ONE round is down and two more to go in the Crossover Group stage of the Melbourne United Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) Under 18 and Under 16 Girls age groups. We take a look at the AA division where teams are looking to qualify for the championship division at the end of the group stage.
In the opening round, Broadmeadows Broncos were far too good for Melbourne Tigers’ second side, recording a whopping 44-point win, while Waverley Falcons claimed the three points against Eltham Wildcats in the other match. Looking ahead to Round 2, the Broncos take on the Wildcats, while the Tigers will look to keep their championship division hopes alive with a win over Waverley. Given the results of the first round, automatic qualification could come down to the final round when the Broncos face the Falcons, but the Wildcats are still a chance if they can defeat the top ranked side in this clash. As for the Tigers, automatic promotion seems a slim chance unless they record two big wins.
Close neighbouring associations, Dandenong 2 and Frankston both had good wins in the opening group round, defeating Collingwood and McKinnon respectively by 25 and 23 points. In tonight’s action at Sandringham, the Rangers’ second side takes on the Cougars, while the late game at the State Basketball Centre sees Collingwood face Frankston. If both Dandenong 2 and Frankston win, it sets up a third round match for automatic qualification, while the other two sides will be battling to stay in contention for the championship division with the loser bundled out. All four teams could still make automatic qualification, but a second loss here would rule them out.
In the third pool, Diamond Valley Eagles hosts Sunbury Jets at Craigieburn, while Melbourne Tigers ‘host’ Ringwood Hawks at Doncaster. The Eagles and Tigers saluted in their first group clashes, and now the Jets will be hoping to push the Eagles all the way in their clash after losing by 11 points to Ringwood last week. The Eagles proved too good for the Tigers in a 20-point win, and like the other two groups will likely play Ringwood for an automatic qualification spot in the final round. Ringwood only had the narrow win but now the Hawks have their eyes set on the Tigers and will be keen to sure up a second win and guarantee at least a top three spot.
In the final Pool, Bulleen Boomers 2 takes on Warrandyte at Eltham tonight, as Pakenham faces Werribee at Dandenong. Last week, Pakenham was too good for Bulleen, running out 25-point winners, while Warrandyte knocked off Werribee by 14 points. Now both winners have a chance to move to two wins and face-off in the final round for an automatic . qualification place, while Bulleen 2 and Werribee will be hoping to upset the apple cart with victories. The Warriors looked the stronger side in Round 1, but the Venom should not be discounted and will be keen to take down the Boomers and mount their case for the championship division.
The Under 16 Girls AA Division saw some one-sided matches in Round 1, with most teams winning comfortably and looking likely to secure top two spots in each pool.
In Pool 1, Bulleen Boomers knocked off Dandenong Rangers 2 by 19 points, while Bendigo Braves flexed their muscles against Nunawading Spectres 2 in a 34-point victory. Both first sides look likely to emerge as victors in the second games, with Nunawading 2 hosting Bulleen at Donvale, while Bendigo will take on Dandenong 2 at Sunbury.
In Pool 2, Ballarat and Ringwood were the big winners from Round 1 with Ballarat knocking over Melbourne 2 by 33 points as Ringwood worked past Latrobe with a 24-point win. Now Ballarat takes on Latrobe at the State Basketball Centre, while Ringwood faces Melbourne 2 at Boroondara Sports Complex.
In the closest match of the division, Wangaratta got the points against Sunbury in an eight-point thriller, while Altona proved too good for Hawthorn 2. In a rare occasion for the division, the two winners face-off in the second round, with the Crocs hosting Wangaratta at Mill Park, while Hawthorn 2 hopes to get on the winners board by hosting Sunbury at Community Bank Stadium.
In Pool 4, Bellarine and Casey both recorded 12-point wins over their opponents in identical scorelines, 55-43. In Round 2, Casey faces Bulleen 2 at Dandenong tonight, while Bellarine and Southern Peninsula meet at MSAC. Given the tight first round matches, anything is possible and all four teams will be hoping to record wins and keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.