points alongside Emirson Devenie and Gemma Simon who had 14 and 11 respectively.

In the reserve grade, Frankston Blues copped a belting at home from Nunawading Spectres (46-71), Keilor Thunder finished similarly over Pakenham Warriors (75-42), as Melbourne Tigers clinched a tight 69-65 victory against Broadmeadows Broncos. The round continued with Dandenong Rangers losing 32-60 against Kilsyth Cobras and Warrandyte Venom suffering a loss to McKinnon Cougars.

In the Championship Division for Round 6, Southern Peninsula Sharks go head-to-head with Dandenong Rangers, Bulleen Boomers hope for an easy task in Geelong Supercats and Diamond Valley Eagle test against Altona Gators. We follow on with the Knox Raiders versing Bendigo Braves and Nunawading Spectres hoping for 12 consecutive against Hawthorn Magic.