Round 18 Previews

Another weekend of hoops ready to bounce, who will take W’s this time out?

Championship Men
Championship Women
Division One Men
Division One Women
Division Two Men
Division Two Women
Victorian Youth Championship Men
Victorian Youth Championship Women
Youth League One Men
Youth League One Women
Youth League Two Men
Youth League Two Women

Championship Men

Hume City will seek to overturn their poor form in the lead up to the finals when they host Corio Bay on Saturday night. Despite sitting third on the ladder, the Broncos have lost their last three games, which is a worrying sign with finals around the corner. Fortunately for the Broncos, they come up against Corio Bay who sit at the bottom of the ladder, after a poor season which has yielded only three wins thus far.

Hawthorn will be looking to secure a second place finish on the ladder if results go their way when they play Werribee on Saturday night. Percentage separates the Magic and third-place Hume City, while Werribee will be buoyed by the prospect of winning their 10thgame of the season.  The Devils have galvanised their season by winning four of their last five games to steer clear from the bottom of the ladder. 

Casey can secure their spot in the playoffs by beating Blackburn at Casey Stadium. Four defeats in a row has seen the Cavs drop to fourth on the ladder,  narrowly sitting above Keilor on head-to-head. The Cavs have struggled on defence in the past month, conceding 92.3 points per game. Fortunately for the Cavs, Blackburn sit second last on the ladder, despite winning their last two games. 

Top of the ladder McKinnon face seventh-placed Chelsea on Saturday night. The Cougars’ nine-point win over Casey last week was their 20thwin of the season and secured their spot at the top of the ladder. McKinnon have exceled on offence this season by averaging 110.6 points per game, which is eight points more than the second-best offence in the division.

Blackburn return to the court on Sunday to host Hume City. The Broncos came out on top by 13 points in their previous encounter against the Vikings in Round 11.

Corio Bay conclude their season by hosting Hawthorn on Sunday afternoon. The Stingrays will have a chance to end their disappointing season on a high, while the Magic will aim to continue their good form in the lead up to the finals. 

The regular season concludes when Keilor face McKinnon at the Keilor Basketball Stadium. The Thunder could still be in contention for a playoff spot should other results go their way, while the Cougars will hope to avoid any injuries in the lead up to the playoffs. 

Hume City vs Corio Bay — Sat 6pm — Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Hawthorn vs Werribee — Sat 7.30pm — Boroondara Sports Complex

Casey vs Blackburn — Sat 8pm — Casey Stadium

McKinnon vs Chelsea — Sat 8pm — GESAC

Blackburn vs Hume City — Sun 1pm — Doncaster Leeds Street

Corio Bay vs Hawthorn — Sun 2pm — Geelong Basketball Netball Centre

Keilor vs McKinnon — Sun 3.30pm — Keilor Basketball Stadium

Championship Women

With one round to go there’s a lot to play for, as one win separates first and fourth.

The first to play of the top four will be Hume City when they play at Dromana Stadium against the Sharks. The Sharks are done and dusted and will finish sixth after a disappointing late-run in the season which sees them miss the finals. They were dispatched by Keilor last week meanwhile Hume City did it easy against Whittlesea. BreAnna Brock had another strong game and ended with 18 boards to go with her 16 points. A win should see them place second, although a slip at the top could leave the door open for the Thunder to grab the first-round bye.

In arguably the match of the round, Sunbury host McKinnon. The equation is pretty simple for the Jets; win and take the first round finals bye, or lose and face the lottery of potentially a four-way tie at the top. They will be favourites though and Orla O’Reilly will look to make sure of that, as she put up another double-double with 24 and 11 last week. McKinnon all but booked their ticket into the playoffs with a tight win against Casey but will finish fifth regardless of the result. Expect the Cougars to have one eye on the post-season with not a lot to play for this week.

Keilor all but ended the Sharks’ hopes last week and still have a slim chance of getting a first-round bye when they host Casey. Erin Bollmann went off as she narrowly missed a 30+/20+/10+ triple double, falling short by a single assist. They will play Casey who have lost three of their last five, which ruled them out of the finals race some time ago. Keilor are strong favourites and will want momentum going into the finals.

In what could be an exciting match for difference reasons, Bulleen host Warrnambool on Sunday. They will finish last, but the Mermaids would love to beat the Boomers and record their first win of the season. Expect a fiery match up as Warrnambool look to avoid the dreaded donut. Grace Rodgers scored almost half their points (17) last week in another big loss for the Mermaids, while Casey Valenti-Paea put up 23 points for the Boomers against the Jets in Round 17. A win could see the Boomers jump up a spot, while a loss would give them a big pride hit against the lowly Mermaids. 

The final game of the regular season sees Whittlesea host Werribee. Werribee had a strong hold on second spot for a lot of the season but the wheels have fallen off for the Devils. Two wins in their last five has put them in a tough spot with the Thunder and Broncos both having winnable games. A resounding team win over the Mermaids where all girls played 11 minutes is a huge positive for the Devils, who will want a good result against Whittlesea. It was Rachel Bell vs Hume City last week as the Pacers’ star scored more than the rest of her entire team combined, with a respectable 37 points against the Broncos. Expect Werribee to win it but see what Bell can do, as she could well be in the MVP conversation after a season where she’s averaged just under 27 points a game.

Southern Peninsula vs Hume City — Sat 5.30pm — Dromana Stadium

Sunbury vs McKinnon — Sat 7pm — Boardman Stadium

Keilor vs Casey — Sat 7.30pm — Keilor Basketball Stadium

Bulleen vs Warrnambool — Sun 1pm — East Doncaster Secondary College

Whittlesea vs Werribee — Sun 1pm — Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Division One Men

The Collingwood All Stars open up Round 18 hosting Latrobe City on Saturday night. Collingwood look to get back on the winner’s list after their three-game winning streak was cut short last round. Manny Hendrix has been consistent this season, averaging 22 points and four rebounds per game.  Aaron Harrison has been a key player for Latrobe City, averaging 27 points and 12 rebounds per game this season. 

Shepparton are looking for a win against Bulleen this round, as they continue to work towards the top spot on the ladder. Atem Atem will look to continue his strong form after starring for the Gators last week, recording a 28-point, 13-rebound double-double. The Boomers will look to their leading scorer Chauncey Orr (averaging 30 points per game) to help secure the win over the Gators. 

Western Port will take on the Giants this week, where the Giants look to end their four-game losing streak. Pat Green has been influential for the Giants, averaging 14 points and five rebounds per game this season. Matthew Turner will look to back up his strong performance for the Steelers last week, which saw him finish with 20 points and eight rebounds. 

Warrandyte are working towards their fifth consecutive win, and will be hoping to come out of their clash with Warrnambool victorious. Jacob Thom dominated in Warrandyte’s close game against the Cougars last week, recording a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double. Xavier Johnson-Blount has been in spectacular form this season, averaging 33 points per game for the Seahawks, and he will look to back it up with another strong performance this week. 

Bellarine will travel to face Keysborough this week, as they look to overturn their three-game losing streak. The Cougars have been strong this season, recording 16 wins thus far thanks to players such as Calvin Enge (averaging 19 points and seven rebounds per game) dominating on court. Everett Osborne has been a key player for the Storm. Osborne scored 22 points last week, taking his average for the season to over 21 points per game. 

In the final Saturday night game, Melbourne University host Sunbury. The Jets, who sit at fourth on percentage will look to secure the win in the hopes of moving up to third position. Arthur Trousdell was a key player in their win against the Steelers last week, recording 25 points and nine rebounds for his side. From the Black Angels Stefan Pomasan has been influential, with an average of 16 points and four rebounds per game. 

Coburg will take on the Gators in both sides’ second game for the round. This game will be important for the Gators if they wish to move into the top spot of the ladder, whilst Coburg will hope to finish off their season with a win. 

With both sides sitting on 10 wins and 12 loses heading into the final round for the home and away season, Bulleen and Warrnambool could be battling it out for the final spot in the playoffs on Sunday. Last time the two sides met Bulleen came out victorious, defeating the Seahawks 79-61. 

The final game for Round 18 – and for the home and away season – will see Whittlesea battle it out with Melbourne Uni at home. The Pacers look to simultaneously break their eight-game losing streak and finish the season with a win. Dominic Bruno and Emmerson Potts-Broughton have been influential for the Pacers this season, averaging 14 points and four rebounds, and 15 points and six rebounds respectively, this season. 

Collingwood vs Latrobe City — Sat 6.30pm — Darebin Community Sports Stadium

Shepparton vs Bulleen — Sat 7.30pm — Shepparton Sports Stadium

Western Port vs Coburg — Sat 7.30pm — Somerville Recreation Centre

Warrandyte vs Warrnambool — Sat 7.30pm — Warrandyte Sports Complex

Keysborough vs Bellarine — Sat 8pm — Rowville Secondary College

Melbourne University vs Sunbury — Sat 8.30pm — Melbourne University Sports Centre

Coburg vs Shepparton — Sun 12pm — Coburg Basketball Stadium

Bulleen vs Warrnambool — Sun 3pm — East Doncaster Secondary College

Whittlesea vs Melbourne University — Sun 3pm — Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Division One Women

Camberwell and Craigieburn kick things off in Round 18, in what could be a season-defining clash for both sides. The Dragons currently sit fifth on the ladder with every chance to secure a finals berth, provided the fourth-placed Bellarine Storm drop their final game. The Eagles sit directly below Camberwell in sixth, and will need a lot to go right for them to make a top four finish – however, they certainly won’t die wondering!

Hawthorn take on Warrandyte at the Boroondara Sports Complex on Saturday evening. The Magic look set to seal a first-placed finish, boasting a 17-5 record after 22 games. The Venom have been underwhelming this season and would be keen to wrap their campaign up, but an upset win over Craigieburn last weekend may give the Venom optimism for another upset this Saturday evening.

Mildura host Latrobe City as the Heat try to make amends for last weekend’s loss against the Dragons. Mildura have lost three of their past five matches and will want to sort out any issues they have prior to finals.

Craigieburn and Hawthorn go back-to-back as they open up the Sunday fixtures. The Eagles simply must win if they are to make the top four, or be left ruing their shock loss to Warrandyte last weekend. Nyilah Jamison-Myers is sure to be a focal point in this match up, with the Magic star recording 458 points so far this season.

Chelsea travel to Warrandyte hoping to redeem themselves after two consecutive losses. The Gulls are sitting third at 13-10, and will need the win to all but seal their finals fate. 

Western Port and Bellarine close off the round in a massive clash for the Storm. The finals schedule could ultimately be dictated by Storm, with a win likely to ensure a finals birth. Olivia Virt and Jessica Scannell have been at the heart of the Storm’s offensive prowess – with 67 and 68 assists respectively – and will need to be on song if Bellarine are to extend their season. 

Camberwell vs Craigieburn — Sat 4pm — Balwyn High School

Hawthorn vs Warrandyte — Sat 5.30pm — Boroondara Sports Complex

Mildura vs Latrobe City — Sat 6pm — Toyota Hothouse

Craigieburn vs Hawthorn — Sun 2pm — Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Warrandyte vs Chelsea — Sun 2pm — Warrandyte Sports Complex

Western Port vs Bellarine — Sun 3pm — Somerville Recreation Centre

Division Two Men

Camberwell and Pakenham meet on Saturday evening to commence Round 18. It could well be a finals preview between both sides, with the Dragons sitting comfortably in second place with a 17-5 record, while the Warriors find themselves fourth on the table at 15-7, having won four of their last five matches.

Southern Peninsula take on Wallan in another top six clash. The dominant Sharks have all but sealed first place on the ladder, with nine straight wins and the third highest total for points scored in the league. Expect a shootout at both ends of the court, with the Sharks’ Troyce Manassa recording 610 points this season, while the Panthers’ Trace Cureton has a handy 492 to his name.

Sherbrooke host RMIT as both sides look to end their seasons on a high. The Redbacks were outclassed by Camberwell last weekend and will be looking to redeem themselves, while the Suns have lost three straight matches and have conceded the third most points in the league. Steve Coffey has been ever-present for the Redbacks, averaging 5.7 assists per match this season. 

Mornington travel to Craigieburn to take on the Eagles on Saturday night. Craigieburn will look to enter the finals with some form in hand against a bottom-placed Breakers outfit.

Melton face off against Maccabi as the inconsistent Thoroughbreds attempt to win their 12thgame of the campaign. Chris Johnson has been a shining light for the Thoroughbreds, averaging 12.9 rebounds per game this season.

Mildura and North East round out the Saturday night fixtures when they clash at the Toyota Hothouse. The Heat will want to pick up where they left off following last weekend’s thrilling one-point win over Wallan.

Altona and Camberwell open up the Sunday fixtures, as Camberwell look to go back-to-back against the Gators. Expect Mark Jeffers to shine yet again, with the Dragons ace recording 83 assists so far this season.

Pakenham meet Craigieburn in a clash which could shape the finals fixture in incredible fashion. Depending on other results, a Craigieburn win could be enough to set up an elimination final rematch between both sides the week after!

Maccabi and Southern Peninsula round out the fixture when they meet at the Bialik Stadium. The Sharks’ Corey Bond has the best conversion rate in the game this year, with a three-point percentage of 46.0%.

Camberwell vs Pakenham — Sat 6pm — Balwyn High School

Southern Peninsula vs Wallan — Sat 7.30pm — Dromana Stadium

Sherbrooke vs RMIT — Sat 8pm — Belgrave Heights Christian School

Craigieburn vs Mornington — Sat 8pm — Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Melton vs Maccabi — Sat 8pm — Melton Indoor Recreation Centre

Mildura vs North East — Sat 8pm — Toyota Hothouse

Altona vs Camberwell — Sun 1pm — Altona Sports Centre

Pakenham vs Craigieburn — Sun 2pm — Cardinia Life

Maccabi vs Southern Peninsula — Sun 3pm — Bialik Stadium

Division Two Women

Sherbrooke and Melton open up the last round of the home and away season with their clash at Belgrave Heights Christian School. A loss in Round 17 saw the Suns’ winning streak come to an end. They look to finish with a win and potentially move into third position if they are victorious this week. Deslyn Applewhaite has been a key player for the Suns throughout this season. Currently averaging 22 points and 11 rebounds per game, Applewhaite is Sherbrooke’s top scorer this season. Melton will turn to the likes of Stacey Procak, who has been influential all season, and top scored for her side last round with a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double. 

Melbourne University look to hold on to their top spot on the ladder when they face the Panthers this round. Looking to finish the home and away season with a third consecutive win, Melbourne University will likely turn to Emmie O’Nial, who last week recorded a spectacular 26-point, 18-rebound double-double, her 13th for the season. A win from the Panthers could see them move up into fifth position on the ladder. Averaging 12 points each per game this season, Rebecca Romeo and Gemma Jackson will both be key players in this final game. 

A win over Coburg this round could see Pakenham move into the top spot on the ladder. Winning three of their last five matches, the Warriors will look to Stephanie Pal, who recorded an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double in Round 17. Pal has been a key player this season, with teammates such as Ellie Coutts (averaging 11 points, eight rebounds per game) and Daphnee Frieson (averaging 10 points and eight rebounds) also being influential for the Warriors. Coburg look to back up last week’s performance with another win this round. Elo Magbegor was a key player in the Giants’ win over the Suns last round, recording an impressive 24-point, 13-rebound double-double. 

Blackburn and the Bushrangers both look to finish of their home and away season with a win. Blackburn have the opportunity to move up into fourth position and will need to utilise players such as Andrea Belmonte, who is averaging 10 points and seven rebounds per game this season, to do so. The North East Bushrangers are yet to win a game this season, with this match being their final chance. MaKenzie Miller has been a key player for the Bushrangers this season and will look to finish off the season with a win for her side. Miller is averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds per game in season 2019. 

Collingwood and Mornington close out the round with their clash at Darebin Community Sports Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Mornington look to hold on to their third place on the ladder before heading in to finals. Their five consecutive wins have been helped by the likes of Sammie Simmons, who is the top scorer for the Breakers in season 2019, currently averaging 15 points and 12 rebounds per game. Collingwood hope to finish their season on a high note with a win against the Breakers. Nyesha Sims has been dominant for the All Stars this season, averaging 22 points, 12 rebounds and two assists per game.

Sherbrooke vs Melton — Sat 6pm — Belgrave Heights Christian School

Melbourne University vs Wallan — Sat 6.30pm — Melbourne University Sports Centre

Pakenham vs Coburg — Sat 8pm — Cardinia Life

Blackburn vs North East — Sat 8pm — Mullum Mullum Stadium

Collingwood vs Mornington — Sun 3pm — Darebin Community Sports Stadium

Victorian Youth Championship Men

Eltham and Melbourne will meet in the first VYCM Preliminary Final at Eltham High School on Saturday night. The Wildcats enter the game off the back of a 39-point win over Diamond Valley in the Elimination Final last week. Bryson Norris starred for Eltham with 22 points, while Mark Scherf had 21 points, five rebounds and four assists. A key component to the Wildcats’ success this season has been their work on defence and their ability to keep their opponents’ offence to under 70 points per game. Meanwhile Melbourne progressed to the Preliminary Final after an eight-point win over Ringwood last week. Scores were level at half-time, before the Tigers went on a 35-27 run in the second half to secure an eight-point win. Tajver Chehal starred with 20 points, four rebounds and three assists. The Tigers struggled to find their rhythm on offence and shot at 33% from the floor, a figure they will need to increase against the Wildcats if they are to progress to the Grand Final.

Dandenong and Nunawading face off in the second VYCM Preliminary Final on Sunday night at Dandenong Basketball Stadium. The Rangers secured their spot in the Preliminary Final with a 25-point win over Kilsyth last week. The Rangers shot 50% from the floor and 56 points in the paint to highlight their ability on offence. Oliver Hayes-Brown starred with 27 points at 72% from the field, plus 18 rebounds, while captain Lachlan Viney had 18 points in his 33 minutes on court. Dandenong will face tougher competition this week in the form of Nunawading who scored 99 points in their 29-point win over Knox in last weekend’s Elimination Final. The Spectres entered the playoffs by winning four of their last five games of the regular season, and their good form was evident in the first half against Knox, as they outscored the Raiders 58-30 to all-but secure the win. Trent Warren came off the bench to score 38 points, which was almost five times more than his average this season, while Remo Simankevicius had 22 points, six rebounds and two assists. This match has the makings of being a classic encounter between two teams that love to attack.

Eltham vs Melbourne — Sat 7pm — Eltham High School

Dandenong vs Nunawading — Sun 7pm — Dandenong Basketball Stadium

Victorian Youth Championship Women

The Southern Sabres and Dandenong Rangers clash at Southern Basketball Stadium in the first VYCW Preliminary Final on Saturday evening, with only one winner being able to advance to the Championship decider. The Rangers are coming off an 85-78 road win over the Braves last week, in what was a well-rounded performance from their starting line-up. Last-Tear Poa led the charge in that one, tallying an equal game-high 18 points, six rebounds and three assists. They meet a Sabres outfit who ran over the top of Ringwood at home last week, to prevail 67-60 after an epic fourth quarter. Ella Batish came up big for the Sabres, with 16 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, a steal and two blocks. The Sabres won the last matchup between these two teams – 60-54 – when they met in Dandenong back in Round 2. 

The Nunawading Spectres and Melbourne Tigers clash in the second VYCW Preliminary Final at the Nunawading Basketball Stadium to close out a big weekend. The Spectres qualified for the prelim after a thumping 62-39 home win over the Gators last week, thanks to a big performance from Rebecca Eddy (19 points, 10 rebounds, five steals). Nunawading has only dropped four games this season, and just two of these have been at home. They face a Tigers outfit that blew by the Cobras at home last week; 75-62. Nikki Metcalfe posted an all-round gem in that one with 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Nunawading won the battle earlier in the season between these sides, back in Round 13 at MSAC, when the final score was 77-59.

Southern vs Dandenong — Sat 5pm — Southern Basketball Stadium

Nunawading vs Melbourne — Sat 5.30pm — Nunawading Basketball Stadium

Youth League One Men

Geelong take on Casey in what is sure to be an exhilarating Semi Final between both sides. Casey earned the right to a Semi Final berth after dismantling Bendigo in last week’s Elimination Final, eventually winning by 22 points in what was a dominant display. The Supercats had their measure earlier this year, managing to hold off the Cavaliers and win by seven points when they met in Round 8. However, the Cavs absolutely dominated the Supercats when they last met in Round 14, disposing of Geelong by 21 points. This game could go in any direction, and some key players will have a lot to say in the outcome of the match. Josiah King will need to be on form for the Supercats, with the Geelong gem averaging 19.9 points per game this season. Alternatively, Blake Taylor will be a massive threat for the Cavs going forward, with Taylor averaging 17.5 points per game this season.

Ballarat host Corio Bay in the second YL1M Semi Final of the weekend. The Stingrays have earned their place in the Semis after prevailing against Altona in last week’s Elimination Final, with Jordan O’Leary recording 26 points for the Stingrays in their seven-point win. The Stingrays’ star now has an average of 19.5 points per game this campaign, and is the outright leader for total points scored by any YL1M individual this season. The Miners finished their season at the summit of the league – and deservedly so, recording 18 wins for the season and just four losses. The Stringrays defeated the Miners most recently in Round 15, however, so they certainly won’t be overwhelmed by the challenge. Expect an exciting match-up between both sides!

Geelong vs Casey — Sat 5pm — Geelong Arena

Ballarat vs Corio Bay — Sat 5.30pm — MARS Minerdome

Youth League One Women

McKinnon and Corio Bay kick off the weekend at GESAC, in a battle between the two bottom placed teams. Both sides have struggled this season, having both won a total of just three games in the campaign. McKinnon enter the game as favourites as they have lost their last seven games, while Corio Bay have lost their last 17 games. 

Craigieburn and Geelong enter their Sunday afternoon clash in contrasting form. The Eagles have won one of their last five games, while Geelong are on a three-game winning streak that has allowed them to climb above the Eagles on the ladder. Jaimee Crombie scored 22 points in the Supercats’ 44-point win over Corio Bay last week and could be set for another big game against the Eagles.

Corio Bay return to the court to face Eltham on Sunday. The Wildcats have won three of their last five games to sit on six wins for the season. Eltham came out on top by 22 points in their last clash against Corio Bay in Round 10.

A finals precursor takes place when Warrandyte host Camberwell on Sunday afternoon. The Venom sit third on the ladder after 14 wins for the season. The Venom have won four of their last five games, including a 14-point win over Craigieburn last week. Camberwell sit fourth on the ladder despite losing their last three games. Last week they suffered a 35-point loss to Casey, which has derailed their build-up to the playoffs. 

Keilor and Casey conclude the regular season at the Keilor Basketball Stadium. This game will determine who will finish at the top of the ladder as both teams have won 17 games to date this season. Casey enter the game on the back of a 14-game winning streak, while the Thunder have won their last eight games. Lauren Tuplin is the key player for the Cavs as she averages 18.3 points per game, while Tess Heal averages 14.7 points for the Thunder and could be key to Keilor’s prospects of securing the win.  

McKinnon vs Corio Bay — Sat 6pm — GESAC

Craigieburn vs Geelong — Sun 12pm — Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Corio Bay vs Eltham — Sun 12pm — Geelong Basketball Netball Centre

Warrandyte vs Camberwell — Sun 12pm — Warrandyte Sports Complex

Keilor vs Casey — Sun 1.30pm — Keilor Basketball Stadium

Youth League Two Men

Western Port take on Wallan in the opening game for Round 18. Both teams look to finish their season on a high note with a win, as they’re playing for 11thand 12thposition on the ladder. The Steelers will look to utilise their top scorer Ben Perry, who is averaging 18 points and five rebounds per game. Meanwhile David Barron has been a strong player for the Panthers, putting up 17 and 19 points in his side’s two games in Round 17. 

Craigieburn hope to secure a fifth straight win when they face Mornington this round. Jackson Wynne dominated for the Eagles last week against Maccabi, and will look to back up his 27-point performance this week. Max Cairns put up a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double in the Breakers’ loss to Chelsea last week, and will look to continue his consistent form and secure the win over Craigieburn.

Melton look to secure their third consecutive win whilst Maccabi look to end a two-game losing streak when the two sides meet on Saturday night. Dau Akol was a key player in Melton’s win against the Cougars last round. Finishing with a 23-point, 14-rebound double-double, Akol will want to continue to perform consistently. Meanwhile, Idan Shamis has been a key player for the Warriors this season, with an average of 14 points and five rebounds per game. 

Pakenham will travel to face Keysborough on Saturday night, with both sides determined to secure the win. After a loss in Round 17, Keysborough will want to bounce back and end their season with a win. The likes of Lachlan Soukup (averaging 14 points and four rebounds per game) and Bowen Mahon (11 points and six rebounds per game) will be key players for the Cougars. A spectacular 22-point, 16-rebound double-double from Ned Weideman helped Pakenham defeat the Steelers in Round 17. Weideman will look to put on yet another strong performance and secure a win against Keysborough. 

Collingwood will host Chelsea in the last Saturday night game of the round. Currently sitting third and fourth respectively, this game promises to be exciting. Collingwood secured a win last round against the Pacers, defeating them by only one point. Malang Athian put on a strong performance with a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double, and will look to do the same again this week. Aaron Frost and Daniel Brown are key players for the Gulls, with the duo averaging 16 points per game apiece. 

In their second and final game for the round, Melton will travel to face the Whittlesea Pacers. Winning three of their last five games, the Pacers look to come out victorious and finish their season with a win over the Thoroughbreds. Kallum Marks has been a strong performer week in, week out for the Pacers, recording an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double against Collingwood in Round 17.

Pakenham and Craigieburn come face-to-face in their second game for the round on Sunday. If Pakenham go two from two in Round 18 they will knock the Eagles out of top spot on the ladder. Both sides have been strong all season and look to finish on a good note leading into finals. 

Coburg play their one and only game for the final round against Maccabi. Mam Ayuel has been a consistent performer for the Giants, averaging 19 points and 14 rebounds per game this season. Brett Bell has also been a key player and was very influential in the Giants’ last game, putting up 24 points and 12 rebounds.

Western Port vs Wallan — Sat 5.30pm — Somerville Recreation Centre

Craigieburn vs Mornington — Sat 6pm — Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Melton vs Maccabi — Sat 6pm — Melton Indoor Recreation Centre

Keysborough vs Pakenham — Sat 6pm — Rowville Secondary College

Collingwood vs Chelsea — Sat 8.30pm — Darebin Community Sports Stadium

Whittlesea vs Melton — Sun 11am — Mill Park Basketball Stadium

Pakenham vs Craigieburn — Sun 12pm — Cardinia Life

Maccabi vs Coburg — Sun 1pm — Bialik Stadium

Youth League Two Women

The Suns and Devils open up the round at Belgrave Heights Christian School in a blockbuster matchup. Sherbrooke will be looking to consolidate second place on the ladder and continue their five-game winning streak. Incredibly the Suns are yet to drop a home game this season. Outside of Frankston, the Devils are the form team of the competition with 12-straight wins and will want to continue this run into finals. 

Frankston host Western Port at Frankston Basketball Stadium, as the Blues look to make it 16 wins in a row. The Blues look near unstoppable right now and haven’t dropped a game at home this season. Meanwhile, the Steelers have lost six consecutive games and were soundly beaten by Werribee last week. 

Pakenham and Coburg continue the Saturday night card at Cardinia Life. It will mark the last game of the season for both sides, and they’ll be looking to end their season on a high. The Warriors are sitting eighth at 4-14, while the Giants are all the way down in 11th, on a 17-game losing streak. 

Blackburn and Whittlesea face off at Mullum Mullum Stadium in a seventh vs fifth clash on Saturday night. Despite the proximity of these two teams to each other on the ladder the result will not change a thing, as Blackburn are already out of the finals, whilst Whittlesea have confirmed their spot, despite having dropped three of their last five.  

Chelsea and Frankston open up the Sunday fixture at Patterson River Stadium, in what should be an exciting top three clash and finals preview. The Gulls have been in good shape, having won three in a row, but they will need to be on top of their game if they are to upset the streaking Blues, who could be searching for their 17th-straight victory. 

Collingwood and Mornington butt heads at the Darebin Community Sports Stadium to continue the Sunday fixture.  Form coming into this clash isn’t ideal for either team, with the All Stars have lost three of their last four games, and the Breakers outfit on a 10-game losing streak. 

Western Port and Sherbrooke close out the fixture at Somerville Recreation Centre in a second v 10th clash, with both sides coming off Saturday games. The Suns could be fighting for playoff positioning and will want to bring their A-game to the contest. The Steelers could be staring down the barrel of an eight-game losing streak to end their season, with two tough Round 18 matchups in as many days. 

Sherbrooke vs Werribee — Sat 4pm — Belgrave Heights Christian School

Frankston vs Western Port — Sat 4.30pm — Frankston Basketball Stadium

Pakenham vs Coburg — Sat 6pm — Cardinia Life

Blackburn vs Whittlesea — Sat 6pm — Mullum Mullum Stadium

Chelsea vs Frankston — Sun 12pm — Patterson River Stadium

Collingwood vs Mornington — Sun 1pm — Darebin Community Sports Stadium

Western Port vs Sherbrooke — Sun 1pm — Somerville Recreation Centre

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