Tag: nemuel soliven

2021 VJBL: Under 18s wrap – Round 1

ROUND 1 of the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Under 18s got underway over the weekend with a number close contests headlining the round in both the boys and girls competitions.

Ashe Pool


Round 1 in the Ashe Pool was dictated by a number of exciting clashes with the contest between Casey and Sandringham the most exciting of the lot, finishing in a draw. The two sides were unable to be separated at the final buzzer standing at 66 points apiece in a showing of great intensity and determination.

Casey jumped out of the blocks early establishing a three-point lead before Sandringham hit back in the second to steal the lead back thanks to a 17-11 term. Limiting Casey’s options to the rim, Sandringham managed to pull ahead and claim some ascendancy. That momentum filtered into the third term pushing out a seven-point lead at the final change before the game was completely turned on its head thanks to a determined and gritty Casey side. A scintillating final term of basketball rounded out the game as Casey left nothing in the tank, hitting the scoreboard with relative ease to post up an impressive 22 points while reducing the impact of the Sabres across the court to secure a draw.

Casey had a trio of players that stepped up to the challenge with Ethan Bolton and Ky Taylor making their presence felt with 15 points apiece while Blake Shankland impressed with 13 points. Casey stayed away from foul trouble only registering 17 while their opponents recorded 20. Jensen Bradtke led all comers with 18 points while Fred Hayne was a good support producing 14 points of his own, as Wilson Amos and Aiden McCarthy plied their trade with 11 points each.

Pakenham prevailed in a tight one against Frankston while Bulleen just edged out Southern Peninsula to walk away with a seven point win. Nunawading got the job done against Hawthorn as did Dandenong against Kilsyth.


Frankston (61) defeated by Pakenham (67)
Casey (66) drew with Sandringham (66)
Bulleen (81) defeated Southern Peninsula (74)
Nunawading (77) defeated Hawthorn (73)
Kilsyth (57) defeated by Dandenong (68)


There were a number of blowouts in the Ashe Pool but the game between Hawthorn and Nunawading went down the wire. The two sides played out a thriller with the Magic just edging out the Spectres by a mere two points in a see-sawing affair.

Hawthorn made their intentions clear from the opening term establishing an early lead and looked to have the game on their terms before the Spectres bit back in the second. Nailing 16 points to 11, Nunawading managed to dwindle down the lead to a mere point at half time, setting up an action packed second half of basketball. Neither side could be separated in the third quarter with both sides producing 16 points apiece with the margin still standing at a single point. With the game on the line Hawthorn struck and did just enough to clinch a thrilling two-point victory.

Evelyn Curtis was the main facilitator for the Spectres walking away with 12 points to her name, but the scoring fell off after her with Stephanie Georgantas and Tamsyn Perry the next best with eight. For the victors, Amy O’Hara was the topscorer thanks to her 10 points while Ally Marshall chimed in with nine points but ran into foul trouble with five. Amy Kurkowski added nine to the scoreboard as Sophie Palmer contributed seven points in the win.

Keilor made light work of Altona as Diamond Valley delivered a similar fate to Ballarat. Knox got over the top of Waverley as Sunbury recorded a 13-point win in their clash against Kilsyth.


Hawthorn (50) defeated Nunawading (48)
Altona (36) defeated by Keilor (67)
Diamond Valley (62) defeated Ballarat (27)
Knox (55) defeated Waverley (37)
Sunbury (56) defeated Kilsyth (43)


Watson Pool


Whittlesea and Waverley battled it out in an action packed game at Mill Park Basketball Stadium as the two sides locked horns in an enthralling contest. In the end it was Waverley that proved too strong toppling the Pacers by seven points largely in part thanks to a dominant second term.

The Falcons asserted themselves early on the contest producing 16 points and keeping Whittlesea to 12.  But they dialled it up another notch in the second with their scoreboard pressure increasing, posting a whopping 25 points while limiting the Pacers to 17. The tables once again turned after half time as Whittlesea found their groove and flipped the script to place the pressure on Waverley. The game was not done yet with the Falcons proving to have one last hoorah left in them to power past their opponents and kick their season off in style.

For the winners, Sam Haffenden impressed with his 17 points but found himself in a bit of foul trouble with four to his name. Nemuel Soliven was the next best with 13 points while Harvey Moore also contributed 11 points to the winning margin. For the Pacers, Jack Tatter made his presence felt managing 13 points as teammate Callum Stojanovic did the same with his 13 points. Petar Vasilevski also added a handy 12 points to the tally but it was not enough to get his side over the line.

Knox reigned supreme in their clash against Camberwell while Geelong put on a show against Bendigo running out with a 22 point win. Melbourne just won in a tight clash against McKinnon while Keilor secured bragging rights over Eltham.


Whittlesea (58) defeated by Waverley (65)
Camberwell (52) defeated by Knox (65)
Geelong (97) defeated Bendigo (75)
Melbourne (75) defeated McKinnon (70)
Keilor (62) defeated Eltham (54)


It was a heart in your mouth finish between Ringwood and Camberwell with the latter sneaking over the edge with a narrow one-point win. In a low-scoring affair neither side was really able to break away and if they did they were quickly chased down, showcasing the level of intensity both sides displayed.

Ringwood only managed four points in the opening term while Camberwell countered with eight, as both sides struggled to generate scoring momentum. Things started to turn around in the second as Camberwell sank 13 points to make it a nine-point ball game. Half time could not quick enough for the Hawks who came out a whole different team in the third stanza. Their tenacity increased as did their offensive play to keep the scoreboard ticking over nicely and reduce the buffer. A big final term of play set up a thrilling finish to the game as Ringwood outscored Camberwell by two points but fell agonisingly short.

Zoe Servinis proved too hot to handle with a game-high 17 points as Ella Grig provided ample support with 10 points to her name. Aliyah Bonifacio, Lauren Haydon, Tempest Clarke and Sienna Koh were the only other players to hit the scoreboard for Ringwood. The efforts from Jacinta Li set the tone for the side as she posted 11 points as Amy Dingle also posted nine points herself. Ruby Clark featured with seven points to help her side over the line.

Melbourne notched up their first win while McKinnon also got the chocolates with a win over Frankston. Sandringham starred against Casey as Bulleen claimed a five point win against Dandenong.


Melbourne (55) defeated Nunawading (46)
Ringwood (38) defeated by Camberwell (39)
McKinnon (48) defeated Frankston (39)
Sandringham (63) defeated Casey (31)
Dandenong (39) defeated by Bulleen (44)

VJBL U18 Grading Phase Pool 1 wrap: Round 2

IN the second round of the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Grading Phase Pool 1 wrap, teams began to assert themselves in their respective groups, setting up either virtual grand finals, or setting up likely promotion tilts across the Under 18 Boys and Under 18 Girls grades.


Pool 1A:

Whittlesea Pacers grabbed prime position to advance through to the VJBL Championship division with a win over Melbourne Tigers in Round 2. The battle of the two unbeaten sides saw the Pacers win by five points, 50-45, with Jack Tatter having a day out finishing with 26 points. In the battle between the winless sides, Waverley Falcons got up over Wyndham Basketball by 17 points.

Whittlesea Pacers (50) defeated Melbourne Tigers (45)
Jack Tatter (Whittlesea) 26
Oskar Jones (Melbourne) 15
Jack Hrehoresen (Melbourne) 12

Waverley Falcons (59) defeated Wyndham Basketball (42)
Nemuel Soliven (Waverley) 14
Matthew Jefferson (Waverley) 10
Jacob Bord (Wyndham) 14
Emmanwiel Deng (Wyndham) 12


Pool 1B:

In Pool 1B, it was Nunawading who dominated Eltham Wildcats to move to a 2-0 record and edge closer to automatic qualification. Tristan Devers led the way and was one of seven players on the court who reached double-figures, putting up a match-high 22 points in the 73-58 victory. Meanwhile Hawthorn Magic got past Dandenong Rangers’ second side in a tight five-point win.

Dandenong Rangers 2 (45) defeated by Hawthorn Magic (51)
Ned Caldwell (Hawthorn) 15
Denzel Timmons (Hawthorn) 13
Lachlan Currie (Dandenong) 15

Nunawading Spectres (73) defeated Eltham Wildcats (58)
Tristan Devers (Nunawading) 22
Dean Simos (Nunawading) 14
Lucas Koch (Nunawading) 10
Brody Glenn (Eltham) 17
Kristian Ferronato (Eltham) 14
Zahn Agosta (Eltham) 12
Bradley Moorey (Eltham) 11


Pool 1C:

In Pool 1C it was Bulleen who have completely dismantled their second team in as many weeks, destroying Craigieburn Eagles by 53 points to storm to a massive 224.14 per cent. They are 130 per cent more than any other side, and are raging favourites to go ahead. In the other game, Casey Cavaliers got over Diamond Valley Eagles after a loss to Bulleen in week one, to keep their chances of second spot alive.

Diamond Valley Eagles (34) defeated by Casey Cavaliers (44)
Ethan Bolton (Diamond Valley) 13
Blake Shankland (Diamond Valley) 13
Corey Rutherford (Casey) 9

Bulleen Boomers (79) defeated Craigieburn Eagles (26)
Will Rimmington (Bulleen) 13
Max Zalakos (Bulleen) 10
Lochlan Redford (Bulleen) 10
Oliver Slawinski (Bulleen) 10
Kaan Karabulut (Craigieburn) 7


Pool 1D:

Kilsyth Cobras became the sole undefeated side in Pool 1D after a narrow 11-point victory over Frankston Blues. The two winners from Round 1 engaged in a low-scoring affair, but 16 points from Harrison Adams was the standout performance. The other contest was a free-flowing shootout as Dandenong Rangers claimed a vital two-point win over Pakenham Warriors to move up to second overall following the 64-62 triumph.

Dandenong Rangers (64) defeated Pakenham Warriors (62)
Harrison Scott (Dandenong) 13
Coby Burgiel (Dandenong) 11
Noah Suarjaya (Dandenong) 10
Jarred Small (Pakenham) 22
Kaleb Beveridge (Pakenham) 14

Frankston Blues (35) defeated by Kilsyth Cobras (46)
Harrison Adams (Kilsyth) 15
Seth McCubbin (Kilsyth) 12
Cameron Clarke (Frankston) 7


Pool 1E:

McKinnon Cougars are looking good to move into the VJBL Championship Division following an eight-point win over Bendigo Braves. Both sides won in the first week of the competition, and whilst the Cougars had a lower percentage, they were able to get the job done against the Braves in a 51-43 effort. In the other match, Southern Peninsula Sharks made sure they were a win away from dropping to the next group stage, defeating Eltham Wildcats’ second team by 11 points.

McKinnon Cougars (51) defeated Bendigo Braves (43)
Denver Lund (13)
Luke Lyngberg (10)
Lachlan Somerville (17)

Eltham Wildcats 2 (43) defeated by Southern Peninsula Sharks (54)
Darcy Jones (Southern Peninsula) 15
Corey Hastings (Southern Peninsula) 13
Tarrant Wallace (Southern Peninsula) 11
Anthony Prestia (Eltham) 14


Pool 1F:

Rounding out the Pools was 1F, where Geelong United dominated Sunbury Jets to take control in the sixth group. United won 66-31 in a one-sided performance where Olivier Northam and Jamie Bottrell scored the same amount as the entire Sunbury side. In the other max, Knox Raiders grabbed their first win with a victory over Keilor Thunder, getting up by 18 points.

Sunbury Jets (31) defeated Geelong United (66)
Olivier Northam (Geelong) 16
Jamie Bottrell (Geelong) 15
Jet Kneebone (Geelong) 11
David Angove (Sunbury) 9

Knox Raiders (46) defeated Keilor Thunder (28)
Beau Tranter (Knox) 11
Fraser Roxburgh (Knox) 11
Cooper Colson (Keilor) 9

U18 Girls:

Pool 1A:

The two standout teams have been decided in Pool 1A, setting up a virtual grand final to determine which side automatically qualifies for the VJBL Championships. Dandenong Rangers’ first side was too good for Frankston Blues, winning by 14 points to secure their second win of the group stage, while the Rangers’ second side fell again, this time to an inspired Waverley Falcons outfit by 33 points. It means the winner of the Falcons and Rangers 1 side tonight, automatically qualifies.

Dandenong Rangers 2 (27) defeated by Waverley Falcons (60)
Liana Kinkela (Waverley) 18
Emily Gough (Waverley) 14
Alana Poulton (Dandenong) 7

Dandenong Rangers 1 (42) defeated Frankston Blues (28)
Dallas Loughridge (Dandenong) 13
Zoe Harvey (Frankston) 10


Pool 1B:

Despite being a couple of lower-scoring encounters, Keilor Thunder and McKinnon Cougars have set up a virtual grand final in the third round of the group stage tonight. The Thunder accounted for Sunbury Jets 49-38 as Tess Heal was the star with 19 points, while the Cougars won in a low-scoring thriller, 25-20 to keep themselves in contention for automatic promotion.

Keilor Thunder (49) defeated Sunbury Jets (38)
Tess Heal (Keilor) 19
Erin Condron (Sunbury) 9

Kilsyth Cobras (20) defeated by McKinnon Cougars (25)
Tayja Maki (Kilsyth) 5
Romy Price (McKinnon) 6


Pool 1C:

After losing their first game last week, Bellarine Storm bounced back to record a 12-point win over Melbourne Tigers thanks to 12 points from Alivia Osborne being the difference. Meanwhile Bulleen Boomers have put themselves in pole position to claim the automatic qualification spot after a 43-30 victory over fellow first round winners Knox Raiders, with Tabitha Betson (17 points) being the standout shooter.

Bellarine Storm (31) defeated Melbourne Tigers (19)
Alivia Osborne (Bellarine) 12
Taliyah Gomez-Sankari (Melbourne) 6

Bulleen Boomers (43) defeated Knox Raiders (30)
Tabitha Betson (Bulleen) 17
Paige Burrows (Knox) 10


Pool 1D:

Diamond Valley Eagles moved to two wins from two games in Pool 1D, fending off Hawthorn Magic in what has shaped as the most even group of the lot. The Eagles won against the Magic by just four points to go outright top of the table, as Sophie Burrows starred with 19 points. In the other game, Casey Cavaliers bounced back from a week one loss to win 41-33 over Eltham Wildcats, credit to Dakota Crichton‘s 18 points.

Diamond Valley Eagles (41) defeated Hawthorn Magic (37)
Sophie Burrows (Diamond Valley) 19
Genevieve Broadbent (Diamond Valley) 11
Isabel Whitelaw (Hawthorn) 10
Amy O’Hara (Hawthorn) 10

Casey Cavaliers (41) defeated Eltham Wildcats (33)
Dakota Crichton (Casey) 18
Jessica Del Brocco (Eltham) 13


Pool 1E:

In another tight group, Melbourne Tigers moved to two wins from two games by defeating Altona Gators in a thrilling five-point game. Despite Aseka Ratnayake‘s 18 points for the losers, the Tigers triumphed to move to the top of the group. In the other match, Sandringham Sabres bounced back from a loss in week one to cruise to a 24-point victory over Bendigo Braves, 45-21.

Altona Gators (37) defeated by Melbourne Tigers (42)
Hayley Cumming (Melbourne) 14
Leila Davis (Melbourne) 12
Aseka Ratnayake (Altona) 18

Bendigo Braves (21) defeated by Sandringham Sabres (45)
Jaida Reid (Sandringham) 13
Caitlin Richardson (Bendigo) 10


Pool 1F:

In the final group, the two standout sides have emerged, setting up a virtual grand final tonight. Nunawading Spectres and Ballarat Rush both side undefeated from two games after notching up another couple of wins. In the tighter game, the Spectres won by four points over a gallant Ringwood Hawks, while the Rush had a much easier time, accounting for Southern Peninsula Sharks, 66-27 with Georgia Cox‘s 17 points the standout game.

Ringwood Hawks (40) defeated by Nunawading Spectres (44)
Olivia Morris (Nunawading) 10
Katrina Warton (Ringwood) 16

Ballarat Rush (66) defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks (27)
Georgia Cox (Ballarat) 17
Rosie Todd (Ballarat) 14
Rebecca Rylance (Southern Peninsula) 9

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: 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: Preliminary Finals – Rangers send Thunder out in straight sets

The Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division kicked off the semi-finals last week with the Dandenong Rangers besting the Keilor Thunder, and Waverley Falcons getting up over Geelong Falcons. Both games were separated by a combined 11 points in tight contests all-round.

Keilor Thunder 51 defeated by Dandenong Rangers 56

Despite finishing higher on the table, the Thunder went out of the finals in straight sets. They did well to close the margin to two points (41-43) with an 18-9 third term, but conceded the fourth 10-13 to lose the game by five points. Beau Tranter led with 18 points for the Rangers, moving to tenth for points per game (PPG) in his eleventh outing (14.5). Dennis Ameti trailed Tranter with nine points, while Jackson Djatschenko led the game with 25 for Keilor. Brodie McWhinney also scored 10 points in the loss – finishing his season in nineteenth for PPG (10.9) below Cooper Colson in twelfth (12.8).

Waverley Falcons 71 defeated Geelong Supercats 65

The Waverley Falcons pulled off a win over Geelong Supercats (71-65) in the second semi-final. The Supercats were competitive throughout, trailing 36-33 into the main break despite losing the first two terms. They managed to draw in the third (15-15) but could not effectively mount their comeback with a 20-17 term closing out their season. The Falcons have a lot to like moving into the preliminaries, with three players recording double digits. Nemuel Soliven led the way with 17 points, followed by Matt Jefferson (14) and David Amum (12). Amum moves to sixth for PPG (15.5), with Jefferson (11.9), Tesloch Thong (11.5) and Soliven (10.7) rounding out the top 20. For Geelong, Jet Kneebone had an impressive end with 23 points, followed next by Patrick Johnstone on 10.

The Championship Division kick off the Preliminary Finals next week with the Eltham Wildcats facing the Dandenong Rangers, and the Bulleen Boomers going head to head with the Waverley Falcons.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC review: Round 8 – Top two secured

THE top two sides at the end of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division have been determined with Bulleen Boomers and Eltham Wildcats now two wins clear of third placed Keilor Thunder after wins on the weekend.

The Wildcats saw off the Thunder in the second and third clash at Eltham High. The Wildcats opened with a big first half to race away to a 14-point lead at the main break, before Keilor hit back with a 19-13 third term to cut the deficit to single digits. Eltham steadied in the final term to take control, winning the quarter 14-10 and the match, 59-47 to guarantee a top two spot. Zahn Agosta posted 16 points for the winners, while Bradley Moorey assisted with 13. For the Thunder, Cooper Colson sank 18 points, while Brodie McWhinney finished with 11.

Bulleen Boomers maintained top spot with a round to go thanks to a comprehensive win on the road against Dandenong Rangers. The Boomers slammed home 28 points to 12 in the first term, with an almost as impressive 20-12 second quarter. It meant the visitors headed into the main break with a 24-point lead and the game all but done and dusted. They extended it out to 25 by the final break before the Rangers mounted a spirited comeback in the final term to score 18-13 in the 55-75 loss. Daniel Poelsma (22 points) was superb in the win, while Daniel Johnston (15) and Marcel Haj (13) were also impressive. For the Rangers, Jerome Pierre (23 points) continued his scoring spree this season, while Beau Tranter (13) also impressed.

Waverley Falcons jumped into the top four with a 91-45 smashing of Latrobe Energy. The Falcons took advantage of a Knox Raiders loss to grab the double chance opportunity and send the Energy out of finals contention. They dominated from the start, opening up a 12-point lead at quarter time, and blew the visitors away in the second term courtesy of a 24-2 quarter to lead by 36 points at the main break. They did not stop there, piling on 44 points to 32 in the second half to run away with the massive 46-point victory. Tesloch Thong (17 points), Nemuel Soliven (16), David Amum (16), Matt Jefferson (14) and Angus Perry (10) all reached double figures, while Koby Tibballs (18) and Coby Burgiel (15) did the bulk of the scoring for the losers.

Geelong Supercats grabbed fifth spot by leapfrogging Knox Raiders after defeating the Raiders by seven points at Knox. The Supercats opened strongly to lead by six points at the first break, but that lead was cut to just three by half-time. Geelong produced its best quarter in the third term, piling on 25-16, while Knox tried to hit back with a 24-19 last quarter, but the Supercats held on to the win, 75-68. Olivier Northam (22 points) and Harry Den Dryer (20) were crucial for the winners, while Jet Kneebone (16) and Billy Dawson (12) both found plenty of room in the paint. Jordan Anderson (23 points) and Zachary Greeves (16) were the two key scorers for Knox in the loss.

Bendigo Braves kept themselves in contention for a home final after defeating Pakenham Warriors by 12 points. The Warriors started strongly to lead by two at quarter time and four at half-time and three quarter time before the visitors clicked into gear. A massive 26-10 final term saw Bendigo finish with a flurry of points, running over the top of the Warriors and celebrating a 64-52 win. Jett Vandenberg (15 points) and Michael Kiraly (14) were the key scorers on the night, while for Pakenham, Jak Morris-Burney (11) and Lachlan Smith (10) contributed.

In the Reserve grade, Nunawading Spectres’ massive winning streak stretched to nine after downing the second best side in the grade in Hawthorn Magic, by four points on the road. Kilsyth Cobras made it three wins on the trot with an 18-point triumph over Diamond Valley Eagles, while Casey Cavaliers got up 50-46 over Southern Peninsula Sharks to make it back-to-back wins. In other results, Eltham Wildcats 2 just got over cellar dwellers Sunbury by two points, while Whittlesea Pacers moved into the eighth spot in the grade with an upset 61-53 win over Melbourne Tigers.

In the final round of action, the two non Championship Division sides who will miss finals face off with Pakenham Warriors hosting Latrobe Energy, meaning all finalists will play another finalist in the week leading up to the post-season series. Top-of-the-table Bulleen Boomers will hope to secure top spot when they play Bendigo Braves, while Eltham Wildcats have a tougher assignment against Knox Raiders if they are to overtake the Boomers. Dandenong Rangers can still grab a home final if they topple top-four bound Keilor Thunder who have the benefit of Waverley Falcons and Geelong Supercats facing off meaning only one of them can make top four with the Thunder.

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.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC preview: Round 6

THERE is a lot to like from Round 6 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division. Geelong Supercats kick off the night against number one contenders, Eltham Wildcats, at home. A win for either side will mean plenty for the top-four standings, with the Waverley Falcons having similar to gain from a win on the road against the Keilor Thunder.

Geelong Supercats (5th, 9-4-1) vs Eltham Wildcats (2nd, 11-3)

This week the Eltham Wildcats travel to Geelong to face the Supercats as they continue their push for top spot, while the Supercats make their case for the top-four. The Wildcats have won all but one of their outings, taking a huge scalp against Bulleen after coming back from the break. Since then, they have beaten Latrobe Energy on the road to snare consecutive victories. Geelong have won three of their five matches in the new division, which includes a victory over the Dandenong Rangers, a close loss against the Keilor Thunder and a surprising defeat against the Latrobe Energy. Though despite some inconsistency, Geelong’s record at home (6-2-0) been solid – similar to Eltham’s away success (6-1-0). Currently, Geelong boast one of the league’s most consistent scorers in Olivier Northam who averages 20 points per game (PPG) from five outings and sits third across the league for average points. Jet Kneebone has also made his way into the top-20, sitting in eleventh with 12.8 PPG from five outings. Kristian Ferronato has been in good for Eltham over his four appearances, averaging 13.8 PPG in ninth spot. His teammate, Anton Stratov sits in thirteenth with 12 PPG.

Keilor Thunder (3rd, 11-3) vs Waverley Falcons (6th, 9-5)

In what looks to be a similarly wrought match-up, Keilor Thunder host Waverley Falcons as they compete for the much sought after top spot. The Thunder boast one of the best records in the league at 11-3 and have been untouchable since the Championship Division began, boasting a seven consecutive win streak. Similarly, the Falcons also boasted a big streak in the new competition, taking huge scalps from Knox, Dandenong and Eltham before losing to Bulleen last week. They boast the league’s best record on the road (7-1-0), and this week face one of the best at home (6-1-0). Both sides will be tested in this match-up. Cooper Colson currently leads scoring for the Thunder in 12th for league scoring with 12.8 PPG. Brodie McWhinney follows close in fourteenth with a 11.8 PPG. The Waverley Falcons boast the best shooter in this match-up, with David Amum sitting in sixth spot on 14.4 PPG, while Nemuel Soliven follows next on 11.3 in eighteenth position.

Bulleen Boomers (1st, 11-3) vs Pakenham Warriors (13th, 6-7-1)

Bulleen Boomers have been given the easiest fixture for Round 6 as they face the Pakenham Warriors at home to retain top spot. The Boomers were dominant all year prior to the Championship Division, but since joining have suffered three losses at the hands of Knox, Keilor and Eltham – all teams pressing for their spot. Last week, they reclaimed some confidence with a big win over the previously undefeated Waverley (72-56). As the top four begins to take shape in the second half of the season, coming up against an easier fixture in Pakenham should help them find some form as we head into the finals. For the Championship Division, Marcel Haj has been dominant with a 15.4-point average from five games in fifth spot for league scoring. His teammates, Daniel Poelsma (13.6) and Daniel Johnston (11.4), have also combined well in offense to sit in tenth and seventeenth spot across the league. For Pakenham, only one player has made their way into the top 20. Kayne Taylor has been the most in-form player for the Warriors, averaging 11.4 PPG in sixteenth. Jak Morris-Burney follows next with 6.2.

Bendigo Braves (9th, 8-6) vs Knox Raiders (4th, 9-5)

Both the Bendigo Braves and Knox Raiders have braved unsuccessful fortnights since returning from the break and will be eager to get a win back on the board. As the Braves host the Raiders, the hope is to return to the eight after falling out with losses to the Supercats and Rangers. Since joining the Championship Division the Raiders have been toppled, taking a big win from the now leading Bulleen before losing four consecutive as they slip from the top spot. A win is important for both sides if they hope to revive their standing, with Knox coming close to losing their second chance opportunity in finals. The Braves will look to Macey Eaton (14.3) and Jacob Nihil (11.2) to lift for their side, sitting in eighth and 20th for league scoring prior to the round. For the Raiders, Jordan Anderson will be the player to watch, currently leading the league in PPG with 23.6. Zachary Greeves has been a solid support for the league-leader, averaging 11.6 from five outings in 15th.

Latrobe Energy (10th, 8-6) vs Dandenong Rangers (7th, 9-5)

Latrobe Energy host Dandenong Rangers this week, with a win being extremely important for both sides. Both competitors sit in tight spots on the table, with Latrobe sharing a win record with two sides, while Dandenong share with three – including Knox Raiders in fourth. The Rangers are starting to put together some good wins, collecting three consecutive after losing their first two in the new division. The Energy have under-performed so far, winning two from five. Though they still boast a fair record at home given their position (5-2-0). Dandenong’s 3-4-0 away record may be talking point next week if they continue to fall on the road. The Rangers have a big job ahead as they face Coby Burgiel and Jack Hrehoresen who average 22 and 20 points respectively from their three outings in second and fourth for PPG. Jerome Pierre will be expected to deliver on his 14.3 average (seventh) for the Rangers, alongside Beau Tranter who has 11.2 PPG in 19th spot.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC review: Round 4 – The top three tightens up

KEILOR Thunder made it six in a row in Round 4 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division with a 56-51 win over Geelong Supercats. The win moves the Thunder to third on the table, equaling wins with their two main competitors in Bulleen (first) and Eltham (second). Geelong moved to sixth following the result, with three teams matching their eight wins below them. The match looked to be a blowout, with Keilor bursting out the gate with 19-7 in the first term. Though Geelong soon matched in the second, scoring 16-5 to trail by one point at the main break. In the third, they tied 15-15, leaving Keilor’s 17-13 final term to decide the game. Cooper Colson was immense in the contest, putting up 14 points for the Thunder, while Brodie McWhinney (12) also impressed on the floor. For the Supercats, Harry Den Dryver had 17 points with Jamie Ryan just missing out on double-digits with nine points for the night.

In one of the games of the round, the Eltham Wildcats got back a 57-54 win at home against league-leaders Bulleen Boomers, to secure second on the table. The top three share the same 10-3 record, while the Knox Raiders and Waverley Falcons pressure in fourth and fifth on 9-4. The Boomers set the tone early with 16 points to six in the first term. Though the Wildcats countered hard in the second with 25 points to take a one point lead into the main break. Momentum continued to switch until the final term, with the Wildcats outscoring Bulleen 11-6 to take home a three-point win. Harrison Stones, Bradley Moorey and Kristian Ferronato were immense in the win, all snaring 10 points. Ferronato moves to seventh on the top scorers list, while Bulleen’s, Marcel Haj, moves to fifth following a huge 23-point performance. Daniel Johnston also managed double figures for Bulleen, collecting 12 points in the tight contest.

The Latrobe Energy snared a big win over the out-of-form Knox Raiders in a big 72-68 showing on the road. The Raiders have won only one game since the beginning of the championship division split, losing their third consecutive to slip to fourth place. For the game, the Raiders opened the first term with 21 points, seeming like the Knox of old when compared to Latrobe’s 10. Though the Energy struck back hard in the second with 30 points to 12, exposing the Raiders for the second half to bring the game home. Coby Burgiel and Jack Hrehoresen were immense in the win, scoring 28 and 20 points while moving to third and fourth respectively on the league scoring list. Despite the pair’s effort, Jordan Anderson was not ready to give up top spot, dropping 23 points to hold the top scorer spot as we enter Round 5. Iverson Chan was similarly impressive, finishing with 14 for the night.

The Dandenong Rangers collected their second consecutive victory, protecting their home record (6-1) with a 51-44 win over the Bendigo Braves. The win puts the Rangers just outside the eight – one position below the Braves, both on 8-5. Despite both sides putting up solid numbers in the first half, after the main break both teams dipped to a six-point term. It was the Rangers who collected themselves first, grabbing a game-high 20 points to eight in the final term to steal the game. Beau Tranter led the game by quite a margin, putting up 19 points, while Dennis Ameti finished next best with nine. For the Braves, Jacob Nihill was the only player to record over 10 points, scoring 11, with Edward Hayes following close on eight.

The Waverly Falcons continue to boast the second best winning record in the league, picking up their fifth consecutive win after beating the Pakenham Warriors at home. The Warriors slip to 11th following the result, while the Falcons continue to pressure for a top-four spot. Both sides kept close throughout, ending in a tie if we only consider the second, third and fourth terms. It was the Falcons 20-11 first term that ultimately led them to victory. Nemuel Soliven led scoring for the Falcons with 12 points, while David Amum (10) and Tesloch Thong (10) also owning the floor. For the Warriors, Kayne Taylor had a huge performance, dropping a game-high 25 points in the loss. Jack Morris-Burney also held up well for the Warriors with 13.

In the Reserve grade, the Kilsyth Cobras fell 51-71 to the Melbourne Tigers, the Hawthorn Magic lost in a tight clash to the Casey Cavaliers (53-56) and Southern Peninsula fell short to Whittlesea Pacers (42-46). Closing out the round, Diamond Valley Eagles snared a 66-55 win on the road over the Eltham Wildcats, while the Nunawading Spectres go big against the Sunbury Jets (92-62).

In the Championship Division for Round 5, an in-form Keilor Thunder face the Knox Raiders at home, the Bulleen Boomers test themselves against a building Waverly Falcons, while the Pakenham Warriors host a real contest in the Dandenong Rangers. The round continues with the Bendigo Braves facing the Geelong Supercats and the Latrobe Energy looking to build off this week with a result over the Eltham Wildcats.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC preview: Round 4

AS of now, not much separates the top-eight standings in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys competition, with all top three teams suffering losses in the last round. The Eltham Wildcats threaten the Bulleen Boomers at home this week in the match-up of the round, while the Geelong Supercats and Keilor Thunder also look to threaten the top four with another exciting contest. In seventh, the Bendigo Braves face the Dandenong Rangers, sitting only two wins behind first place with a huge chance to lift.

Eltham Wildcats (3rd, 9-3) vs Bulleen Boomers (1st, 10-2)

In the match of the round, the Eltham Wildcats host the Bulleen Boomers in a must-win contest at Montmorency Secondary College. Both teams suffered losses last round, making a win this round more important with several teams pushing for top-four contention. The Bulleen Boomers present a huge chance to topple Eltham due to their poor record at home (3-2-0). Anton Stratov has delivered well for the Wildcats from his two games, averaging 16 points, alongside Kristian Ferronato with 15. The Boomers boast good talent in Daniel Poeslma who also averages 15 PPG, with Daniel Johnston (12) and Marcel Haj (11.7) all proving to be important assets. A win for Eltham would really shake up the top three, while a loss may well show a massive dip in their standings with a handful of teams contesting.

Waverley Falcons (5th, 8-4) vs Pakenham Warriors (11th, 6-5-1)

The Pakenham Warriors hope to join the winner’s list for the first time in the VC when they face an in-form Waverley Falcons on the road. The Falcons have put together a good run since the establishment of the new competition, snaring four consecutive victories on their way to fifth spot. Pakenham have not been so lucky, suffering three losses since its conception and dropping to 11th. A win could see the Warriors rise in contention for the upcoming round if they can hold their own. Waverley’s dismal home record (1-4-0) does not bode well for them when compared to Pakenham’s impressive 4-3-0 away tally – impressive given their position. David Amum leads scoring for the Waverley Falcons, averaging 15 PPG alongside Nemuel Soliven (12.5) and Tesloch Thong (12). Pakenham lack a scoring threat, with no player averaging over 10 PPG. Kayne Taylor leads scoring for the Warriors with an average of six.

Geelong Supercats (6th, 8-3-1) vs Keilor Thunder (4th, 9-3)

In the second biggest outing of the round, the Geelong Supercats hope to spring up the table when they face the fourth-placed, Keilor Thunder, at home. Teams from 4-8 spot on the table are all coming off victories, with the Thunder boasting the biggest streak with five consecutive. The Supercats have also done well recently, snaring their second in a fortnight against the Pakenham Warriors at home. Thus far, the Supercats claim the best home record in the competition (6-1-0). The Thunder have made decent strides on the road but are still behind the standards of the teams around them. The Supercats have shown great talent in their youngster, Olivier Northam (21.3 PPG), who sits second for league scoring. Jet Kneebone has also shown good signs with a 12.7 averaged PPG. For the Thunder, Cooper Colson leads scoring at 19th in league scoring, averaging 11 PPG, with Brodie McWhinney following on 8.7.

Dandenong Rangers (10th, 7-5) vs Bendigo Braves (7th, 8-4)

The Dandenong Rangers host the Bendigo Braves in what looks to be yet another tight contest. Despite having two positions between them, only one win separates these two sides. The Braves have shown great promise on the road, recording one loss from five games, while the Rangers have held up incredibly well at home with five wins from six outings. Jerome Pierre leads scoring for the Rangers with 13.3 PPG from three games, putting up 28 points against the second placed, Knox Raiders, at home. Given that impressive showing, it seems more likely that they would win again, but with Macey Eaton (16.5) firing for the Braves, we could see quite a shoot-out. The fifth best league scorer dropped 15 points in Round 2 but did not play in Round 3. His inclusion could make the world of difference for the Braves given their current match-up.

Knox Raiders (2nd, 9-3) vs Latrobe Energy (9th, 7-5)

To close out the round, the Knox Raiders will hope to re-join the winner’s in their home clash against the Latrobe Energy after losing two consecutive before the holiday break. Like Knox, Latrobe have also suffered losses in their last two outings, going down to two title contenders in Bendigo and Bulleen. The Raiders need to win this game or risk losing a grip on their top-four position. Currently, Knox boast top league scorer in Jordan Anderson, who averages 23.7 PPG, while Zachary Greeves sits in third place with 15.3. Though surprisingly, Latrobe are not without their shooters, with Jack Hrehoresen (20), Coby Burgiel (19) and Kody Tibballs (11.3) all putting up solid numbers in the VC. This game could quickly turn into a shoot-out with either team snaring the win.