Tag: tess heal

2021 NBL1 South: Round 10 – Wildcats hunting top spot, Blues form continues

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 Women’s competition returned to Victoria after another state-wide lockdown and it was the Eltham Wildcats who returned in fine style defeating the Falcons 94-80, continuing on from Saturday’s win against the Waverley Falcons at home. The Wildcats made it two from two in Round 10 after Sunday’s win on the road against the Falcons at the Waverley Basketball Centre.

It was a tight encounter during the first half with the lead changing multiple times, but a massive 14-point second quarter from Alice Kunek (31 points) meant Waverley led at the main break by a narrow two-point margin. Eltham took control of the match in the third term outscoring the Falcons 28-16 with Tess Heal (16 points, four from seven three-pointers) nailing a couple of three-pointers as the clock ran down to give the Wildcats the momentum heading into the last. The Falcons were unable to get on top in the final term as the Wildcats came home with the victory seeing them move into third position on the ladder.

Eltham was dominant on the glass (61-36 rebounds) led by by Anneli Maley (20 rebounds) and Rebecca Pizzey (13 rebounds, five offensive). In addition to the strong rebound numbers, the Wildcats had six double figure scorers in Shelby Britten (17 points), Lily Scanlon (11 points), Erin Riley (11 points), Heal (16 points), Maley (15 points) and Pizzey (21 points). Kunek (31 points, 13 from 21 field goals) certainly played her role, and Renae Mokrzycki (15 points, seven rebounds) also contributed, however the Wildcats prevailed, leaving them in the race for top of the ladder.

Meanwhile, the Frankston Blues continued their unbeaten run with a 73-55 victory over the Diamond Valley Eagles. A commanding first quarter from the Blues saw them lead by 16 points at quarter time as they eased their way to a 10-0 record. Darcee Garbin (18 points, 15 rebounds), Saraid Taylor (15 points, three from four three-pointers) and Ella Batish (15 points, six from seven field goals) all contributed as the Blues consolidated first position on the ladder.

It was also a big weekend for the Geelong Supercats, recording two crushing victories. The Supercats defeated the Sandringham Sabres by 23 points on Saturday, before handing the Eagles their second loss of the round with an emphatic 95-55 scoreline on Sunday. Sara Blicavs (29 points, eight rebounds) and Stephanie Blicavs (23 points, five from nine three-pointers) played a starring role in Sunday’s match as Geelong recorded its second 40-plus winning margin of the season.

Elsewhere, Knox also recorded a big 38-point win over the Ringwood Hawks, while the Bendigo Braves were another team to record two victories over the weekend. Ballarat went 1-1 in Round 10, going down to the Kilsyth Cobras by 28 points before bouncing back to defeat the Melbourne Tigers 80-68 on Sunday. Meanwhile, Nunawading had a big win over the Falcons, and following their defeat to the Wildcats, the Bandits secured a close seven-point victory over the Sabres.

Full Round 10 results:

Hobart Chargers 66 def by Bendigo Braves 80

Geelong Supercats 94 def Sandringham Sabres 71

Frankston Blues 73 def Diamond Valley Eagles 55

Knox Basketball 96 def Ringwood Hawks 58

Nunawading Spectres 93 def Waverley Falcons 57

Ballarat Rush 58 def by Kilsyth Cobras 86

Eltham Wildcats 82 def Albury-Wodonga Bandits 72

Launceston Tornadoes 74 def by Bendigo Braves 87

Diamond Valley Eagles 55 def by Geelong Supercats 95

Waverley Falcons 80 def by Eltham Wildcats 94

Sandingham Sabres 69 def by Albury-Wodonga Bandits 76

Melbourne Tigers 68 def by Ballarat Rush 80

 

Picture credit:

NBL1 South women’s wrap: Round 5

BENDIGO Braves managed to end the winning streak of one side in the Eltham Wildcats over the weekend, but fell short of inflicting the same fate on another one in Frankston Blues, in what was a huge National Basketball League (NBL)1 weekend of action.

Hobart Chargers (84) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (68)

Opening the round up on the Apple Isle, Hobart Chargers claimed a 16-point victory over Diamond Valley Eagles in a battle of two winless sides. The Eagles actually led at half-time by four points, but a dominant second half in favour of the Chargers – which saw them storm home 48-28 – resulted in the home team winning 84-68. Ellie Collins lead the way with 34 points – five of 11 from long-range – 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks. Madeleine Garrick (23 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists) also stood out, while Tayla Roberts (11 points, three rebounds and three assists) hit double-figure points. Hayley Sparks (19 points, five rebounds and two steals), Imogen Rock (12 points, seven rebounds) and Olivia Bontempelli (10 points, five assists and three rebounds) were among the top-scoring Eagles on the night.

Geelong Supercats (90) def. Melbourne Tigers (82)

The Geelong Supercats managed to breakaway from the Melbourne Tigers in the third term to secure a 90-82 win. The teams were even at half-time, but a 24-11 third quarter in favour of the Supercats put the momentum firmly in favour of Geelong, and whilst the Tigers cut the deficit back by five points, they fell by eight points. Sarah Elsworthy (25 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals) scored the most points in the match, while Alex Duck (18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals), Rebekah O’Donnell (15 points, five rebounds and three assists), Stephanie Blicavs (15 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals) and Antoinette Emma-Nnopu (12 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks) all combined for some big numbers. Zitina Aokuso almost recorded a triple-double of 20 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and two steals, with Monique Conti (22 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Isabella Brancatisano (14 points, two steals) also busy for the visitors.

Bendigo Braves (70) def. Eltham Wildcats (63)

A one-sided first term has aided Bendigo Braves in holding off a fierce Eltham Wildcats outfit and handing the Wildcats their first loss of the NBL1 South season. The Braves piled on 28-8 in the opening term to bolt out to a 20-point lead, but then the Wildcats picked up the slack over the next two quarters, including a 24-9 third term to come within one point at the final break. A 17-11 last quarter saw the Braves secure the 70-63 victory. Tess Madgen (23 points, nine rebounds and five assists) did not spend a minute on the bench in a tireless effort the Braves, while Piper Dunlop (14 points, 13 rebounds and two steals) and Kate Oliver (12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks) both picked up double-doubles. Tess Heal (22 points, eight rebounds and two steals) top-scored, whilst Anneli Maley dominated off the boards for the Wildcats with 27 rebounds, though was inaccurate from the field, shooting two of 12.

Dandenong Rangers (63) def. by Frankston Blues (78)

Frankston Blues became the first side to win six consecutive games, downing Dandenong Rangers by 15 points on the road. Trailing by three points at quarter time, the Blues found their groove in the second term scoring 23-13 to lead by seven at the main break. Frankston also won the last two quarter by four points each to win by 15, 78-63. Darcee Garbin (27 points, nine rebounds and three steals) and Tessa Lavey (22 points, 13 assists, five rebounds and three steals) were the dominant duo once again for the winners, while Ella Batish had seven points, seven rebounds and two assists. Alison Downie (16 points, six rebounds and two assists), Tenaya Sooalo (13 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Emilee Harmon (12 points, eight rebounds) were the three key Rangers.

Kilsyth Cobras (70) def. by Nunawading Spectres (90)

The Nunawading Spectres leapfrogged Kilsyth Cobras on the NBL1 South ladder with an impressive 20-point victory on the road. The Spectres dominated the first quarter to race out to a 10-point lead, and doubled down in the third term with a 23-8 quarter. Nunawading managed to reduce the final damage by winning the last stanza, but it was still a sizeable 90-70 defeat. Rachel Antoniadou (28 points, 10 rebounds and five assists) was the dominant scorer for the winners, whilst Louise Brown (10 points, 14 rebounds) picked up a double-double, and Izzy Wright (13 points, six rebounds and three assists) was also strong. Carly Turner (15 points, four steals, two rebounds and two assists) lead the points tally for the Cobras, while Lauren Scherf (10 points, 11 rebounds), and Tia Hay (12 points, seven rebounds and five assists) were equally as busy across the court.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (64) def. by Waverley Falcons (81)

Waverley Falcons produced an impressive 17-point victory over Albury-Wodonga Bandits, coming from a nine-point quarter time deficit to win in emphatic style. After the 24-15 term in favour of the Bandits, the Falcons won the next three quarters by nine, five and 12 points to win 81-64. Kelly Bowen scored a match-high 21 points, as well as 12 rebounds, whilst Renae Mokrzycki also had a double-double of 12 points and 18 rebounds, and Aneta Bandilovska (17 points, four rebounds and two assists) also contributed to the score ticking over. Emma Mahady’s monstrous season rolled on with a huge double-double of 20 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Bandits, while Brodie-Paige Theodore (20 points, four rebounds and two steals) and Jade McCowan (10 points, six rebounds) also notched up double-figure points.

Ringwood Hawks (67) def. Ballarat Rush (50)

Ringwood Hawks won the battle of the two-win sides, defeating Ballarat Rush at home by 17 points, The Hawks got off to a terrific start to lead by 11 points at quarter time, and whilst the second and fourth terms were fairly even, the Hawks beat the Rush by seven points in the third term for an overall 67-50 win. Funda Nakkasoglu (20 points, three assists) lead the way, dropping four of nine from long-range, whilst Marena Whittle (eight points, 12 rebounds, four steals ad two assists) and Demi Skinner (nine points, five rebounds) were also busy. Kasey Burton was the only double-digit scorer for the Rush with 13, as well as 10 rebounds and two steals, whilst Alicia Froling came close to a double-double of nine points, 12 rebounds and four assists in the loss.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (40) def. by Knox Raiders (69)

Two teams at opposite ends of the ladder produced a match of a predictable outcome, with the undefeated Knox Raiders winning their fifth game, and handing the Mt Gambier Pioneers their sixth straight loss. Klara Wischer stood out with 15 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists, as Kara Tessari (16 points, three rebounds) and Kiera Rowe (13 points, two rebounds and two steals) also impressed with double-digit points. Jasmine Howe (nine points, five steals and three rebounds) and Sherrie Calleia (nine points, four assists and two steals) both top-scored for their side, whilst Hannah Young racked up 13 rebounds and two steals to go with six points in the loss.

Launceston Tornadoes (103) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (74)

Launceston Tornadoes put together a dominant four-quarter performance to blow away Diamond Valley Eagles by 29 points in the Eagles’ second loss of the round down in Tasmania. Led by an outrageous effort from Keely Froling, the Tornadoes took control from the get-go and powered to a 20-point half-time lead. Whilst the Eagles did managed to break even in the final term, the Tornadoes had already done the damage in the first three quarters. Froling finished with a competition season-high 52 points – 17 of 30 from the field – as well as 26 rebounds – 17 defensive – five assists and four steals. Mariah Payne (26 points, 12 assists and five rebounds) picked up a double-double, while D’Asia Chambers (15 points, four assists, four steals and three assists) also hit double-figure points. Bontempelli topped the points for the Eagles with 20, as well as four assists and two steals, while Sophie Burrows (16 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals) and Ashleigh McBean (12 points, six rebounds) were among the other top performers for the losers.

Eltham Wildcats (83) def. Sandringham Sabres (80)

Bouncing back from the loss the day before, Eltham Wildcats won in a thriller over Sandringham Sabres yesterday. The Wildcats trailed by three points at quarter time, then piled on the pressure to lead by five at the main break. After breaking even in the third quarter, the Sabres won the last quarter 25-23 to come close, but fall short, 83-80. Maley was unstoppable again, picking up 17 points and 24 rebounds – 20 defensive – three assists and two blocks, while Heal (18 points, three assists) and Rebecca Pizzey (18 points, nine rebounds and four assists) both troubled the scorers plenty in the win. Jenna O’Hea played her best game o the season thus far, picking up 30 points – four of eight from long-range – 10 rebounds, five steals, two assists and two blocks. Amy O’Neill (16 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals) and Rachel Jarry (16 points, five rebounds and two assists) also notched up double-figure points in the narrow loss.

Melbourne Tigers (77) def. Dandenong Rangers (70)

In a battle of two Saturday losers, Melbourne Tigers got up by seven points on Sunday in what was a tight contest. The Tigers skipped out to an eight-point lead at half-time, and whilst the Rangers cut that back to seven by the final break, fell 77-70. Both Aokuso (13 points, 15 rebounds and five assists) and Brancatisano (11 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals) picked up double-doubles in the win, as Conti (18 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds) top scored once again for the Tigers. Dallas Loughridge had the 20 points, six rebounds and three assists to lead the way for the Rangers, ahead of Sherry Glennie (12 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Makaela Zeldenryk (10 points, three assists) who also hit double-figure points.

Frankston Blues (74) def. Bendigo Braves (64)

Frankston Blues won another game to make it seventh heaven, defeating Bendigo Braves who were coming off a spirited win over Eltham Wildcats. The Blues won every quarter in what was a tight contest, to take home the 10-point win, 74-64. Lavey finished with 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Garbin had 13 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two locks. Saraid Taylor (12 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Taylah Gilliam (15 points, four rebounds and two assists) were the other two key points scorers. The Braves were led by Oliver (19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks), Cassidy McLean (12 points, six assists and three rebounds) and Abigail Wehrung (16 points, four assists and two steals).

Picture credit: NBL1

2021 NBL1 South Women’s wrap: Round 4

ELTHAM Wildcats have moved to the top of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s competition ladder following back-to-back wins on the Apple Isle. Nunawading Spectres also won a couple of games to move up the table, while Frankston Blues and Knox Raiders continued their unbeaten runs to the end of Round 4.

Hobart Chargers (75) def. by Eltham Wildcats (88)

Hobart Chargers’ winless start to the season continued when Eltham Wildcats claimed the first of two victories to stand on top of the NBL1 South women’s table. The Wildcats took control early to lead by seven points at the first change, though the Chargers hit back in the second with a dominant 20-11 quarter to grab a two-point advantage into half-time. Just as it looked like the underdogs had the momentum, Eltham found its groove again, piling on 52 points to 37 in the second half to run away with the contest, 88-75. Anneli Maley had another ridiculous effort of the boards with 29 rebounds – only one less than the entire Hobart side – as well as 10 points and three assists. Lily Scanlon (25 points, four assists) and Rebecca Pizzey (21 points, three rebounds) combined for plenty of points in the match while Tess Heal (15 points, three rebounds) also contributed strongly. For the Chargers, Tayla Roberts led the way with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists, shooting at an elite 85.7 per cent from the field – all from inside the arc – while Madeleine Garrick (18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals) did it all, and Ellie Collins (15 points, four rebounds) also stood up in defeat.

Sandringham Sabres (79) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (57)

Sandringham Sabres sentenced Diamond Valley Eagles to another loss with a comfortable 22-point win at home. The Sabres dominated the opening half to win each quarter by eight points, then won the third term by seven to race out to a 23-point three quarter time lead. The Eagles ground out a 15-14 final term, but it was not enough to go down, 57-79. Rachel Jarry (22 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Amy O’Neill (14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals) did a bit of everything, while Jenna O’Hea led the scoring with 24 points, four steals, three assists and two rebounds, and Katie Jewell was a thief all night (seven steals, seven points four rebounds and three assists). Olivia Bontempelli (14 points, six rebounds), Ivana Vasiljevic (13 points, three rebounds) and Jade Dunne (13 points) led the way for the Eagles, as Sophie Burrows (six points, seven rebounds, three steals and two – of her side’s four – assists) tried hard.

Geelong Supercats (78) def. by Nunawading Spectres (81)

Nunawading Spectres started off a good weekend on the road with a narrow win over Geelong Supercats, getting up by three points down the highway. The Spectres trailed at both quarter time and half-time, but dominated the third term 26-14, to take a six-point advantage into the final break. The Supercats won a third quarter of the four in the final term, but it was the previous quarter that proved the difference with the Spectres getting up 81-78. Izzy Wright (23 points, 12 rebounds and two assists) picked up a double-double, while Louise Brown (21 points, seven rebounds and two steals) and Rachel Brewster (16 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks) were really busy, and Penina Davidson (eight points, 11 rebounds) came close to a double-double in the win. Stephanie Blicavs led the way for the losers, picking up 22 points, eight rebounds and two steals, while Aimie Clydesdale (19 points, three assists), Sarah Elsworthy (15 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals) and Sarah O’Neill (15 points, two rebounds) also held their own in the loss.

Ballarat Rush (50) def. by Frankston Blues (61)

Another team winning on the road was Frankston Blues who extended their unbeaten streak in season 2021 to five following a low-scoring 11-point triumph against Ballarat Rush. No side scored more than 16 points in any one term, but it was Frankston that won the first three quarters, then were level in the final term to win 61-50. Tessa Lavey (18 points, six rebounds and six assists) was sensational once again, with Taylah Giliam (14 points, seven rebounds) and Darcee Garbin (11 points, four rebounds, three steals and three blocks) also busy. Claire Constable (14 points, three rebounds) was the only double-figure points scorer for the Rush, while Alicia Froling (six points, 19 rebounds) and Millie Cracknell (eight points, 11 rebounds and three assists) kept their side in the contest with their work off the boards.

Bendigo Braves (83) def. Melbourne Tigers (68)

In a battle of two genuine contenders, Bendigo Braves got the job done at home to secure their fourth win of the season and move to within touching distance of the top four which includes the Melbourne Tigers. The Braves took control in the opening half, piling on 49 points to 33, before the Tigers hit back in the third term to cut the deficit to just five points heading into the last quarter. A strong defensive effort in the fourth term resulted in the Braves scoring 21-10 and winning by 15 points, 83-68. Four players hit double-figure points for the winners, with Tess Madgen (20 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals), Abigail Wehrung (18 points, five rebounds and six assists), Kate Oliver (16 points, 11 rebounds, three rebounds and three steals) and Piper Dunlop (13 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) contributing three double-doubles between them. Isabella Brancatisano (16 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Monique Conti (16 points, eight rebounds and five assists) top-scored for the Tigers, while Zitina Aokuso impacted off the boards with a match-high 14 rebounds to go with her seven points.

Dandenong Rangers (88) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (84)

Dandenong Rangers came from behind at quarter time and then held firm in tense moments to win by four points over Mt Gambier Pioneers in a thrilling overtime contest. The Pioneers burst out of the blocks to lead by nine points at quarter time, but then the Rangers stole back the momentum to level the scores by the final break. A 19-apiece final term saw neither team able to win it after four quarters, and then a tight overtime period – which the Rangers won 10-6 – saw the home team get up 88-84 much to the delight of the crowd. Emilee Harmon was the dominant scorer for the Rangers putting up 26 points and collecting nine rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Dallas Loughbridge (19 points, seven assists and three rebounds), Tenaya Sooalo (12 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Alison Downie (nine points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals) were also strong in the victory. For the Pioneers, Jasmin Howe was a dead-eye shooter with five of nine from long-range for a total field efficiency of 61.9 per cent on her way to 35 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Sherrie Calleia (20 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals) and Hannah Young (14 points, seven rebounds) were among the other key players for the pioneers.

Launceston Tornadoes (73) def. by Eltham Wildcats (86)

Eltham Wildcats made it two from two travelling across the Tasman to defeat Launceston Tornadoes by 13 points, 86-73. The teams were evenly matched in the first term, and much like their other Apple Isle adventure early in the round, the Wildcats found themselves trailing early, down by eight points at the half. They halved that deficit by the final break, and then put the foot down in a dominant final term of 23-6 to run out winners for the fifth straight time this season. Pizzey top-scored with 23 points, six rebounds and three blocks, as Maley’s rebounding exploits continued thanks to 19 points, 18 rebounds and five assists, while Heal (17 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Erin Riley (14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals) all stood up in the win. Launceston Tornadoes were led by Keely Froling who capitalised with 23 points and 18 rebounds, well supported by the likes of Mariah Payne (18 points, eight assists) and Teyla Evans (13 points, eight rebounds) in the match.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (78) def. by Kilsyth Cobras (100)

Kilsyth Cobras managed to secured their third win of the season, toppling the winless Albury-Wodonga Bandits by 22 points on the road. The Cobras trailed by five points at quarter time, but blitz the Bandits after that, piling on 34-17 in the second term, and 23-15 in the third quarter to take the game away from their opposition on their way to a big 100-78 victory. Lauren Scherf (30 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) led the way, knocking down five of 10 from long-range. Similarly, Nikita Young (18 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals) hit four of six from three-point range, and Carly Turner (17 points, eight rebounds) nailed three of seven. For the Bandits, it was a two-player show with Emma Mahady doing everything in her power to drag her team across the line, piling on a ridiculous 41 points – including eight of 17 from long-range – as well as three rebounds. Brodie-Paige Theodore was the other key scorer for the losing side, recording 28 points, three rebounds and two assists in the loss.

Ringwood Hawks (69) def. by Knox Raiders (83)

Knox Raiders blitzed Ringwood Hawks in the opening term to set up a memorable 14-point win and claim their fourth victory of the season. The Raiders piled on 32 points to 17 in the first quarter, and then lead by 17 points at the main break. The Hawks hit back to cut the deficit to 10 by the final break, but the Raiders got back on top to win the last quarter 20-16 and salute, 83-69. Marianna Tolo (21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks) was sensational, teaming up with Leah Santomaggio (22 points, three rebounds and three blocks) for the scoring, while Klara Wischer (14 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals) almost collected a triple-double, and Chelsea Burns (10 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks) was also impactful. Marena Whittle was a one-player scoring machine, dropping a ridiculous 38 points – five of six from long-range – as well as 15 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Her Hawks teammates Jacqueline Trotto (13 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Toni Farnworth (10 points) were the next best in terms of scoring for the losers.

Waverley Falcons (64) def. Geelong Supercats (61)

Piling on more pain to the Geelong Supercats, Waverley Falcons grabbed a narrow three-point win, the same result inflicted on the Supercats the day before. The visiting team lead by three points at the first break and half-time, but a strong second half from the Falcons to just grind out two quarters and win both by six points saw them reverse the deficit into a winning margin, 64-61. Aneta Bandilovska had 26 points, five rebounds and two steals in the win, while Kelly Bowen helped herself to 12 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Renae Mokrzycki was the other key player for the Falcons, picking up eight points and nine rebounds. Rebekah O’Donnell had a team-high 15 points and 12 rebounds, as well as three assists and two blocks for the Supercats, while Blicavs (11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals) and Elsworthy (six points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals) also tried hard.

Melbourne Tigers (106) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (64)

After both teams suffered losses the day before, it was Melbourne Tigers that came away with the massive 42-point win at home over the Mt Gambier Pioneers. Following a tight first erm, the Tigers put the foot down in the final three quarters to score at least 28 points in each quarter, and restrict the Pioneers to 17 or less on the Tigers’ way to a huge 106-64 triumph. Geraldine McCorkell led the scoring for the winners with 23 points, as well as five rebounds and five assists while Conti came agonisingly close to a triple-double of 22 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and six steals. Isabella Brancatisano had another strong game with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals, while Aokuso finished with nine points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals. Howe had a team-high 20 points, also picking up five rebounds, five assists and three assists, while Young (10 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals) collected a double-double and Shakera Reilly managed 11 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Nunawading Spectres (106) def. Dandenong Rangers (82)

In a battle of two teams who had already picked up a win in Round 4, the Nunawading Spectres went back-to-back thanks to a 24-point triumph over Dandenong Rangers. The Spectres took control from the opening tip-off to lead by 27 points at half-time. Whilst the Rangers managed to win the third term and nullify the contest in the second half, the damage was done, going down 82-106. Wright had 24 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals, with Brewster (22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists) picking up a double-double and Davidson (21 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Brown (20 points, seven rebounds) also prolific in the match. Loughbridge was the top scorer for the Rangers, knocking down 27 points – four from eight from long-range – and having three assists, while Harmon (23 points, six rebounds and two steals) and Sooalo (14 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals) were the other two key scorers.

Picture credit: Rachel Louise Photography

2021 NBL1 South Women’s wrap: Round 3

THREE teams remain undefeated after Round 3 of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s competition, as Frankston Blues (4-0), Knox Raiders (3-0) and Eltham Wildcats (3-0) stand tall amongst the rest of the competition.

Geelong Supercats (92) def. Waverley Falcons (49)

Geelong Supercats have dominated Waverley Falcons by 43 points in a one-sided affair to open the round. The home team raced out to a 10-point lead at quarter time, and then closed down the opposition’s scoring, capped off with a 29-8 third quarter. A 20-14 final term saw the Supercats finish full of steam as well, winning 92-49. Steph Blicavs dominated with 26 points – four of five from long-range – four assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Aimie Clydesdale hit five of 10 from three-point range to finish with 21 points, as well as four rebounds and four assists, while Sarah Elsworthy (17 points, five assists and three rebounds) and Rebekah O’Donnell (11 points, seven rebounds) also stood tall. Renae Mokrzycki (13 points, three rebounds and two assists), Meg Crupi (12 points) and Nyakoang Lok (11 points, five rebounds and two steals) were the double-figure points scorers for the Falcons in the heavy loss.

Frankston Blues (90) def. Launceston Tornadoes (84)

The battle of the undefeated sides lived up to expectations with Frankston Blues triumphing over Launceston Tornadoes by just six points in a thrilling contest. It was a tale of two halves as the home team raced away to pile on 52 points to 38 in the opening half and lead by 14. Launceston hit back in the second half, but could only claw back eight of those 14 points, to go down 90-84. Despite Tessa Lavey having an uncharacteristically poor day shooting (two of 15 from the field and none of nine from long-range for seven points), the dual sport star had 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals to still contribute to the team’s success. Darcee Garbin (23 points, 11 rebounds and three assists) and Ella Batish (20 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists) picked up the slack, while Taylah Giliam (16 points, three rebounds) and Samara Hill (12 points, two assists) also stood tall. For the Tornadoes, it was the triple threat that did all the damage to try and keep the side in it, as Keely Froling (30 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) and Kelsey Griffin (14 points, 10 rebounds and two assists) picked up double-doubles, and Mariah Payne finished with 28 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.

Knox Raiders (111) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (38)

The bloodbath of the round well and truly went to Knox Raiders, who showed no mercy in a dominating 73-point shellacking of Albury-Wodonga Bandits. The Raiders never looked like losing with a 67-21 opening half, and then kept the Bandits to as low as seven points in the final term, running out 111-38 victors. Marianna Tolo had a night out with 25 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, while Klara Wischer also picked up a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Kara Tessari (18 points, four assists and three rebounds), Kiera Rowe (17 points, four rebounds and three assists) and Leah Santomaggio (13 points, four rebounds and three assists) were others who hit double-figure points for the Raiders. Emma Mahady knocked down 20 points, seven rebounds and two steals in a lone-hand for the Bandits, scoring more than half of the team’s points.

Ballarat Rush (67) def. by Bendigo Braves (74)

Bendigo Braves have come away with an important win on the road against Ballarat Rush, facing a 13-point half-time deficit but turning it around with a dominant second half. The Braves trailed 46-33 at the main break, but then kept the Rush to just 21 points after that, whilst they piled on 41 to secure the narrow seven-point win, 74-67. Tess Madgen led the way, picking up an almost triple-double of 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Kate Oliver (18 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals), Cassidy McLean (12 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Piper Dunlop (eight points, seven rebounds and two assists) all shone in the win. For the Rush, Alicia Froling was unstoppable off the boards with 16 rebounds – seven offensive – to go with 14 points, two assists and two blocks, while Kasey Burton (15 points, seven rebounds and two assists) and Kristy Rinaldi (15 points, five rebounds and three steals) also contributed strongly.

Diamond Valley Eagles (48) def. by Melbourne Tigers (93)

Diamond Valley Eagles’ winless start to the season continued, going down to Melbourne Tigers by 45 points, while the Tigers strung together back-to-back wins. Melbourne won every quarter, getting out to a 25-point lead at half-time to all but seal the deal, then won the second half by 20 points as well to run out 93-48 winners. Isabella Brancatisano (23 points, 12 rebounds and six assists) and Zitina Aokuso (10 points, 13 rebounds and two assists) both racked up double-doubles, as Monique Conti came close to a remarkable quadruple-double of 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and seven steals as a clear best on court. Gemma Simon helped out with 19 points in the Tigers’ win. For the Eagles, Sophie Burrows scored a team-high 12 points to go with six rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Olivia Bontempelli (10 points five rebounds, four steals and three assists) and Ivana Vasiljevic (10 points, three rebounds) also reached double-figure points.

Eltham Wildcats (87) def. Nunawading Spectres (74)

Eltham Wildcats remained undefeated from three games with a solid 13-point victory over Nunawading Spectres at home. The Wildcats raced out to a 14-point lead at half-time, and built it up to as much as 20 points by the final break, before the Spectres fought it out in the final term to cut the deficit back, but fell short of victory as the home team triumphed, 87-74. Lily Scanlon (24 points, six rebounds and two assists) scored the most points, but Anneli Maley‘s unbelievable season off the boards continued with 19 rebounds – 13 defensive – to go with 15 points. Tess Heal (14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals), Rebecca Pizzey (13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks) and Shelby Britten (10 points, seven assists, two rebounds and two steals) also hit double-figure points in the win. Penina Davidson was a standout for the Spectres in defeat, picking up 20 points, eight rebounds, five steals and two assists, while Rachel Antoniadou (17 points, nine assists and two rebounds) and Rachel Brewster (16 points, five assists, three rebounds and two blocks).

Kilsyth Cobras (75) def. Hobart Chargers (73)

Hobart Chargers fell short of their first victory against Kilsyth Cobras, following a spirited four-quarter effort. The Cobras led by four points at the first break, with the teams tied by half-time. Another strong term from Kilsyth saw them extend the lead out to four again, before the Chargers hit back in the fourth, to even hit the front with 2:24 on the clock, but the Cobras managed to steady and take home the win, 75-73. Lauren Scherf (12 points, 15 rebounds and four assists) and Abigail Curtin (14 points, seven rebounds) were influential, as Briahna Whatman (nine points, 11 rebounds and six assists) came close to a double-double, and Nikita Young (13 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals) was also handy. Madeleine Garrick was the star for the Chargers, not far off a triple-double of 26 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while Tayla Roberts (13 points, nine rebounds) and Kylie McCauley (13 points, nine rebounds and five assists), Sharna Roberts (11 points, five rebounds) and Ellie Collins (10 points, eight rebounds) did all the scoring in a losing team.

Mt Gambier Pioneers (45) def. by Ringwood Hawks (89)

A four-quarter performance capped off by a rampant final term put an exclamation mark on the Ringwood Hawks’ victory against Mt Gambier Pioneers. In the Pioneers first game in South Australia this year, they were up against some stiff opposition and the Hawks came to play, leading by 17 points at the final break. No one would have seen the last quarter coming, as Ringwood piled on 35 points to eight in a one-way domination to blow out the final margin to 44 points, 89-45. Funda Nakkasoglu hit a match-high 26 points, as well as five rebounds and three assists, while Marena Whittle (20 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, four steals and four blocks) and Demi Skinner (18 points, nine rebounds) were also impressive. For the Pioneers, Hannah Young was the standout thanks to 11 points and nine rebounds, while Shakera Reilly (10 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Jasmin Howe (nine points, five rebounds and two assists) were others who stood out for the losers.

Bendigo Braves (84) def. Dandenong Rangers (56)

After a win on the road against Ballarat Rush, Bendigo Braves made it back-to-back victories in Round 3 thanks to a 28-point triumph over Dandenong Rangers. The Braves won all four quarters, scoring at least 17 points in every quarter, and keeping the Rangers to 15 or less in three of the four terms to win, 84-56. Madgen feasted on the Rangers with an almost triple-double effort of 43 points – including seven of 13 from long-range – nine rebounds and eight assists, while Oliver (18 points, 14 rebounds) picked up a double-double, and Abigail Wehrung (15 points, six rebounds and five assists) was also impressive across the night. For the Rangers, Dallas Loughbridge scored 17 points, five steals and three assists, stepping up with Emilee Harmon (15 points, seven rebounds) and Tenaya Sooalo (14 points, three steals and two rebounds) also having a helping hand despite the loss.

Waverley Falcons (93) def. Albury-Wodonga Bandits (64)

Another team that made it back-to-back wins for Round 3, whilst also sentencing a league battler to yet another loss were Waverley Falcons, who took care of Albury-Wodonga Bandits by 29 points. The Falcons dominated the first half to race out to a 24-point lead at the main break, though credit to the Bandits who hit back in the third term to cut it to 15 points at the last change and give themselves a sniff. The Falcons quickly got back on top with a 24-10 final quarter and ran out 93-64 winners. Anna Bandilovska (29 points, two rebounds) was the highest points scorer, though Mokrzycki racked up 28 points, 17 rebounds and Kelly Bowen had 17 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in double-double efforts. Mahady was again the key scorer with 20 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists, though she had some support in this match thanks to Charlotte Beavan‘s 16 points and three rebounds – with five of nine triples – and Brodie-Paige Theodore‘s 12 points – nine from the free-throw line – four rebounds and two assists.

Melbourne Tigers (109) def. Hobart Chargers (87)

Melbourne Tigers made it three consecutive wins, and handed Hobart Chargers an 0-4 start to the season with a 22-point victory at home. The Tigers were surprisingly sluggish to start the match and conceded 34 points in the first term to trail by 12 at quarter time, but then stepped up to completely dominate the game and score 87-53 and run out 109-87 winners. Conti had another massive performance of 40 points – eight of 12 from long-range – seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while Brancatisano (23 points – five of 11 from long-range – four rebounds and four assists) and Aokuso (19 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, three steals and two blocks in a triple-double effort) all dominated. Collins stepped up with 25 points, six rebounds and three assists in the loss, while Garrick (19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals), Tayla Roberts (15 points, six rebounds) and Thompson (13 points, three rebounds) were also lively.

Sandringham Sabres (67) def. by Launceston Tornadoes (100)

Closing out the weekend was Launceston Tornadoes bouncing back from their first loss of the season against Frankston Blues, to easily win 100-67 against Sandringham Sabres. The Tornadoes won every quarter by at least eight points in a dominant effort to secure the 33-point victory. Froling had an unbelievable performance of 37 points, 13 rebounds and four steals, one of three players to reach double-doubles, as Griffin (20 points, 12 rebounds three assists and two steals) and Payne (20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists) achieved the feat, while Teyla Evans managed the 13 points and four rebounds. Playing their first game of the round, the Sabres’ Amy O’Neill finished with a team-high 20 points, as well as eight assists, five rebounds and three steals. She was complemented by Jenna O’Hea (10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Cassandra Hill (11 points, two rebounds and two assists) in the loss.

Picture credit: Ian Knight Photography

NBL1 South Womens: Round 2 wrap – Blues standalone with 3-0 record

FRANKSTON Blues stand alone as the only side to record three wins so far in the 2021 National Basketball League (NBL)1 South women’s competition, as the results played out over the weekend. We recap how each of the games went down and who the top performers were with some one-sided results.

Bendigo Braves (70) def. by Frankston Blues (76)

The first of two wins for the weekend for the Blues saw them claim a narrow six-point victory over Bendigo Braves in a come-from-behind triumph. The Braves raced out to a 21-9 lead at quarter time after a dominant first term, with the Blues clawing their way back to within six points at the final break, before slamming on 24-12 in the last quarter to win, 76-70. Darcee Garbin was again a prolific scorer for the Blues, adding 23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in a standout performance. She teamed up well with Tessa Lavey (14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals) and Taylah Gilliam (14 points, four rebounds). For the Braves, Abigail Wehrung nailed 24 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks, though it was Tess Madgen who came agonisingly close to a triple-double of 16 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals. Piper Dunlop (11 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Kate Oliver (10 points, seven rebounds and four assists) were both impressive for the losers.

Hobart Chargers (61) def. by Ballarat Rush (62)

A two-pointer from Ballarat Rush’s Kasey Burton in the final 30 seconds – and a missed three-point attempt from Hobart Chargers’ Madeleine Garrick helped the Rush grab a one-point thrilling victory at Kingborough Sports Centre. The visitors trailed by five at quarter time, led by one and then four at the next two breaks, then were caught by the Chargers, only to win at the death. Burton had an equal team-high 13 points, as well as six rebounds, but it was the amazing effort of Alicia Froling (10 points, 20 rebounds and five assists) that stood out, while Kristy Rinaldi (seven points, 13 rebounds) also dominated off the boards. Annie Collins had the 13 points and two rebounds to equal Burton on the scoring front. For the Chargers, Garrick finished with a double-double of 19 points – including five of 11 from long-range – and 10 rebounds, while Ellie Collins had 16 points and 15 rebounds in an equally amazing effort. Tayla Roberts came close to a double-double herself picking up 16 points and nine rebounds.

Frankston Blues (78) def. Dandenong Rangers (75)

It was billed as the match of the round, and it certainly lived up to expectations with Frankston Blues moving to 3-0 for the NBL1 South season, defeating Dandenong Rangers by three points. The teams traded blows throughout the match, though the Blues led by 11 points at the final break, before Dandenong hit back with a 23-15 final quarter to get within three points, but fall short, 78-75. Garbin had another outstanding game with 30 points – four of 10 from long-range – and eight assists, while Lavey picked up 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the win. Gililam (13 points, three rebounds and four assists) and Saraid Taylor (seven points, 10 rebounds and three assists) were others who stood out. For the Ranges, Gemma Potter was on fire with six triples leading to her 28 points, as well as five rebounds and two assists. Emilee Harmon (23 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Tenaya Sooalo (16 points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks) were also busy.

Knox Raiders (82) def. Kilsyth Cobras (70)

Knox Raiders proved too strong for Kilsyth Cobras in their clash at the State Basketball Centre, winning three of the four quarters to post a 12-point win at home. The teams were fairly even at half-time after counter-contrasting first and second terms, with Kilsyth leading by one point. Knox piled on 24-14 after half-time to set up the win, then held on in the final term for the 82-70 victory. Klara Wischer was the star for the Raiders, picking up a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, as well as three steals and two assists. Marianna Tolo (14 points, seven rebounds) and Kiera Rowe (12 points, five rebounds and four assists) were also busy in the match among a host of other contributors. Lauren Scherf stood tall for the Cobras with 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, notching up a double-double while Briahna Whatman (145 points, five assists and three rebounds) and Carly Turner (five points, 10 rebounds and three assists) were also productive.

Sandringham Sabres (72) def. Mt Gambier Pioneers (70)

Sandringham Sabres survived a thriller with a two-point win over the cross-border Mt Gambier Pioneers on Saturday evening. The Sabres held a narrow lead early, and extended it out to as much as 13 points by the final break, before the Pioneers hit back with a massive fourth quarter. The 29-18 term in favour of the visitors would not be enough however, as the Sabres triumphed 72-70. Jenna O’Hea had 27 points, six rebounds and five assists in the win for the Sabres, leading the way from Rachel Jarry (14 points, six rebounds and two steals), Cassandra Hill (10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) and Amy O’Neill (eight points, six rebounds and two assists). For the Pioneers, Hannah Young racked up an important double-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds and two steals, while Jasmine Howe (15 points, six rebounds) and Shakera Reilly (11 points, eight rebounds) also stood up on both the scoring and rebounding fronts.

Eltham Wildcats (84) def. Diamond Valley Eagles (52)

Eltham Wildcats made it two from two this season in the NBL1 South competition, dominating the Diamond Valley Eagles to win by 32 points. The Wildcats won by nine, seven, nine and seven points in each of the respective four quarters during the 84-52 victory. Anneli Maley had a ridiculous 29 rebounds – 20 defensive – to be unbeatable off the boards, as well as pick up 21 points, two assists two steals. Rebecca Pizzey (11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks), Shelby Britten (16 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals) were also impressive as Chloe Hilderbrand (10 points, five rebounds and four assists) and Tess Heal (10 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals) also hit double-figure points. In a disappointing loss for the Eagles, Teah Reichert picked up a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Imogen Rock (12 points, five steals) and Sophie Burrows (seven points, six rebounds) tried hard.

Albury-Wodonga Bandits (68) def. by Melbourne Tigers (116)

Melbourne Tigers were on from the first tip-off as they completely dismantled Albury-Wodonga Bandits in a dominant 48-point win. Storming to a 31-13 lead at quarter time, the Tigers lost the second term by three, but then piled on the points in the second half with 62 points to 29 to run out 116-68 victors. Monique Conti impressed with 28 points, six assists and three steals, teaming up brilliantly with fellow WNBL talent Zitina Aokuso (18 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks) doing it all. Isabella Brancatisano (25 points, six rebounds, eight assists and seven steals) was arguably the best on the court, while Melissa Prior (17 points, six rebounds) was also outstanding in the win. The Bandits were led by Emma Mahady (24 points, five rebounds), while Jade McCowan (15 points, three rebounds) and Brodie-Paige Theodore (12 points) reached double-figure points in the loss.

Melbourne Tigers’ Monique Conti puts up a shot. Picture credit: NBL1

Ringwood Hawks (84) def. Geelong Supercats (55)

Bouncing back from a Round 1 loss, Ringwood Hawks proved too much for Geelong Supercats, running out 29-point victors at The Rings on Saturday evening. The Hawks won the first two quarters to stamp their authority on the match and lead by 20 points at the half, before Geelong edged back one point, only for Ringwood to go again and score 22-12 in the final term a for a 84-55 victory. Marena Whittle had a night out with 20 points and 13 rebounds, as well as six assists and two blocks. Funda Nakkasoglu (16 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals), Hope Terdich (13 points, six rebounds) and Demi Skinner (12 points, four rebounds) also stepped up in the win. For the Supercats, Stephanie Blicavs knocked down 17 points, along with three rebounds and two assists, while Aimee Clydesdale was the other prominent scorer with 11 points and five rebounds in the loss.

Launceston Tornadoes (92) def. Ballarat Rush (61)

Launceston Tornadoes have stormed to a dominant 31-point win over Ballarat Rush to go 2-0 this season, with Keely Froling picking up another huge double-double against her sister. The Tornadoes never looked like losing, winning the first half by 23 points, then the second half by another eight to secure the 92-61 victory. Froling finished with 28 points, 19 rebounds – 17 defensive – five assists and four steals, while Mariah Payne (22 points, five rebounds and six assists) and Teyla Evans (15 points, six rebounds and five assists) were other double-digit scorers. For the Rush, Alicia Froling hit up 27 points, seven rebounds and four blocks to be the best of the losers, while Kasey Burton (13 points, seven rebounds and three assists) and Kristy Rinaldi (10 points, four rebounds and three assists) were both strong.

Nunawading Spectres (83) defeated Sandringham Sabres (70)

Nunawading Spectres bounced back from a Round 1 loss to hand the Sandringham Sabres their first loss in three games. The Sabres took control to lead by six points at half-time, but having already played a game this round, the Sabres tired in the second half as the Spectres ran over the top of them, courtesy of a dominant 44-25 half to win, 83-70. Izzy Wright (21 points, nine rebounds) and Louise Brown (20 points, five rebounds and four assists) did the damage on the scoreboard, with Rachel Antoniadou (18 points, four rebounds and five assists) not far behind. Rachel Brewster (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Penina Davidson (10 points, 10 rebounds) also picked up double-doubles to share the load across the court. O’Hea was again the standout for the Sabres, picking up 27 points and eight rebounds not leaving the court for a second, while Jarry (16 points, 12 rebounds and two assists) and Amy O’Neill (six points, 11 rebounds) were prominent off the boards.

Waverley Falcons (74) defeated Diamond Valley Eagles (66)

After their heartbreaking one-point loss last week the Waverley Falcons bounced back to win by eight points against Diamond Valley Eagles, handing their opponents a third consecutive loss in the process. The Falcons were led by Aneta Bandilovska (20 points, two rebounds and two assists) on the scoring front, with Renae Mokrzycki (11 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals) recording a double-double. Nyakoang Lok (15 points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Kelly Bowen (13 points, five rebounds) were the other double-digit scorers. For the Eagles, Burrows scored a double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, while Jade Dunne (17 points, four assists, four steals and two rebounds) and Olivia Bontempelli (12 points, five rebounds and two locks) were also steadfast in the loss.

Picture credit: Ian Knight Photography

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.

U18 BOYS:

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

VJBL U18 Grading Phase Pool 1 wrap: Round 1

THE Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) got underway last week and we recap all the results from the top Pool in the Under 18s Boys and Girls competitions. The second round is completed tonight, with a third and final round robin stage to be done next Friday night to determine which six teams in each grade automatically qualify for the VJBL Championship division.

U18 BOYS:

POOL 1A:

In Pool 1A, Emmanwiel Deng was the difference between Whittlesea Pacers and Wyndham Basketball, as Deng put up 22 points – 10 more than anyone else on the court – for the Pacers during a narrow seven-point win. In the other match, Melbourne Tigers proved too strong for Waverley Falcons, with three players hitting double-figures, led by Kobe Shewry (15).

Whittlesea Pacers (49) defeated Wyndham Basketball (42)
Emmanwiel Deng (Whittlesea) 22
Jack Tatter (Wyndham) 12
Callum Stojanovic (Wyndham) 10

Melbourne Tigers (47) defeated Waverley Falcons (36)
Kobe Shewry (Melbourne) 15
Ihsaan Bongso (Melbourne) 13
Kai Garnaut (Melbourne) 11
Harvey Moore (Waverley) 12
Matthew Jefferson (Waverley) 10

POOL 1B:

In the highest score of the entire round for the Under 18 Boys competition, Eltham Wildcats put Dandenong Rangers’ second side to the sword throughout a 29-point blitz. Led by Riley Lewis (17 points), the Wildcats easily got the points over the Rangers, winning 68-29. In the other game, it was a lot closer with just 12 points separating the teams, though Nunawading Spectres won 60-48 off a round-high individual effort of 25 points thanks to Tristan Devers.

Nunawading Spectres (60) defeated Hawthorn Magic (48)
Tristan Devers (Nunawading) 25
Jarryd Remy (Hawthorn) 9

Eltham Wildcats (68) defeated Dandenong Rangers 2 (39)
Riley Lewis (Eltham) 17
Bradley Moorey (Eltham) 11
Harrison Stones (Eltham) 10
Jak Morris-Burney (Dandenong) 9

POOL 1C:

Diamond Valley Eagles claimed an early win in the Pool stage thanks to a narrow five-point triumph over Craigieburn Eagles. Marley Lambert (15 points) led the way for the winners, though James Bonnici scored half of Craigieburn’s points with a 23-point effort. In the other match, Bulleen Boomers easily accounted for Casey Cavaliers by 19 points in what was a real shared team win.

Bulleen Boomers (51) defeated Casey Cavaliers (32)
Marcel Haj (Bulleen) 11
Ky Taylor (Casey) 9

Diamond Valley Eagles (52) defeated Craigieburn Eagles (47)
Marley Lambert (Diamond Valley) 15
Isaac Callaghan (Diamond Valley) 10
James Bonnici (Craigieburn) 23
Steven Pestrucci (Craigieburn) 12

Pool 1D:

The highly anticipated match of the round did not disappoint in Pool 1D, with Kilsyth Cobras escaping with the points against an equally-talented Dandenong Rangers outfit. Rhys Crossley and Harrison Adams both put up 15 points in equal match-high efforts during the 55-49 victory. An understrength Frankston Blues team won by a point against Pakenham Warriors, getting the victory courtesy of a low-scoring 36-35 win.

Kilsyth Cobras (55) defeated Dandenong Rangers (49)
Rhys Crossley (Kilsyth) 15
Harrison Adams (Kilsyth) 15
Wyatt Stewart (Kilsyth) 12
Coby Burgiel (Dandenong) 13

Frankston Blues (36) defeated Pakenham Warriors (35)
Liam Atkinson (Frankston) 8
Lauchlan Mark (Pakenham) 10

Pool 1E:

In another couple of high-scoring wins, Bendigo Braves obliterated Eltham Wildcats’ second side, getting up 61-25 in an impressive showing. Jacob Nihill led the scoring with 11 in a real team effort, whilst in the other game, McKinnon Cougars – led by Nathan Scollo‘s 19 points – were too strong for Southern Peninsula Sharks. Despite Corey Hastings‘ game-high 20 points for the Sharks, they went down by 13 points.

Bendigo Braves (61) defeated Eltham Wildcats 2 (25)
Jacob Nihill (Bendigo) 11
Malik Gordon (Bendigo) 10
Felix Bell (Eltham 2) 8

McKinnon Cougars (60) defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks (47)
Nathan Scollo (McKinnon) 19
Denver Lund (McKinnon) 14
Luke Lyngberg (McKinnon) 13
Corey Hastings (Southern Peninsula) 20
Tarrant Wallace (Southern Peninsula) 10

Pool 1F:

In what could be considered a ‘Group of Death’, three of the four sides are genuine automatic promotion chances. In the tight game, Geelong United won by seven points over Knox Raiders as Olivier Northam (19 points) top scored, though Bailey Nunn (16) put in a great effort for the Raiders. Keilor Thunder also flexed their muscles with a big win over Sunbury Jets, as Cooper Colson (12 points) was the top scorer in that match.

Keilor Thunder (65) defeated Sunbury Jets (31)
Cooper Colson (Keilor) 12
Brodie McWhinney (Keilor) 10
Nikolas Ellul (Keilor) 10
Angus McSwiggan (Sunbury) 10

Geelong United (61) defeated Knox Raiders (54)
Olivier Northam (Geelong) 19
Nicholas Hough (Geelong) 12
Bailey Nunn (Knox) 16
Jordan Anderson (Knox) 15

U18 GIRLS:

Pool 1A:

In an all-Dandenong Rangers clash in Pool 1A, things went as one would expect with the first side easily accounting for the second side. Nyadiew Puoch was far too strong, nailing 20 points in a massive 67-32 effort, whilst in the other game, Waverley Falcons claimed a 20-point win over Frankston Blues thanks to Jasmine Connell and Liana Kinkela sharing in 11 points apiece.

Waverley Falcons (42) defeated Frankston Blues (22)
Jasmine Connell (Waverley) 11
Liana Kinkela (Waverley) 11
Elle Schonfelder (Frankston) 6

Dandenong Rangers 1 (67) defeated Dandenong Rangers 2 (32)
Nyadiew Puoch (Dandenong 1) 20
Dallas Loughridge (Dandenong 1) 11
Tahlia Soukup (Dandenong 2) 8

Pool 1B:

In Pool 1B, it was McKinnon Cougars and Keilor Thunder that took away the points on opening night. The Cougars won narrowly over Sunbury Jets, 46-38, as Romy Price put up 15 points for the Cougars, one less than Sunbury’s Maddison Ford (16). The Thunder won 51-30 over Kilsyth Cobras in a comfortable victory, as Tess Heal and Jaz Salon finished with 13 points apiece.

McKinnon Cougars (46) defeated Sunbury Jets (38)
Romy Price (McKinnon) 15
Hannah McGillen (McKinnon) 10
Maddison Ford (Sunbury) 16

Keilor Thunder (51) defeated Kilsyth Cobras (30)
Tess Heal (Keilor) 13
Jaz Salon (Keilor) 13
Gemma Hancock (Kilsyth) 11

Pool 1C:

Knox Raiders and Bulleen Boomers showed themselves to be the clear top two sides in Pool 1C, with Bulleen the most likely to top the group. Tabitha Betson (14 points) was one of three Boomers to hit double-figure points in the 30-point win over Bellarine Storm, whilst Gemma O’Donnell shot 19 in Knox Raiders’ 48-23 triumph over Melbourne Tigers’ second side.

Knox Raiders (48) defeated Melbourne Tigers 2 (23)
Gemma O’Donnell (Knox) 19
Lotus Billington (Melbourne 2) 7

Bulleen Boomers (57) defeated Bellarine Storm (27)
Tabitha Betson (Bulleen) 14
Emily Maltezos (Bulleen) 13
Rebecca Horvat (Bulleen) 10
Aimee Wookey (Bellarine) 7
Alivia Osborne (Bellarine) 7

Pool 1D:

Hawthorn Magic and Diamond Valley Eagles both ran out to solid wins in their respective Pool 1D clashes to start off on the right note. The Eagles defeated Casey Cavaliers 45-32 despite no Eagles’ player scoring double-figure points while Casey’s Dakota Crichton finished with 15 points. In the other match, the Magic were too good for Eltham Wildcats, running out 15-point winners.

Hawthorn Magic 41 defeated Eltham Wildcats 26
Unavailable

Diamond Valley Eagles 45 defeated Casey Cavaliers 32
Genevieve Broadbent (Diamond Valley) 9
Hayley Sparks (Diamond Valley) 9
Dakota Crichton (Casey) 15

Pool 1E:

Bendigo Braves managed to secure a nail-biting one-point win in Pool 1E, defeating Altona Gators 39-38. Caitlin Richardson (14 points) was the top scorer in that match for the Braves, while Cassie Dodemaide put up 11 for the Gators. Melbourne Tigers won the other match in the Pool, accounting for Sandringham Sabres by 12 points.

Bendigo Braves 39 defeated Altona Gators 38
Caitlin Richardson (Bendigo) 14
Phoebe Radford (Bendigo) 10
Cassie Dodemaide (Altona) 11

Melbourne Tigers 33 defeated Sandringham Sabres 21
Unavailable

Pool 1F:

Two one-sided contests in Pool 1F marked a couple of contenders, as Nunawading Spectres showed no mercy on defence against Southern Peninsula Sharks. Only conceding 11 points to the Sharks, the Spectres had a real team contribution on their way to 54 points, with Olivia Morris finishing with 12 in the 43-point triumph. Meanwhile Milly Simpson (13 points) led a Ballarat Rush outfit to a 22-point win over Ringwood Hawks.

Nunawading Spectres 54 defeated Southern Peninsula Sharks 11
Olivia Morris (Nunawading) 12
Ruby Deeprose (Southern Peninsula) 3

Ballarat Rush 47 defeated Ringwood Hawks 25
Milly Simpson (Ballarat) 13
Rosie Todd (Ringwood) 11

Picture: Dandenong Rangers Facebook

MUVJBL Under 18 Girls Round 1 review: Sandringham gets home in thriller over Broadmeadows

SANDRINGHAM Sabres were able to find an extra effort in the final term to down Broadmeadows Broncos at home in Round 1 of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 Girls competition. The Sabres had the upperhand in the opening half, scoring 25 points to 20 to lead by five at the main break, but a huge third term from the visitors put the game on an even keel. Broadmeadows scored 11 points to six in a low-scoring term to level the scores at the last change, but Sandringham was able to find that burst in front of its home fans to score a game-high 20 points in the term, and win by four, 51-47.

Summer Keating was the main source of scoring for the Sabres, putting up 15 points including one from long range. She was far from alone however, as Maya Dear (12 points) and Charlotte Ryan (11) both combined well on the scoring front for the winners. Looking at Broadmeadows, the Broncos had the two key scorers on the night with Chrissy Triantafyllopoulos producing a team-high 14 points, whilst Emma Povh was the only player on court to successful sink multiple triples on her way to a respectable 10 points on the night.

Speaking of points, Dandenong Rangers had a flurry of them on their way to a massive 34-point win over Eltham Wildcats on the road. A 25-6 third term all but nailed the coffin shut for the Rangers who led by as much as 45 points at the final break before easing off in the last. Leah Mackenzie was unstoppable across the court with 21 points – including three triples – well supported by Nyadiew Puoch (15 points, one triple), Dallas Loughbridge (14, two) and Myah Healey (11, one). Megan Talevski scored a team-high 14 points for the Wildcats, whilst Keely Toohey and Mia Klaic both recorded 12 points in the loss.

Meanwhile Altona Gators defeated Knox Raiders by 12 points thanks to Monique Marcetic-Vaotangi (16 points) who worked well with Jordan Wilson (12) and Tyla Paraha (10) in the win, as Meg Robinson finished with a match-high 17. A 38-11 first half saw Melbourne Tigers completely destroy Ringwood Hawks before the visitors hit back for a final score of 60-43. Three Tigers scored double-figure points to Ringwood’s nine, as Victoria Poulos (16) was the top scorer, well aided by Tylah Hooper (13, including three triples). Finally, a Nunawading Spectres 2’s first term of 27-8 was all the home side needed on its way to a 20-point win over Frankston Blues. Ebony McMillan (17 points), Stephanie Georgantas (14) and Alannah Gillespie (13) were the most prominent scorers for the Spectres, whiles Gemma Simon sank three of the four match triples on her way to a team-high 13 points.

After a tight first term, Nunawading Spectres lifted the intensity to blow away Waverley Falcons by 44 points in the Watson Pool. The Spectres led by just two points at quarter time, but a 28-5 second term saw the home side run away with the contest early, and continued that momentum into the second half. Nunawading scored 18-8 in the third quarter and 17-8 in the final term on its way to a 79-35 win at home. Tayha Watkins shot a match-high 19 points which included a huge four triples, as she was well assisted by Luisa Fakalata (12 points), Stephanie Wales (12) and Grace Graham (10) in the victory. Falcons’ Hannah Griffith was the only scorer with double-figure points, shooting two triples on her way to a respectable 10 points.

The only other side to see the Spectres’ effort and go a step further was Kilsyth Cobras who completely dismantled Geelong United by 59 points. The Cobras’ defence kept United to just nine points in the second half as they piled on 54 points themselves to cruise to a huge 94-35 win. Ruby Nick (19 points) led the way, followed by Georgia Booth and Mariah Derkson (both 15). Meanwhile Diamond Valley also had a big win, downing McKinnon Cougars on the road by 35 points. Sophie Burrows dug deep for 17 points, while Jade Dunne and Imogen Rock put up 14 points apiece in the victory. Romy Price was a lone hand on the scoring front for the Cougars, drilling 12 of her team’s 30 points.

In the remaining two matches, Hawthorn Magic got past Ballarat Rush after keeping the Rush to just seven points in the first half, with Nikki Stanic shooting 14 points – including two three-pointers – while Emma Gebert (11) and Amy O’Hara (10) assisted strongly. Georgia Cox was the best on the losing side with 14 points. Keilor Thunder also mounted a huge come-from-behind four-point win over Bulleen Boomers, having trailed by nine at the final break. Led by Tess Heal (25 points), the Thunder roared to life in the final term with 17 points to four to run over the top of the Boomers. It was a great display of shooting prowess from two stars with Heal having an individual battle with Antoinette Emma-Nnopu (18 points) in the clash.

Round 1 results:

Ashe Pool:

Altona Gators (59) defeated Knox Raiders (47)
Eltham Wildcats (49) defeated by Dandenong Rangers (83)
Melbourne Tigers (60) defeated Ringwood Hawks (423)
Nunawading Spectres 2 (68) defeated Frankston Blues (48)
Sandringham Sabres (51) defeated Broadmeadows Broncos (47)

Watson Pool:

McKinnon Cougars (30) defeated by Diamond Valley Eagles (65)
Geelong United (35) defeated by Kilsyth Cobras (94)
Hawthorn Magic (53) defeated Ballarat Miners (35)
Keilor Thunder (49) defeated Bulleen Boomers (45)
Nunawading Spectres (79) defeated Waverley (35)

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC review: Grand Final – Rangers finally overcome nemesis

THE Dandenong Rangers claimed a stellar one-point victory over the Keilor Thunder in the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division Grand Final on Friday.

Just like their Under-18 counterparts, the Dandenong Rangers were just one point better in their Grand Final, bringing a second title home for the association. After losing their opening round to Grand Final competitors, Keilor, the Rangers let loose in the remaining weeks to claim wins over Sandringham (69-65) and Diamond Valley (44-46). Keilor advanced straight into the preliminaries where they faced the Bulleen Boomers in an extremely one-sided contest (83-55), as both teams prepared to meet again in the championship game.

In the Grand Final, the Rangers opened better in the first at 9-13 but slipped in the following term to allow Keilor a 21-20 lead at the main break. The pair went shot for shot in the third to record 13 apiece before the Rangers surged home in the closing term with 11-13 – claiming a one-point victory. Dallas Loughridge was huge for Dandenong, recording a team-high 14 points to take her to sixth for points per game (PPG) with a 12.9 average; followed close by Abbey-Lee Wood with nine. Nyadiew Puoch finished her season in third (13.4) after her six points in Friday’s game. Tess Heal was at her usual best for Keilor with a game-high 16 points – claiming the top spot in the league for PPG (18.5). Jaz Salon and Amisyn Leigh followed with eight points each, with Salon finishing her season in ninth across the league.

MUVJBL U16 Girls VC preview: Grand Final

THE Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under-16 Girls Championship Division nears its close as the Keilor Thunder face the Dandenong Rangers in the Grand Final.

Despite finishing three wins below their championship competitors, Keilor proved the better side in the qualifiers to knock off Dandenong 47-42. The Rangers proceeded to a semi-final with Sandringham and then subsequent preliminary against Diamond Valley, where they recorded four and two-point wins. Keilor remained dominant following their break with a 28-point victory over the second-placed Bulleen Boomers. The pair prepare to face for the fourth time in 2019, with Keilor holding a two to one record over the league-leaders. 2019 Under-16 National athletes, Tess Heal and Jaz Salon boasted outstanding performances in week one, recording 18 and 12 points respectively, while fellow Under-16 National, Nyadiew Puoch (12) held strong for Dandenong.

Heal has been the league’s most dominant scorer all season – ranking first with 18.7 points per game (PPG) and 206 overall points. Puoch trails just behind in second with 14.1, while Dallas Loughridge sits in third with 12.8. The match-up is made more interesting by Salon’s position in fifth at 11.3 – making this the biggest potential shootout of the year. Puoch and Loughridge proved standout in the semi-finals, recording 20 points each against Sandringham, while Puoch reached 16 alongside in Grace Montgomery (14) in last week’s preliminary. Though neither could match Tess Heal’s fire power as she recorded a huge 27 points against Bulleen, with Salon also impressing with 16 of her own.

The Grand Final kicks off tonight at 9:10pm at the State Basketball Centre – Court 4, with some of the MUVJBL’s best battling it out in the most anticipated game of the season.