Round 18 + Semi Final 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

Hume City will tackle Corio Bay as both teams look to close out their seasons on a high. The Broncos miss out on the post-season for yet another season, with their mid-season run not enough to carry them into August, while the Stingrays have endured a horror year and will find themselves holding the wooden spoon this time next week. After a stirring win last week the Broncos should prove too strong at home.

Hawthorn hosts McKinnon in a clash of enormous proportions. The Magic are fourth but can still lose home court in the first week of the finals if results go against them, while the Cougars are fighting just for the opportunity to compete next month. Three teams are currently tied for 5th spot but only two will be able to feature in August action, so winning is the only option for the visitors to stay alive. The Magic won’t be giving up home court easily though, and their success on their own floor this year suggests things could be tough for McKinnon.

Knox hosts Blackburn with the chance of securing a finals berth with a win over the Vikings. The Raiders have had an up-and-down season, showing glimpses of brilliance at times while inconsistency has reigned supreme. They can still make a run deep into August and that starts with a win here over the Vikings, who have enjoyed some strong late season form that they can use to build on heading into 2019.

Ringwood and Eltham do battle with the Wildcats needing a win to be any chance of finishing in the top two. After holding onto second spot for most of the year, the ‘Cats slipped up last week and now sit behind the Falcons in the race for home court. The only thing they can do is win and hope the Falcons slip up on Sunday, so expect a fired up Eltham side to take the floor. It’s never easy to win at the Rings, however, and the Hawks are tuning up nicely for yet another title tilt as the one-seed.

Werribee and a resurgent Keilor go toe-to-toe in another matchup that has little to play for other than pride. The Thunder have some glimpses late in the season that they will be a tough side to match up with next year and can look back at their debut season in SCM knowing that they look here to stay. The Devils have endured a disappointing season after some early promise and have been awful at home, but have one last chance to go out with a bang here.

Waverley hosts Casey in another massive clash between two sides who could potentially meet in August. Of course, Casey’s spot is far from secure just yet and they will be looking to cause an upset on the road to ensure they book their ticket to the playoffs. The Falcons, meanwhile, can secure second spot with a home victory, and that will most certainly be the aim for them here as they gear up to re-establish their recent August rivalry with the top seeded Hawks.

Keilor finishes their campaign on Sunday against the Magic, looking to leave their lasting impression on the makeup of the playoffs in the process. Depending on Saturday’s results, a win could either mean a lot or very little to the Magic in terms of seeding for August, but nonetheless they will want to be hitting top form as they finish a successful regular season and begin their campaign for a title that few would have seen coming in March.

Hume City vs Corio Bay                                  Sat 7pm                                   Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Hawthorn vs McKinnon                                  Sat 7:30pm                              Boroondara Sports Complex

Knox vs Blackburn                                           Sat 8pm                                   Knox Basketball Stadium

Ringwood vs Eltham                                       Sat 8pm                                   The Rings

Werribee vs Keilor                                          Sat 8:30pm                              Eagle Stadium

Waverley vs Casey                                          Sun 2:30pm                             Waverley Basketball Centre

Keilor vs Hawthorn                                         Sun 3:30pm                             Keilor Basketball Stadium


State Championship Women

Raiders (15-­‐2) vs Boomers (3-­‐14):

Knox can’t lose top spot and even if they rest a couple of players they won’t let this game slip from their grasp. The Boomers will go in without Sarah Boothe who is out of action this week, and that will prove extremely hard for the visitors to cover. Boothe has had another top season and was rewarded during the week with a WNBL contract where she will play with the Melbourne Boomers. For the home team, everything is pointing in a great direction. Carly Mijovic should be back for finals, Bec Ott is in strong form and everyone is seemingly playing their role to perfection. A big win for the Raiders is coming up on the eve of the finals.

Hawks (9-­‐8) vs Wildcats (2-­‐15):

Ringwood can’t afford a slip-­‐up here and they need a few other things to go right for them. Cassidy Mihalko is back, which certainly helps, but with six straight losses it probably seems a bit hollow if the Hawks manage to sneak into the finals. However, they are still in the race and that’s all that matters, just one win could turn it all around for them. The Wildcats might welcome back Alice Kunek, which would be a huge help if she steps on court. Liv Bontempelli has been in good form and she’ll need to keep that rolling here. While they haven’t been too flash lately, the Hawks just have to get the win, nothing else matters.

Thunder (6-­‐11) vs Sharks (10-­‐7):

The Sharks look like they are finals bound and if results go their way they could come out of this weekend with a home final. The trip to Keilor has seen a few teams come undone this season, but you can’t help but think the Sharks will use this contest to get themselves up for a big crack at the title. Though they can’t make the top three, Sth Peninsula has a dynamic young team and some more than capable imports, which makes them a very unpredictable unit come August. For the Thunder, the season has been a success and they will surely grow and improve from here.

Cougars (4-­‐13) vs Jets (12-­‐5):

This clash is a dead rubber as neither team can move on the ladder, but you can be assured both will be eager to grab a win – the Cougars for a bit of pride after a long and tough season, the Jets to keep them well primed for their crack at a three-­‐peat. The visitors should be at full strength, which will prove a tough test for the Cougars, but given what McKinnon produced last week against Knox, you can be assured the Jets will be expecting a tight contest. Sunbury should win, but don’t be surprised if McKinnon stays with them for a while.

Falcons (14-­‐3) vs Broncos (10-­‐7):

The benefit for Hume City is this is the only Sunday game, so they will know exactly what is required going in with both the Sharks and Hawks having finished their respective seasons. The Broncos were fantastic last week down at Rosebud and remain in the finals race, but if both Ringwood and Sth Peninsula wins, they will need to do the same. Waverley will start warm favourites, but they cannot move up or down from their spot on the ladder (2nd), so whether or not they choose to rest some players will be of interest – especially to Ringwood! Let’s hope the door to the top five is still open come Sunday and this game has some meaning. It will make for an entertaining afternoon of hoops, along with a few nervous fans looking on.

Round 18
Knox vs Bulleen Sat 6pm Knox Basketball Stadium
Ringwood vs Eltham Sat 6pm The Rings
Keilor vs Sth Peninsula Sat 7:30pm Keilor Basketball Stadium
McKinnon vs Sunbury Sat 8pm GESAC
Waverley vs Hume City Sun 12:30pm Waverley Basketball Centre


Division One Men

All Stars (7-­‐15) vs Supercats (8-­‐14):

A game for pride with both teams looking to finish the season on a winning note. Clearly both teams have enjoyed some success, but just not enough and not on a consistent basis. Expect a free-­‐flowing game where it’s likely each team will encourage the other to play up-­‐tempo and fire away.

Seahawks (14-­‐9) vs Black Angels (12-­‐11):

Melbourne Uni has to win this game and hope Warrandyte loses to both Latrobe City and Keysborough. That’s the equation. Last week’s loss to Sunbury could prove to be the game that has cost the Black Angels a finals berth, but they are still in the race and anything is possible. The Seahawks will be heading to the August action and can only drop a spot if they lose this game and the Venom wins both. Expect a tight game, the Black Angels will throw everything at the home team. Should be fun!

Steelers (16-­‐7) vs Gators (17-­‐5):

Shepparton have lost three of their last four games and dropped to third on the ladder, not exactly the form you want to be preparing for finals with, but a win here would quickly restore their confidence. As for the Steelers, they could still move up to third spot if they can win this game by 10pts or more, and then have the Gators lose on Sunday to Collingwood. The second part to the equation is unlikely, but that won’t stop this from being a great game. If the ladder stays as is, the next these two could meet would be in the GF!

Gulls (20-­‐3) vs Pacers (6-­‐17):

Chelsea is on a 13-­‐game winning streak, they look sharp and ready to claim a title, though there’s a bit of work to be done first. Whittlesea has enjoyed only moderate success after dropping down a division and they will want to be competitive here to ensure they finish off on a positive, but it won’t be with a win.

Energy (2-­‐20) vs Venom (12-­‐10):

All Warrandyte needs to do here is a win – do that and they are headed to finals. Not too many would have tipped the Venom to make the finals this season, they have scored some great wins and been an extremely strong defensive unit. The lowly Energy on the other hand haven’t had too much to celebrate.

Cougars (17-­‐5) vs Boomers (10-­‐12):

Keysie has been a revelation this season, a fun team to watch and they are right in the race for the title. With the business end of the season about to start, the Cougars will be up for this game and won’t give the Boomers a look in. It’s a pass mark for Bulleen this season, but a lack of depth has proven costly.

Supercats (8-­‐14) vs Energy (2-­‐20):

A bit of travel for the Energy to see the season out and given they are 0-­‐11 on the road it doesn’t bode well for them with a visit to Geelong. Nothing to lose here for either team, just a chance to finish the season with some confidence, and plenty of long treys!

Gators (17-­‐5) vs All Stars (7-­‐15):

Shepparton has been a bit up and down of late, but they have a good chance here to find some positives ahead of the finals. Collingwood has enjoyed some success, especially early in the season, but they are 1-­‐10 on the road and will face an uphill battle here.

Boomers (10-­‐12) vs Jets (5-­‐18):

Like a number of games this week, this contest is more about pride than anything else. The Jets caused a major upset last week to break a losing streak and they will be more than happy to taste another win against the inconsistent Boomers.

Venom (12-­‐10) vs Cougars (17-­‐5):

All things being equal the Venom should have wrapped up their finals berth the previous night down in Traralgon, so how they go about this game will be interesting. However, if the unthinkable occurs down in the Latrobe Valley then this tough clash with Keysborough takes on a whole new meaning.

Collingwood vs Geelong Sat 6:30pm Darebin Stadium
Warrnambool vs Melbourne Uni Sat 7pm The Arc
Western Port vs Shepparton Sat 7:30pm David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre
Chelsea vs Whittlesea Sat 8pm Bonbeach Stadium
Latrobe City vs Warrandyte Sat 8pm Latrobe Leisure Traralgon
Keysborough vs Bulleen Sat 8pm Rowville Secondary College
Geelong vs Latrobe City Sun 1pm AWA Alliance Bank Stadium
Shepparton vs Collingwood Sun 1pm Shepparton Sports Stadium
Bulleen vs Sunbury Sun 1:30pm East Doncaster Secondary College
Warrandyte vs Keysborough Sun 2pm Warrandyte Sports Complex


Division One Women

With the final round of the regular season upon us the top three seeds are set. But four teams are still mathematically capable of making the final three spots. Whittlesea, Werribee, Geelong and Camberwell will be fighting for the finals. Let’s check out the games.

Hawthorn tips off the round hosting the Western Port Steelers. The Magic have run into a speed hump in the past few games, dropping two on the trot. But coming up against the cellar-dwelling Steelers should see the Magic return to their winning ways.

Whittlesea are currently sitting in fifth place and compared to the rest of the top six battle pack, should have the easier path to finals when they visit the Gulls Saturday. The Pacers thumped Chelsea by 17 points when the teams last met in round 5 and will be hoping to do the same this weekend.

The Energy will be looking to square the season ledger when they host the Venom on Saturday night. After falling to Warrandyte by six points the last time the teams met in round 8, Latrobe will be wanting to finish its season on a high.

In what could be a grand final preview, the Mildura Heat will welcome the Cavaliers to the Toyota Hothouse. Mildura have albeit assured themselves of the number one seed after posting a massive 124.3% percentage through 21 games this season. It would take an absolute thumping by the Cavaliers for this to change, so look for both teams to play cagey and keep a number of set plays and schemes under wraps until the potential GF match-up.

Geelong versus Camberwell will be the defining game of round 18 and the season. If the Dragons can win away from home, they keep their slim playoff dream alive. But if Geelong wins, the Supercats are through to the top six and extinguish the Dragons fire. Can’t wait for this one. But Geelong’s weekend doesn’t get any easier. If the Supercats were to lose Saturday night, then this match-up against a pesky Venom becomes a must win. Lose and the Dragons could still mathematically, albeit a stretch, qualify for the top six. To make this fantasy become reality the Dragons would have to beat the Mermaids by a massive margin. Good luck.

Warrnambool will be using the final game of its regular season as a finals tune-up before the opening round. A Werribee is another team on the finals bubble, but with a final match-up against the cellar-dwelling Steelers, this one should be a dominant victory for the Devils.

Saturday July 28 2018
Hawthorn Magic vs. Western Port Steelers   5:30pm            Boroondara Sports Complex
Chelsea Gulls vs. Whittlesea Pacers               6:00pm            Bonbeach Stadium
Latrobe City Energy vs. Warrandyte Venom  6:00pm            Latrobe Leisure Traralgon
Mildura Heat vs. Casey Cavaliers                   6:00pm            Toyota Hothouse
Geelong Supercats vs. Camberwell Dragons  7:00pm            AWA Alliance Bank Stadium
Sunday July 29 2018
Warrandyte Venom vs. Geelong Supercats   12:00pm Warrandyte Sports Complex
Camberwell Dragons vs. Warrnambool Mermaids 1:00pm Balwyn High School
Western Port Steelers vs. Werribee Devils    2:00pm            David Collings Indoor Leisure Centre


Division Two Men

It’s the final round of the season, and while the top six looks somewhat set in stone. The final standings are still in dispute. While some teams have already been eliminated from the finals race, they would still love the chance to rue the day for their opponents. Let’s check out the games.

The Maccabi Warriors will travel to face the Bushrangers on Saturday night. Maccabi, currently sitting in seventh place, are still mathematically a chance of qualifying for the top six spots but will need results to fall the Warriors way to make it. But a loss to the feisty Bushrangers will dash that dream.

The Pakenham Warriors are in a similar spot, sitting on the outside looking in a the top six. These Warriors are also needing results and more importantly upsets to spill their way to make it through. But they need to get past the Panthers first. Wallan defeated Pakenham back in round 7 and will be looking for the same result on its home court.

Mildura have a chance at nabbing the fourth seed and a home court final, but it all depends on the Heat securing a win over the Thoroughbreds. Melton have discovered some late season form winning its last two matches and will hope it continues at the Toyota Hothouse.

Camberwell are pulling double duty to run out the regular season, travelling to face the tough Coburg Giants on Saturday night. The Dragons played the second-placed Giants tough earlier in the season before falling by three points. Camberwell will need that fire again to knock Coburg off especially on its home court. The Dragons back up on Sunday afternoon hosting the Suns. Sherbrooke have struggled losing three of its last five contests, and a determined Camberwell squad doesn’t bode well to end this poor run of form.

Craigieburn finish its regular season with a trip to face Wallan. The Panthers have lost seven straight games and now have to face the top team in the league… yikes. The Eagles to fly away with this one. Maccabi will hope this match-up against the Sharks isn’t a dead rubber come Sunday afternoon. Southern Peninsula are assured safe passage through to the top six but will not want to endure a loss to damage the Sharks confidence before finals. The Warriors will fight and fight, but the Sharks should be too strong in this one.

Pakenham is another team hoping its Sunday fixture is not a foregone dead rubber, the Warriors are hoping a win over the Altona Gators will see them elevated into the top six. But the Gators have been playing some good ball in their last two, look for the upset win away from home for Altona here.

Saturday July 28 2018
North East Bushrangers vs. Maccabi Warriors           7:00pm            Wodonga Sports & Leisure Centre
Pakenham Warriors vs. Wallan Panthers                   8:00pm            Cardinia Life
Mildura Heat vs. Melton Thoroughbreds                   8:00pm            Toyota Hothouse
Coburg Giants vs. Camberwell Dragons                     8:30pm            Coburg Basketball Stadium
Sunday July 29 2018
Wallan Panthers vs. Craigieburn Eagles                     2:00pm            RB Robson Stadium
Camberwell Dragons vs. Sherbrooke Suns     3:00pm            Balwyn High School
Maccabi Warriors vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks      3:00pm            Bialik Stadium
Pakenham Warriors vs. Altona Gators                       4:00pm            Cardinia Life


Division Two Women

The last week of July represents the last week of this Division’s regular season. Congratulations to minor premiers Craigieburn who under the stewardship of Ben Carroll have been the team to beat all year wherever they play! Well done girls. Now the business end starts!

To those teams not continuing through August, I hope you have enjoyed reading the column as much as I have enjoyed preparing them each week. Always welcome feedback – outsidethearcs@gmail.com – Keep in touch! J

The Top 5 are settled, and congratulations to all the post-season teams, but this week will potentially determine the finishing order of 2nd and 3rd.

Game of the Round is the local Hume Fwy derby between Wallan and Craigieburn. It’s potentially a danger game for the Panthers. If the Eagles collect a road win, Wallan will be sweating on Melbourne Uni falling to the Suns in Belgrave to retain 2nd place.

Blackburn will want to continue its good form winning (4 of its last 5) heading into finals as it travels to Outlook Dr to take on the Giants.  With Coburg looking to 2019, expect some solid minutes offered to the Giants’ development players this week and with youthful enthusiasm anything is possible.

After narrow losses last week, both Collingwood and Melton will both be looking to finish their season on a high.  Melton can be pleased generally with their return season in the Division and a few adjustments will see them in good stead for 2019.  Collingwood also would feel unlucky not to find themselves in August after some solid performances during the year.

Sherbrooke have made some strong showings in recent weeks and the Black Angels from Tin Alley will be wary of the last home game for the season at Belgrave, particularly if the Suns can bring their form from last week agaisnt the top-placed Craigieburn.  For Melbourne Uni, they’ll potentially have the luxury of knowing their fate pre-game in terms of finals placing, but regardless it won’t affect their desire to finish the season with some very solid momentum and a 5 game winning streak to serve notice to fellow finalists that they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

ROUND 18 

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

Wallan vs. Craigieburn                                               Sun 12pm        R B Robson Stadium

Collingwood vs. Melton                                              Sun 1pm          Darebin Stadium

Sherbrooke vs.  Melbourne Uni                                 Sun 2pm          Belgrave Heights Christian School

 


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Men

Nunawading Spectres (3rdT) vs. Hawthorn Magic (4thW)

Saturday 5:30pm Nunawading Basketball Stadium

Meetings this season

R5: Hawthorn Magic 75 def. Nunawading Spectres 68

From the coaches

Andrew Cutler (Nunawading)

Each week our focus is on giving great effort to improve. We will look to maintain that focus against Hawthorn who got the better of us in our earlier meeting and have proved themselves one of the strongest teams in the competition.” 

Shawn King (Hawthorn)

Coach unavailable for comment at time of publish.”

Overview

Hawthorn caused the biggest upset of week 1 without doubt, taking down the number one seed Dandenong Rangers. Now the Magic are tasked with taking on one of the hottest teams in the league. The Spectres have been sensational over their last four games with an average winning margin of 37.3 points. Nunawading are playing team-first basketball and are should be the favourite on the Spectres home court.

Prediction

Nunawading by 10

 

Eltham Wildcats (2ndT) vs. Sherbrooke Suns (4thT)

Saturday 7pm Eltham High School

Meetings this season

R6: Eltham Wildcats 64 def. Sherbrooke Suns 57

R12: Sherbrooke Suns 78 def. Eltham Wildcats 68

From the coaches

Greg Jeffers (Eltham)

Last week’s results demonstrate why this competition is just so good and so enjoyable to be a part of. One slip up in playoffs and you’re done; made all the harder by such a balanced competition. For a group of our guys it’s their third time we’re back at this stage, but this time we are at home, this time we have our full squad and we like to think we’ve learnt from our past mistakes. Brent has done a terrific job with his team. Once he got the squad stabilised, to bring them from the bottom of our conference, to the playoffs and then be in the final four is an outstanding achievement from him and his team. Both times we’ve played this year, we’ve both been affected by availability of players, so it feels as though two new teams will go head to head this week. I am confident in what our group can do and what they can achieve and in front of our crowd on Saturday night, we hope to show our people another terrific game. 

Brent Andrews (Sherbrooke)

“Congratulations to Greg Jeffers and the Wildcats for advancing into the second round! It’s a great effort, and the team is shaping up to be an absolute force.

I’m looking forward to our matchup this weekend, as we’ve split our games this season, which hopefully adds a bit of zest to the game. Eltham are super dangerous from all areas of the floor, with big boys Tommo and Ovie banging down inside, and the likes of James Guley and Mark Scherf being lights out from deep. Greg has done a fantastic job, stepping in only a few weeks out from the beginning of the season. He has been a fantastic coach of the Youth League program for numerous years, so I know he will have the fellas prepared. Good luck Greg, and good luck to the great blokes down at Eltham.”

Overview

Suns = scorching, five straight W’s. Wildcats = Super consistent, six straight W’s. Hot contest, can’t wait!

Prediction: Eltham by 5


Molten Victorian Youth Championship Women

Sandringham Sabres (T-1st) vs. Melbourne Tigers (W-2nd)

Sunday 2pm Nunn Media Basketball Centre

Meetings this season

R7: Sandringham Sabres 67 def. Melbourne Tigers 57

From the coaches

Joanne Wood (Sandringham)

We have only played Melbourne once this season and it was a very tough game in which we just managed to get over the line. Zoe Cransberg is an absolute star and Nikki Metcalfe has also had a brilliant season. They will definitely be a focus for us defensively, but we will need to make sure we respect their whole team who are all capable of putting up big numbers. Our game against Bendigo was tough, but it was good to score 81 against zone defence which we have at times struggled with this year. It should be a great game.”

Lloyd Klaman (Melbourne)

It was nice to get that first one after such a poor start.  As the game went on we looked more comfortable and I think the team started to feel like they belong.

This week it gets harder again, facing a very mature Sandringham side.  I think the girls are looking forward to getting another crack at the Sabres, as I think everyone thought it wasn’t are best effort last time we met.

I will be very interested to see how we handle the challenge.”

Overview

Sandringham has been the dominant force in season 2018 but will now take on one of the hottest teams in VYCW in the Melbourne Tigers this weekend. Riding a 9-game winning streak, the Tigers have been ferocious in the second half of the season. Relying on their number one ranked defence, Melbourne have suffocated opponents. However, Sandringham will be the true test; the Sabres have the talent needed to win but can’t take these Tigers lightly. It should make for a cracking contest. Can’t wait for this one.

Prediction

Sandringham by 6

 

Knox Raiders (T-2nd) vs. Nunawading Spectres (T-4th)

Sunday 1pm State Basketball Centre

Meetings this season

R3: Knox Raiders 51 def. by Nunawading Spectres 53

R7: Nunawading Spectres 79 def. Knox Raiders 76

From the coaches

Chad Burton (Knox)

After a great win on the weekend against Kilsyth where the team really showed what we are capable of when we play our game style and when our defence is at its best, we now face a tough Nunawading team who have beaten us twice during the season by 2 points each time.

With this in mind we need to be at our best to get the win, I look forward to this game knowing that the team has improved immensely since our last meeting and that my girls will come ready to play hard and give everything they have to get the win.”

Nick Jackson (Nunawading)

Coach unavailable for comment at time of publish.”

 Overview

Nunawading caused the upset of the weekend defeating Ringwood no less than seven days ago. The Spectres will now give themselves a red-hot chance of progressing to the grand final. Nunawading has proven to be the bogey side for Knox this season. The Raiders have struggled against the pesky Spectres squad losing both contests earlier in the year. But Knox are playing the best basketball of its season. The highest scoring team in the league look for the Raiders to run Nunawading off the court.

Prediction

Knox by 6.


Youth League One Men

Sunbury Jets (1st) vs. Geelong Supercats (4th)

Sunday 3pm Boardman Stadium

Meetings this season

R10: Sunbury Jets 90 def. Geelong Supercats 76

R16: Geelong Supercats 92 def. Sunbury Jets 75

From the coaches

Lisa Townsend (Sunbury)

Coach unavailable for comment at time of publish.” 

Darren Hindle (Geelong)

After coming off a tough game against Corio on the weekend, we are very pleased to have made to the semi – final against Top placed Sunbury.

This will be another tough contest, and although we are more than happy with the way we are progressing, we are fully aware that we will have to bring nothing

but our “A” Game if we are to have any opportunity on Advancing to that Final game, that we all aspire to be a part of at the start of every season and contest for championship glory.

We truly are looking forward to the game ahead, and we would like to congratulate all teams participating in finals this weekend.”

Overview

The last time these teams faced off in round 16 Sunbury failed to fly falling to the Supercats by 17 points. This weekend the Jets are looking for revenge. Sunbury has been sensational this season and should be the better the team. But Geelong is feisty and will make the Jets work for the victory. If they can stop Josiah King, Sunbury should be too strong.

Prediction

Sunbury Jets by 11.

 

Waverley Falcons (2nd) vs. Werribee Devils (3rd)

Saturday 8:15pm Waverley Basketball Centre

Meetings this season

R05: Waverley Falcons 79 def. Werribee Devils 75

R16: Werribee Devils 86 def. Waverley Falcons 84

From the coaches

Elias Palioyiannis (Waverley)

We are very excited to be part of the finals series in 2018 and look forward to the game Saturday night. Werribee are a very well coached group that have a heap of talent. Herbert is obviously the priority as he has proven he’s been one of if not the best player in the league, but they have a lot of perimeter shooting and scoring options on the floor around him. We split the season series and we know that if we don’t stick to the scout and play well this week our season will end.”

Dion Jewell (Werribee)

Our team is feeling good going into this weekend. We have taken a lot of confidence out of how we played against Warrandyte on the weekend, but we also know Waverley will be a whole new level. They have had a great season and have some really good players as well as an experienced coaching staff, so we can’t wait for the first tip-off Saturday for a chance to play off for a Grand Final spot.”

Overview

The one team Waverley probably wanted to avoid was the Devils. After splitting the regular season fixtures, the teams will face off again Saturday night. Werribee has been one of the rare teams to be able to clip the high-flying Falcons offence this season, holding Waverley to under their season average of 86.3 points per game. The Devils will need tough D and stellar game from Daniaell Herbert to steal the victory away for home. However, Waverley should be too strong in this one.

Prediction

Waverley Falcons by 8.


Youth League One Women

Well, the final round has arrived for season 2018 and it looks as though the final four is set barring an absolute catastrophic final six games.

Geelong host Camberwell in fixture number one for the weekend and it is an absolute beauty! Currently the two teams sit 3rd and 4th respectively and the Dragons can not only secure a finals berth with a victory, they can also claim third position, if they were to defeat Corio Bay a day later (or if they defeat the Supercats by 19+ points). Carly Sanders has led the ‘Cats all season and would expect no less on Saturday.

The Dragons host the Stingrays the morning after, and obviously dependent on the result in their encounter with Geelong, this game has different meanings. A third-place position up for grabs, or, the chance to secure fourth position and play post-season basketball. Look for Meg Wilson and Tiarnie Ellingworth to lead the fort and cement their position for next week.

Craigieburn can keep their hopes alive with a win over Eltham on Saturday nigh. They can do that by continuing to play great basketball which they have done for the past month, which has seen them win five of their past six games. Zoe Albon can pace the Eagles and they must contain Ellen Horsley if they are to win convincingly. Craigieburn then head to Keilor on Sunday afternoon and if they are to really give themselves every chance at a fixture next week then knocking off the league leaders is the best way to do it!

McKinnon host Sunbury in their final encounter of the regular season and will need somewhat of a miracle to qualify for finals. Defeat Sunbury, and that’s check box number one marked off on their road to the finals. They’ll then need Camberwell to drop two games and Craigieburn to drop one as well.

The Jets welcome Chelsea to the fray on Sunday afternoon at Boardman Stadium, where the second unit should get a finals tune up in order to earn themselves some extra minutes in the post-season. The Gulls have been better over the second half of the season, however may have just dropped off over the last fortnight (forgiving in the circumstances) and their coaching staff would just be hoping for a solid performance to end the year.

Geelong vs. Camberwell                                 Sat 5pm                                               AWA Alliance Bank Stadium

Craigieburn vs. Eltham                                    Sat 6pm                                               Craigieburn Sports Stadium

McKinnon vs. Sunbury                                    Sat 6pm                                               GESAC

Camberwell vs. Corio Bay                               Sun 11am                                            Balwyn High School

Sunbury vs. Chelsea                                        Sun 1pm                                              Boardman Stadium

Keilor vs. Craigieburn                                      Sun 1:30pm                                         Keilor Basketball Stadium


Youth League Two Men

An absolute ton of games in the final round of Youth League Two Men for season 2018, so let’s jump straight into it because there are a host of games which can play havoc to the teams that will slot into the final six!

Chelsea and Whittlesea may kick us off in the early afternoon clash, however won’t have an effect on the post-season. In saying that, the Gulls have been great throughout the back half of the season and will be determined to finish in that style with a victory over the Pacers. Aaron Frost has certainly made a name for himself and will be one to watch in 2019 full time with the Gulls. Maccabi and Keysborough tackle each other on Sunday afternoon in similar circumstances, with Idan Shamis certainly playing to his highest potential this season and delivering the goods time and time again for the Warriors. Ben Chai Grosman came to the table late in the season and has contributed well during that time.

Western Port can secure their place next week with wins over Melton and Frankston; the latter obviously being the toughest of the two considering the back-up factor against the number one ranked team in the comp. The Thoroughbreds are also no push over seeing their playing for a potential home final next weekend as well. Fernando Rios-Rodriguez was excellent last week, and the Steelers will once again rely on a contribution from Luke Helbig over the weekend.

Pakenham host Wallan coming off the back of eight straight victories which sees them sit in second spot on the ladder. A win here puts them in a position to earn a week off, that is, if Collingwood do not successfully defeat bother Maccabi and Latrobe City. Ned Weideman has been very good for the Warriors as of late, as has Lee Belton. Watch for these two in this encounter.

Speaking of the All Stars, their fate lies in their own hands. Knock over both Maccabi and Latrobe City and second place is theirs for the taking. With head-to-head over Pakenham, the All Stars turn their attention to winning basketball games and they can do so with big performances from the likes of Athiaan Manyiel and Alex Cocco. The Energy played arguably their best weekend of basketball last week, so confidence will be high, and can continue their development with similar performances this week.

Mornington are in a tough predicament sitting outside the six (on H2H to WP) and will need to do everything in their power to defeat both Craigieburn and Whittlesea this weekend. Matt Brzezek has been leading the charge since star Lachie Baczyk went down, however the Eagles pose a massive threat as they too have much to play for – a home final to be precise!

It all comes down to the final week, and there’s plenty of mathematical equations that will take place on Sunday evening. Will it be your team that slots into the top two, a home final berth, or makes/just misses the post-season?

Chelsea vs. Whittlesea                                               Sat 4pm                                   Bonbeach Stadium

Western Port vs. Melton                                            Sat 5:30pm                              David Collings Indoor Stadium

Keysborough vs. Frankston                                         Sat 6pm                                   Rowville Sports Stadium

Pakenham vs. Wallan                                                 Sat 6pm                                   Cardinia Life

Collingwood vs. Maccabi                                            Sat 8:30pm                              Darebin Stadium

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

Maccabi vs. Keysborough                                           Sun 1pm                                  Bialik Stadium

Latrobe City vs. Collingwood                                      Sun 1pm                                  Latrobe Leisure Traralgon

Whittlesea vs. Mornington                                         Sun 2pm                                  Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Frankston vs. Western Port                                        Sun 3:30pm                             Frankston Basketball Stadium


Youth League Two Women

The final season of the regular season is upon us. But excitingly the final play-off seedings are still in the balance. Only the top two teams are assured of safe passage to the finals. The other three positions are still up for grabs.

Werribee hosts Blackburn to tip off the final round. The Devils have already been eliminated from the post-season but the Vikings have everything to play for. Win and they are through. Lose and they are banking on results going their way to be a part of the top five positions. After struggling against the lower-placed Western Port Steelers in round 17, the Vikings need to recommit on the defensive end to make sure they secure the victory. Blackburn should be too strong in this one.

Whittlesea have been sensational recently winning four of its last five contests. It should be five of the last six when they travel to face the cellar-dwelling Mornington Breakers in round 18. The Pacers, who currently sit inside the top five thanks to head-to-head can poll a massive win and advance to next week. LT Poa should feature heavily once again here against the Breakers, now flourishing in the youth competition.

The equation is simple for the Western Port Steelers in round 18. Defeat the Sherbrooke Suns by a lot of points and pray like hell results go the Steelers way. If their competitors stumble at the final hurdle, Western Port could see themselves miraculously in the top five. But firstly the Steelers need to win.

Frankston will host a Casey side which has returned to its devastating best. After destroying the Suns by 77 points in round 17, the Cavaliers have an opportunity to send a message to the rest of YL2W in round 18. The Blues have been one of the form teams of the competition recently, especially recording a big win against Werribee in round 17. But Casey are on a completely different level this year. Look for them to continue their ferocious best in the final round of the regular season.

In what has the potential to be the game of the round, the Pakenham Warriors will face off against the Southern Peninsula Sharks. Pakenham stumbled in round 17, perhaps giving in to the late-season malaise brought about by the fact the Warriors have already qualified for the post-season. While the Sharks are fighting to keep their season alive. This results in a fascinating contest between two of the most intriguing squads in YL2W. The home court advantage should be enough to help earn Pakenham the victory.

Saturday July 28, 2018

Werribee Devils vs. Blackburn Vikings                       6:30pm            Eagle Stadium

Mornington Breakers vs. Whittlesea Pacers              6:30pm            Mornington Basketball Stadium

Sunday July 29, 2018

Sherbrooke Suns vs. Western Port Steelers              12:00pm          Belgrave Heights Christian School

Frankston Blues vs. Casey Cavaliers                           1:30pm            Frankston Basketball Stadium

Pakenham Warriors vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks  2:00pm            Cardinia Life

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