Finals August 4&5 Previews

Another week of Big V action is upon us! Read about each of the competition’s twelve divisions as they prepare for the weekend of fixtures.

State Championship Men
State Championship Women
Division One Men
Division One Women
Division Two Men
Division Two Women
Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men
Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women
Youth League One Men
Youth League One Women
Youth League Two Men
Youth League Two Women


State Championship Men

Waverley (3rd) vs. McKinnon (6th)

Sunday 2pm
Waverley Basketball Centre

Meetings this season

R4: Waverley def. McKinnon 100-73

R9: Waverley def. McKinnon 92-86

From the coaches

Elias Palioyiannis (Waverley)

“We are very excited to be part of the final series again this year in what has been a very tough SCM competition. McKinnon will present our group with a heap of challenges on Sunday. They have lots of talent on the floor with Deng, Stith, Platenik and Tomada all elite players in the competition as well as being a very well coached team. We know as a group that our best is very good and we will need to be at our very best if we are to get past them on Sunday”

Justin Nelson (McKinnon)

 “It’s great to be in finals once again, the club has created a fantastic winning culture in recent years and is always focused on doing everything possible to make the business end of the season. This year takes on a different look with a few of us set to go through our last finals campaign, but we also have some young players who are ready to rise to the occasion. Once again we play Waverley first up, they are a class team with probably the deepest roster in the competition. We’ll need to be at our absolute best to progress past week one.”

Overview

The Falcons and Cougars do battle again in an elimination final. Both sides have claims to victory and are stacked with talent, with the likes of Dillon, Sturt, Stith and Platenik ensuring there will be plenty of highlights throughout. Waverley won both regular season clashes and have home court again here, which is always a big advantage in the post-season. It will certainly be an uphill battle for the visitors, but can the Cougars avoid another first-round exit?

Prediction

Waverley by 5

 

Hawthorn (4th) vs. Casey (5th)

Saturday 8pm
Boroondara Sports Complex

Meetings this season

R8: Hawthorn def. Casey 76-56

R15: Hawthorn def. Casey 96-86

From the coaches

Peter Godfrey (Hawthorn)

“We are looking forward to hosting Casey at BSC on Saturday night, as the ‘real’ 2018 season gets underway. Coming from 7 and 15 and 9th place in season 2017 to 14 and 8 and 4th place in season 2018 with just a couple of roster changes. It’s zero-zero going into Saturday’s contest, so the 2 and 0 over the Cavs during the season is history.

Casey is loaded with talent and have deep experience at this level and beyond. They tick boxes in every position on the floor. Casey featured in this same game last year (4 v 5 on the road to Eltham) and lost by a point or 2. With 7 or 8 players still on the roster from that group we know that they will be fuelled and ready to go to make amends for 2017. Without question we know we will have our hands full come game time. 

We are hoping to put on a good show in the club’s first ever Final at this level. A quick mention also that our game will be preceded by an International Fixture – the Chinese Taipei national team vs an AND1 select team, so it promises to be a great night for basketball at Hawthorn.”

Karl Loh (Casey)

 Comment unavailable at time of publish.

Overview

The Magic host the Cavs following an impressive season from the young Hawthorn side. The Cavs, meanwhile, are stacked with experience and will know what to expect come Saturday night. The energy will be electric in Hawthorn’s home gym and they will need to ride that, particularly early on. Despite that, you simply can’t buy experience and the visitors’ edge in that department is big.

Prediction

Casey by 1


State Championship Women

Waverley (2nd) vs. Sunbury (3rd)

Sat 6:30pm Waverley Basketball Centre

Meetings this season
R2: Waverley 72 def Sunbury 61
R13: Sunbury 71 def Waverley 68

From the coaches

Matt Bongetti (Waverley)

The girls are looking forward to competing against the most in form team and the reigning champions. There are plenty of stars on both sides so it’s shaping as the type of game where whoever executes in crucial moments will come out on top. We can’t wait to get out there.

Kennedy Kereama (Sunbury)

There is a sense of excitement and a buzz in our team about playing post-­‐season basketball and personally I think the team is playing some good hoops at the moment. We know that playing well against Waverley is going to be a challenge as they are a highly competitive unit with some very capable stars and formidable role players. I believe there are going to be some key match ups that will most likely determine the outcome of this game. I am also confident that we have the pieces and a solid game plan to put ourselves in a position to get a favourable result. However, I expect this to be a close game and am looking forward to a great game of basketball.

Overview

One win each during the regular season, these two teams couldn’t be more even. Both rely on some star power and often look for a consistent spark off the bench. A number of former WNBL players will feature, for both teams, highlighting the talent and experience on show. The Falcons are always a hard nut to crack on their home deck, but whether or not they can hold a full-­‐strength Jets outfit is another question. Can the reigning champs take the quicker passage to the next stage, or will the Falcons get the job done and push Sunbury to an elimination final next week? If Elyse Penaluna plays, and starts, the Jets will stretch the floor nicely and will take some beating.

Prediction
Sunbury by 6pts

 

Hume City (4th) vs. Sth Peninsula (5th)

Sat 7pm Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Meetings this season
R10: Hume City 74 def Sth Peninsula 72
R17: Sth Peninsula 67 lost to Hume City 70

From the coaches

Michael Thomas (Hume City)

This weekend presents a great challenge. We’re proud to have qualified for the finals for the 9th time in 12 seasons and to have this week’s final at home is something we’re looking forward to. Our two previous games against Sth Peninsula could have gone either way. Like most groups, we’ve had our challenges with injuries and consistency in the first half of the season but the second half has been really encouraging and we’re confident we can give a strong account of ourselves. Our improving depth and disciplined defence have been keys to our success and we will need to bring that effort to overcome a team that possess one of the most dangerous, quick scoring offenses in the league.

Gerard Hillier (Southern Peninsula)

We’re really excited for the finals series, our elimination final vs Hume City will no doubt be a cracking game given our last few hit outs have been decided by 3pts or under. We finally have all of our juniors back from state and national duty so it will be a great chance for those players to gain more valuable experience, which will be under the guidance of our senior players who have done a fantastic job in guiding the team to date.

Overview

Two incredibly even teams will battle for survival, the winner will progress, the loser will kiss the season goodbye. The Sharks are set to be at full-­‐strength, which will add some depth to their rotations, while the Broncos will again rely on the class of Lisa Murphy and Nicole Zammit. Expect a high-­‐pace start. Whichever team settles and executes efficiently will go a long way towards winning a very close contest.

Prediction
Sth Peninsula by 2pts


Division One Men

Shepparton (3rd) vs. Warrandyte (6th)

Sat 7:30pm Shepparton Sports Stadium

Meetings this season
R8: Warrandyte 72 lost to Shepparton 77
R17: Shepparton 72 lost to Warrandyte 73

From the coaches

Leigh Bathman (Shepparton)

It is great to be back in finals action again, it was a goal we set during pre-­‐season as a group after just 6 wins last season. We are excited about the challenge that lies ahead. Warrandyte are in good form at the right time and generally execute all the basics very well. Our recent form slump has surfaced at the most inappropriate time for us but finals basketball usually sees an increase in intensity, focus and production. Good teams and individuals usually stand up in adverse times, that’s the message for our group this week.

Ross Charles (Warrandyte)

We are very excited to have made it into the finals, but we face a massive challenge in going up to Shepparton. They are a formidable outfit, and they will have their parochial crowd behind them. We have been in some good form over the last 2-­‐3 weeks, including a thrilling 1pt win over Shepparton. We are working hard to carry that winning momentum into Saturday night’s contest.

Overview

You can’t help but look at recent form when putting these two teams together – the Gators have fallen away, the Venom are in form. Whilst nobody will be surprised if Warrandyte head home with a win, you can help but feel a big crowd will give the home team a badly needed boost of energy. It’s a new game come August and the Gators simply have to start favourite at home.

Prediction
Shepparton by 3pts

 

Western Port (4th) vs. Warrnambool (5th)

Sat 6:30pm David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre

Meetings this season
R6: Warrnambool 82 lost to Western Port 92
R15: Western Port 71 lost to Warrnambool 82

From the coaches

Luke Sunderland (Western Port)

Saturday will be a good matchup after we split our results with Warrnambool this season. Xavier Blount is as good a scorer as any player across all divisions. Alex Gynes doesn’t get the attention but is also a dangerous opponent to any team with his experience and skill. Our team has finished the season strong and looking forward to continuing our good form this weekend.

Tim Gainey (Warrnambool)
Comment unavailable at time of publish.

Overview

Where do you start with these two teams? Best place is probably by mentioning Dylan Travis (Steelers) and Xavier Blount (Seahawks). It remains to be seen if Nathan Sobey will play, so let’s focus on what we do know. Each team has won on each other’s court, which adds some spice. Travis and Blount are stars, but who will step up with them for each team? Alex Gynes should not be underestimated, neither should Bevan Camilleri. Not much between these two teams, it could (and probably will) come down to which star, Travis or Blount, can get off the hook and deliver at a good clip. Expect a cracking game!

Prediction
Western Port by 5pts


Division One Women

Warrnambool (3rd) vs. Werribee (6th)

Saturday 6pm, The Arc Sports Stadium

Meetings this season

R3: Warrnambool defeated Werribee 63-54

R11: Werribee defeated Warrnambool 75-63

From the coaches

Louise Brown (Warrnambool)

“Congratulations to all teams that have made the finals. This is the time of year we all play for and this series is up for any team to win. We are expecting a tough game against Werribee, they are great team and have had a great season. There will be some good match ups across the court and we know this clash is going to be tight. We’re looking forward to the game and wish all the other teams the best of luck.”

Reece Potter (Werribee)

 “Heading into this weekend’s elimination final against Warrnambool on the road will be a massive challenge for our team. Warrnambool is a deep, talented and experienced team. Playing them at the Arc will be a great atmosphere and we are greatly looking forward to the contest. We have worked hard this season to make playoffs, especially after a slow start, beginning the 1 win and 5 losses. We’ve been competitive against every team this year – I am proud of team and what we have achieved, however, we are not satisfied with just making the playoffs, we believe we have the team to make a deep playoff run.”

Overview

Yet another split series taken by road wins, however a playoffs’ home court advantage is massive, especially when you make your opponent drive three hours for the privilege. Road trip to the heart of Mermaids’ territory is never easy though and it will take the best of the Devils – especially Alyssa Bennett and Georgia Tauschke – to match the likes of Amy Wormald and Molly Mckinnon.

Prediction

Warrnambool by 11 points

 

Geelong (4th) vs. Whittlesea (5th)

Saturday 5pm, AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Meetings this season

R8: Geelong defeated Whittlesea 75-70

R12: Geelong defeated Whittlesea 69-56

From the coaches

Natalie Hughes (Geelong)

Comments unavailable at time of publication.

Hayley Munro (Whittlesea)

Comments unavailable at time of publication.

Overview

It’s hard to see a path to victory for Whittlesea. The Supercats’ red-hot form has knocked over high-calibre sides in Warrnambool and Mildura recently. Caitlin Shadbolt and Georgia Varley have been impressive for Geelong in the run to the finals while Jessica Watson has notched some big tallies in the big clashes to boot. Whittlesea has been well led by LT Poa – averaging 13 points per game – as well as Guilia Dinunzio and Darcy Saunders, but it’ll take quite an incredible Pacers’ combination to smash apart the form side in the Supercats.

Prediction

Geelong by 12 points


Division Two Men

Camberwell (3rd) vs. Mildura (6th)

Saturday 7pm, Balwyn High School

Meetings this season

R5: Camberwell defeated Mildura 99-92

R11: Mildura defeated Camberwell 66-63

From the coaches

Mark Jeffers (Camberwell)

“We are excited to be back into the finals mix for the first time since 2012 for our Senior Men’s team. Based on results throughout the year, it is easy to recognise that the finals race is completely wide open, with anybody able to win on their week. 

“We have had some incredibly tough battles with Mildura this year with one going into OT and the other being decided by three points. I’m sure this game will be a much similar story. We have worked hard to put ourselves in this situation and get a home final, let’s hope we can get it done this weekend.”

David Curran (Mildura)

Comments unavailable at time of publication

Overview

It’s not often you split the series by winning on away courts… especially when they’re 500km apart. Camberwell has the form line – winning four of its last five – and the home court, but this year has shown neither of those factors count for much on the night! Mildura’s three losses in the last month to finals-bound teams is problematic… but their last five has been tougher than Camberwell. There are pros and cons on both sides making this clash well and truly up for grabs.

Prediction

Camberwell by six points

 

Southern Peninsula (4th) vs. Melton (5th)

Saturday 6pm – Hillview Stadium

Meetings this season

R3: Southern Peninsula defeated Melton 89-81

R13: Melton defeated Southern Peninsula 80-77

From the coaches

Lucas Allen (Southern Peninsula)

“We’re excited to be back in finals in 2018.  This has been our focus since we started pre-season last October. We are now faced with a win or go home Elimination Final which we’re ready to embrace and attack head on.

“Melton is a formidable outfit with their size, length and athleticism. We have split the regular season series 1-1, therefore, this promises to be an incredible game. It’s up to us to execute our game plan at both ends if we want to survive and advance, it is that simple.

Joe Hooks (Melton)

“It’s always great to see two good teams go head to head. It’s even better to be one of the good teams in the contest. It’s an honour and a pleasure to play Southern Penninsula. Our focus is not on winning the game our focus is on execution. Every minute and every second of the contest is important.”

Overview

Dexter Graham…. How can you not mention a man coming off 47 points? Lifting Melton on the road to finish the season, it was an incredible effort that reverberated throughout the league. It’s not just on him though as the Thoroughbreds have one of the best spreads throughout the league through Wol Wol  Ngong and Emmanuel Malou. Southern Peninsula is equally as versatile through Colin Voss, Benjamin James, Corey Bond and Dave Smith… plus the Sharks have come out of a tough five-game stretch emphatically. Their wins over Craigieburn and Camberwell will be big in inspiring D2M title dreams.

Prediction

Southern Peninsula by five points


Division Two Women

Wallan (2nd) vs. Melbourne Uni (3rd)

Saturday 7pm R B Robson Stadium

Meetings this season

R7: Wallan defeated by Melbourne Uni 53-68

R17: Melbourne Uni defeated Wallan 63-50

From the coaches

Warren Taylor (Wallan)

Not available at time of publishing.”

Grantley Bernard (Melbourne Uni)

 “Not available at time of publishing.” 

Overview

Melbourne Uni certainly can lay claim to having the advantage over Wallan in the off-season, defeating the Panthers by an average of 14pts with their most recent victory only two weeks ago.  The trip up Sydney Rd to Wallan won’t pose any concerns but expect the Teal army supporters to be out in force in a high stakes knockout final.  Wallan will need to restrict Lauren Bellegante’s perimeter shooting and Melanie Fidler has been a good presence during the season.  Alex Darby and Tessa Ramsay are finding some form, along with Emie O’Niall a consistent performer for Wallan. The Black Angels wouldn’t have enjoyed a loss in Rd 18, whilst the Panthers defeated the ladder leaders convincingly last week.

Expect a tight contest.

Prediction

Melbourne Uni by 9

 

Blackburn (4th) vs. North East (5th)

Saturday 7pm Mullum Mullum Stadium

Meetings this season

R7: Blackburn defeated North East 67-54
R16: North East defeated Blackburn 57-49

From the coaches

Peter Buckle (Blackburn)

Not available at time of publishing.”

Mick Hales (North East)

The Northeast Lady Bushrangers first foray into the Big V finals is full of excitement. The game against Blackburn should be a close one with both teams having a win each during the season.  Blackburn are a well drilled team and always keep coming at you. Hopefully we will be ready to combat anything thrown at us and leave it all out on the floor.”Overview

On form, both teams match up well. The Bushrangers are certainly no strangers to travelling and in their first month of the season took a 4-1 record mainly from road wins.  The Vikings have had a great run coming into finals with a 4-1 record of their own, ironically their only loss was against their opponents for this match.  Rachel Jeffrey has been one to watch for North East whilst the match up for inside shooting could be between Chloe Storer and Andrea Belmonte. Victoria Sumskas has been hard to keep off the boards so if North East can limit her contribution, they’ll be right in it.

Prediction

Blackburn by 5 points


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men

Eltham Wildcats (T-2nd) vs. Nunawading Spectres (T-3rd)

G1: Nunawading Basketball Stadium Sat 5:30pm

G2/3: Eltham High School TBA

Meetings this season

R09: Nunawading Spectres 67 def. by Eltham Wildcats 74

From the coaches

Greg Jeffers (Eltham)

“It’s our first time in the Youth Men’s Grand Final for a long time; over 10 years, so I am extremely proud that the group has overcome some hurdles that have existed for the club over the years. Some of our guys have been with us through the rebuild of our senior program and this opportunity at times seemed like a distant goal, but they’ve got their chance through their hard work. It’s great to face another club in the Championship series that is similar to us in several ways. Both groups are well balanced and experienced across the positions, have a wide range of scoring options, have the ability to defend well, but also have a passionate and engaged club supporting them, which will see people turn out to watch and create a great atmosphere for the players.

I have a lot of confidence in our guys and the way they’ve adapted at various stages over the year and that’s what you need to be able to do within a series. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to try and win the Championship on our home floor.”

Andrew Cutler (Nunawading)

Our pursuit of continual improvement, individually and collectively, has been critical to qualifying for the grand final for a second consecutive season. Despite some roster changes we have built a deep group of players, each committed to getting better all the time. Along with the group’s cohesion and attention to detail (and undoubtedly some good fortune), this has been a vital factor in reaching this point.”

Overview

The grand final series is upon us with two of the best defensive squads in the VYCM. Nunawading held opponents to a league best 68.9 points per contest, while Eltham held opponents to 71.6 points per game best for third in the competition. This series has the makings of a tenacious battle between two relentless squads. The Wildcats secured the earlier season victory between the two Terrill teams forcing the Spectres into 37% shooting from the field. Eltham relying on their incredible depth, which has been brilliant to watch all season long. However, Nunawading are now a different beast, playing some incredible team basketball along the way and if the Spectres are able to impose their tenacious defensive they should come away with the series. Can they trump last season’s heartbreak?

Prediction

Nunawading to win the series 2-1.


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women

Sandringham Sabres (T-1st) vs. Knox Raiders (T-2nd)

G1: State Basketball Centre Sat 7pm

G2/3: Nunn Media Basketball Centre TBA

Meetings this season

R04: Sandringham Sabres 76 def. Knox Raiders 53

R10: Knox Raiders 61 def. by Sandringham Sabres 73

From the coaches

Joanne Wood (Sandringham)

No doubt one of the key factors for us this season has been our depth. Despite a number of players missing due to SEABL and other commitments the girls that have been available have just stepped up and been enormous for us which allowed us to finish top and take home court advantage in all finals. Knox are a tremendously talented team who are very hard to match up on and we will need to bring our best defensive game in all 3 matches to give ourselves every possible chance to win the championship. It should be a great series with two great teams who move the ball well and play for each other.” 

Chad Burton (Knox)

After a fantastic finish to our regular season in such a strong competition and with two great wins in a do or die finals games against Kilsyth and Nunawading the team has truly earnt their spot in this Grand Final series. We face a very strong Sandringham team who have a lot of great players and who have been playing together for a few years now; we are a very young team who have improved immensely over the year individually and as a team. In both our meetings this year both teams were affected by player availability, with both teams at full strength it looks to be a great series, one in which the team and myself look forward to greatly.”

Overview

Sandringham have the been the dominant team in the VYCW losing just three games during their top of the table reign of the regular season. The Sabres relied on their stifling defence holding opponents to a paltry 55.8 points per game. But on the other end the Knox Raiders are one of the highest scoring teams averaging 75.2 points per game. The grand final series will be a battle to see which team breaks first. The key to the series could be through the Raiders’ Eliana Bravington. If the Sabres have no answer for Bravington then she has the skill and talent to single-handily take over the series. But if the Sabres suffocating defence can stop her, they could be too strong.

Prediction

Sandringham Sabres win series 2-1.


Youth League One Men

Sunbury Jets (1st) vs. Waverley Falcons (2nd)

G1: Waverley Basketball Centre Sat 7:30pm

G2/3: Boardman Stadium TBA

Meetings this season

R05: Sunbury Jets 71 def. Waverley Falcons 69

R13: Waverley Falcons 77 def. Sunbury Jets 55

From the coaches

Lisa Townsend (Sunbury)

Coaches comment unavailable at time of publish.”

Elias Palioyiannis (Waverley)

We are very excited to be part of the Grand Final series for 2018. We have prided ourselves on our depth all year and it was a big part in why we were able to get past a very good Werribee team last week. Sunbury have been the benchmark team all year and deserve to go into the Grand Final Series as favourites. They are very well coached and have a heap of scoring options on the floor.  No doubt Game One is a must win game for us at home as Sunbury haven’t lost at home this season. We can’t wait to get it all started on Saturday night.”

Overview

It’s the match-up we have been salivating to see. The Sunbury Jets have been on a different plane in season 2018, dropping only two games. One in the final round of the season put down to a late season malaise but the other loss was a 22-point walloping at the hands of the Waverley Falcons. The Falcons have been the highest scoring squad in YL1M averaging an absurd 86.4 points per game. With stars like Cody Fredrickson and Dylan Larkin leading the way, the Falcons have the potential to make the Jets work in the series. But Sunbury have been the standout team all season long and despite the season hiccup should be too strong for the Falcons. Watch for Kyle Collins, Nathan Baker and Nathan Marshall to put their stamp on the series.

Prediction

Sunbury Jets win series 2-1


Youth League One Women

Keilor (1st) vs. McKinnon (4th)

G1: GESAC Sat 6pm

G2/3: Keilor Basketball Stadium TBA

Meetings this season

R2: McKinnon 50 def by Keilor 70
R6: Keilor 65 def McKinnon 64
R13: McKinnon 63 def by Keilor 70

From the coaches

Ryan Morris (Keilor)

This weekend will be an exciting time for a young group of players wanting to make an impact in post season play.

Nathan has done a great job in getting McKinnon to the finals and we look forward to the challenge ahead.

Nothing is given, and we know we will have to be ready to play to get the win in game 1.

Nathan Geer (McKinnon)

 “Coaches comment unavailable at time of publish.”

Overview

There looks to be an overriding advantage on paper between these two sides, however you could have said the same thing in R18 when McKinnon hosted Sunbury and look what happened. Never say never, but game one’s the most important game of the year for these Cougars. Take one at home and it’s game on. Don’t see the Thunder giving in though.

Prediction

Keilor 2-0

 

Sunbury (2nd) vs. Geelong (3rd)

G1: AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

G2/3: Boardman Stadium TBA

Meetings this season

R3: Geelong 46 def by Sunbury 59

R11: Sunbury 68 def Geelong 45

From the coaches

Andrew Seidel (Sunbury)

Hi everyone, well what are we expecting this weekend is a very competitive game from both Geelong and ourselves, after a solid season we are very keen to get into the Playoffs and perform well so best of luck to both teams.”

Tim Sanderson (Geelong)

Looking forward to seeing how our girls meet the challenge of playoff basketball and the extra intensity it brings. The playoff series will provide us with an opportunity to continue to grow our character as people and our ability to execute basketball skills in pressure scenarios. Sunbury are a quality team and have been consistently strong performers all year, so they will definitely present the challenge that’s required for our girls to grow both individually and as a group.”

Overview

Geelong have been up and down lately which doesn’t bode well for their finals chances. However, the Jets couldn’t find the line either suffering defeat in the final round. Like the Cougars, the ‘Cats will need to be super impressive at home to look alive in this series. Sunbury has finals experience off the back of last year and look in control.

Prediction

Sunbury 2-0


Youth League Two Men

Pakenham (3rd) vs. Mornington (6th)

Saturday 7pm Cardinia Life

Meetings this season

R7: Pakenham 105 def Mornington 55

R17: Mornington 69 def by Pakenham 79

From the coaches

Simo Pajdic (Pakenham)

I’m really looking forward to how our group responds to the challenge of another finals campaign. This is the 3rd straight season we have reached this point, so we are looking to take another step forward. We have battled a degree of adversity all season, but are peaking at the right point, I can’t wait to see how our group put their best foot forward.” 

Chris Horsburgh (Mornington)

 “Coaches comment unavailable at time of publish.”

Overview

It’s been a rough season for the Breakers who looked in control before Lachie Baczyk unfortunately went down. Now, sneaking into sixth place they can create some real noise as a playoff breaker (literally!). The Warriors would have been disappointed not to sneak into the top two and now must do it the hard way, and that’s playing the whole way through the finals series. It starts this weekend.

Prediction

Pakenham by 7

 

Melton (4th) vs. Craigieburn (5th)

Saturday 7pm Melton Indoor Rec Centre

Meetings this season

R7: Melton 92 def Craigieburn 77

R12: Craigieburm 100 def by Melton 104

From the coaches

J Crowe (Melton)

Coaches comment unavailable at time of publish.”

Tom Carroll (Craigieburn)

 “Coaches comment unavailable at time of publish.”

Overview

The ‘Breds are stacked with offensive talent, however it’s the defensive end where they need to start being credited for. The Eagles are a high-octane outfit as well, so you’d expect a few points scored in this one. Expecting the home side to creep past.

Prediction

Melton by 2


Youth League Two Women

Pakenham Warriors (2nd) vs. Frankston Blues (3rd)

Saturday 5pm Cardinia Life

Meetings this season

R01: Pakenham Warriors 57 def. Frankston Blues 55

R16: Frankston Blues 58 def. Pakenham Warriors 56

From the coaches

Jill Appleton (Pakenham)

To put it simply – (we’re most looking forward to) our first final! We’re excited to be on our home court this weekend to share this moment with the rest of the Warriors family. We’ve had two close, intense match ups with Frankston this season and they’ve had a huge run into finals, so this weekend is sure to be another. We can’t wait to see the stand full of blue and gold!”

Byron Carpenter (Frankston)

Here at Frankston we are looking forward to testing ourselves against the best team in our competition. Finals always bring an increase in the intensity of the games and we are keen to rise to embrace that challenge.”

Overview

In what has the potential to be the game of the finals the Warriors will host the Blues. Both teams split the regular season match-ups by a total of three points. Frankston stumbled in round 18 but defeated this Warriors team in round 16. This one should be a cracking contest.

Prediction

Pakenham Warriors by 2

 

Whittlesea Pacers (4th) vs. Blackburn Vikings (5th)

Saturday 7:30pm Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Meetings this season

R08: Whittlesea Packers 57 def. Blackburn Vikings 53

R17: Blackburn Vikings 46 def. by Whittlesea Packers 59

From the coaches

Shannon Bodley (Whittlesea)

Personally, I’m looking forward to the challenge of finals like I have every time I have played finals in the Big V, it’s an exciting time of the year. And for the girls I’m looking forward to them experiencing finals, our Youth Women’s league team haven’t been in finals for 9 years so it’s an exciting time for the girls and the club at the moment.” 

Daniel Jaunutis (Blackburn)

With a lot of changes this season and a fairly young group, making finals was our goal. Now that we are there I am looking forward to seeing what this group can do under the added pressure that these games bring. Less than half our team were a part of the team that made the grand final last year, how we handle the nervous early will be a key factor for us in this game.”

Overview

Whittlesea has won both regular season match-ups against the Blackburn Vikings. The Pacers have won four of their last five contests by an average winning margin of 15.8 points per contest. This spells trouble for a Blackburn side currently on a 3-game losing slide. It’s going to take a heroic effort for the Vikings to win this one.

Prediction

Whittlesea Pacers by 10

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