Round 11 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

Can Corio get a rare win against Keilor? It will be their best chance in a long time and arguably their best chance for the rest of the season. While competitive in most matches this year, the Stingrays lack the talent to compete for long enough to win. The Thunder are 1-4 on the road in 2018, which gives the home side a chance at victory.

Hume City look to continue their turnaround when they host Hawthorn. A fortnight ago this looked like a game that would be one-way traffic in favour of the Magic but suddenly the tide has turned and the Broncos can move with a game of the top six with a win. A 2-5 home record doesn’t instill much confidence but confidence and momentum are funny things.

Eltham and Waverley will go toe-to-toe in an important matchup that could decide seedings later in the year. Both sides are 9-3 and each have four wins from their last five matches, making for an intriguing clash. Home court suggests the ‘Cats have an advantage with the Falcons 3-2 on the road so far this campaign. Game on.

McKinnon will search for answers to arrest their recent slide when they welcome Knox to GESAC. The Cougars started red-hot but now sit just 7-6 after three straight losses. The Raiders, meanwhile, are riding a four game winning streak to boast an 8-4 record. A 5-1 road record for the visitors means the venue harbours no worries for them to increase that streak to five. How will the Cougars respond?

Blackburn will search for their third win when they face Werribee. It may well be the Devils last chance to stay in touch with the top six – they can ill-afford another loss to add to their 4-9 record. They’ve been horrendous at home so will be grateful this game is played at Knox, and with the Vikings riding a six-game skid, the Devils may just keep their season alive.. for now.

Hawthorn welcomes Eltham on Sunday in another interesting matchup. The Magic have been brilliant this year but are the signs starting to show? Is the gap between them and the top sides too much? They have an opportunity to dispel those theories with a strong showing against a side that is a genuine title threat.

Werribee’s poor home record looks like it will get worse when they host Ringwood. The Devils simply must keep winning to keep their slim and fading finals chances on life support, and a clash with the Hawks is far from ideal. Ringwood continue to be the benchmark and should prove too strong in what could be a high scoring encounter.

Knox could be shooting for six straight when they host Hume City. After a slow start the Raiders must keep winning if they want a top two spot by season’s end, while the Broncos are hunting a finals spot after turning things around in the past fortnight. A win here on the road would announce them as a genuine finals threat but it won’t come easy.

Casey will look to climb back into the top six with a win at home against lowly Blackburn. The Cavs are teetering on the edge of the finals with a  6-6 record, and have won two of their last three. Throw in a 4-2 home record and the Vikings’ 0-6 record away from their own gym, and this game could become lopsided in a hurry.

Corio Bay vs Keilor                                          Sat 7pm                                   Geelong Basketball Netball Centre

Hume City vs Hawthorn                                  Sat 8pm                                   Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Eltham vs Waverley                                        Sat 8pm                                   Eltham High School

McKinnon vs Knox                                           Sat 8pm                                   GESAC

Blackburn vs Werribee                                   Sat 8pm                                   Knox Basketball Stadium

Hawthorn vs Eltham                                       Sun 1pm                                  Boroondara Sports Complex

Werribee vs Ringwood                                   Sun 2pm                                  Eagle Stadium

Knox vs Hume City                                          Sun 2pm                                  State Basketball Stadium

Casey vs Blackburn                                         Sun 3:30pm                             Casey Stadium

State Championship Women

Boomers (1-­‐9) vs Hawks (9-­‐2)

On the upside the Boomers come into this tough clash having secured a victory last round, at least giving them some confidence ahead of tackling the Hawks. Despite their lowly record the Boomers do posses some real talent and will prove a threat to many teams if they consistently fire. However, clipping the Hawks is no easy task and given the form Cass Mihalko is currently in the visitors will start warm favourites to clinch a sixth successive win. In some respects it is a danger game for the high-­‐flying Hawks, but the pressure is more on Bulleen to keep raising the bar now that they have tasted victory.

Wildcats (2-­‐8) vs Cougars (2-­‐9)

Both Eltham and McKinnon have been largely disappointing for most of the season thus far, but this match-­‐up provides both with the chance to at least step away from the foot of the ladder and deliver a much needed boost of confidence. Ariel Thomas is due for a really big game and the timing is perfect for her to step out and return to her best form here. The Wildcats have shown some glimpses this season, but their form has fluctuated and the results have been inconsistent. This looms as an even contest and the victory could go either way.

Raiders (10-­‐1) vs Broncos (5-­‐4)

Sunbury, Hume City and Sth Peninsula look set for a battle to fill the final two spots in the finals, so any time any of the three can claim a big scalp it serves as an opportunity to cement a finals berth. Knox are on an 8-­‐game winning streak and will start favourites on their home deck, but don’t underestimate the Broncos given the importance of this game. Carly Mijovic looks to have settled nicely at the Raiders and is another quality player opponents need to shut down. Louisa Murphy and Viv Saad have been pacing the Broncos and will both need to be in top form if the Broncos are going to force the issue at the State Basketball Centre.

Jets (5-­‐5) vs Sharks (5-­‐4)

The biggest game of the round and such an important contest for two teams battling each other in the race for the finals. Both have been inconsistent and rarely at absolute full strength, so it’s hard to know what we will get to see this time around. Orla O’Reilly (Jets) and Jaz Shelley (Sharks) continue to shine as two of the competition’s very best players and they will both have a large bearing on the outcome of this game. The young Sharks love a challenge and this is as big as it comes right now given how the ladder is shaping up. This should be a ripper!

Bulleen vs Ringwood Sat 6pm East Doncaster Secondary College
Eltham vs McKinnon Sat 6pm Eltham High School
Knox vs Hume City Sun 12pm State Basketball Centre
Sunbury vs. Southern Peninsula Sun 2pm Boardman Stadium

Division One Men

Supercats (5-­‐7) vs Cougars (11-­‐3)

The round starts with Geelong welcoming Keysborough and if form plays true we should see the Cougars win. A split across a tough weekend last time out sees Keysborough in a good position, right up amongst the leaders and primed for a strong run into finals. That run should start with a win against a tough Geelong unit.

Black Angels (6-­‐7) vs Energy (1-­‐12)

Despite a loss last time out, Melbourne Uni has been in good form lately and should prove too strong for the disappointing Energy. James Crockett (injured) is a huge out for the visitors and his status is unknown right now, all of which adds just another headache for the bottom team. Black Angels to win.

Gators (12-­‐1) vs Steelers (8-­‐5)

Shepparton looks the team to beat right now and at full strength they look a step above all others. The Steelers have lost three of their last four and despite (arguably) having the best player in the league in Dylan Travis, they need to step up as a team here and take down a big contender. Cam Vines will want to deliver some big numbers just to remind us all of his potential MVP status, which will make for a great game.

Boomers (7-­‐7) vs Seahawks (8-­‐5)

Bulleen welcomes Warrnambool to town and the home team is not without a chance of winning. Thadd Varmall has already proven his quality a number of times this season and if he can get going the Boomers could cause another upset over the Seahawks. It’s a big weekend for the Warrnambool boys, a couple of wins would be timely.

Gulls (11-­‐3) vs Jets (4-­‐10)

Chelsea have won four straight and look a complete team with Mitch Riggs back and performing strongly. The Jets caused an upset last week and would no doubt love to claim another scalp, but trying to stop Corey Standerfer is a job many others have already failed to do this season. Gulls to win.

Venom (5-­‐7) vs Pacers (3-­‐10)

Warrandyte has lost five straight and needs a win real fast. Sprewell and Moore will no doubt carry the load again for the home team, but with the Pacers improving each game (despite the losses), the Venom could do with a third wheel to step up and ensure a much-­‐needed victory.

All Stars (5-­‐9) vs Seahawks (8-­‐5)

Speaking of slumps, Collingwood has lost four of their last five and if they don’t turn it around soon they will slip out of finals contention. The All Stars have the quality to win, but trying to limit Blount and Gynes will be a big ask in this one against Warrnambool. It’s a big weekend for the Seahawks, but two wins are definitely possible.

Pacers (3-­‐10) vs Supercats (5-­‐7)

The round ends with a real 50-­‐50 game as both Whittlesea and Geelong back up. The Pacers have looked really competitive more often than not lately and they will like their chances here. The Supercats come in off a tough game against Keysie and will know that if they have any dreams of playing finals they simply cannot drop this one. A real danger game for the visitors as the Pacers look to start upsetting teams above them.

Geelong vs Keysborough Sat 7pm AWA Alliance Bank Stadium
Melbourne Uni vs Latrobe City Sat 7pm Melbourne University Sports Centre
Shepparton vs Western Port Sat 7:30pm Shepparton Sports Stadium
Bulleen vs Warrnambool Sat 8pm East Doncaster Secondary College
Chelsea vs Sunbury Sat 8pm Patterson River Stadium
Warrandyte vs Whittlesea Sat 8pm Warrandyte Sports Complex
Collingwood vs Warrnambool Sun 1pm Darebin Stadium
Whittlesea vs Geelong Sun 3pm Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Division One Women

We have a slight suspicion that this next match is going to be closer than what some would think. The Mermaids, our 2nd placed side and on a 5 game winning streak host the Devils, 7th on the ladder, winning 4 of their last 5. Taking into account their positions, you would assume that the Mermaids would be an easy pick. But the Devils have taken some great wins over their journey this season and even in their losses against some of the in form teams, it has been by single digit margins. The Mermaids Amy Wormald will be the key player to stop, on the Devils side we’d be attempting to stop Alyssa Bennett.

After taking a well earned break last week, the Heat are up for another double away weekend before the June long weekend puts them on rest against. Saturday night sees them taking on the Magic, a side that has been up and down of late. But in the two losses they have suffered in their last 5, the combined margin was 2. And these were against two quality sides. The Magic do have a chance in this match up but they have a few key players to shut down first.

Sitting just below the Heat on the ladder is the Dragons, the Heat’s next opponent. This side is coming off an 11 point loss to the ladder leaders, Casey which in a way is a positive heading into this match. They’ll also be getting the Heat on their second game for the weekend which could be another positive. But the Heat have proven that double aways are not an issue for them, getting the two wins in round 9.

The Cavs are certainly ticking all the boxes this season, top of the ladder with a 5 game winning streak. We are quietly confident that they’ll be heading into the break without a loss. Their opponent this weekend is the Gulls, a side that although is after their first win in a few weeks, still hold 5th place. With other clubs breathing down their neck too, they need to get wins on the board and causing upsets would be a great solution. But we don’t think it will come here.

One team that is hoping to break away from the pack is the Pacers. They sit on the same record as the Gulls above as well as two other teams. They have a great chance at pushing away when they come up against both the Venom and the Steelers, two sides sitting within the bottom three. This side is desperate for a win, not finding one for the past 4 weeks. This weekend could see this quickly turn to a two game W streak. We were happy to see that the Steelers grabbed their first win last week but we think they’ll be back in the thick of it shortly. As for the Venom, it has been some time since they’ve seen a win and it will be some time again until they see one.

Although up and down over the past few weeks, the Supercats will be heading into this weekend confident of securing another win. They take on the Energy, a team hoping to steer clear of that lonesome 12th spot. The Energy have some great players on board and they continue to do their best to make wins happen. They have come up against the top tied teams in their losses but even with the losses, some of the margins have been close.

Chelsea vs. Casey                                            Sat 6pm                                               Patterson River Stadium

Warrandyte vs. Whittlesea                            Sat 6pm                                               Warrandyte Sports Complex

Warrnambool vs. Werribee                            Sat 7pm                                               The Arc Sports Stadium

Hawthorn vs. Mildura                                     Sat 7.30pm                                          Boroondara Sports Complex

Camberwell vs. Mildura                                  Sun 12pm                                            Balwyn High School

Geelong vs. Latrobe                                        Sun 1pm                                              AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Whittlesea vs. Western Port                           Sun 1pm                                              Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Division Two Men

Let’s go all the way back to round 2 when the Bushies went into dangerous waters against the Sharks. The Bushies unfortunately with no import felt the sting of a second loss for the season, the losses haven’t improved but the team certainly has, they have shown massive improvement and I’m sure the Sharks will be going in quite confident to this match, but if they aren’t careful the Bushies may just sneak up and take their first win.

Mildura are on the road again, first up heading to the home of the Warriors at Bialik Stadium, it was a close match up last time they met up at the Hothouse with Mildura getting over the line by 10 points, since then Mildura have heated up, sealing themselves comfortably in 4th position while Maccabi have slipped down to 11th.

This is one of the toughest games to pick for the round with a clash of 6th and 7th as Melton head across town to the Colosseum to try and take down the Warriors who have seemed to be in a bit of a rut lately, dropping 4 of their last 5 games. One of them was this exact match up back in round 5 where the Thoroughbreds ran rings around the Warriors. Can they return the favour this round or will we have a repeat of last game?

The Craigieburn Sports Stadium gears up for their breast cancer round this week which will play host to the fierce rivalry that’s been building between the Panthers and the Eagles, with previous Craigieburn players now in the Panthers line up these two teams always bring it all wanting those bragging rights. With the Eagles soaring above all of the other teams at the moment they will be looking to continue that winning streak to make it 10 straight.

The Giants go chasing the sun Saturday night as they head to to hills, with both teams known for being inconsistant it’s hard to tell who will come out on top, Coburg have shown strength in numbers lately and have been able to play 4 good quarters, but the Suns have struggled to maintain the intensity needed to get them the victory falling short in the last 4 matches. As close as their first game was way back in round 1 I feel Coburg will come out with the win this time by a lot more than 2 points.

If Sherbrooke don’t get the win Saturday night the winner here will take 9th position and with that a chance to challenge for 8th spot and make that final 8 in a run for the title. Altona will come in fresh not having a double and also will be pumped still after their win last round over the tough Melton side. The Suns really need to get a win under their belts if they want to stay with the front runners of this tight contested division.

Can Mildura bring some heat (definitely needed) to the Balwyn High School that is also know as the fridge? The Dragons have a 1 win lead over the Heat which would quickly disappear this round, Mildura should get a win on Saturday night against the Warriors which puts them equal with the dragons, making this a must win game with 3rd position on the line. Camberwell will be a tough beat especially at home, with fan favourite Nat O’Hara having a stellar season so far and the return of Kevin Anstey who will no doubt have the job of stopping the Heat’s king Calvin Henry.

Both teams coming off tough games Saturday night evens the spread of sore bodies and fatigue, leaving this game open to either side. If Maccabi can’t stop both Emmanual Malou and Dexter Graham or they are going to find this game going south for them extremely quickly, the Thoroughbreds only need one of them to be firing for them to get ahead quickly but if they are both on they can do anything which they have proved by taking down 2 of the top 3 sides in the past 4 weeks. Maccabi must put everything on the line in this match!

North East vs. Southern Pen                           Sat 7pm                                   Wangaratta Indoor S&A Centre

Maccabi vs. Mildura                                       Sat 7:30pm                              Bialik Stadium

Pakenham vs. Melton                                     Sat 8pm                                   Cardina Life

Craigieburn vs. Wallan                                   Sat 8pm                                   Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Sherbrooke vs. Coburg                                    Sat 8pm                                   Monbulk Secondary College

Altona vs. Sherbrooke                                     Sun 1pm                                  Altona Sports Centre

Camberwell vs. Mildura                                  Sun 2pm                                  Balwyn High School

Melton vs. Maccabi                                        Sun 2pm                                  Melton Inoor Recreation Centre

Division Two Women

It’s the week leading into the long weekend break so we can expect everyone throwing the kitchen sink into the games this round!

North East are back home hosting Collingwood in Wang.  The Bushrangers have always been tough to beat at Home and recent form might suggest it will be a tough ask for the All Stars to come away with the win.  That said, both team will be keen to stay in touch with the Top 5 given that four teams are on the same number of wins, percentage and head to head will start to play a factor.

The all-conquering Craigieburn will be hosting their Hume Fwy cross-town rivals in Wallan in what shapes as an exciting top of the table clash.  It’s not the first time the Eagles have hosted a clash of this type having muscled a win over the Black Angels a few weeks back.  Both teams play an exciting brand and it will be hard to pick a winner in this one. It’s not a long road trip for the Panthers so you can expect their bring a teal army of supporters with them to fill the Sports Stadium at the ‘Burn.

Sherbrooke travel slightly further up the mountain this week to host Coburg at Monbulk.  This will be an intriguing contest as both sides although at the lower end of the ladder have shown signs of improvement in a few of their recent games.  The Suns having got some learnings from the Melton game and Coburg have put some good numbers up too in recent games.  Expect this to be a tight tussle with one certainty – one team will be breaking their run of Ls, come Sunday.

Another important battle will be Melb Uni travelling out to Melton.  Melton were pushed last game and will be possibly looking to make adjustments against a team who are fast cementing their spot in the Top 3 after the OT victory last round against Blackburn.  Expect another tough game for the home side in their debut season which has so far delivered great positives.  A win for the Thoroughbreds will reward them with fourth spot going into the break.

Mornington will be fresh on the Sunday as the Giants complete an Away/Home double.  This will be the first time the teams have met this season, so it’s hard to predict what will happen.  Fatigue for the home side might be a factor if they’ve had a big game the night before, so perhaps the Breakers might be able to steal this one with the home side on the bounce.  But Coburg are starting to been a little unlucky not to pinch some wins in a couple of close ones, so maybe it’s their turn to have the run of the boards.

North East vs. Collingwood                                         Sat 5pm           Wangaratta Indoor Sports & Aquatic Centre

Craigieburn vs. Wallan                                               Sat 6pm           Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Sherbrooke vs Coburg                                                 Sat 6pm           Monbulk Secondary College

Melton vs. Melbourne Uni                                         Sat 7pm           Melton Indoor Recreation Centre

Coburg vs. Mornington                                               Sun 1pm          Coburg Basketball Stadium

Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men

Three teams in Molten VYC Men have hit double digit wins this season, Eltham, Dandenong and Hawthorn, and it’s the Magic who tip off round 11 for us. Bulleen make the trip to Boroondara in our top of the Watson conference clash. This is a classic ‘eight point game’, as a Hawthorn win gives them legitimate breathing space as a one seed, whereas a Boomers win puts them just one victory below the Magic. Buckle up.

Blackburn are a team moving in the right direction, with some real elite talent ejected into their lineup over the past few weeks. Diamond Valley are coming off a huge win, but its no guarantee they’ll have the same athletes suiting up this week. If the Vikings want to make finals (the four seed in Watson is definitely gettable) they can’t let games like this slip. In Diamond Valley’s second game of the round, they come up against Keilor. The Thunder are currently at .500 and sitting at 4th in Watson. The Eagles, even though well out of the finals race themselves, have an opportunity tor really impact the playoff race with both their games.

McKinnon are one of four teams sitting on six wins in Terrill, with third to eighth separated by only two wins. Knox sit at the top of that tight grouping on eight wins, but are in the midst of a horror stretch, losing four of their last five. The last time these two met Knox had a mini-meltdown and allowed McKinnon to steal one on the road late. This first game is nearly must-win for the Cougars, as their Sunday game against Dandenong on the road may be the hardest place to win in the league right now.

Two weeks ago it looked like Nunawading were on a tear to the top of the table. They’ve now lost two in a row, to Eltham and Kilsyth, and are going to struggle to make a top two seed in their conference. Finals are still well and truly alive however, and the Spectres have the talent to finish the season strong and be an issue to anyone they face. Remo Simankevicius has had a quiet return to the Spectres, but expect him to get rolling soon.

Dandenong head to the Rings to take on the sliding Hawks. They have the worst record in the Terrill conference, having lose four in a row. They’re still above .500 at home though, so if Dandenong take this clash lightly they may find themselves down early. Kilsyth took their season in the right direction last week, dominating against the Spectres. The defending champs have been below their absolute best, but this might send them in the right direction. They face the Magic, who have a have the most important back to back of their season. A double win for the Magic gives them a possible four game break on top of the ladder.

Sherbrooke are a team that have been bookmarked to storm home in the back end of the season. Cameron Bradley and Josh Dow have joined the lineup, and are both top end VYC talents. Many parallels can be drawn between them and their opponent, the Spectres, right now. Sandringham had a poor start to the season, but seem to be on the right path now. Its still an uphill battle, as they sit three games below .500. Recent wins over Hawthorn, Melbourne and Keilor read well, and they should handle a scrappy Altona team at home. Altona were without their star Dogukan Elyazar last weekend, and are a much better outfit with him in the lineup. Rounding out round 11 is the Tigers hosting Eltham. Melbourne had two great wins last weekend. If they can bring the form that knocked off Hawthorn they’re sure to give Eltham a battle. Melbourne’s Kinkela has been in brilliant form lately, but he comes up against one of the best interior defences here. That battle inside may decide the game.

Hawthorn vs Bulleen                                                                                     Sat 5:30pm                                                 Boroondara Sports Complex

Blackburn vs Diamond Valley                                                                   Sat 6:00pm                                                 Knox Basketball Stadium

McKinnon vs Knox                                                                                         Sat 6:00pm                                                 GESAC

Nunawading vs Sandringham                                                                   Sat 7:30pm                                                 Nunawading

Ringwood vs Dandenong                                                                            Sat 8:00pm                                                 The Rings

Diamond Valley vs Keilor                                                                            Sun 2:00pm                                                Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness

Kilsyth vs Hawthorn                                                                                      Sun 2:00pm                                                Kilsyth Sports Centre

Sherbrooke vs Nunawading                                                                       Sun 2:00pm                                                Belgrave Heights Christian School

Dandenong vs McKinnon                                                                            Sun 2:00pm                                                Dandenong Basketball Stadium

Sandringham vs Altona                                                                               Sun 2:30pm                                                Nunn Media Basketball Centre

Melbourne vs Eltham                                                                                   Sun 3:00pm                                                Oakleigh Recreation Centre

Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women

12 game slate in the final week before the break, a well earned break for these teams nonetheless! Nunawading look to have the toughest schedule this weekend when the Spectres are pitted against both Sandringham and Diamond Valley. It’s two crucial Terrill Conference battles as these three (alongside Altona) are fighting for the top spots in the conference. The Sabres are riding a seven game win streak, while the Spectres just had their five game one clipped last week. The Spectres are known for their defensive intensity, however they’ll have to find multiple avenues to the basket on offence if they are to power past both opponents this weekend!

Sandringham host Altona on the Sunday in another cracker of a match. These games just mean so much for the competition moving forward and these teams could look back on Round 11 being the turning point or motivation mark for when the season ends. Where did it go right, or maybe wrong – these games could provide a brilliant playoff preview. Diamond Valley also see double, with a trip to Hume City on Saturday night. A task much easier than their competitors around them, however they must respect their opponents who have been very competitive the last two times out on the floor. Showing improvement for sure!

Dandenong face a double header this weekend when they head to The Rings on Saturday night, before hosting Ballarat on the Sunday. For the Rangers, they would have welcomed Amy Baum back with open arms who has just returned from college and slotted in like she never left on her excellent season debut a fortnight ago. Ringwood are 7-0 on their home deck and look like one of the toughest opponents in the competition. Rachael Watson has reclaimed some form and players such as Keli Romas and Danielle Calves stepping up makes it even harder for opposition teams to get a read. Ballarat haven’t set the world alight over the past month, however were super competitive against Bendigo five back and if they can take that sort of form into this weekend, it’ll take them a long way.

The Rush also host Knox on Saturday night which is an extremely important game for the Raiders. Currently 8-6, the Raiders are sitting 5th in Terrill and looking to find a way to enter the top four. It won’t happen immediately either and it means Knox will need to be winning multiple games in a row if they are to give themselves a chance at post-season basketball!

Kilsyth see the double this weekend when they travel to Waverley on Saturday night, before backing up at home against Hawthorn. The Cobras have been a touch inconsistent but have the ability to be in both contests this weekend. The match-up against the Falcons is a crucial one, as the Cobras (4th) sit at 7-6, while the Falcons (5th) are 6-7 – this is your typical turning point game! Can the Snakes keep their spot in the top four? They’ll need production out of Grace Moxey, Miranda Gartner and Taylah Black.

Waverley get to go on the road on Sunday with a trip to Bendigo. Depending on how their spirits will be after Saturday night’s blockbuster, a win the night prior will give them a real rev up to win this one. Bendigo have shown great signs in season 2018 but may just lack that killer instinct at home (3-3 at home). Moving into the latter parts of the season and potentially home finals, they’ll need to find that extra gear on their home floor that can push them to the next level.

To round the weekend off two games take place later on Sunday afternoon when Melbourne host Warrandyte and Bulleen host Hume City. Can anyone get a read on the Tigers? 5-2 at home, 2-5 away. Three losses on the trot, can they find some consistency? Not sure where to place them yet, but they’re holding on to third spot and a playoff berth right now. The Venom have lost six on the bounce and will need to win another couple of games in hopes to secure their place in 2019, as does the Boomers and Broncos as the race towards the bottom end of the table starts to really heat up!

Nunawading vs. Sandringham                        Sat 5:30pm                              Nunawading Basketball Stadium

Hume City vs. Diamond Valley                       Sat 6pm                                   Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Ballarat vs. Knox                                              Sat 6pm                                   MARS Minerdome

Ringwood vs. Dandenong                               Sat 6pm                                   The Rings

Waverley vs. Kilsyth                                        Sat 8:15pm                              Waverley Basketball Centre

Kilsyth vs. Hawthorn                                       Sun 12pm                                Kilsyth Sports Centre

Diamond Valley vs. Nunawading                    Sun 12pm                                DV Sports & Fitness Centre

Dandenong vs. Ballarat                                  Sun 12pm                                Dandenong Basketball Stadium

Bendigo vs. Waverley                                     Sun 12pm                                Bendigo Stadium

Sandringham vs. Altona                                  Sun 12:30pm                           Nunn Media Basketball Centre

Melbourne vs. Warrandyte                            Sun 1pm                                  Oakleigh Recreation Centre

Bulleen vs. Hume City                                     Sun 1:30pm                             East Doncaster Secondary College

Youth League One Men

A nice little condensed round allows us to take a quick breather before the real breather (Queen’s Birthday) next week. Geelong and Werribee go at each other out West and it’s a pretty important game as well mind you. The Supercats were just scratched a touch from their pillar which they were nicely building having gone down twice last weekend. The Devils on the other hand have raced past that mid-season slump and reeled off four on the trot now. Daniaell Herbert has found it again and there’s plenty of assistance behind him! For Geelong, Wang Nyieth looked like the only contributor last weekend and if he stays in the starting line-up, they’ll need someone else to step up off the bench.

Geelong travel to Casey on the Sunday backing up, and the question is where have the Cavs gone? The YL2M champs last year seem to have had their honeymoon period in YL1M and have dropped off a fair amount over the last month. It happens to the best of teams, however if you’re the Cavs and you’re looking at the fixtures ahead it doesn’t get any easier!

Sunbury venture out to Camberwell seeking a casual FIFTEENTH straight victory. The runaway leaders right now are, stating the obvious, tearing up the competition at the moment, although there have been a couple of times where they may have looked vulnerable. The Dragons will be hoping Round 11 is one of those moments. Camberwell have to back it up on the road to Hume City on Sunday afternoon as well, so they’ll be looking for a strict defensive effort as a team to get them winning basketball games. Hume City are no push over either, especially lately after coming into some great form. The Dragons will need efforts from Matt Zappala, Mitch Pollard and Carson Crowe if they are to be able to snatch victories at all this weekend. For the Broncos, how good is it to see them playing with some confidence! Chris Alai, Kyle Gillard, Mitch Goodwin and Bailey Kirkman are all names of players in form and for the Broady faithful, they’ll hope it continues!

Warrandyte travel to Coburg searching for some consistency, after dropping four of their last five contests. The Giants are winless in the six tries at home, however the thing in their favour is that the Venom aren’t much better on the road (1-6). With Justin Ronan-Black back in the line-up, it further strengthens the visitors which could ultimately decide the match-up.

Ballarat host Corio Bay as Jordan O’Leary has been a big-time player in recent weeks for the Stingrays, leading them to victory over the last number of weeks. The Stingers have won four of their last five many thanks to O’Leary, Cohen Blythe and Aaron Ruiz. However, one playing creeping under the radar is Kirk Harris (11ppg, 6rpg) and could play a major part in this one.

Finally, Bendigo and Waverley conclude proceedings for Round 11 and the Falcons have been in red-hot form as of late and could arguably be in better shape than the Jets (tough I know!). Their one blemish was on the road, however it’s an extremely difficult ask for the 3-11 Braves to knock off one of the championship contenders, although they do have some firepower of their own in Jake Willcocks, Sam Beks and Jack White. Look for an improved performance from the Braves on home deck.

Geelong vs. Werribee                                     Sat 5pm                                   AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Camberwell vs. Sunbury                                 Sat 6pm                                   Balwyn High School

Coburg vs. Warrandyte                                   Sat 6:30pm                              Coburg Basketball Stadium

Ballarat vs. Corio Bay                                      Sat 8pm                                   MARS Minerdome

Hume City vs. Camberwell                             Sun 1pm                                  Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Casey vs. Geelong                                           Sun 1:30pm                             Casey Stadium

Bendigo vs. Waverley                                     Sun 2pm                                  Bendigo Stadium

Youth League One Women

After dropping their last game against the Wildcats, the Gulls find themselves in deep water as they now hold up the bottom of the ladder with only one win next to their name, while their opposition Camberwell sits equal 4th meaning every win for them is crucial if they want to make the top 4. The last time these two met was not so long ago, just back in round 7, where the Dragons left the Gulls for dead taking a quick lead then ran away with it in the second half. If they Gulls want any chance of getting on the front foot they need to put it all on the line from the get go, deny the Giants the ball, hustle like you have never before defence is key.

Both teams are on a winning streak with Keilor just knocking off Sunbury last round to make it 5 straight and no doubt the girls confidence would be booming, while Corio Bay fought off current equal ladder ranked Camberwell to stay in the fight for finals. This is actually the first time these two have met this season and its set to be a ripper, Keilor bring a host of great names who have worked out that a team game is what wins them matches, its going to be interesting to see who comes out on top, can the Stingrays get over the line and silence the Thunder storm?

Another huge match up for the Jets who we have seen fall from grace over the past couple matches after starting the season so strong, they will have to find that magic they had going for their first 10 matches because if they put in the effort that they have shown over the past 2 weeks its just not going to cut it against the hungry Supercats. Geelong very well could take down the Jets they just have to find some consistency, if captain Carly Sanders can fire then her team will get behind her and they can do a lot of damage, however they also can get their heads down extremely quickly also which tends to lead to disaster.

Camberwell have a really good chance to get 2 wins this round taking on Chelsea (9th) and now Craigieburn (8th) you would think they would come out victorious but, who knows the wheels can fall off at any stage of the season we all know this too well. Craigieburn have had a tough season and are yet to work out who works well with who, having so many players coming and going cant be easy for the core group of girls. Once they get that dynamic right I think we could see great things from the young Eagles side.

Eltham were lucky to get over the line last week with a win, they started slow but then played 2 really good quarters then let it all go in the final term and almost lost the game because of it. If the Wildcats can give 4 quarters of basketball like they playing the 3rd quarter last week they can possibly get up this round as McKinnon have a similar issue with consistency. The biggest problem for the Wildcats is going to be Chelsea Bransden who if not controlled will do a lot of damage, both offensively and defensively, she will be the make or break of this match, McKinnon wont be able to nap in this one though because Eltham have tasted victory now and I’m sure they will want it again.

Camberwell vs. Chelsea                                  Sat 4pm                                   Balwyn High School

Corio Bay vs. Keilor                                         Sat 5pm                                   Geelong Basketball Netball Centre

Sunbury vs. Geelong                                       Sun 12pm                                Boardman Stadium

Craigieburn vs. Camberwell                           Sun 12pm                                Craigieburn Sports Stadium

McKinnon vs. Eltham                                      Sun 1pm                                  GESAC

Youth League Two Men

This weekend could be the weekend that sees the Blues winning streak finally come to an end. Sitting in 3rd with a 6 game run, they take on two fellow competitors on runs of their own. On the Saturday night the Blues don’t have to travel far, heading across town to meet with the Breakers. This side sits on the cusp of the top 6 and are hoping to break away from the pack. In order to do this, they need to get wins against these sides that sit above them and the Blues should be in their sights. Surely the Breakers confidence would be high considering team mate Lochie Baczyk dropped 52 points last week, almost half of their final score. It is unlikely there would be a repeat of this, but the Blues should put a bit of focus on him just in case.

Backing up on the Sunday, the Blues will host the Cougars. This side has racked up a few wins of their own in the last few weeks and have earnt the right to sit within the top 4. But looking at their opponents during this time, the Blues will be the toughest of them all. It would be a great get if the Cougars can finish this one on top. But with the Blues sitting on a 6 game winning streak as we mentioned, they have spent more time proving over and over again that they are here to play and are a dark horse in this competition. Who knows, they might just finish round 11 2-0.

After suffering a few slip ups in the last couple of weeks, the Thoroughbreds will be keen to get a win before the long weekend comes around. They take on the Pakenham Warriors who although sit a few rungs below them and have also added a couple of loses to their name recently themselves, are still a tough side to come up against. Lee Belton and Ned Weideman have been great contributors for this side and they will be working hard to get their team over the line.

The Eagles will be keeping their lead on the competition and of course that number one spot when they meet with the Panthers this Sunday. It has been some time since the Panthers have tasted victory and of late the fixture hasn’t been kind. They have taken on 3 of the top 6 teams over the past 4 weeks and the Eagles this weekend will make it 4 in 5. The Panthers will have to wait until after the June long weekend before they have a chance at another win. The Eagles will soar comfortably to this win.

Pakenham have a chance to come away with two wins this weekend and make up for some lost ground. After their Saturday night clash, they take on the Pacers on the Sunday, a side looking for their 3rd straight win. After their surprising win over the Thoroughbreds last week, we have to give the Pacers a chance in this match up. If you can beat the 2nd placed side, surely the 5th will be a walk in the park? Let’s wait and see if this is the case or if they were just lucky.

The All Stars will be hoping that they can make an impact on their ladder position after this weekend, looking down the barrell of potentially two wins. They meet with both the Gulls and the Steelers, two sides sitting towards the back of the pack and rolling into the weekend with a trio of loses. This weekend is a great opportunity for the All Stars but depending on which way you look at it, it could be one for either the Gulls or the Steelers too. They themselves are desperate for a win and they could be the teams that cause the upsets this round.

Another side that has shared in the frustration of loss after loss is the Maccabi Warriors. But we think this weekend will be the weekend that sees them put an end to this streak and start a new one with the W’s. They take on the Energy, a team that’s shows up week after week and puts in a solid effort to still be winless after the halfway point of the season. We know this side will get a win this season but unfortunately it won’t be this weekend.

Chelsea vs. Collingwood                                    Sat 4pm                                   Patterson River Stadium

Pakenham vs. Melton                                       Sat 6pm                                   Cardinia Life

Mornington vs. Frankston                                 Sat 8.30pm                              Mornington Basketball Stadium

Whittlesea vs. Pakenham                                  Sun 11am                                 Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Maccabi vs. Latrobe                                          Sun 2pm                                   Bialik Stadium

Craigieburn vs. Wallan                                      Sun 2pm                                   Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Collingwood vs. Western Port                           Sun 3pm                                   Darebin Stadium

Frankston vs. Keysborough                               Sun 3.30pm                              Frankston Basketball Stadium

Youth League Two Women

Two games take place Saturday night, with a late afternoon contest kicking us off actually out at The Colosseum when Pakenham host the resurgent Whittlesea. The Pacers have won three of their last four to recover back to a 5-5 record and have high hopes of making a late dash over the latter parts of the season. Hailey Wynd gets spoken about as a major MVP candidate, however their brilliant play as of late can’t just be put down to the one player. She’s found great help out of LT Poa who has come down from the senior team for a few games, as well as Chloe Villiva. The Warriors are 5-0 on their own home court and are one of three teams to remain undefeated in that space. Tiarni Fallon (when playing), Samantha Neil and Rhiannon Gallagher all fire then it’s lights out for the Pacers.

Werribee are in a must win clash out at Mornington as the Devils have lost six on the trot and visit the winless Breakers. The Devils are 0-6 on the road in season 2018 and that’s a damning stat entering Round 11, something which may sum up their season at its conclusion. For the Breakers, they’ll need Chloe McCulley, Tessa Matthews and Olivia Allan all to step up.

Sunday begins with Sherbrooke hosting Southern Peninsula where the Sharks need to win to keep pace with the league leaders after dropping the last two games. It was a 22-point game back in Round One between these two teams when Gemma Simon, who is prominently a senior player, was the only player in double figures for the Sharks. The Suns will need to limit their turnovers and make sure to take care of each and every possession.

Casey look to make it eleven from eleven with a trip to Knox when they take on Blackburn. This is the first time these two teams face up against each other this season (the second game in R16) and this could prove a real test for the Cavs. The Vikes have won their last two and four of their last five as well as boasting a 5-1 home record. Look for mini-match-ups between the likes of Andrea Belmonte, Beth Gray and Isabella Nolen against Tess Young, Lauren Tuplin and Steph Leclerc.

Western Port head to Frankston with the Blues on a roll right now. A three-game win streak is taken into this contest by the home side, as well as the team being undefeated at home. Annabel Fitter is flying, as is Kassie Boorer who have put Frankston in a great position to land a couple of big blows moving forward. This looks a tough ask for the Steelers.

Pakenham vs. Whittlesea                                           Sat 4pm                       Cardinia Life YMCA

Mornington vs. Werribee                                           Sat 6:30pm                  Mornington Basketball Stadium

Sherbrooke vs. Southern Peninsula                           Sun 12pm                    Belgrave Heights Christian School

Blackburn vs. Casey                                                    Sun 1pm                      Knox Basketball Stadium

Frankston vs. Western Port                                        Sun 1:30pm                 Frankston Basketball Stadium

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