Another round of hoops in the books, who was the player of the game in your respective contest?
Keilor 81 def Werribee 75
The Thunder evened the Grand Final series 1-1 on Saturday at Keilor Basketball Stadium, in a contest that went down to the wire. A tight first quarter had moments where it looked like the Devils would break away, only for Keilor to respond. At the first change, Werribee held a 17-14 advantage. An exciting second term saw these teams trading buckets with neither side able to gain any significant momentum. Keilor’s Aneta Bandilovski hit a huge pull up triple late in the piece to tie the scores up, but Werribee’s Alisia Jenkins responded with her own three-pointer back the other way. The Devils took a 37-34 lead into the main break. Werribee opened up a 48-39 advantage early in the third off a triple from Sarah Elsworthy and layup from Jenkins. But Keilor responded by going on an 8-0 run to bring it back to a 48-47 game with 3:06 left on the clock. Erin Bollmann’s three tied up the scores at 54-54 going into the last term. Keilor opened up the fourth on a 14-5 run to open up a nine-point lead halfway through the period. But the Devils came right back at them with an 8-0 run and it was back to just a 68-67 game in Keilor’s favour with under four minutes to play. Chloe Hildebrand hit a huge three for the Thunder and Bollmann made a layup to give them some breathing space late in the piece. Bollmann nailed a massive game-sealing triple in the final minute to seal the result and extend the series. Bollmann dominated this one with 27 points, four threes, six boards and five steals, while Jenkins (24 points, 15 boards) and Alexyz Vaioletama (23 points, eight rebounds) played well for Werribee.
Keilor 61 def by Werribee 67
The Devils clinched the Championship Women’s Title on Sunday after ousting Keilor in game three at Keilor Basketball Centre. You couldn’t separate these teams in the first quarter, before Werribee begun to edge ahead in the second term. The visitors went up 34-27 with 2:14 left in the period off an Alisia Jenkins floating jump shot. Keilor were able to pull the deficit back to 34-31 at the main break. Both sides traded buckets in the third before the Devils started to pull away late, with Sarah Elsworthy’s layup just before the buzzer extending the visitors’ advantage to 54-45 at the final change. But with so much at stake, Keilor came out swinging in the fourth term, going on a 11-2 run to open the period to tie up the scores at 56-56 apiece with 6:02 on the clock. That would prove to be as close as the visitors would get though, with the Devils regaining control again through Jenkins. The Devils star nailed a pair of free throws then made a layup to give her side a 64-59 buffer with under two minutes to play. Elsworthy’s pull up jumper on the next play all but sealed the win, and with it, the Championship. Jenkins (26 points, 16 rebounds), Elsworthy (17 points, four rebounds, four steals) and Alexyz Vaioletama (13 points, 15 rebounds) were Werribee’s best, while Erin Bollmann (18 points, 11 boards, four assists) battled hard for Keilor all contest.
Division One Men
Warrandyte 68 def by Sunbury 72
A strong final quarter effort from Sunbury spoiled Warrandyte’s hopes of icing the series on their home floor, taking it to a game-deciding third game after their four-point win. The Jets lost game one on their home floor after poor first and third quarters, but they were able to stay with the Venom throughout the game before outscoring them by 11 points in the final quarter to come away the win. Sunbury held their opponent to 30% from the field whilst shooting 44% themselves which went a long way to aiding their fight back after they trailed early on. The Venom held a 13-point advantage with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter, but the Jets cut that lead to seven points at the final break before taking the lead after a 12-3 start to the final quarter, a lead they never gave up. Ishmael Sanders was Sunbury’s top scorer with 26 points to go along with five assists, while Arthur Trousdell posted a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. For Warrandyte, Bryan Moore recorded his second consecutive double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while it was Jacob Thom who was the Venom’s top scorer with 21 points.
Warrandyte 49 def by Sunbury 63
The Jets shocked the Venom for the second straight game to take the series win and be crowned Division 1 Men’s Champions for season 2019, with a 14-point triumph at the Warrandyte Sports Complex. The Jets trailed early but were always within striking distance, as they overturned an early six-point deficit to end the second quarter with a 10-3 run to give them their match-winning lead. The Venom started the third quarter all guns blazing after they nailed two field goals to cut the margin to two points, but the Jets held the Venom to just four more points for the remainder of the term as they put through 13 of their own to extend their lead into double digits, proving to be enough. Ishmael Sanders was again Sunbury’s leading scorer, backing up his strong showing in game two with 20 points and seven rebounds. Arthur Trousdell meanwhile made it a second double-double for the series with his 11 points and 14 rebounds playing a crucial role in the Jets’ win. For the Venom, Jacob Thom and Mitchell Hawley led their scoring efforts with 12 points each, whilst Thom record a double-double as he had 11 rebounds to go along with his scoring efforts.
Division Two Men
Southern Peninsula 101 def Camberwell 81
The Sharks have backed up their come-from-behind game one win to take out the Division 2 Men’s crown with a dominant 20-point win over the Dragons. Returning to their home court at Dromana Stadium, the Sharks fell away early and trailed by nine points at the first break after the Dragons went on a 13-0 blitz midway through the quarter. The second quarter saw a far more even battle, with the Dragons still able to hold the advantage by just five points heading into the second half, which was where the Sharks came into their own. They outscored the Dragons by 16 points in the third quarter which helped set up the win as the final quarter saw the Sharks extend their lead to 20 points to take out the Division 2 Men’s Championship. Troyce Manassa and Brady Neill backed up their strong game one showings as they led the scorers for the Sharks with 30 and 20 points respectively, with Manassa recording a near triple-double with 10 rebounds and nine assists to go along with his game-high scoring effort. Michael Osekowski and Maxwell Barkeley were gallant in defeat, each recording double-doubles for the Dragons but it ultimately proved to not be enough as the Sharks’ second half was simply unstoppable.
Division Two Women
Pakenham 56 def by Melbourne University 69
The Melbourne University Black Angels have completed their outstanding season, sweeping the Pakenham Warriors in the Grand Final series 2-0. It was a game that seemed at times like the basket had shrunk, with both teams making only 21 baskets a piece. The Black Angels out rebounded their way to victory, led by the dominant 22-point, 23-rebound performance of Emmie O’Nial. In a much tighter match than the 75-47 game one, the Black Angels won at the foul stripe, landing 25 of their 28 attempts in comparison to the Warriors’ 10 of 16. With a box score indicative of the night, Amelia Smith led the Melbourne University side in this regard, going nine for nine from the line despite struggling from the field. The Warriors will be disappointed in their lack of ability to capitalise on an 18-24 turnover disparity – the team from Pakenham failed to convert their defensive successes into an advantage, getting outscored by seven points in points from turnovers category. Smith added 18 points and 13 rebounds for the visitors, while Ellie Coutts top scored off the bench for the hosts with 14 points, five rebounds and two steals.