Tag: owen foxwell

Victorian Under-20 and Ivor Burge teams announced

BASKETBALL Victoria has announced the Victorian 2021 Under-20 and Ivor Burge teams, selected to represent the state at the next Australian Junior Championships.

The six teams will make their way to Mackay, Queensland in May for the Australian Under-20 Junior Championships and Ivor Burge Championships for athletes with an intellectual disability.

Victoria Under-20 Navy Blue Men

The Victoria Under-20 Navy Blue Men’s team features national champions Harry Johnson and Mason Perry, and former Victorian representative Christian D’Angelo. The side is set to be coached by Basketball Victoria High Performance Head Coach (Metropolitan Men) Ash Arnott, and will be assisted by Nathan Cooper-Brown, Zach Moult and Neil Mottram.


Anthony Dell’Orso (Broadmeadows)
Harry Johnson (Knox)
Christian D’Angelo (Traralgon/Nunawading)
Joseph Locandro (Waverley)
Kane Hynes (Wyndham)
Mason Perry (Dandenong)
Matthew Power (Camberwell)
Noah Todd (Diamond Valley)
Tom Carroll (Dandenong)
Will Hynes (Ballarat) 


Austin McKenzie (Horsham)
Dylan Bucknell (Casey)
Elijah Duol (Dandenong)
Ned Dillon (Eltham)
Patrick Twigg (Melbourne)

Victoria Under-20 Navy Blue Women

The Victoria Under-20 Navy Blue Women’s team will be coached by Australian Opals legend Jenni Screen, who is currently working as Basketball Victoria’s High Performance head coach (Metropolitan Women). She will be working alongside former national championship winning head coach Zoe Carr, Jo Wood and Kerryn O’Donnell. An on-court leader to look out for is VNPP athlete Jasmine Whately.


Courtney Willemse (Diamond Valley)
Janthin Yat (Dandenong)
Jasmine Whately (Geelong United)
Kodie Myszka (Dandenong)
Maggie Kratochvil (Melbourne)
Nya Lok (Waverley)
Lauren Jones (Wyndham)
Perina Leime (Dandenong)
Sarae Beveridge (Nunawading)
Tyla Paraha (Altona) 


Mariah Derksen (Kilsyth)
Tayla Hooper (Melbourne) 

Victoria Ivor Burge Men

The Victoria Ivor Burge Men’s team is looking to return to the top of the podium with a few familiar faces. Returning to the 2021 lineup are experienced mainstays Jake De La Motte, James Myers and Frazer Dawber. The only two new additions to the team are rising stars Jack Inella and Matthew Farrar.

Head coach Ryan Holloway is keen see the team play at the Championships.

“These championships mean everything to this team – they’re passionate and excited to be able to represent Victoria on the national stage,” he said.

“It’s going to be another tough year of competition with the Ivor Burge competition, but as a team we’ll be ready to hit the floor running.”

Holloway will be assisted by Adrian Carfora, Glen Jordan, and Karen Patterson.


Frazer Dawber
Jack Inella
Ryan Lethlean
Jake De La Motte
James Debetta
James Myers
Luke Nicholls
Matthew Farrar
Michael Snyders
Nick Cluning 


Ryan Briggs
Jake Booth

Victoria Ivor Burge Women

Unfortunately due to a lack of competing teams from other states, the 2021 Ivor Burge Women’s tournament will not go ahead. The side that won the 2020 Ivor Burge Women’s title in Canberra were reselected in the 2021 lineup.

Head coach Simon Robinson said despite these challenges, the program will try to put on alternative events to keep athletes involved and interested.

“I know a lot of the athletes well, know the families well – I do feel a big sense of obligation and duty to provide as many opportunities as we can [to] make it the best experience that we can,” he said.

“We’ll definitely be trying to give opportunities to the athletes to keep them engaged and get back to some sense of normalcy and 2022 will hopefully be like what it was in 2020.”

Robinson will be assisted by Justin May and O’Donnell.


Danielle Phillips
Evie Patterson
Jasmine Dellas
Jessica McCulloch
Kate Leckenby
Kaitlyn Papworth
Kaitlin Zonneveld
Montana Haag-Witherden
Natasha Exell
Rachel Potter 

Victoria Under-20 Women

The Victoria Under-20 Women’s team features a number of junior talent, including WNBL athletes Gemma Potter and Jade Melbourne, as well as current Centre of Excellence athletes Charlise Dunn, Emily Sewell and Olivia Pollard.

Head coach Katrina Hibbert says the group’s versatility mixed with elite level experience is a recipe for success.

“This team has the ability to play several different line-ups with the group we have selected – we can play big and dominate the paint and we can play with a smaller line-up with versatility through all positions to stretch oppositions and be aggressive and disruptive defensively,” she says.

“I’m looking forward to working with a talented group pf female athletes in a challenging tournament environment against the other top female players of their age group in Australia.”

Hibbert is assisted by Kerryn Mitchell (Frankston), Taylor Lee (Casey), and Lisa Page.


Charlise Dunn (Knox/COE)
Emily Sewell (Dandenong/COE)
Gemma Potter (Dandenong)
Georgia Booth (Kilsyth)
Hailey Merrigan (Bulleen)
Jade Melbourne (Traralgon/COE)
Kayla Salmons (Altona)
Luisa Fakalata (Nunawading)
Maddie Condron (Bendigo)
Olivia Pollerd (Southern Peninsula/COE) 


Elly Morgan (Dandenong)
Tess Barnes (Bendigo) 

Victoria Under-20 Men

The Victoria Under-20 Men’s team brings together the best of the Country and Metropolitan. Featuring Australian Boomers tandem Dyson Daniel and Patrick Ryan, NBA Global Academy representative Bol Dengdit and former Victorian representatives Brody Nunn, Josh Duach, Joe Moli, Keith Robinson, Riley Simmons and Owen Foxwell, this team is shaping up for success.

Head coach Matthew Nunn says the groups spark and intensity will make for some exciting baseball to watch.

“I think we have a very versatile and balanced team that will have very strong guard play at both ends,” he says.

“I think it is a great outcome for the Under-20 age group to participate at the championships this year, as it is a critical pathway for many young athletes to launch their future goals within the sport.”

Nunn is assisted by Andrew Cutler (Nunawading), Braden Cotter (Knox), and Wayne Bird.


Austin Shelley (Moe / Knox)
Brody Nunn (Knox)
Bol Dengdit (Melton/NBA Global Academy)
Dyson Daniels (Bendigo/COE)
Josh Duach (Kilsyth)
Jye Moli (Knox)
Keith Robinson (Phillip Island / Casey)
Owen Foxwell (Bulleen)
Patrick Ryan (Phillip Island / COE)
Riley Simmons (Dandenong) 

MUVJBL Under 18 Boys Round 1 review: Boomers gain separation from Rangers in 12-point win

AN Owen Foxwell-inspired Bulleen Boomers have produced a strong second half to hold off Dandenong Rangers in the first round of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Boys’ competition. Foxwell finished the match with 35 points – including one from long range and 10 free throw opportunities to lead his side to a 73-61 victory on the Boomers’ home court.

Bulleen held a narrow lead at quarter time with a one-point advantage, though Dandenong was not willing to give anything up, keeping pace in the second term with a 15-all quarter. It was the third term where Foxwell and his teammates went to town, putting up a team total of 19 points to 11 and blowing out the lead to nine points. Despite the lead, the Boomers were not willing to take any chances, winning the final term as well, 21-18 to record the 12-point victory and start the season on a high.

While Foxwell led the scoring, Anthony Dell’Orso (11 points) and Daniel Poelsma (10) also put up good numbers, though there was contributions across the board with eight players troubling the scorers on the night. Dandenong had its fair share of talent on the court, and Justin Asi proved what a danger from long range he could be, sinking four triples and six from inside the arc on his way to a team-high 28 points. He was well aided by Elijah Duol (19 points), while Jacob Oryem (seven) was the other player with more than five points on the Rangers’ side.

In other Ashe Pool results, Diamond Valley Eagles got up by seven points over Camberwell Dragons after a blistering 20-12 first term with Eagles’ Jackson Harding (17 points including five triples) and Noah Todd (15) leading the way for the winners, whilst Sam Veitch sank 19 points for the losing side. Eltham Wildcats had an unsurprising win over their second side, getting up 56-43 with Thomas Stockwell and Fletcher Parkinson combining for 30 points. Meanwhile Knox Raiders knocked off Geelong United by just seven points, winning in a high scoring contest 80-73. Jordan Anderson (16 points) Jyelin Moli (15) were the prominent scorers for the Raiders, whilst Jay Posterino (16) and Jamie Bottrell (14) impressed in an even team performance for United. The game between Ringwood Hawks and Coburg Giants scores are yet to be confirmed via SportsTG.

It was a tight game in Ballarat when the Miners took down Hawthorn Magic by just two points in the Watson Pool. The Miners found themselves trailing by seven points at half-time but had a strong second half to score 38 points to 29 and overrun the visitors in a 64-62 win. Austin McKenzie led the way for the miners with 25 points including two triples and a total of 22 points from the field, whilst the Magic had Denzel Timmons (18 points) who was deadly from long range with four triples. The Magic did run into some foul trouble with 19 fouls to 13, whilst the depth of the Miners’ top-end scoring from range was electrifying with a team total of 10 triples made on the night. Aside from McKenzie, Nathan Sutton recorded a team-high four on his way to 14 points, whilst Max Rivers (two triples for 11 points) and Liam Howard (two for eight) were also impressive outside the arc.

In other Watson Pool results, Nunawading was far too strong for Bendigo as the title-contending Spectres ran away 87-61 victory thanks to the likes of James Roache (25 points), Dihan Wiggett (21) and Dean Simos (15). Lachlan O’Brien led the way for the Braves with 16 points, aided by the likes of Macey Eaton (11) and Edward Hayes (10). Meanwhile despite a dominant third term from the Warriors, Pakenham fell six points short of Melbourne Tigers with the visitors responding to a 7-17 third quarter with a 22-11 final term of their own in the 62-56 victory. Jensesn Garhnam (18 points) and Ihsaan Bongso (16) led the way for the Tigers in the win, whilst Lauchlan Mark (15) was strong for the Warriors in defeat.

Keilor also broke away from Kilsyth after quarter time to win by 12 points on the road. Despite the Cobras’ Josh Duach‘s best efforts (18 points), Keilor was too strong thanks to Tonga Matapule Otutaha (17 points), Chase Page (14) and Jeffrey Ofoedu (12). In the final game of the pool, McKinnon Cougars’ fast start to lead by 12 at half-time was the difference in the end in a 71-59 victory over Waverley Falcons. Denver Lund and Tom Carroll sank 21 points apiece in the win, whilst Callum McNiff (14 points) led the way for the losing Falcons.

Round 1 results:

Ashe Pool:

Eltham Wildcats 2 (43) defeated by Eltham Wildcats (56)
Diamond Valley Eagles (64) defeated Camberwell Dragons (57)
Knox Raiders (80) defeated Geelong United (73)
Bulleen Boomers (73) defeated Dandenong Rangers (61)
Ringwood Hawks (TBC) vs. Coburg Giants (TBC)

Watson Pool:

Nunawading Spectres (87) defeated Bendigo Braces (61)
Pakenham Warriors (56) defeated by Melbourne Tigers (62)
Ballarat Miners (64) defeated Hawthorn Magic (62)
McKinnon Cougars (71) defeated Waverley Falcons (59)
Kilsyth Cobras (57) defeated by Keilor Thunder (69)

2020 MUVJBL U18 Boys/Girls Round 1 preview: Boomers and Rangers the highlight match, as Sabres and Broncos to clash

BULLEEN Boomers are set to host Dandenong Rangers in a huge Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division Round 1 clash. Opening the new season, the Eltham Dandenong Junior Basketball Tournament winners in the Under 18s grade take on the unlucky semi-final losers, who just dropped out to North Adelaide in the penultimate round.

Bulleen’s strong list saw Anthony Dell’Orso sink 95 points across the tournament at an average of 15.8 points per game from his six matches. He sank 10 three-pointers in that time as one of a couple of dangerous options from deep. Owen Foxwell also knew how to hurt the opposition from three-point range, finishing the tournament with eight shots made from long range and an average of 11.2 points per game. Foxwell also got to the free throw line often, the most of any player on the Boomers’ side, while Daniel Poelsma (11.7 points per game) was a reliable two-point shooter and earned a number of crucial fouls. Marcel Haj (7.5 points per game) was the other key scorer, making it four players who can score regularly for the Boomers and will prove hard to stop for the Rangers.

Dandenong has its own quartet of dangerous scorers, with Elijah Duol averaging 10.7 points per game at the Eltham Dandenong Junior Basketball Tournament, the most of any Rangers’ player in the seven matches. They know how to share the ball around though, with Justin Asi (9.6 points per game) a regular two-point shooter. Jacob Oryem (8.7 points) and Cooper Goonewardene (8.0 points) are both known dangers from all over the court and made the most free throws of any players on the team, with a nice balance between close range and long range attempts. The Rangers know how to force opponents to foul and they will look to pressure the Bulleen defence in what is set to be a huge opening round of basketball action.

In other games, Kilsyth Cobras take on Keilor Thunder in what should be an exciting one with both missing out on finals at the junior finals but showing some good signs, as should the Pakenham Warriors and Melbourne Tigers clash. Knox Raiders are predicted to be another strong side in the grade, hosting Geelong United, while Camberwell Dragons are a new team to the top division, travelling to face Diamond Valley Eagles. An all-Eltham battle should ignite some bragging rights, while Ringwood Hawks host Coburg Giants. In the other pool, Nunawading Spectres host Bendigo Braves, Ballarat Miners take on Hawthorn Magic, and McKinnon Cougars face Waverley Falcons.

Under 18 Boys Round 1 fixtures:

Pool 1:

Eltham Wildcats 2 vs. Eltham Wildcats
Diamond Valley Eagles vs. Camberwell Dragons
Knox Raiders vs. Geelong United
Bulleen Boomers vs. Dandenong Rangers
Ringwood Hawks vs. Coburg Giants

Pool 2:

Nunawading Spectres vs. Bendigo Braves
Pakenham Warriors vs. Melbourne Tigers
Ballarat Miners vs. Hawthorn Magic
McKinnon Cougars vs. Waverley Falcons
Kilsyth Cobras vs. Keilor Thunder

While it is expected both Bulleen and Dandenong will be strong in the Under 18 Girls’ Championship Division, the match to watch could well be Sandringham Sabres up against Broadmeadows Broncos. Both teams competed at the Eltham Dandenong Junior Tournament recently and while it did not go as well as it could have, they both won two from five matches in their respective pools. In Round 1 the two take to the court with the Sabres being the host.

Having come through the Under 16s Championship division last season, Sandringham has a number of talented ballers who could make the step up to the next level and cause some headaches for the opposition. At the Eltham Dandenong Junior Tournament, Charlotte Ryan averaged the most points with nine per game from her five matches, shooting predominantly from two-point range, but along with Maya Dear, is more than competent from three-point range. Dear showed plenty of talent last season and will be one to watch, not often getting to the foul line, but her jump shooting was impressive with her two-point and three-point numbers good. Summer Keating, Charlotte Zygarlicki and Jemima O’Toole all averaged more than five points at the tournament, with the trio capable of finding fouls and heading to the line, but less likely to unleash from long range.

Emma Povh was the key scorer for Broadmeadows during the Eltham Dandenong Junior Tournament, finishing with an average of eight points per game. While she was not a high scorer in play, her free-throw numbers – almost 50 per cent of her total score – tell a story of how worrisome her opponents can get when she approaches the basket. Oriana Siamoa recorded a greater than 50 per cent record in terms of her free-throw points scored from her overall points scored. Broadmeadows will not be a side that traditionally shoots from long range, with Povh and Emma Hoffman‘s three makes the highest in the team during the tournament. Chrisoula Triantafyllopoulos and Harmony Harder are the other scorers for the Broncos who might have an impact, not shooting from range, but Harder in particular is a concern for opposition players with 100 per cent of her points during the tournament coming in twos.

In other fixtures, Altona Gators host Knox Raiders, Eltham Wildcats take on Dandenong Rangers, Melbourne Tigers face Ringwood Hawks, and Frankston Blues travel to meet Nunawading Spectres 2. In the other Pool, McKinnon Cougars go head-to-head with Diamond Valley Eagles, Geelong United hosts Kilsyth Cobras, Ballarat Miners hit the road to face Hawthorn Magic, Bulleen Boomers take on Keilor Thunder, and Nunawading Spectres prepare to do battle with Waverley Falcons.

Under 18 Girls Round 1 fixtures:

Pool 1:

Altona Gators vs. Knox Raiders
Eltham Wildcats vs. Dandenong Rangers
Melbourne Tigers vs. Ringwood Hawks
Nunawading Spectres 2 vs. Frankston Blues
Sandringham Sabres vs. Broadmeadows Broncos

Pool 2:

McKinnon Cougars vs. Diamond Valley Eagles
Geelong United vs. Kilsyth Cobras
Hawthorn Magic vs. Ballarat Miners
Keilor Thunder vs. Bulleen Boomers
Nunawading Spectres vs. Waverley Falcons

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC review: Grand Final – Boomers lock down a thriller

THE Bulleen Boomers have been declared the champions of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division following their 65-52 win over the Melbourne Tigers at State Basketball Centre last Friday.

Both teams fared well in the contest, though it was Bulleen who sought to maintain their aggressive, high-scoring finals brand. Owen Foxwell opened scoring in all terms excluding the fourth, crossing his opponent early in the first to sink a floater. Centre of Excellence returnee Joshua Giddey made his mark promptly, blocking two shots under the ring while continually hitting up teammates with his outstanding passing ability. Decisively, the first term belonged to Bulleen. Despite Melbourne’s impressive defensive work, their favour for ranged shooting limited opportunities for repeat efforts, having no one on the inside.

In the second term, Foxwell regained momentum to again open scoring, impressing with a recovered spill and skyhook in the paint. Melbourne sought to halt Bulleen’s transition with a press but fail to run with Foxwell as he affected consecutive buckets with Anthony Dell’Orso to eventually force a Melbourne time-out. Soon after Giddey got the ball rolling for Melbourne as he worked the baseline for an easy lay-up. Giddey maintained effort on both ends, earning a steal to put Patrick Twigg into space as well as continually floating through the zones weak spots. To close out the term, Isaiah Harvey and Twigg recorded back-to-back threes, while Foxwell sunk a three-pointer two metres outside the arc from one play, before affecting consecutive scores on the inside.

The third was undeniably poor for both sides with seven points each scored on either end. Once again, Foxwell hit the first with a brilliant left-handed euro, soon following up against Giddey, nearly losing the guard on his way to the ring. The contest between the guards ensued for the remainder of the game with neither player managing a score for a while. Despite impressive looks from the Bulleen point, Giddey’s three-point assist, work to secure consecutive scores, and closing block shot on Foxwell earned him the win for the third. built on his efforts late in the third to open up the fourth, earning a three point play with some sharp footwork.

It was clear by the opening minutes that Melbourne had lost momentum with Foxwell’s grip tight on both ends of the court. Rushed offensive work and a fading drive eventually crushed the Tigers as Bulleen dismantled them through transition. For the Boomers, Foxwell and Oscar Hide were most dominant. Foxwell managed his third 20-point (21) game in the finals series, dictating offense well and applying good pressure at the top of the arc. Hyde was a pillar for the Boomers under the ring, taking everything from the with 12 points for the night and an outstanding dunk in transition. For Melbourne, Giddey was pivotal, recording a game-high 24 points with impressive defense and court vision. Twigg presented fair in the first half, recording back to back threes with a strong run at the board. Though unfortunately faded in the second half.This effectively closes the MUVJBL Championship Division for this year with a decisive final term cementing the Bulleen Boomers as 2019 champions.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Grand Final

THE final match-up in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division kicks off this week with the Bulleen Boomers coming up against the Melbourne Tigers at State Basketball Centre.

Bulleen opened their finals’ series with a four point loss against Nunawading (50-46), while Melbourne stood firm over Diamond Valley with a 66-53 victory. Both teams advanced to the semi-finals, which saw Melbourne roll over Dandenong (75-65) and Bulleen responding big against the Keilor Thunder (72-42). Last week, both sides cemented their spots for the big dance as Melbourne snared a 60-66 win over their second top-four side in Nunawading and Bulleen picked up a second consecutive 30-point victory to crush finals favourites, Kilsyth (45-75). They both face their biggest challenge this week, with Melbourne presenting comfortably the against top four sides and Bulleen picking up stellar form at the right time.

NBA Global Academy player, Joshua Giddey, has sparked the biggest revival to Melbourne’s season. Besides averaging 19.8 points per game (PPG) from four outings and 25 and 27 points in his last two games, the 2021 prospect could also be NBA bound. Giddey’s efforts at the FIBA Under-17 Oceania Championship led Australia to a gold medal, where he averaged 16.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and five assists per game. He has been accompanied well by Patrick Twigg (11.4) this season, who has been an important mainstay for the Tigers, closely followed by Jordan Adams (10.4) with 11 and 12 outings respectively.

For the Boomers, Owen Foxwell has been standout with 15.1 PPG from 12 outings. In Bulleen’s last two hit-outs, Foxwell stepped up to record back to back 20-point games, while top-20 counterpart Anthony Dell’Orso slowed with six and nine.
In their last outing against each other, Bulleen walked away decisive victors (41-70). Dell’Orso and Thomas Giannatos stood up to record 18 and 12 points respectively, while Adams held down the fort for Melbourne with 18 of his own. In the rematch, Giddey’s return is likely to shake up Bulleen unfaultable fortnight, as the State Basketball Centre prepares to host the game of the year this Friday night.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Preliminary finals

THIS week the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys competition prepares for the preliminary finals. The Nunawading Spectres will come off their break to face the Melbourne Tigers, while the Kilsyth Cobras come up against the Bulleen Boomers for a spot in the Grand Final.

Nunawading Spectres (2nd, 14-4) vs Melbourne Tigers (5th, 10-7-1)

The first of two Preliminary finals pits the Nunawading Spectres against the Melbourne Tigers at Mullum Mullum. Last week, Melbourne snuck a 75-65 victory over Dandenong, knocking out their top-end rivals in straight sets. Despite impressive efforts from Dandenong, it was Melbourne’s three 20-point terms that eventually saw them to victory. In the week prior, the Spectres bested Bulleen in a 50-46 clash in Hawthorn. Nunawading proved marginally better in the second half, winning 12-9 in the third before hitting 15-14 to close out the game. The Spectres will rely heavily on James Roche to deliver, having averaged 18.7 points per game from 10 outings. He is accompanied well by Curtis Brecko in sixteenth (11.7) – having dropped 11 points behind Dihan Wiggett‘s 13 in last fortnight’s clash. Attention will also be on Melbourne’s Patrick Twigg, who recently cracked into the top 20 for PPG (11.5) after dropping an impressive 22 against Dandenong. NBL1 representative, Joshua Giddey was also a major feature with a huge 27 points in just his third outing for the season. Giddey moves fifth for PPG (18) following his standout performance.

Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 13-2-3) vs Bulleen Boomers (3rd, 12-4-2)

The Kilsyth Cobras match up against the Bulleen Boomers at State Basketball Centre this Friday for the last spot in the Grand Final. Last week, the Boomers rebounded from their tight loss against Nunawading to put away Keilor by 30 points (72-42). In the week prior, the Cobras proved better against Dandenong to advance to the preliminaries (78-53). It was Kilsyth’s two big opening terms in the first (27) and third (22) that carried them comfortably over the line. Josh Duach remains Kilsyth’s most consistent shooter, averaging 13.6 PPG from 10 outings, including 16 points in his last clash alongside Lachlan Vandervorm (19). David Okwera also looks to threaten, rounding out the top 20 with 11.4 PPG. For the Boomers, Anthony Dell’Orso and Owen Foxwell sit ninth and tenth for PPG with 14.8 and 14.6 point respectively. Foxwell fared well in their clash with Keilor to score 20 points, with Otto Mananov (14) and Thomas Giannatos (11) among the three players also recording double-digits for the game.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC review: Preliminary Finals – Giddey spurs Melbourne into final four

A JOSH Giddey inspired Melbourne side sent Dandenong Rangers out in straight sets of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division, while the Bulleen Boomers also advanced to the Preliminary Finals after knocking off Keilor Thunder in a comfortable win.

Bulleen Boomers 72 defeated Keilor Thunder 42

Bulleen Boomers have advanced through to the preliminary finals with the chance to face top-of-the-table Kilsyth Cobras after a dominant 30-point win over Keilor Thunder. The Boomers raced away to an 11-point lead at quarter time and extended that to 16 by the main break. They did not let up throughout with a dominant 38-24 second half to run away with the match, 72-42. They shared the points around with all eight players getting court time and hitting the scoreboard, lead by Owen Foxwell (20 points). Otto Mananov (14) and Thomas Giannatos (11) were also prominent, while Anthony Dell’Orso and Oscar Hyde both sank nine apiece. For the Thunder, Paul Tsapatolis was a lone hand on the scoring end, shooting 24 of his side’s 42 points, with the next highest being Jeffrey Ofoedu and Derhyse Matautia with four points apiece.

Dandenong Rangers 65 defeated by Melbourne Tigers 75

In the closer of the two semi-finals, a dominant first half by Melbourne set them up for a strong 10-point win. The Tigers opened the game with a 24-16 first term, then extended the margin out to 15 by the main break. Dandenong hit back after half-time with 13 points to eight and cut it back to 10, but could not make further inroads into the deficit in the last stanza, losing 65-75. Giddey posted a game-high 27 points, teaming well with Patrick Twigg who delivered 22 of his own. Ezrah Vaigafa and Jordan Adams were also strong contributors, dropping eight points each. For the Rangers, they had three key scorers as Harrison Bowater (18 points), Leyi Adebayo (14) and Mason Perry (10) were all in double-figure points. Zac Taylor (nine points) and Joshua Heywood (eight) were also productive despite the narrow loss.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Semi-finals

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys kicks off the Semi-Finals this week with the Kilsyth Cobras and Nunawading Spectres advancing to the preliminaries. The Dandenong Rangers face off against the Melbourne Tigers, as the Bulleen Boomers come up against the Keilor Thunder, with only two teams advancing into next week.

Dandenong Rangers (4th, 12-4-2) vs Melbourne Tigers (5th, 10-7-1)

The first Semi-Final pits the Dandenong Rangers against the Melbourne Tigers. Last week, the Rangers fell short against the league’s best Kilsyth Cobras (78-53) after conceding two terms of more than 20 points. Melbourne proved better in Hawthorn, defeating Diamond Valley 66-53 to escape elimination. Though Melbourne’s previous experience with Dandenong did not fall their way – conceding 47-71 in June. Harrison Bowater remains a consistent threat for the Rangers – averaging 12.7 points per game (PPG) from 10 outings – including 13 points in last week’s clash and in his previous meeting with Melbourne. Despite underperforming last week, Jyelin Moli (11.1 PPG) also remains impressive. For Melbourne, Jordan Adams (15), Patrick Twigg (14), Lyzel Mataika (12) and Joshua Giddey (12) should all look to back-up last week’s performance. Currently, Giddey ranks twelfth in the league for PPG (13.5), despite playing just his second game last week.

Bulleen Boomers (3rd, 12-4-2) vs Keilor Thunder (7th, 9-9)

The Bulleen Boomers and Keilor Thunder go head to head in the second semi-final in Eltham High. Despite losing their match-up to Nunawading (50-46), Bulleen had a lot to like in Hawthorn. They managed to restore against a first-quarter thrashing to even up the scores at half-time. Keilor also impressed last week to record the highest score of the round (62-81). For Bulleen, Anthony Dell’Orso (15.4 PPG) has been a consistent force – recording 10 points in last week’s loss. Owen Foxwell recorded 12 points last week and also boasts fair consistency, averaging 14.1 PPG. FIBA Under-17 Oceania Championship representative, Paul Tsapatolis, returned in dominant fashion last week to record a league-high 38 points. Tsapatolis quickly jumped to top spot for PPG, and currently sits the only player in the top 20. Tonga Matapule Otutaha also threatens, having scored 14 points in the finals’ precursor.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC review: Qualifying and Elimination Finals – Tsapatolis returns for Keilor

WEEK one of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division kicked off with the Kilsyth Cobras defeating Dandenong Rangers in the first qualifying final. In the match-up, the Cobras took a 39-27 lead into the main break after dropping a game-high 27 points in the opener. They followed with 22-15 and 17-11 terms in the second half, finishing 25-point victors. Kilsyth’s Lachlan Vandervorm led from the front with 19 points, followed next by Josh Duach on 16 and Ned Dillon on 10. Duach’s game moves him to eleventh spot for points per game (PPG). Harrison Bowater and Joshua Heywood were Dandenong’s most dominant utilities, controlling the floor to rack up 13 points each in the loss. Despite the result, Bowater remains one of the league’s most consistent shooters, moving to eighth spot for overall points.

The second qualifying final placed the Nunawading Spectres against Bulleen Boomers, which saw the Spectres walk away four-point victors. The 50-46 contest in Hawthorn was an undeniable thriller with countless momentum swings. The Spectres set the standard in the first at 20-8, leaving the Boomers to respond (3-15), tying the scores up at the main break (23-23). Despite keeping close, Nunawading led the remainder of the game. Dihan Wigget recorded a team-high 13 points, with Curtis Brecko following close on 11 and top-five scorer, James Roche, maintaining form with 10. For Bulleen, Owen Foxwellimpressed on both ends, amassing 12 points to move into the league’s top 10 for PPG, while Anthony Dell’Orso closes out in sixth with 10 points of his own.

The Melbourne Tigers earned their first win in the final series after eliminating the Diamond Valley Eagles with a 66-53 showing in Hawthorn. The Tigers’ efforts in the first half shut the contest down by the main break (38-25). Their lead extended three more points into three quarter-time, before easing off to concede the last. Jordan Adams backed up last week’s performance to lead his side with another 15 points. Patrick Twigg followed next with 14, while Lyzel Mataika and Joshua Giddey round out with 12 points each. Giddey’s efforts place him in twelfth for PPG in just his second game of the year. For Diamond Valley, Ethan Bateman led the game with 17 points – accompanied well by Matt Marasco with 10.

The last Elimination Final saw Keilor Thunder get the better of Bendigo Braves (81-62). Keilor started poor in the match-up, but built momentum in the second. For the remaining three terms Keilor recorded over 20 points in each quarter. Bendigo did well to maintain their efforts from the first, but failed on the defensive end, losing their opportunity for semi-finals. Paul Tsapatolis‘s return to Keilor could have revived their chances at finals. After missing five games in the regular season, Tsapatolis returned to drop a round-high 38 points – taking him to first for PPG (23.4). No other player recorded over 10 for Keilor, with Jeffrey Ofoedu following with eight. For Bendigo, Caleb Connick impressed with 19 points, but could not match Tsapatolis in offense – slipping from the top two. Isaac Murphy also played well, finishing his season with 14 points.

In the Reserve grade, the Casey Cavaliers record a 65-60 win over the Waverley Falcons, the Ballarat Rush defeat the Eltham Wildcats (63-46), the Collingwood All-Stars best the Hawthorn Magic (60-57), and the Knox Raiders win 67-48 over the Dandenong Rangers. The Championship Division kicks off the semi-finals next week with the Dandenong Rangers facing the Melbourne Tigers, and the Bulleen Boomers facing the Keilor Thunder for a spot against Kilsyth and Nunawading in the Preliminary Finals.

MUVJBL U18 Boys VC preview: Qualifying and Elimination Finals

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-18 Boys Championship Division begins its first round of finals on Friday, which will see only six teams remain at the round’s end. All games will be played on neutral courts, with Nunawading and Bulleen along with Melbourne and Diamond Valley hosting games at Hawthorn in two of the more exciting match-ups of the round.

Kilsyth Cobras (1st, 13-2-3) vs. Dandenong Rangers (4th, 12-4-2)

In the first round of qualifying finals, the Dandenong Rangers face the Kilsyth Cobras in Knox. Despite Kilsyth’s dominant record, the neutral territory is likely to favour Dandenong, with most of Kilsyth’s success having come from home (8-1-0). With six wins to five on the road, Dandenong enter as unlikely favourites in this contest, but are yet to beat the league-leaders. In their past meetings, Kilsyth won in April (59-53), before both teams fell short in the proceeding months with a 64-64 draw. Kilsyth’s Josh Duach will be closely watched in this match-up, having averaged 13.3 points per game from nine outings. With Roosevelt Williams (11.4) and David Okwera (11.9) also firing for Kilsyth, the Cobras enter likely to match Dandenong’s offensive weapons. For Dandenong, Harrison Bowater (12.7) remains most damaging, followed next by Jyelin Moli (11.7). They also enter this match-up having had every player crack double-digits on the scoreboard last week against Korumburra, with Moli and Riley Simmons leading the way with 21 and 15 respectively.

Nunawading Spectres (2nd>, 14-4) vs Bulleen Boomers (4th, 12-4-2)

The second qualifying final follows soon after with the Nunawading Spectres and Bulleen Boomers going head-to-head in Hawthorn. With the league’s most dominant away record (9-1-0), plus having snared the most wins this season (14), this match seems like a lock for the Spectres. They also currently boast three consecutive wins, having defeated Kilsyth, Dandenong and Diamond Valley over the last month. Last week Bulleen suffered a frustrating 60-63 loss to Bendigo, but should proceed boldly having defeated Nunawading earlier in the year (53-54). The Spectres will look to James Roche , currently sitting third for PPG (19.7) and first for overall points (177). He will be accompanied by Curtis Brecko (11.8), who has also put together an impressive year. Anthony Dell’Orso will be Bulleen’s greatest utility, sitting two below Roche in fifth with an average of 16 points per game. Owen Foxwell has also impressed with 14.3 PPG, including 22 points in last week’s loss.

Melbourne Tigers (5th, 10-7-1) vs Diamond Valley Eagles (8th, 9-9)

The first elimination final pits the Melbourne Tigers against the Diamond Valley Eagles. In their last two match-ups, Diamond Valley got the better in the first (74-61) but lost in horrible fashion a month later (71-39). Currently the Eagles boast consecutive wins, while Melbourne’s last fortnight has been poor, facing a thrashing against Bulleen (41-70) before tying with bottom-enders, Werribee.

Despite their positioning, Melbourne still sit without a top-20 shooter. Ezrah Vaigafa (10.5), Jordan Adams (10.4) and Lyzel Mataika (10.2) have all combined well this season but could struggle against some of the league’s bigger threats. Similarly, Diamond Valley are also without a top-20 shooter. Ethan Bateman currently leads the way with 10.9 PPG, followed close by Matt Marasco on 8.5, but dropping 19 points in last week’s win over Keilor.

Bendigo Braves (6th, 9-8-1) vs Keilor Thunder (7th, 9-9)

The last elimination final pits Bendigo Braves against Keilor Thunder. Last week both teams faced three point margins, with Bendigo defeating Bulleen (60-63) and Keilor falling short to Diamond Valley (57-60). In their last meeting, Keilor snared a 12-point victory over the Braves – handing Bendigo a rare loss at home. With neutral territory for both, Bendigo’s poor away record (3-6-0) could be a talking point in the lead-up. League standout, Caleb Connick, has been the pillar of Bendigo’s offence all season. Currently, he boasts fourth spot for PPG with 19.4 and sits third for overall points (155) from eight outings. William Smythe has also been effective in recent weeks – recording 14 points close behind Connick (15) in last week’s win. For the Thunder, Tonga Matapule Otutaha (14) and Jeffrey Ofoedu (10) have been impressive and should be backed to win the duel with Connick – having both outscored him in their last meeting.