Tag: olivier northam

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 preview: Semi-finals

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division moves into the semi-finals this week with the Keilor Thunder and Dandenong Rangers facing off at Mullum Mullum Stadium, while the Waverley Falcons attempt to rebound at Eagle Stadium against the Geelong Supercats.

Keilor Thunder (3rd, 12-5-1) vs Dandenong Rangers (6th, 10-7-1)

The first Semi-Final pits the Keilor Thunder against the Dandenong Rangers. Last week, the Thunder copped a 50-point loss in their match against Bulleen – conceding three terms with more than 20 points, and only two of their own more than 10. The Rangers proved better than the Raiders last week (61-54) to advance from the bottom. Late in August, they squared off with Keilor at home to record a 43-43 draw – previously recording a loss in March on the road (47-38). Cooper Colson was the only Keilor player to record double-digits (10) last week and remains one of the biggest threats for this game – ranking eleventh across the league for points per game (PPG) with 13.5. Brodie McWhinney also poses a genuine threat with 11 PPG. Similarly, Beau Tranter was the only Dandenong player to record double-digits last week but managed a massive 21 points. Jerome Pierre remains Dandenong’s most consistent scorer with 15.3 PPG, while Tranter follows with 14.2.

Waverley Falcons (4th, 12-6) vs Geelong Supercats (5th, 10-7-1)

The Waverley Falcons and Geelong Supercats will kick off the second semi-final at Eagle Stadium. Last fortnight, the Falcons got the better of the Supercats (66-58) but performed below par in April (62-77). In last week’s clash, the Falcons fell victim to Eltham’s seventh consecutive win (79-69) at Mullum Mullum Stadium. In Melton, the Supercats outdid the Braves by 20 points (74-54) after a dominate showing in the first-half. Waverley will look for David Amum to back up his 18 points last week, with Matt Jefferson‘s (15) efforts also catching a few eyes. Currently, Amum ranks fifth in the league for PPG (15.9), followed by Tesloch Thong in thirteenth and Jefferson in fifteenth. Jet Kneebone led for the Supercats last week, dropping 19 points alongside Olivier Northam (16) and Billy Dawson (14). Northam ranks third in the league for PPG (19.9) and second for total points (199), while Kneebone boasts 12th spot for PPG.

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC preview: Qualifying and Elimination Finals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC preview: Round 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC 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 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC review: Round 7 – Top 3 consolidate spots

THE top three sides in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division have gained some crucial separation on their nearest rivals after wins on the weekend. Bulleen Boomers and Eltham Wildcats both guaranteed themselves two of the top three spots with victory, while Keilor Thunder need just one win in the final two games to lock up the third spot.

Bulleen Boomers continued to show why their firepower is better than any other team, powering their way to a high-scoring 82-67 win over Geelong Supercats. They took control in the first half to lead by 12 at the main break, then extended the lead after a minor lapse in the third term to win by 15 points. Marcel Haj finished with a massive 34 points, while Joel Foxwell (16) and Daniel Poelsma (11) assisted well in the big win. Olivier Northam had 31 of his own points for the Supercats, while he and Koby Tranys (20) did the bulk of the damage for the visitors.

Keilor Thunder had a similar-sized win over Latrobe Energy, involved in a relatively tight contest for most of the game, but remaining in control to lead by five and seven points at the first two breaks and then a handy 13 by the final break. A dominant last quarter saw Keilor run away with the contest in a 31-19 term to win 78-53. They shared around the points with Nikolas Ellul (14 points), Brodie McWhinney (12), Xavier Maye (12) and Jackson Djatschenko (10) all having plenty of say in the contest. For the Energy, it was Kody Tibballs (21 points) and Coby Burgiel (17) who were the dominant scorers on the night.

Second placed Eltham Wildcats kept in touch with the Boomers in a much closer game than they would hope, just getting over the line against Dandenong Rangers by five points. The Wildcats trailed at quarter time, regained the lead by half-time and the scores were level at the final break. A 16-11 last quarter resulted in Eltham getting over the line and taking home a crucial win to book a double chance in the finals. Bradley Moorey (14 points) and Harrison Stones (12) led the way for the Wildcats, while Jerome Pierre (18) was the sole dominant scorer for the Rangers.

The loss to Geelong Supercats opened the door for Bendigo Braves who moved within a point of the Supercats courtesy of a seven-point victory over Waverley Falcons. The Braves lead throughout the contest, but it was the first half that set them up with the visitors leading by 12, before the Falcons cut the deficit to seven by the final buzzer. Macey Eaton scored 14 points, while Jett Vandenberg (13) and Jacob Nihill (11) were also big contributors. For Waverley, David Amum was the top scorer on the court sinking 25, assisted by Tesloch Thong (14) and Matt Jefferson (12).

The upset of the round belonged to Pakenham Warriors who sit the lowest of the Championship Division sides, but toppled the highly fancied Knox Raiders by four points at home. They trailed by six points at quarter time but dominated the second term to hit the front by three at the main break. Scores were level heading into the final stanza before the Warriors pieced together a 20-16 term to secure a vital win, 65-61. Jarred Small led the way with 17 points, while Kobe Wilson sank 12 for the winners. Jordan Anderson (20 points) was the key scorer for the Raiders, while Lachlan Heron shot 15 and Brody Harrison also added 12.

While the Diamond Valley Eagles-Nunawading Spectres clash result was yet to be confirmed in the Reserve grade, Melbourne Tigers and Kilsyth Cobras both enjoyed big wins over Southern Peninsula Sharks and Eltham Wildcats 2 respectively. In closer games, Hawthorn Magic got up over Whittlesea Pacers by six points, and Casey Cavaliers triumphed over Sunbury by four.

Round 8 sees a second versus third clash when Eltham Wildcats host Keilor Thunder, while equally as big is the top-of-the-table Bulleen Boomers hitting the road to face Dandenong Rangers. Knox Raiders will hope to take advantage of the top sides facing each other with a home fixture against Geelong Supercats, while Bendigo Braves travel to Pakenham Warriors, and Waverley Falcons host Latrobe Energy in the other games.

MUVJBL U16 Boys VC review: Round 6 – Waverley ends the streak

ROUND 6 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Boys Championship Division saw the biggest streak come to an end at the hands of the Waverley Falcons. After letting their long standing streak slip in the round prior, the Falcons look set to share the feeling as they faced the Keilor Thunder on the road – handing the Thunder a three-point loss (56-59) and their second defeat at home for the season. It was a big third term from the Falcons that eventually saw them across the line – outscoring the Thunder 21-11 to take a 50-43 lead into the final term despite being down (29-32) at the break. Tesloch Thong remained a powerhouse for the Falcons, recording a team-high 21 points on his way to thirteenth in the league for points per game (PPG). David Amum also retained his status in ninth spot with 12 points for the game. For the Thunder, Brodie McWhinney recorded a game-high 22 points – moving to eleventh for PPG, with Cooper Colson also impressing with 11 points.

Knox Raiders finally re-join the winner’s list following their 66-46 win on the road against Bendigo Braves. This is the Raiders first win in five games – now sitting at 2-4 for their time in the Championship Division. In the contest, a 20-point victory seemed on the cards early as Raiders surged with a 22-6 opener. They won two of the remaining three terms, with the Braves taking a 12-5 effort in the third. With six games now under his belt, Jordan Anderson moves to second spot on the table for PPG with a solid 16-point performance. The effort placed him in top spot for overall points in the league on 134 – 22 points ahead of second spot. Blake Stratton was equally impressive in the match-up, snaring 16 points for Knox alongside Luke Guerra’s 14. Unfortunately for the Braves, no player cracked beyond 10 points. Oliver Mayhem and Jett Vandenberg were Bendigo’s lead scorers with eight points each for the night.

In the only home win of the round, Bulleen Boomers earn a 79-61 victory over Pakenham Warriors. The win keeps the Boomers atop the table as we edge closer to finals with Eltham pressing in second-place. In the match-up, the Boomers took off hard in the first with 27 points. Surprisingly, Pakenham followed close with 25 before gradually losing touch over the next three terms. The fourth was the killing blow for the Warriors – losing to 22-11 as Bulleen earn an 18-point win. Daniel Poelsma topped the board for the Boomers with 19 points – moving to eighth spot for PPG. Joe Foxwell (15) and Marcel Haj (14) also impressed, with Haj moving to sixth for PPG. For the Warriors, Kayne Taylor topped the game in scoring with 20 points, followed next by Drue Maher with 14 points.

Eltham Wildcats continued to press Bulleen in second as they reigned supreme on the road with a 66-54 win over the Geelong Supercats. Eltham outplayed Geelong in all terms but the last, opening the game with a 22-point first term to eventuate a 38-28 lead into the main break. The loss drops the Supercats to seventh place as the Wildcats’ record on the road (7-1-0) remains impressive. In the contest, Kristian Ferronato was at his usual best with 18 points. The effort moves him to seventh spot for PPG, while Zahn Agosta also emerged for Eltham with 13 points. For the Supercats, Harry Den Dryver led on the board with 14 points. Olivier Northam retains his top-four spot in PPG with 12 in the loss. At the end of Round 6, he remains the only Supercats player within the top 20.

Dandenong Rangers picked up their fourth consecutive win with a 82-75 victory over the Latrobe Energy on the road. The win moves to the Rangers to sixth spot – equalling their record with fifth and fourth at 10-5. The high-scoring affair had a lot to like, with Latrobe leading the first term at 22-21, as well as recording a game-high 29 points in the third. Despite the Energy’s valiant efforts, they were not as consistent as the Rangers – costing them a win at home. The Dandenong Rangers boasted two big scorers for the game, with Beau Tranter and Jerome Pierre recording 28 and 25 points respectively. Following the game, Pierre and Tranter move to fifth and tenth spot for PPG respectively. For the Energy, Coby Burgiel remained dominant with 25 points – moving to the top spot for PPG. Jack Hrehoresen follows the league-leader with 18 points – boasting third spot for PPG from four outings.

In the Reserve grade, Nunawading Spectres thrashed Eltham Wildcats at home (73-27), Casey Cavaliers suffered a one-point loss (63-64) against Kilsyth Cobras, and Diamond Valley Eagles and Whittlesea Pacers finished 66-66 at Community Bank Stadium. The round continued with Melbourne Tigers winning 64-61 over the Hawthorn Magic and the Southern Peninsula earning a 65-54 win over the Sunbury Jets on the road.

In Championship Division for Round 7, Eltham Wildcats host Dandenong Rangers, Keilor Thunder face Latrobe Energy, and Geelong Supercats make their way to Mullum Mullum to face Bulleen Boomers. Pakenham Warriors continue the round against Knox Raiders, with Waverley Falcons rounding out the next weekend of fixtures against the Bendigo Braves.

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.