Another round of hoops in the books, who was the player of the game in your respective contest?
Division One Men
Division One Women
Division Two Men
Division Two Women
Victorian Youth Championship Men
Victorian Youth Championship Women
Youth League One Men
Youth League One Women
Youth League Two Men
Youth League Two Women
McKinnon 107 def Casey 101
The Cougars prevailed past Casey at GESAC in a narrow affair to advance to the 2019 Grand Final series. McKinnon came out breathing fire in the first term, winning the period 29-19 to put themselves in the box seat. However, the Cavs responded in the second term, going on a 32-23 run to bring it back to a 52-51 game at the main break in the visitors’ favour. The second half was a mirror image of the first, McKinnon stepped it up a notch in the third quarter where they piled 28 points on the board to Casey’s 11 to take complete control. With the scoreboard favouring the hosts 80-62 at the last change, the Cavaliers ignited in the fourth. The visitors went on a huge rally, doing most of their damage in the second half of the quarter. It was game on when Raheem Lemons made a pair of free throws to get Casey back within single digits with 2:50 on the clock. Matthew Donlan and Benjamin Louis got the Cavs even closer, nailing back-to-back triples just inside the final minute to make it a four-point game. But McKinnon calmly went 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 20 seconds to seal their win. Dillon Stith led McKinnon with 24 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks, while Donlan lit it up for Casey with 33 points and five boards.
Hawthorn 104 def by Hume City 108
The Broncos were able to draw the series level in a blockbuster four-point win over Hawthorn at the Boroondara Sports Complex on Saturday night. Hume City entered the final 10 minutes with an eight-point lead and looked like marching on with it, but the Magic were not about to be blown away. Hawthorn scored the first three points of the last term to bring it back to five points and it was suddenly game on. That deficit was quickly cut to just one after Kirk Smith hit a massive three-pointer with 5:46 left on the clock, and Nelson Kirksey’s driving layup on the next play put the hosts up. You couldn’t separate these teams for the rest of regulation as they traded blows, ultimately ending in a tie after Hume City’s Jordan Coleman made a clutch layup to send it into overtime. The extra period was as tense as the final quarter with neither team able to take a significant lead. Up by just two with 18 seconds left, the Broncos sealed the win through a pair of free throws off Jamal Shabazz. Shabazz was Hume City’s best with 25 points and nine rebounds, while Luke Sist led Hawthorn with 24 points, 15 rebounds and two steals.
Hawthorn 93 def by Hume City 118
Back-to-back road wins for the Broncos was enough to overturn a 1-0 series deficit and win through to the Grand final, after a dominant 25-point win over Hawthorn on Sunday afternoon. Following Saturday night’s OT victory, Hume City were riding high and brought that confidence into Sunday’s game, winning every quarter on the way to victory. Hume City held a 19-point buffer at half time after a strong 54-35 opening half, which arguably put the game to bed. All five of the Broncos’ starters finished with double-digit scoring numbers, as Jordan Coleman (27 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals) and Jamal Shabazz (23 points, three rebounds, three blocks) led the way. The victory sets up a huge Grand Final clash with McKinnon, who enter the final with just two losses to their name all season long.
Sunbury 74 def by Keilor 80
Keilor have advanced through to the Grand Final after ousting the Jets by just six points at Boardman Stadium on Saturday night. The Thunder had total control of this one in the first half, taking a commanding 53-36 lead into the main break after Aneta Bandilovski hit a driving layup to close out the half. But the Jets weren’t done with yet, responding big time in the third term. Sunbury scored the opening six points of the third term to bring it back to a nine-point game and ignite some life into the contest. The hosts continued to cut into the lead for the rest of the quarter and brought their deficit all the way back to just 59-63 at the end of the period as Jacinta Beckley hit a two-pointer right on the buzzer. The Thunder pushed their lead back out to eight halfway through the final term and looked like running away with it, but these Jets continued to show fight. Courtney Duever’s and-one brought it back to just three points inside the last minute. That would be as close as Sunbury would get though, with Keilor sealing their win with a pair of free throws through Erin Bollmann. Bollmann was simply dominant in this one with 29 points, 11 rebounds and three steals, while Duever was Sunbury’s best with 20 points, 13 rebounds and three steals.
Werribee 73 def Hume City 51
The Devils sealed their ticket to the Preliminary Final after thumping the Broncos at home in a quality four-quarter performance. It was a close battle early, with Werribee going up by 10 points halfway through the second term after Alisia Jenkins nailed a pair of free throws. Jenkins had the last laugh of the first half, hitting a driving layup right before the buzzer as the scoreboard favoured the hosts 38-29. The Devils were only able to add two points to their lead in the third quarter, but it was the final term where they really made their mark. Werribee completely shut down Hume City’s offence in the fourth and kept their scoreboard ticking over, leading by as much as 23 at one point in what ultimately became a very one-sided affair. The Devils pounded the ball in the paint to score more efficiently, shooting 42 per cent from the field to Hume City’s 32 per cent clip. Jenkins put up 25 points and 12 rebounds in an MVP performance, while Nicole Zammit led Hume City with 13 points.
Division One Men
Keysborough 80 def Warrandyte 75
The Cougars took care of business at home in game one of their Semi Final series, in a contest that went right down to the wire. The hosts took a three-point lead into the first change after Neal Mueller made a layup right before the buzzer. Keysborough begun to surge ahead in the second term and got out to a nine-point advantage halfway through the period thanks to Calvin Enge’s triple, but the Venom were able to bring it back to a 42-38 at the main break. The Cougars again looked like breaking the game open in the third term, extending their lead to 10 points with 5:21 on the clock off Benjamin Morwood’s free throws. But again, the Venom clawed their way back into the contest and shaved the deficit back to four points at the last change. An exciting fourth term saw Warrandyte take the lead early when Jacob Thom hit a go-ahead three-pointer. The next three minutes was a real arm wrestle before Enge hit a big three to give the Cougars the lead back. The Venom would respond with a pair of free throws to even the scores, before Keysborough scored the next seven points to ice the win. Enge led the charge with 25 points and seven rebounds and Jamie Leclerc triple-doubled with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 dimes. Bryan Moore was Warrandyte’s best with 21 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks.
Sunbury 94 def Shepparton 86
The Jets took a 1-0 series lead after ousting the Gators by eight points at Boardman Stadium. A tight opening quarter saw Sunbury edge ahead late, with Ish Sanders’ free throw giving his side a narrow 22-19 advantage at the first change. But it was all Shepparton in the second term, winning the period 28-15 to take a 47-37 lead into the main break. But as all good teams do, the hosts responded in the third term. The Jets quickly erased their deficit to take the lead halfway through the period thanks to a Nathan Baker jumper. Shepparton took the lead back and finished the quarter off strong to take a 60-59 advantage into the final 10 minutes. The fourth quarter was tight early before Sunbury begun to pull away, with Sanders’ driving layup extending the hosts’ advantage to six points with 4:21 on the clock. The Jets didn’t look back from that point, dropping three triples down the stretch to ice the game. Sanders was the MVP with 33 points, four threes, five rebounds and five assists. Atem Atem finished with 26 points and seven boards for the Gators.
Division One Women
Hawthorn 73 def Bellarine 59
The Magic booked their place in the Grand Final with a straightforward 14-point win over the Storm. It was clear Hawthorn meant business from the outset, racing out to a 10-1 lead in the opening 3:13 before taking a 15-point lead into the first break. The Storm outscored the Magic over the ensuing three quarters, but the damage had already been done, with Hawthorn’s win securing a series sweep. The Magic were able to win despite shooting a poor percentage from the field thanks largely to their dominance in the rebounding battle, which led to a 22-6 advantage in second-chance points. Gemma Fyffe led the Magic with 20 points, while Nyilah Jamison-Myers chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds. Olivia Virt starred in defeat, scoring 26 points and gathering five rebounds.
Mildura 89 def Chelsea 79
The Magic will face the Heat in the grand final after Mildura secured a 10-point win over the Gulls to sweep their Semi Final series. After a back-and-forth opening term, the Heat seized control of the game with a 14-2 scoring run in the first four minutes of the second quarter, eventually taking a 14-point lead into the main break. Chelsea rallied at various stages throughout the second half, but Mildura was never rattled, ensuring there would be no game three. The turnover battle was the key for the Heat, scoring 17 points from 16 Chelsea turnovers, while conceding only five points from their seven turnovers. The Gulls simply had no answers for Alyesha Lovett, who dominated with 37 points and 11 rebounds, while Bronte Clark made a 23-point, six-assist contribution. Lee Burch led the Gulls with 28 points and nine rebounds, while Holly Davies and Shaniqua Nilles also played strong all-around games.
Division Two Men
Craigieburn 73 def by Southern Peninsula 102
The Sharks have blown away the Eagles in the first game of their three-game Semi Final series at Craigieburn Sports Stadium. Despite playing on the road in the opening match, Southern Peninsula were a class above the hosts, culminating in a 31-9 final term that put the result to bed. The visitors led at the end of every quarter, and have continued on from their dominant 20-4 regular season. Troyce Manassa was the star of the show for Southern Peninsula, finishing with 41 points on 16-25 shooting, while adding seven rebounds and two steals. Captain Corey Bond added 22, while Jack Ocwieja finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Damon Smith led from the front for the hosts with an impressive line of 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals, while skipper Liam Watt added 21 points. The Eagles are certainly up against it to make the Grand Final, as they now have to win two road games at Dromana Stadium. One home win will be enough to see the Sharks advance through to the Grand Final.
Mildura 96 def Camberwell 73
The Heat have claimed game one of their Semi Final series on their home floor, after winning all four quarters en route to their 23-point victory over the Dragons. Mildura entered the Semi Final series after an Elimination Final win over Pakenham last week, and remained in hot form, pouring in 32 points in the opening term. The Heat led by 13 at half time before extending the lead after the main break, as they led by double digits for the entirety of the second half. Mildura shot at 54% and knocked down 10 triples at 45%, while Camberwell were just 31% from the field, as they couldn’t stick with their opponents. Calvin Henry was everywhere for the hosts, with an unbelievable line of 19 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and four blocks. Dallas Brown top-scored for the game with 30 points, while Jacob Pettway added 15 points and 14 rebounds. Maxwell Barkeley top scored with 19 for the visitors, although his shooting numbers of 5-21 said it all. Camberwell will need to win both clashes at home next weekend to advance, while just one road win would see the Heat into the Grand Final.
Division Two Women
Mornington 40 def by Blackburn 53
The Vikings booked their ticket to the Preliminary Final after ousting the Breakers at the Mornington Basketball Stadium on Saturday evening. It was a tight first quarter with neither side able to gain any separation. Blackburn’s Isabella Nolen scored the final bucket of the period as the scores read 13-10 in Mornington’s favour at the opening break. The visitors ran over the top early in the second term with a Nolen’s three-pointer. The rest of the second quarter was scrappy and low scoring as the visitors took a 19-18 lead into the half. Mornington begun to pull away in the third, leading by seven halfway through the quarter off Bridget Gamble’s jumper. But the Vikings would close out the period on a 16-4 run to take a five-point lead into the last change. The Vikings went on to own the fourth, extending their lead out to double digits to breeze away with the victory. Shannon Bone led the way with 11 points, five rebounds and five steals, whilst Victoria Sumskas racked up seven points, 16 boards and two blocks. Lauren McInnes finished with a game-high 13 points for Mornington.
Melbourne University 61 def by Pakenham 71
The Warriors clinched their Grand Final spot after defeating the Black Angels by 10 points. Pakenham took a narrow 16-12 lead into the first break, but Melbourne University responded early in the second term. The hosts went up by five at the 5:37 mark of the second off Emily Snaize’s layup, however it was Pakenham’s turn to regain the lead, pushing ahead by five with 3:23 left in the half off Stephanie Pal’s triple, in what was becoming a real arm wrestle. In the end, Melbourne University drew it back to an even 30-30 game at the main break. You could barely separate these teams in the third quarter as they traded blow for blow and multiple lead changes, with the Black Angels escaping with a narrow 51-49 lead after Lauren Bellegante hit a jumper right before the buzzer. But it was the Warriors who were able to get on top in the fourth when Keeley Patterson knocked one down from beyond the arc to extend her side’s lead to seven with 3:29 on the clock. Melbourne Uni brought it back to five points with under two minutes to play, but Ellie Coutts responded with the game-sealing trifecta. Patterson led Pakenham in scoring with 21 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and three steals, while Coutts’ 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists were key. Amelia Smith (16 points, six rebounds, four steals) and Emmie O’Nial (nine points, 17 boards) were prolific for the hosts. Melbourne University will now face off with Blackburn next weekend to determine who faces Pakenham in the Grand Final.
Victorian Youth Championship Men
Eltham 73 def by Nunawading 76
The Spectres have claimed Championship glory after ousting the Wildcats on their home floor by three points, winning the Grand Final series 2-0. It was an exciting contest that went right down to the wire as you couldn’t separate these teams all game. Bryson Norris’ free throws gave the hosts a two-point lead late in the first, but Joe Mutimer responded with a layup down the other end to make it a 17-15 line at the first break. A high-scoring second term saw these teams trading buckets and the lead, with neither side able to push ahead. Howver, Christian Yammouni’s layup gave the Wildcats a 41-39 lead at the half. Throughout parts of the third term it looked like Eltham could run away with it, but Nunawading responded every time. The Spectres had no answers for Yammouni, who was firing on the offensive end for the hosts. Mutimer’s layup pulled it back to a 57-56 game at the end of three in Eltham’s favour. A pulsating fourth quarter went right down to the final minute. The Spectres led by four, only for Yammouni to get fouled on a three-point shot, making all three of his free throws to bring Eltham’s deficit back to just one. The Wildcats got a stop and brought it back the other way but got locked up for a jump ball. With the chance to put his team up, Yammouni turned the ball over and Remo Simankevicius’ free throws down the other end sealed the result. Yammouni dropped 32 points, three triples and four steals, while Daniel Baxter led Nunawading with 19 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Victorian Youth Championship Women
Melbourne 69 def by Dandenong 72
The Rangers have claimed the Victorian Youth Championship Women’s Premiership title, after defeating the Tigers by three points at MSAC to win the series 2-0. It was a hard fought four-quarter contest that went down to the wire, with nine points being the biggest lead either side had on Saturday afternoon. The first term was a true stalemate as Leia Hanafin’s free throw squared the ledger at 20-20 at the end of the period. The second quarter was blow-for-blow again, with the hosts going up five off Brodie Hillier’s late and-one, only for Leah Mackenzie to respond down the other end with a buzzer-beating triple. The Tigers looked like going on little runs in the third term, only for Dandenong to respond with their own basket every time. With the scores tied up, Miller’s free throw in the final minute gave Melbourne a one-point advantage which they took into the last change. Melbourne went on their run in the first half of the fourth term as it looked like we were going to a game three. Tylah Hooper’s three with 5:08 on the clock put the Tigers up nine. But it was all Dandenong for the rest of the way, ignited by back-to-back triples from LT Poa and Amy Baum. Baum caught fire from there, scoring seven points with another trifecta to give the Rangers the lead with under two minutes to play. Poa and Baum both made free throws inside the last minute to seal the win. Baum led Dandenong with 22 points, two rebounds, four assists and four steals, while Hooper finished with 18 points, six boards, two assists and two steals for Melbourne.
Youth League One Men
Ballarat 110 def Geelong 89
The Miners have claimed Youth League One Men championship honours after blowing out the Supercats by 21 points at MARS Minerdome on Saturday night, in game two of their Grand Final series. Ballarat went on a tear halfway through the first quarter to ignite their run. With scores tied, the hosts would close out the period on a 21-4 run, with both of Geelong’s buckets coming inside the last 19 seconds. It gave the hosts a healthy 34-17 lead at the first change. The Miners pushed that lead out to 22 early in the second term, only for Geelong to start their own charge. The Supercats went on an 18-4 run to cut the deficit back to single digits with 4:08 left in the half, capped off by Sebastian Thomason’s layup. But momentum would swing again as Ballarat quickly built back a 23-point lead from Bol Bak’s and-one with 1:23 left on the clock. Geelong pulled it back to a 19-point game at the main break. The Supercats continued to show fight and clawed the deficit back to 12 points halfway through the third. But Ballarat went on a fierce 24-9 run to close out the period and take a 27-point cushion into the last change. Geelong didn’t get any closer than 17 points in the final 10 minutes as the Miners cruised home. Ballarat shot an impressive 48 per cent from the field in this one and got 39 points from their bench compared to Geelong’s 20. Blake Allison led six Miners in double figures (and a further two players with nine points), scoring 19 points to go with 15 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Geelong’s Wang Nyieth poured in 23 points, adding 10 rebounds, two steals and three blocks.
Youth League One Women
Casey 78 def Warrandyte 67
The Cavaliers have booked their ticket to the Grand Final after ousting the Venom at home to win their Semi Final series; 2-0. A tight opening term saw the Venom edge ahead late thanks to Andreina Gammilonghi’s layup, which gave her side a 19-15 lead at the first change. Warrandyte went up 25-17 early in the second off Amy Dickson’s jumper, but the Cavs would start to find some momentum from that point. Casey finished the second term on a 21-1 run capped off by Rebecca Peacock’s triple to suddenly give the hosts a 38-26 lead at the main break. The Cavs kept their foot down in the third quarter, extending their lead out to 18 points as a blowout loomed. Casey led for 20 points for much of the fourth, only for Warrandyte to go on a 10-0 run late in the piece as the final scores ultimately flattered the visitors. Tess Young’s 12 points, 10 boards and four assists led Casey, while Michaela Kuen put up 11 points, 12 rebounds and three steals off the Venom bench.
Keilor 77 def Camberwell 42
The Thunder eased past the Dragons in a 35-point blowout to win the Semi Final series; 2-0. Keilor made quick work of Camberwell in this one, taking a healthy 22-9 lead into the first change. The hosts pushed their advantage out to 20 in the second term, but the Dragons were able to claw it back to a 35-17 difference at the main break. Keilor dominated the second half 42-25 as the Dragons never looked like getting back into the contest in a firm one-sided affair. The Thunder shot 44% from the field to Camberwell’s 23%, and won the rebound battle 57-26, and bench points 43-11. Amy Scott led the charge for the hosts with 16 points and 12 rebounds, whilst Mia D’Apolito finished with 10 points and five rebounds for Camberwell.
Youth League Two Men
Craigieburn 97 def Chelsea 86
The Eagles have cemented their place in the Grand Final after a strong 11-point win over the Gulls at Craigieburn Sports Stadium on Saturday night. The hosts dominated the opening half of play, taking a 53-33 lead into the main break. The Eagles shot 46% from the field compared to the Gulls’ 35%, while also recording 23 assists to just eight from Chelsea. Abraham Solano top scored for the hosts with 34 points, five assists and four rebounds, while Jackson Wynne added 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. Cooper Pratt (24 points), Brayden Laurie (23 points) and Nathan Frost (17 points, 14 rebounds) all impressed for the visitors, although they couldn’t do enough to get their side over the line.
Pakenham 81 def by Collingwood 86
The All Stars managed to upset the Warriors on Saturday night, and book their spot in the YL2M Grand Final series with Craigieburn, after a five-point road victory. Collingwood trounced Maccabi in their Elimination Final clash last weekend, and were good enough to beat Pakenham on their home floor on Saturday, with Collingwood (third) doing enough to displace their higher-ranked opponents (second) for a spot in the decider. Despite just a five-point margin on the final buzzer, that was in fact the closest the Warriors got after quarter time, after the All Stars held double-digit leads for the majority of the second and third quarters, before taking their foot off the pedal late in both terms to keep the game alive. Athiaan Manyiel (29 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks) and Alexander Cocco (25 points, four rebounds, four assists, four steals) led the way for the visitors, as the pair were the best two on the court all night long.
Youth League Two Women
Sherbrooke 90 def Chelsea 58
The Suns were a class above on Sunday afternoon, smashing the Gulls by 32 points to secure their spot in the Grand Final. Sherbrooke started a little slow taking just a two-point lead into the first break, although a 21-14 second term gave them some breathing space at half time. A 23-8 third term put the game to bed, as the hosts cruised to victory. Naomi Smith top scored with 19 points while adding 11 rebounds and five blocks, while Tamsyn Pentland added 15 points, four rebounds and five assists. Ella Dempster impressed for Chelsea with 11 points and 18 rebounds, although she couldn’t will her side over the line. The Suns have now won their past eight matches dating back into the regular season, after finishing with a record of 18-2.
Frankston 77 def Whittlesea 62
A huge final term was enough to see Frankston win through to the Grand Final, following a come-from-behind win over the Pacers. After entering the Semi Final on the back of 17 straight wins to close the regular season, Frankston were on the back foot early, and trailed by as many as nine points late in the first quarter. They would go into quarter time behind by four, before trading leads with Whittlesea throughout the second and third quarters, only for the Pacers to enter the final term with a one-point advantage. However, it was all one-way traffic in the final 10 minutes, as the Blues outscored the visitors 28-12, sealing their place in the decider. Zoe Schonfelder was huge off the bench with 23 points and six rebounds, while Kassie Boorer (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Abby Chernishoff (13 points, 11 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles. Hailey Wynd was Whittlesea’s best with 20 points and 12 boards. The win sets up a mouth-watering clash with the Suns, as both Frankston (19-1) and Sherbrooke (18-2) dominated the regular season, losing just three games between them.