Round 12 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

Hawthorn will look to continue on their merry way when they host lowly Corio Bay. The Stingrays haven’t been uncompetitive in 2018 but remain on just one win after 10 straight losses. The Magic, meanwhile, have been the surprise packet of the season so far and will be looking to move into the top four with a win here.

Hume City has shown signs of life in recent weeks, and they will get another opportunity to grab an important  win against Keilor. The Broncs can tie their season away at 8-8 ahead of a big clash with McKinnon on Sunday. Keilor, meanwhile, will shoot for a third win in four outings as they look to climb even further out of the danger zone that is the foot of the table.

The matchup of the round, and a possible grand final preview, pits Ringwood against Waverley. The rivalry between these two big guns hasn’t diminished even a little bit heading into 2018. A win for the Falcons would see them climb level with the Hawks atop the standings, while a win for the home side would all-but confirm top spot and home court through the post-season with just six rounds remaining. Ringwood are undefeated at home and are always tough to beat there, but this one should be an absolute cracker.

McKinnon’s indifferent form of late has seen them slip to the brink of the top six, and a matchup with the in-form Broncos could be a tricky one to navigate. The loser of this contest will find themselves outside of the finals seedings at the end of the round, illustrating just how critical a win is for both ball clubs. The visitors have the better form line and a decent record on the road, but the star-studded Cougars will be tough if they show up.

Keilor backs up on Sunday with a tough clash against Eltham. The Thunder’s first season in SCM has been relatively successful and a win against the Wildcats all the way back in round two will certainly give them some confidence heading into this one. That said, its nearly playoffs time and that means the ‘Cats will be starting to really click into gear. Not to mention they will feel like they owe their opponents one from that early meeting.

Knox will try for their fifth win in six games when they host Casey. The Raiders have warmed into the season after a slow start and will be vying to stay in touch with the top two. Meanwhile the Cavs are sitting mid-table amongst a host of other sides right now and will be desperate to cause an upset with the playoffs approaching and post-season spots on the line.

Waverley hosts Blackburn to finish the round in a lopsided matchup on paper. The Falcons have title aspirations while the Vikes are fighting to stay in the top flight next season. That sums up the difference between the sides at this stage of the year, and with the Falcons in their home gym they should prove too strong.

Hawthorn vs Corio Bay                                   Sat 7:30pm                              Boroondara Sports Complex

Hume City vs Keilor                                         Sat 8pm                                   Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Ringwood vs Waverley                                   Sat 8pm                                   The Rings

McKinnon vs Hume City                                  Sun 1pm                                  GESAC

Keilor vs Eltham                                              Sun 2pm                                  Keilor Basketball Stadium

Knox vs Casey                                                 Sun 2pm                                  State Basketball Centre

Waverley vs Blackburn’                                  Sun 2pm                                  Waverley Basketball Centre

State Championship Women

Broncos (5-­‐5) vs Jets (6-­‐5)

All 10 teams in action on Saturday night starting with Hume City (5th) hosting Sunbury (4th) in an important clash given Sth Peninsula are breathing down their necks in sixth place. The Broncos are 5-­‐1 at home, while the Jets are 1-­‐4 on the road, but don’t let that fool you. With Kerryn Harrington starting to gel with her teammates you get the feeling the Jets are about to reach for the skies. The Broncos will look for Nicole Zammit to continue her recent run of hot form, which will make for a huge battle against Harrington. The margin won’t be big, in fact a really close result is on the cards. Can the Broncos keep their good form at home rolling?

Hawks (9-­‐3) vs Falcons (9-­‐2)

Ringwood comes in off a rare loss and should be fired right up for a huge clash with Waverley. Both teams will figure come August and this game will count for plenty with H2H currently sitting in Ringwood’s favour by 10pts. The Falcons have a big starting unit and if they can all get going they will be extremely hard to stop. Obviously Ringwood has a handy import duo, but a good return from a couple of others would certainly help in a big game like this. The Hawks are 4-­‐0 at home while the Falcons are 5-­‐0 on the road, which means one team is about to spoil a perfect record ….. then again, one team is also going to keep their perfect record in place!

Boomers (2-­‐9) vs Wildcats (2-­‐9)

Will this be the game that decides which team will be relegated next season? Eltham topped Bulleen back in R1 by just 4pts, but things have certainly changed since then. It’s uncertain how many more games Alice Kunek will play at this level given her Opals commitments, but you sense the only way the Wildcats will get this win is if they have their star player in uniform. The Boomers are up and about right now, as was evidenced by their last up win over Ringwood. With a settled team now in place we are sure to see the Boomers get plenty more wins.

Cougars (3-­‐9) vs Thunder (3-­‐7)

McKinnon hosts Keilor and though they share the same number of wins this season (3), one of those victories for the Thunder was a 30pt drubbing against the Cougars. Keilor has lost four of their last five games, possibly a sign that the season is catching up with them, while McKinnon grabbed a rare win last time out and will be hoping to build on that. A real 50-­‐50 game with two desperate teams expected to provide an entertaining battle.

Raiders (11-­‐1) vs Sharks (5-­‐5)

The round closes with a huge game for Sth Peninsula. Up against the mighty Raiders, who are on a 9-­‐game winning streak, the Sharks have to find some consistency and winning form following a run of three straight losses. It’s been an up and down season for the Sharks, but they are still in finals contention and a big scalp like Knox would certainly get them back and firing. Can the Sharks stop Knox’s star-­‐studded crew?

Round 12
Hume City vs Sunbury Sat 6pm Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium
Ringwood vs Waverley Sat 6pm The Rings
Bulleen vs Eltham Sat 8pm East Doncaster Secondary College
McKinnon vs Keilor Sat 8pm GESAC
Knox vs Southern Peninsula Sat 8pm State Basketball Centre

Division One Men

Supercats (6-­‐8) vs Black Angels (7-­‐7)

As we enter the last third of the season the race for the top 6 is hotting up and a game like this one is vital to the chances of both teams. Melbourne Uni has better recent form and look a big chance to extend that, but you never quite know what you’ll get from the Supercats, especially on their home floor.

Jets (4-­‐11) vs Steelers (8-­‐6)

The Steelers will start favourites, but they simply cannot afford to be complacent against a Jets team with nothing to lose. Following three successive losses, the Steelers must win and to do that they will need a few others to step up around Dylan Travis. Danger game for the sliding Steelers.

Gators (13-­‐1) vs Gulls (12-­‐3)

A huge game between the competition’s two in-­‐form teams. Shepparton look unbeatable right now with Coleman, Vines and Bartlett all in blistering form. Chelsea has a few stars as well, which will make for a cracking contest. Expect a very close finish and maybe it will be an unlikely hero who steps up to claim the win.

Energy (1-­‐13) vs Pacers (3-­‐12)

A big weekend for Latrobe City as they try and snap out of a 6-­‐game losing streak and perhaps they will be presented with a chance here against the Pacers. With Dom Bruno back in the fold the Pacers have been far more competitive of late and they should get the job done, but on their home deck the Energy won’t roll over.

Seahawks (9-­‐6) vs Venom (6-­‐7)

Warrnambool is looking to stay in touch with the big three and will need to keep beating teams below them. The Venom’s season hangs in the balance and their chances of making the finals will slide if they can’t beat teams above them. It’s all of nothing for Warrandyte, they have to go hard or go home!

Boomers (7-­‐8) vs All Stars (6-­‐9)

A massive clash for two teams trying to stay in the finals race. With Thadd Varmall in form the Boomers will start favourites, but as we’ve seen from Collingwood all season they are capable of delivering the unexpected, which however can also be below expectations some days. If the All Stars drop this one their season is just about done.

Steelers (8-­‐6) vs Energy (1-­‐13)

Both teams back up from the previous night, the Energy doing the travelling as they venture to the peninsula. Dylan Travis looms as the key here and he should be in line to deliver some whopping numbers against the faltering Energy. Hard to see the visitors cause too much bother for a Steelers team that would love to come out of the weekend with two big wins.

Geelong vs Melbourne Uni Sat 7pm AWA Alliance Bank Stadium
Sunbury vs Western Port Sat 7pm Boardman Stadium
Shepparton vs Chelsea Sat 7:30pm Shepparton Sports Stadium
Latrobe City vs Whittlesea Sat 8pm Latrobe Leisure Traralgon
Warrnambool vs Warrandyte Sat 8pm The Arc
Bulleen vs Collingwood Sun 3pm East Doncaster Secondary College
Western Port vs Latrobe City Sun 3:30pm David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre

Division One Women

We may all be coming back from a well earnt week off but it still doesn’t seem long since these next two sides first met. It was only back in round 10 when the Cavs and the Dragons met for game one, the Cavs going one up. But while only 11 points separated the two on that occasion, you have to give the Dragons a chance at evening up the score. They are a good side in their own right and have proven they can compete against those above them. But what they lack is a win against these higher placed sides. We will give them an outside chance but the Cavs will still remain the favourites.

One team that has really come into their own in the second half of the season is the Devils. And while they round out the top 6 at the moment, they aren’t safe. But they have been given double the chance at pushing themselves up the ladder with two games this weekend. First up for them is the Supercats, the side that sits just below them and on the same win/loss record. Head to head plays a massive part in situations like this and luckily for the Devils, they hold this title already. This game could be the difference, but the question is, can the Supercats win and win by more than 27? We think it’s too big a task.

The Devils should be able to finish their weekend off in second gear when they take on the Steelers at home. This will be the first time these two have met this season which always makes for an interesting contest. But having only secured just the one win this season, we don’t see the Steelers posing a threat. The Devils have more to play for and if all pans out, this could be their second win for the weekend.

Having had the chance to regroup over the break, the Mermaids will be kickstarting their winning streak back up again this weekend. They will be hosting the Venom, a side that put an end to such streak early on in the season. It was a shock result back in round 6 and we are sure the Venom will be using this as a confidence booster. But we know the Mermaids won’t be allowing history to repeat itself. They will be quick to get on the scoreboard and will be doing everything in their power to ensure the Venom are given no look in.

We are enjoying the top of the ladder fight between the Cavs and the Heat and are waiting for the game that splits these two apart. But for the Heat this weekend, they need not worry. They will be gearing up the Toyota Hothouse for when the Gulls come to town and this 6th man, as always, will play its part. The Gulls are down and heading towards their 5th straight loss, the only thing they’ll be looking forward to is the post game.

To keep themselves in touch with the top few, the Pacers have double the opportunity this weekend to ensure they stay close. They have meetings with both the Energy and Supercats and getting two wins in the one weekend will do them well. Their opening game is against the Energy and this is, what we believe, will be the easier of the two. The Energy is down to their 9th straight loss and although they have players contributing well in these matches, it is not enough to translate to a win. The only positive that we can see for the Energy is the fact that these two have not met previously.

The Pacers back up on the Sunday against the Supercats, also the Supercats second game for the weekend. We can see this match up going either way, both sides in a great position. In their last meeting back in round 8, only 5 points separated the two, the Supercats getting the job done. What a confidence booster for the Supercats but will it be enough the second time around?

Struggling with their consistency of late is the Magic, an issue we put down to their opponents over the past few weeks. They have proven that they can compete and win against teams around them, but as soon as the fixture pips them against those towards the top, the losses start to come. With this being the case, the Steelers won’t be an issue. A win is on the cards.

Geelong vs. Werribee Sat 5pm AWA Alliance Bank Stadium
Latrobe vs. Whittlesea Sat 6pm Latrobe Leisure Traralgon
Warrnambool vs. Warrandyte Sat 6pm The Arc Sports Stadium
Mildura vs. Chelsea Sat 6pm Toyota Hothouse
Western Port vs. Hawthorn Sat 7pm David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre
Werribee vs. Western Port Sun 3pm Eagle Stadium
Whittlesea vs. Geelong Sun 3pm Mill Park Basketball Stadium
Casey vs. Camberwell Sun 3.30pm Casey Stadium

Division Two Men

With the long weekend over, hopefully everyone got some much deserved rest, it will be needed as the run for finals is well and truly on now with only 7 weeks remaining, with that elusive cut off date to add to the roster looming teams better buckle up because its going to be one hell of a ride.

Kicking us off the Gators make their way to the Freezer to try put a dent in the Dragons run for top 2, and make a late run at making finals as they find themselves 2 wins behind Melton who are sitting in  6th position and in fine form. It’s going to be tough for the Gators to catch up to the front pack, but with fresh legs this week who knows they might come out and surprise us all, the Dragons will look to have O’Hara back on the floor this round who has had a blinder of a season leading his team to victory week after week, another win here helps them stay with the 2 teams above them on the ladder and possibly even up the wins with Coburg if they fall this weekend.

The Suns have found themselves in a rut that they cant seem to get out of, hopefully the weekend off has given them time to make some adjustments and figure out whats going wrong, they started so well pushing those teams that are now holding up the top of the ladder but with 6 straight losses the Suns light is starting to dim. The Warriors are not the team to feel sorry for a team that is struggling, they are in 7th position meaning all games here on out they must win as they find themselves in a ladder battle with Melton to take that final spot in the finals.

Every team that’s been to the Hothouse will tell you the same thing, it’s the hardest venue to get a win at in all of Big V the tough trip up there in one thing but the Heat’s loyal crowd get right behind their local heroes bringing the noise like no other crowd does. Even though the Giants controlled the game from the beginning last time against the Heat doesn’t mean this time is going to be the same, Henry loves playing in front of his home crowd and will always give them a show, this will be match of the round in my eyes.

Coach Mandy this ones for you! The Eagles go into this game as the favourites but its not going to be easy, the Thoroughbreds have been gaining momentum over the past 6 weeks, picking off the top teams that underestimate them, while the Eagles have been going from strength to strength with 10 straight wins under their wings they will do anything it takes to maintain that winning streak and top spot on the ladder. If the Eagles can stop Dexter and Emmanuel it shuts down the Thoroughbreds main source of points, unfortunately for Melton I’m not sure they have the depth to hold off the Eagles attack.

After a few weeks on the road and the break the Panthers return home to the Jungle as the winless Bushies come to try and save their season and get their first win on the board. The Panthers haven’t had the season they were hoping for and will be looking to redeem themselves and finish as high as they possibly can, or even make finals if they can win all their games from here on out.

The Gators back it up on Sunday as they return home to the swamp to defend their spot on the ladder from the tough Maccabi Warriors team. The Warriors have had a mixed season getting some wins they weren’t expected to but then dropping some games they should have won, their inconsistency on the court has lead them to their 10th position.

What a showdown this is going to be, the Warriors vs the Sharks if we look back to the last time these two met we have to go all they way back to the beginning to round 1, where the Sharks stole a 3 point win out from under the Warriors noses. A lot has changed since then, both teams have evolved and while the Sharks sit comfortably in the top 6, the Warriors are fighting for that final position, they do have the chance to jump ahead of Melton this round as long as they get 2-2 otherwise the struggle continues.

Good luck to all teams this round!

Camberwell vs. Altona                                    Sat 6pm                                   Balwyn High School

Sherbrooke vs. Pakenham                              Sat 6pm                                   Belgrave Heights Christian School

Mildura vs. Coburg                                         Sat 8pm                                   Toyota Hothouse

Craigieburn vs. Melton                                   Sun 2pm                                  Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Wallan vs. North East                                     Sun 2pm                                  RB RobsonStadium

Altona vs. Maccabi                                         Sun 3pm                                  Altona Sports Centre

Pakenham vs. Southern Pen                           Sun 4pm                                  Cardinia Life

Division Two Women

Aaand – We’re back! Welcome to the start of the run home for Season 2018. With Top 5 Finals, there’s plenty of teams eyeing of post-season action.

Melton are home once again playing host to Collingwood in their first match up of the season. A win here for either side could be vital to their finals aspirations especially given they play off again in Round 18. It is the last home game for a couple of weeks for the Thoroughbreds and they will hope to leave HQ with a win, but the All Stars will try to foil those plans.

After a blip on the radar last round, Craigieburn travel to Mornington. Despite being a game in hand, the Breakers are a chance on recent improved performances to sneak in if those above falter, but they’ll need to start their run ASAP with a win at home. With injury concerns, the break may have come at the right time for the Eagles to reset. On the top step, the chasing pack are always looking for a slip up. Could it come here? Time will tell.

Back to where the season all began for Wallan, but this time at Home against North East. It was a tough, close match up at Wodonga in Round 1 and we can expect more of the same in this battle at RB Robson. The Panthers have a very solid record at Home with only the one defeat so the Bushrangers will need to be switched on from the opening tip as the aim to get their Away record back to 50%. Wallan won’t be pencilling this as an easy win.

Collingwood back up their trip to Melton to set up shop at their new Home at Darebin Stadium and will be keen to get the opening W against Mornington who will be buoyed from their win last week. Whilst the All Stars have a game in hand, a win here will give them some breathing space from their ladder neighbour. A Breakers victory will keep them in touch as the fixture normalises in the coming weeks. Expect a close one with an improved Mornington outfit from their last encounter where the All Stars claimed a comfortable win.

Sherbrooke are back at Belgrave to host their nearest geographic opponents Blackburn who play out of nearby Knox. The Vikings will be wanting to stay in touch with the lead group while the Suns will want to put their last game behind them and bring the form and pressure applied from the Melton game and challenge their opponents this week.

A short drive up Nicholson St and a quick few turns on the GPS will see Melbourne Uni arrive at Coburg. Both teams are coming off last round losses and will be keen to throw everything at this to build some momentum again. The Black Angels will put some pressure on the Top 2 if they can get a victory here. A Home win wouldn’t shock, but Uni have a lot to play for here and can’t risk a loss, given their games coming up.

Melton vs. Collingwood                                              Sat 6pm           Melton Indoor Recreation Centre

Mornington vs.  Craigieburn                                       Sat 8:30pm      Mornington Basketball Stadium

Wallan vs. North East                                                Sun 12pm        R B Robson Stadium

Collingwood vs. Mornington                                     Sun 1pm          Darebin Stadium

Sherbrooke vs. Blackburn                                           Sun 2pm          Belgrave Heights Christian School

Coburg vs. Melbourne Uni                                         Sun 3pm          Coburg Basketball Stadium

Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men

A full slate of games awaits in round 12 after the players take the Queen’s Birthday weekend break, the competition resumes with Sandringham Sabres hosting the Bulleen Boomers at the Nunn Media Basketball Centre. The Sabres came away from round 11 with a solid team performace in defeating Altona, and will need the entire squad’s efforts when they come up against the Boomers. Riding a three-game winning streak and with one of the nastiest defences in the league holding opponents to 76.3 points per contest, the Boomers will prove to be a tough match-up for the Sabres.

Hawthorn will hope a week off does them wonders after suffering two heavy defeats in round 10. One of the competition’s most potent offences was held in check by Bulleen and Kilsyth, so the Magic will need a big effort from Ethan Delzoppo again. Delzoppo is averaging 19.6 points per game over his last three contests. For the Suns, they saw their two-game winning streak curtailed in round 10, let’s hope another loss doesn’t turn into a long losing streak.

It what could be one of the matches of the round, the Cobras travel to GESAC with their three-game winning streak to take on the Cougars who are riding high after a winning weekend in round 10. Kilsyth is coming off one of the most impressive wins of the year, dismantling Hawthorn by 54 points led by the high-scoring Mitchell Dielemans. Dielemans has been incredible in 2018, averaging 20.7 points per game, and the Cobras have responded winning four of their last five. For the Cougars, their contributions have been across the board as they recorded two scrappy but vital wins as they hope to turn the corner before the season gets away from them.

Altona’s slide has now reached eight games… yikes. But as Altona continues to slip, Blackburn has shown glimpses of their potential after winning two straight and thumping cellar dwellers Diamond Valley in round 10. The Vikings will again rely heavily on the scoring punch of Jake Heath who is averaging 22.7 points per game in his three matches this season.

As one team rises, another must fall. For the Knox Raiders this could be the week they flip with the Melbourne Tigers on the ladder. The Tigers have won three straight matches, including a super impressive victory of first-placed Eltham with Daniel Kinkela and Mason Gaze starring. They will need the duo to fire again if they are to pile the pain on Knox who are looking to avoid its fourth straight defeat and a tumble down the ladder.

Eltham would be reeling after its shock defeat in round 10, so the week off should do them good to recompose and refocus on the season ahead. Next up is the double for the Wildcats facing the Spectres (home) and the Suns (away). While both clubs are playing good basketball, they shouldn’t be in the same class as a focused and determined Wildcats outfit. Look for Christian Yammouni to continue pouring it in the basket, after putting up 24 points in his last match.

The Hawks remain planted to the bottom of the Terrill conference and another tough match-up against an in-form Cougars doesn’t bode well. Ringwood’s hope is a taxing Saturday match-up will leave McKinnon vulnerable for the shock loss.

It poses to be a tough weekend for the Raiders, backing up after visiting the Tigers to host the Rangers at the State Basketball Centre. Corey Fiddes rebounded after two subpar games by his standards to score 18 points, but it wasn’t enough as Knox fell to McKinnon. He will need back to his dominant best to give Knox any chance.

Bulleen will hope to make it two from two when they host the Eagles at the tailend of round 11. They are by far the better team and this should be a match-up they dominant and show why they are one of the competition’s best squads.

Keilor is one of the most inconsistent teams in the competition, but against the Gators, they should record their second straight victory. Look for BJ Symons to have a big game for the Thunder.

In the final match-up of round 12, the Melbourne Tigers head to Nunawading Basketball Stadium to face the Spectres. Everything on paper says the Spectres should be the better team, but if Melbourne can get through Knox with no troubles, the squad’s confidence will be at a season high. If it’s not, then look for the Spectres to handle the business on their home court.

Saturday June 16, 2018

Sandringham Sabres vs. Bulleen Boomers                         3:00pm                     Nunn Media Basketball Centre

Hawthorn Magic vs. Sherbrooke Suns                                5:30pm                     Boroondara Sports Complex

McKinnon Cougars vs. Kilsyth Cobras                                  6:00pm                     Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre

Blackburn Vikings vs. Altona Gators                                     7:30pm                     Knox Basketball Stadium

Melbourne Tigers vs. Knox Raiders                                      7:30pm                     Oakleigh Recreation Centre

Eltham Wildcats vs. Nunawading Spectres                       8:00pm                     Eltham High School

Sunday June 17, 2018
Sherbrooke Suns vs. Eltham Warriors                                12:00pm                  Belgrave Heights Christian School

Ringwood Hawks vs. McKinnon Cougars                           12:00pm                  The Rings

Knox Raiders vs. Dandenong Rangers                                 12:00pm                  State Basketball Centre

Bulleen Boomers vs. Diamond Valley Eagles                    1:00pm                     East Doncaster Secondary College
Altona Gators vs. Keilor Thunder                                          1:00pm                     Altona Sports Centre

Nunawading Spectres vs. Melbourne Tigers                    2:30pm                     Nunawading Basketball Stadium

Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women

As round 11 comes to a close, three squads have emerged at the head of the pack. Diamond Creek Eagles have assumed third place on the dais, while the Sandringham Sabres and the Ringwood Hawks continue to battle it out for the top spot. With an extended break, the round 12 match-ups are eagerly anticipated to help settle the debate at the top of the league.
The Melbourne Tigers thumped the lowly Warrandyte Venom in round 11, and now have the hunger for more taking on the other cellar dwelled Hume City Broncos in the opening contest. If Melbourne wants to keep pace with the top tier of the league, this is a match-up they must dominate. For Hume City, they are coming off a solid win over Bulleen and had some of the squad’s confidence revitilised.

After tripping up against the Broncos, the task doesn’t get any easier for the Boomers as they host Diamond Valley. The Eagles are one of the highest scoring teams in the league, averaging 70.6 points per game, and its high octane offence should be too much for the Bulleen defence.

Altona gave league leaders Sandringham everything they could muster before falling agonisingly short by two points for the shock defeat. While the Rush suffered a tough back-to-back weekend double falling to two heavy defeats. The Gators should use this newfound confidence knowing they can play with the best teams to powered them to their third win in the last five games.

Knox went to the MARS Minerdome and walloped the Rush, in one of its most impressive wins of the season. This form should continue when the Raiders host the Venom at the State Basketball Centre on Saturday night. Look for Eliana Bravington, who is averaging 15.7 points per game, to have another dominant performance against the bottom placed Warrandyte.

Look for any of that newfound confidence of the Altona Gators to be stamped out by the vicious Ringwood Hawks. Owners of the stingiest defence in the VYCW holding opponents to 53.7 points per game, the Hawks will look to send a message to their conference rivals at the Gators expense.

Kilsyth endured a tough double round fixture, falling to consecutive losses at the hands of Hawthorn and Waverley. Missing key player Taylah Black for long periods in both games didn’t help, as they will look to rebound against the Venom. If they don’t, Warrandyte have a prime opportunity to end what could be an eight game slide.

The weekend gets no easier for the Boomers who might be asking for respite come Sunday afternoon, after going against two of the strongest squads in the competition. Sabres should do their business and thrash the Boomers.

The Spectres should be the dominant side in this one against a Magic squad which has struggled losing three of their last five contests. Hawthorn will need to once again rely on Bella Niven-Brown to have a monster game if they are going to upset the higher ranked Nunawading.

Waverley’s Grace Beasley has been one of the players of the season so far dominating every aspect of the game, averaging 17.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists for the Falcons. Almost posting near triple doubles in her last two contests, missing out by a rebound in one game and an assist in the other, look for her to dominate against the Broncos and secure that elusive “trip dub”.

Saturday June 16, 2018
Melbourne Tigers vs. Hume City Broncos                       5:30pm            Oakleigh Recreation Centre
Bulleen Boomers vs. Diamond Valley Eagles                  6:00pm            East Doncaster Secondary College
Ballarat Rush vs. Altona Gators                                      6:00pm            MARS Minerdome
Knox Raiders vs. Warrandyte Venom                             6:00pm            State Basketball Centre
Sunday June 17, 2018
Altona Gators vs. Ringwood Hawks                                11:00am          Altona Sports Centre
Warrandyte Venom vs. Kilsyth Cobras                           12:00pm          Warrandyte Sports Complex
Bendigo Braves vs. Dandenong Rangers                         12:00pm          Bendigo Stadium
Sandringham Sabres vs. Bulleen Boomers                      12:30pm          Nunn Media Basketball Centre
Nunawading Spectres vs. Hawthorn Magic                     12:30pm          Nunawading Basketball Stadium
Hume City Broncos vs. Waverley Falcons                       1:00pm            Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Youth League One Men

Round 12 sees a number of tantilising match-ups in what poses to be a tough round for league leaders Sunbury, Waverley and Werribee. While Casey and Coburg hope losing streaks can come to an end.

Camberwell and Bendigo tip-off the opening game of round 12, and both sides will be looking for the crucial win. For the Dragons a second straight victory will see them stay in touch with the top five in the league. While the Braves will look to put an end to this horror run they have endured, losing four of the last five. Jake Lloyd was the star against the Falcons putting in 22 points and Bendigo will need him to fire again if they are any chance.

After both teams saw their 2-game winning streaks come to an end, the Stingrays and the Broncos will be out here for revenge. Corio Bay’s scoring difficulties reared themselves again in round 11, as the boys failed to score over 20 points in any of the four quarters. They need to find a reliable scoring method soon before the stretch run of the season.

Daniaell Herbert continues to be a star of the competition with another dominant performance in Werribee’s last match. The Devils gun is averaging over 20.4 points a game in season 2018, and had 27 last time he faced the Giants, look for another big performance. For Coburg the nightmare continues, seven straight losses now, and a difficult back-to-back could see that extended to… gulp… nine straight losses. But they showed potential in a narrow loss to the Venom.

Casey has the tough task of trying to knock off the rampant Jets. After suffering heartbreak in the final moments against the Supercats after coming agnosingly close to ending their losing streak look for the Cavaliers to be full of fight. But this Sunbury outfit is on another level at the moment it should be 16 straight wins.

Josiah King’s game-saving block meant Geelong finished round 11 on a high. Staring down the barrel of a fourth straight loss, the Supercats fought and clawed their way to victory. Next up are a Miners squad full of confidence after routing the Stingrays on the back of super impressive defensive performance. Will Ballarat’s team first approach be too much for the Supercats to overcome for the victory.

Sunday’s game should be a game made for Dragons captain Mitchell Pollard. When his team needs him the most, he continually steps up, and against the lowly Coburg he needs to carry his team to a much needed victory.

It what poses to be the game of the round, the first-placed Jets will host the third-placed Devils at Boardman Stadium. Both teams are riding big winning streaks and playing stellar basketball. Werribee fell by 12 points last time these times met at Eagle Stadium, but the Devils have shown their game can travel sitting 6-2 on the road. It’s going to take a mighty effort to knock off these Jets, the only hope is the Saturday contest with the Cavs is tougher than expected. Can’t wait for this one.

Casey and Bendigo both need this win, so it will come down to whoever wants it more. Oyiti Amum is playing some incredible basketball for the Cavaliers averaging over 16 points in his last three games. But it will take a whole team effort to fend off these pesky Braves.

The Falcons are eviscerating teams this season, title holders of the best defence in YL1, Waverley is holding opponents to 68.9 points per game. While not slowing down in attack, blowing teams out by a stunning average of 21.1 points per contest. They are primed for their rematch against Sunbury in round 13 and on a warpath until to then. Unfortunately for the Venom they are Waverley’s opponents in round 12.

It could be a tough double for Hume City with battles against another scrappy defensive minded team in Ballarat. They have the talent to win, and could take advantage of Ballarat’s travel weariness. It looks to be an exciting round ahead.

Saturday June 16, 2018
Camberwell vs. Bendigo                                    4:00pm                        Balwyn High School
Corio Bay vs. Hume City                                    7:00pm                        Geelong Basketball Netball Centre
Werribee vs. Coburg                                         7:00pm                        Eagle Stadium
Casey vs. Sunbury                                             8:00pm                        Casey Stadium
Ballarat vs. Geelong                                          8:00pm                        MARS Minerdome
Sunday June 17, 2018
Coburg vs. Camberwell                                     1:00pm                        Coburg Basketball Stadium
Sunbury vs. Werribee                                       2:00pm                        Boardman Stadium
Bendigo vs. Casey                                             2:00pm                        Bendigo Stadium
Warrandyte vs. Waverley                                  2:00pm                        Warrandyte Sports Complex
Hume City vs. Ballarat                                       3:00pm                        Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Youth League One Women

And just like that the long weekend over its time to get back into it on the final run to finish the season, who will make it and who will fail?

First game back sees the Gulls heading out to the bay to take on the Stingrays, as much as I want this to be a close match up I think the Gulls will fall short against the mighty Stingrays, who with the likes of Teagan Tatlock the Stingrays will prove to be too strong. Each time these two teams have met, Corio Bay have been able to get over the line by 26+ points, can they do it again?

In our second Saturday night game, we have a cat fight on our hands as the Supercats head into the Wildcats den to seal their position in third place if they can for the third and final time beat the Wildcats and leave them battling it out to stay off the bottom of the ladder. Eltham get their chance to prove they can battle it out with the top sides and not to count them out just yet.

What a match up we have in store with Camberwell opening their freezer doors to the rolling Thunder, who have shown they want the title in 2018 and chance to go up and battle it out with the best in the state at the Victorian Youth Championship level. After coming off a huge victorious month of May the Thunder will be looking to continue that fine form into June and then on into finals, while Camberwell are battling it out to make finals, every single win from here on out counts, they currently sit equal 4th with McKinnon who also have a massive battle on their hands this week, can one get that 1 win advantage at this crucial stage in the season?

The Jets return home again this round as the Cougars gear up for one of their biggest battles so far, this is a must win if they want to get ahead of Camberwell, and we all know now Sunbury are very beatable. After a couple weeks grounded the Jets turned it on again in round 11 but has the long weekend broken the confidence they found and pushed them back. The Cougars will not give up and will not back down so the Jets better be ready for a fight, this is not going to be easy.

With no chance at making finals for either team which bird will remain flying after this bottom half of the ladder battle, the Eagles, currently 7th and the Gulls 9th its set to be a fight like no other. The Gulls have the opportunity to get off the bottom this weekend, if they can do the unexpected and get a win on Saturday night against Corio Bay the confidence that the girls would bring into this game could help them to get 2 from 2 and bump them all the way up into 7th position and out of harms way and the possibility of being relegated.

Will be interesting to see how teams come back after having some much needed time off, has the time off been good for them or will it come back to bite them?

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

Eltham vs. Geelong                                         Sat 6pm                                   Eltham High School

Camberwell vs. Keilor                                     Sun 12pm                                Balwyn High School

Sunbury vs. McKinnon                                    Sun 12pm                                Boardman Stadium

Chelsea vs. Craigieburn                                   Sun 1pm                                  Patterson River Stadium

Youth League Two Men

Let’s hope the June break helped the All Stars get prepared for the weekend ahead, coming up against two of the in form teams and also 1st and 2nd on the ladder. There couldn’t be a bigger test in this competition right now and what an opportunity for the All Stars. Working to their advantage is that both of these matches will be played at their home court and let’s just say they need all the advantages they can get. They will be the underdogs this weekend with both the Eagles and Blues going in as favourites. The Eagles are currently sitting on 5 straight wins, the Blues looking for their 9th. In previous encounters with both the Eagles and the Blues, the All Stars have come off second best. But the joint losing margin in these matches was just 9 points. The All Stars have the chance to redeem themselves and have proved that they can get close to these two very impressive sides. But the Eagles and Blues have had a long run of winning games and don’t want to be giving this up any time soon.

The Eagles will have another game to contend with this weekend, a Sunday clash with the Thoroughbreds. This side has struggled of late to get their consistency back on track but even with this, they still hold their 3rd placing. But maybe this week will be the week that sees them get their wins back up. Last time these two sides met was back in round 7 and the Thoroughbreds made the Eagles look second rate. This isn’t an easy task, but if the Thoroughbreds can do it once, they can certainly do it again. We think they will be quietly confident heading into this match.

One side hoping they can stick with the front of the pack is the Pakenham Warriors. They have had their ups and downs in this competition and if they are to have more downs than ups in the last part of the season, they may just fall out of that final 6. But what is always the case with the Warriors is that they are never a side to go easy on. This is one piece of advice we can give to the Gulls who will be heading down to take them on. The Gulls have been without a win for some time and we think they will have to wait some time again.

It could be the weekend that sees the Thoroughbreds put two straight wins to their name, facing a Saturday night match up with other Warriors, Maccabi. This side is just sitting out of the 6 and are still capable of making it but games like this become crucial. If they can cause upsets against teams above them, they will be all the better for it. But if history is anything to go by, the odds aren’t looking good.

The Cougars are another side that are hoping they can finish the season off strong and a win is looking to come their way this weekend. They meet with the side holding the rest of the competition on their shoulders, the Energy. Still on the hunt for their first win, the Energy have been showing potential as the season progresses. Their scores have been getting better and we are still confident that they will finish with a win to their name. They are just going to have to wait another week for it.

In order to keep a hold of a top 6 placing, the Breakers need to shake off their loss last week and jump right back on their winning ways. And we don’t see this being an issue when they meet with peninsula rivals Western Port. It wasn’t all that long ago when these two first fought it out, the Breakers taking the double figure win. But although the Steelers will go 0 from 2 against the Breakers, they can at least be happy with one win for the weekend.

Before the game above takes place, the Steelers have a date with the Panthers. This will no doubt be the game that sees the Steelers finish off with a W, the Panthers looking down the barrell of their 12 straight loss. But the Panthers were dealt a tough card over the past couple of weeks, taking on the top two sides. This game will be a game they can compete in.

Melton vs. Maccabi Sat 4pm Melton Indoor Recreation Centre
Wallan vs. Western Port Sat 7pm RB Robson Stadium
Collingwood vs. Craigieburn Sat 8.30pm Darebin Stadium
Collingwood vs. Frankston Sun 11am Darebin Stadium
Craigieburn vs. Melton Sun 12pm Craigieburn Sports Stadium
Latrobe vs. Keysborough Sun 1pm Latrobe Leisure Traralgon
Western Port vs. Mornington Sun 1.30pm David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre
Pakenham vs. Chelsea Sun 2pm Cardinia Life

Youth League Two Women

With only a handful of rounds to go before finals get underway, Round 12 could prove to be a pivotal point in the final seeding for YL2W. While Casey looks clear on the top, the fight for the minor places is heating up with Pakenham, Southern Peninsula and Blackburn battling it out.

Getting the round underway is the battle between the Sharks and the Vikings. Southern Peninsula recorded a gutsy win on the back of Abbey Toohey’s superb 17-point effort to defeat the Suns. But it was Southern Peninsula’s defensive efforts forcing 19 steals which should have the Vikings worried for their contest. After showing they could hang with the dominant Casey, a final quarter let down saw Blackburn fail to record the upset victory. They shouldn’t be deflated, but elated, with their performance against the competition’s benchmark.

Mornington were heartbreakingly close to recording its maiden victory in season 2018, but couldn’t finish a stellar three quarter effort to defeat the Devils in round 11. Now with the Steelers coming into their home gym the Breakers will have to go against one of the best defensive teams in the league. With scoring already posing a problem for the Breakers, it would be a huge surprise if they were to record their first win this round.

Pakenham thrashed the Pacers in round 11, flexing their muscles en route to one of their biggest wins on the season. Samantha Neil had a stellar all-around game as she packed the stat sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds, six assists and seven steals, in a game any baller would be proud with. The Devils are next in line to stop this rampaging squad. After ending their 7-game losing streak, Werribee has another difficult match-up against the highly rated Pakenham outfit. Lauren Jones had a season-high 15 points in the last round, and she will need to support Alana Anthony for the Devils to have a chance.

Hailey Wynd was again the shining light for Whittlesea with 18 points in round 11 as they were thumped by Pakenham. Wynd continues her outstanding play this season, already averaging a double-double with 17.6 points and 13.5 rebounds per game. But in the match-up against Sherbrooke in round 12, it gives the rest of the Pacers a chance to step up and share the load. The Suns continue to struggle to find any rhythm or fire on the court. Rachel Hurd continues to be a positive, after scoring her third game of 15 plus points on the season in round 11. But it wasn’t enough as the Suns fell to their tenth loss on the season.

The Frankston Blues have the best defence in YL2W, holding their opponents to an average of 48.7 points per game. But they are going to need all the defensive help they can muster when they travel to Casey Stadium to take on the red-hot Cavaliers. Undefeated on the season, the Cavs are demolishing teams this season, with an average margin of victory of 28.2 points, they look unstoppable. Lauren Tuplin continues to be the undisputed MVP of YL2W with a monstrous 21-point, 12-rebound, and 5-steal game in round 11. After torching every other opponent once already this season, it will be fascinating to see what she does in her first match-up against the Blues. If Frankston’s defence can hold true, then this could be a closer match-up than what the statistics suggests. What a great way to close out an exhilarating round 12 of matches.

Saturday June 16, 2018         
Southern Peninsula vs. Blackburn                  5:30pm                        Hillview Stadium
Mornington vs. Western Port                         6:30pm                        Mornington Basketball Stadium
Sunday June 17, 2018
Werribee vs. Pakenham                                 1:00pm                        Eagle Stadium
Whittlesea vs. Sherbrooke                              1:00pm                        Mill Park Basketball Stadium
Casey vs. Frankston                                        1:30pm                        Casey Stadium

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