Finals: Aug 3-4 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

Finals are upon us in the Championship Men’s division, and the ladder positions go in unchanged from the previous round. In the upcoming three-game Semi Final series, we will see some big match ups to decide who will play in the Grand Final. This week we will see Casey hosting McKinnon, as well as Hume City hosting Hawthorn.

McKinnon go into the clash as favourites although Casey are one of only two sides to beat them this season. Having only lost twice all year, it is hard to see McKinnon losing twice in a matter of weeks but Casey have proven their value this year. Raheem Lemmons will have to score big to stop the Cougars who recorded another two wins on the weekend. Casey need a win on their home deck to have any chance of going through.

Hume City gave up their chance for a home advantage in the semi finals with a surprising loss to Corio Bay in Round 18. Hawthorn however took full control of their position to land two impressive wins including a close game against Werribee. Hume City has beaten Hawthorn twice away from home in an interesting match up which should provide close games over the next few weeks. Last time out, Nelson Kirksey was the star with 32 points, and he will have to be at his best to propel his team into the Grand Final.

Casey vs McKinnon — Sat 7pm — Casey Stadium

Hume City vs Hawthorn — Sat 8pm — Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium


Championship Women

Sunbury have the bye this week, as teams finishing second to fifth play off in Qualifying and Elimination Finals.

In the Elimination Final, Hume City host McKinnon. The Broncos have won both games against McKinnon this year with relative ease, and will look to extend that winning streak in this do or die clash. Despite finishing equal second based on win-loss record, Hume City were relegated to fourth spot on head-to-head.  BreAnna Brock will be the Broncos’ go-to player, meanwhile despite losing in the last round of the year, McKinnon come in to this match up on some hot form. Angela Lou Beadle will need to back up her impressive 22-point average to see the Cougars progress.

The Qualifying Final shapes up as a very hot match up between two teams level on points and splitting their head-to-head record. Keilor will host Werribee with whom they lost too at home only a month ago. Erin Bollmann didn’t hit her straps last week and will need a big performance to see Keilor progress. Alisia Jenkins for Werribee has the second highest points per game in the comp ahead of Bollmann but ironically hasn’t played since June 30, when they last played against the Thunder. That game she had 24/12/6 in a dominate effort and others around her will need to stand up for Werribee to win on the road. It’s a big game with high stakes.

Hume City vs McKinnon — Sat 6pm — Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium

Keilor vs Werribee — Sun 3pm — Keilor Basketball Stadium


Division One Men

Sunbury and Bulleen meet at Boardman Stadium in the first Elimination Final for Division One Men. The Jets finished third on the ladder in the regular season, with an 18-6 record. One of the main reason for the Jets’ solid form this year was down to their work on the backcourt where they conceded just 74.7 points per game, which was the second fewest in the division. The Jets’ form took a dive at the end of the season as a run of three defeats in a row left them on the brink of dropping out of the top three. However, they won their last two games to ensure they enter the finals in good form. Bulleen concluded the season with a 11-13 record to finish sixth on the ladder. The Boomers began the season with two defeats in their first three games, but improved as the season progressed and enter the finals off the back of three wins in their last four games. Chauncey Orr has lit up the D1M competition this season by averaging 30.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.5 points per game. These teams met in Round 1 and in that game it was Sunbury who claimed a four-point win. They met again in Round 16 with the Boomers prevailing by seven points. The Boomers will take confidence out of their previous win over the Jets, however their poor form on the road (4-8) makes them the underdogs. 

Western Port and Keysborough take the court at Sommerville Recreation Centre on Saturday night in the second Elimiation Final. The Steelers concluded the regular season with four wins in their last five games to finish fourth on the ladder. Offence has been the focal point of their success as they average 88.8 points per game, which is the most in the division. This game could be a high scoring contest as Keysborough are the second highest scorers in the competition, averaging 88.3 points per game. Calvin Enge has starred for the Cougars this season, averaging 20 points in 24 games. Western Port have made their home court a fortress, winning nine of their 12 games there. However, Keysborough have a good record on the road (9-3) and won by 26 points during their last visit to Western Port.

Sunbury vs Bulleen — Sat 7pm — Boardman Stadium

Western Port vs Keysborough — Sat 7pm — Somerville Recreation Centre


Division One Women

Bellarine and Hawthorn will open up the Semi Finals with their clash at Bellarine Sports Centre. Hawthorn finished top of the table for the regular season whilst Bellarine finished in fourth. Hawthorn enter the Semi Finals with a win under their belt after defeating Warrandyte by 22 points in Round 18. Tia Ucich was strong for Hawthorn, scoring 14 points alongside three rebounds and two assists. Nyilah Jamison-Myers has also been outstanding for Hawthorn this season. After recording a 19-point, 16-rebound double-double in Round 18, Jamison-Myers boosted her average to 20 points and 10 rebounds per game for the season. Bellarine also enter the first round of finals with a win after a 16-point victory over Western Port. Olivia Fuller has been a star player for the Storm this season, averaging 14 points and nine rebounds per game. Olivia Virt has also been making an impact, and will look to to back up her 20-point, seven-rebound and four-assist performance from Round 18 in this week’s Semi Final. 

Chelsea will take on Mildura in the other game in the first round of the Semi Finals. Mildura finished off the regular season in second position on the ladder with 17 wins, with Chelsea not far behind with 14 wins during the season, seeing them take third place. Mildura Heat’s Alyesha Lovett has been nothing short of outstanding this season, averaging 30 points and 14 rebounds per game. Teammate Vanessa Power will also be integral to the side heading into finals, after putting up 40 points for Mildura in their 16-point victory over Latrobe City in Round 18. For Chelsea, Georgia Stirton will look to back up her performance from Round 18, where she scored 26 points to help the Gulls defeat Warrandyte by four points. Shaniqua Nilles has been the leading scorer for the season after averaging 19 points per game this season, along with nine rebounds and two assists per game. 

Bellarine vs Hawthorn — Sat 7pm — Bellarine Sports Centre

Chelsea vs Mildura — Sat 8pm — Patterson River Stadium


Division Two Men

Elimination Finals weekend gets underway on Saturday night when Craigieburn host Wallan in a massive encounter at the Craigieburn Sports Stadium. The Eagles managed to finish the season in fourth place, finishing the home and away season on a high as they defeated both Mornington and fellow finals contenders Pakenham in the final round. Wallan will enter this match with contrasting fortunes, losing their last two matches, including a 26-point loss at the hands of Southern Peninsula. The Panthers lost by 10 points to Craigieburn in the last encounter between both clubs, but a fierce and intense game can be expected this weekend, with both sides having everything to play for. All eyes will be on Trace Cureton and Damon Smith, with the opposing pair averaging 21.4 and 22.6 points per game for their respective teams this season. 

Mildura face off against Pakenham in the second hotly-anticipated clash of the weekend. The Heat were only one win away from the coveted second-placed finish, but will enter the elimination round with a point to prove when they take on a Warriors’ outfit who have lost three of their last five matches. The Warriors boasted an admirable 15-9 record come the end of the season, and will be looking to produce an upset when both teams collide at the Toyota Hothouse. Pakenham certainly have no issues on the offensive front, scoring 2050 points overall this season, the fourth most in the league. The Heat are widely expected to come out all guns blazing, and Calvin Henry – who averages 22.6 points per game – will need to be on song if the Heat are to produce the goods.

Craigieburn vs Wallan — Sat 7pm — Craigieburn Sports Stadium

Mildura vs Pakenham — Sat 7pm — Toyota Hothouse


Division Two Women

Sherbrooke and Blackburn will face off this Saturday in an Elimination Final that promises to be exciting. After losing to Melton in Round 18, the Suns found themselves on 10 wins and eight losses for the season, as did the Vikings. Meagan Wylie (12 points, eight rebounds) and Emma Nixon (11 points, seven rebounds) were both strong contenders in the Suns’ loss against Melton last round, and will look to back up their performance in this elimination final. Deslyn Applewhaite is the Suns leading scorer, averaging 21.4 points per game along with 11.4 rebounds. Blackburn enter the Elimination Final with a win under their belt after defeating the Bushrangers by 20 points last week. Duo Andrea Belmonte and Shannon Bone both played an outstanding game. Belmonte finished the game with 23 points and six rebounds, whilst Bone recorded a 24-point, 12-rebound double-double. This duo will play an important role for the Vikings if they wish to come out victorious against the Suns. 

Pakenham will take on Mornington in a Qualifying Final at Cardinia Life on Sunday. Mornington finished the regular season in third spot on the ladder, with six conseutive wins before finals. Hoping to get their seventh consecutive win, the Breakers will turn to the likes of Tessa Matthews (15 points, three rebounds) and Lauren McInnes (a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double) who were strong players in the Breakers’ Round 18 victory against Collingwood. Sammie Simmons will also be an important player for the Breakers heading into finals. Simmons is the Breakers’ leading scorer with an average of 16.1 points per game this season, as well as 11.9 rebounds. Daphnee Frieson has been strong for Pakenham this season.  Averaging 11.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, Frieson went on to score 17 points and six rebounds for the Warriors in their win over Coburg. Stephanie Pal has also been a key player for Pakenham in 2019. Pal is averaging 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season, making her the leading scorer for the Warriors.

Sherbrooke vs Blackburn — Sat 7pm — Belgrave Heights Christian School

Pakenham vs Mornington — Sun 2pm — Cardinia Life


Victorian Youth Championship Men

A year of hard work comes down to just a few hours for Nunawading and Eltham as they begin the quest for the 2019 Victorian Youth Championship Championship at Nunawading Basketball Stadium Sunday. To say Eltham’s place in the final is deserved in an understatement, as they finished the season three games clear at the top of the Watson conference. However, Nunawading’s spot in the final comes as a surprise as they stunned Dandenong in the preliminary final, who finished clear top of the Terrill conference.

Eltham stamped their position as the pacesetters in the Watson conference by winning their first five games of the season. The Wildcats dominated the regular season, winning 19 games, including 10 of their 11 games on the road. The Wildcats’ backcourt has played a major role in their success as they’ve conceded just 67 points per game, which is the second fewest in the division. Eltham’s form has continued in the finals as they beat Diamond Valley by 39 points in the first week and Melbourne by 37 points in last week’s Preliminary Final. 

Nunawading advanced to the grand final series after two strong performances over Knox and Dandenong. The Spectres were at their dominant best against Knox to record a 29-point win and progress to the Preliminary Final. Trent Warren starred for the Spectres in this game with 38 points, five rebounds and two assists, while Remo Simankevicius had 22 points, six rebounds and two assists. The Spectres’ carried their confidence into their Preliminary Final against Dandenong last week. A 24-14 run in the second term gave them a nine-point lead at half time, which they were able to hold until the final buzzer. Simankevicius continued his fine form by collecting 33 points and 11 rebounds.

Game 1 of thre VYCM Grand Final series will take place at Nunawading’s home court, which could play in Eltham’s favour as they won 10 of their 11 games on the road. Nunawading however, were one of only three teams to beat Eltham this season, beating the Wildcats by 17 points at Eltham’s home court in Round 15.

Nunawading vs Eltham — Sun 1pm — Nunawading Basketball Stadium


Victorian Youth Championship Women

Game 1 of a massive Grand Final series looms large, as Melbourne travel to Dandenong Basketball Stadium on Sunday afternoon to take on the Rangers in an exhilarating clash between the last two teams standing. Both teams earned their rightful places in the penultimate match of the season last weekend, with both teams prevailing in their Preliminary Finals. 

The Rangers, led by the likes of Amy Baum (18 points), were far too good for the Sabres, overcoming them by 17 points. Meanwhile, Althea Angeles and the Tigers proved to be too much for Nunawading to handle, producing a 14-point win and delivering the Spectres their fifth loss of the season in the process. 

The Rangers had a mixed start to their season in the Watson conference, but quickly managed to redeem themselves and show what they’re capable of, finishing on 14 wins for the season. Meanwhile, the Tigers started the season in style and didn’t have too many issues through the remainder of the season in the Terrill conference, also finishing on 14 wins. 

Both sides have faced off just the once this season in the early stages, where the Rangers dismantled Melbourne by 28 points. Elly Morgan starred that day for Dandenong with 16 points. Expect a closer affair this time around, with both teams leaving no stone unturned as they strive for the pinnacle of success. 

Katie Bugden will be a massive threat offensively. The star Tiger has recorded 344 points this season, sitting second in the league for total points. Hannah Giddey has also been a focal point within the Tigers’ outfit, producing 84 assists in a stellar season. 

Be sure not to miss anything, as these matches look set to go down to the wire in a potential classic. 

Dandenong vs Melbourne — Sun 1pm — Dandenong Basketball Stadium


Youth League One Men

Geelong and Ballarat have rightly earned themselves a place in the YL1M Grand Final, with game one of the three-game series scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Geelong Arena.

Geelong defeated Casey in the second round of finals to earn themselves a spot in the decider. The match saw Josiah King step up once again as the leading scorer, finishing the game with 19 points. King has been outstanding for the Supercats this season, averaging 19.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game he emerges as a key player in this final. 

Teammate Wang Nyieth has also been very influential for the Supercats. Not far behind King, Nyieth is averaging 16.4 points per game this season and recorded an outstanding 15-point, 14-rebound double-double against the Cavaliers last week, helping his side advance into the big dance. 

The Miners worked tirelessly in the second round of finals, defeating Corio Bay by only three points. With just under three minutes to go the game was tied, when a layup from Zachery Dunmore putting them into extra time, where they only just held on for the remainder of the game.

Dunmore finished the game with 29 points and will hope to back up his performance in game one of grand final on Saturday. 

Jeremiah McKenzie and Amos Brooks have also been influential for the Miners this season, averaging 15.7 and 15.3 points per game respectively.

Geelong vs Ballarat — Sat 3.30pm — Geelong Arena


Youth League One Women

Warrandyte and Casey will battle for a spot in the Yl1W Grand Final. The Venom host Game 1 on a court in which they won seven of 10 games during the regular season. The Venom started their season in fine form by winning their first five games, before a run of poor results in the middle of the campaign saw them lose touch with the top two. The Venom’s offence has been the focal point of their game as they have averaged 71 points per game, the second most of any team in the division. Casey finished one game behind first place Keilor after winning 17 games in the season. The Cavs were first for a majority of the season, before a defeat to Keilor in Round 18 moved them down to second. Prior to the defeat, the Cavs had won 14 games in a row and had the league’s most potent offence, averaging 80 points per game. Lauren Tuplin was lethal on offence during the season, averaging 17.9 points in 19 games. Warrandyte won by 13 points in the first clash between the teams this season, while the Cavs have won the following two games by an average of 27 points. 

Camberwell and Keilor will play in the second Semi Final to determine who will make the Grand Final, with the Dragons hosting Game 1. The Dragons finished the campaign fourth on the ladder with 12 wins, while the Thunder won their last nine games to clinch the minor premiership. The Thunder are the division’s most in-form team and a lot of their form is down to their ability to shut up shop on defence. Keilor concede 53.6 points per game, which is the least in the competition. Camberwell will need to turn around their form if they are going to beat Keilor as they have lost three of their last five games. The Thunder have won the previous two fixtures between the teams by an average of 12 points. 

Warrandyte vs Casey — Sat 7pm — Warrandyte Sports Complex

Camberwell vs Keilor — Sun 12pm — Balwyn High School


Youth League Two Men

Elimination Finals weekend kicks off as Chelsea come up against Melton on Saturday evening. Both sides have had consistent seasons, which saw them sitting comfortably among the top six for a large part of the season. Both sides will be entering this finals match-up in contrasting fortunes, however. The Gulls have been on a roll of late, winning four of their last five matches to ensure that they finished fourth on the ladder. Their run of form came to an end last weekend, losing to Collingwood by 15 points, but it was enough to finish above an underperforming Thoroughbreds outfit, who lost three of their last five matches (including two in Round 18), gifting them the coveted home ground advantage. However, Melton have had Chelsea’s measure this season, winning both of their matches against the Gulls. Without question, this will be a highly intriguing clash. Max Beaumont and Aaron Frost will be a critical contest on the court, with each player recording averages of 18.7 and 16.6 points for Melton and Chelsea respectively. Expect one of these players to be the difference for their side come Saturday.

Collingwood host Maccabi in the second massive Elimination Final of the weekend. The All Stars had an emphatic finish to their season, winning four of their last five matches to finish in third position.  With a 17-5 record at the end of the season, they would have the right to feel a little frustrated by not securing a top two finish. Maccabi had a more than respectable season as well, finishing the season on 13 wins – four more than their nearest finals threat – to secure a finals berth. The Warriors have succumbed to defeat on both occasions against Collingwood this season, but won’t be phased as they look to produce a stirring upset victory. Without question, though, the biggest threat on court will be Collingwood duo Athiaan Manyiel and Alexander Cocco. The pair lead the league for most points this season, and the Warriors will have their work cut out for them to negate the ability of both players.

Chelsea vs Melton — Sat 6pm — Patterson River Stadium

Collingwood vs Maccabi — Sat 7pm — Darebin Community Sports Stadium


Youth League Two Women

Chelsea will open the Elimination Finals weekend by hosting Collingwood in this pulsating finals fixture. The All Stars claimed their deserved spot in the top six, finishing the season with two consecutive wins – one of those against fellow finals rivals Whittlesea. They certainly weren’t the most consistent outfit all season, but they have earned their place within the finals and will be entering Saturday’s match brimming with confidence. The Gulls finished the season with a 16-4 record, indicative of the consistent and dominant displays that they were able to deliver on a regular basis. They did lose two of their last five matches, however – to the only two teams above them, in Frankston and Sherbrooke. While they might have work to do to overcome their superiors, the Gulls will be optimistic of getting a result against Collingwood. Myra Wood has 53 assists this season, and will be hard to nullify if the Gulls’ star is at the top of her game.

Werribee take on Whittlesea at Eagle Stadium on Saturday night, in the second final of the weekend. The Devils couldn’t be entering the finals in worse form, with Sherbrooke smashing the hapless Werribee outfit by 47 points last weekend. The Devils have been extremely consistent this season besides this however, with the loss to the Suns being only their sixth of the year, and they have no choice but to respond in style if they want to advance through this finals series. The Pacers won three of their last five matches to solidify their spot in fifth place. If previous bouts between the two are anything to go by, Werribee are sure to be favourites. The Devils prevailed over the Pacers on both occasions this year, with Whittlesea sure to be looking to redeem themselves this time around. Hailey Wynd will need to produce the goods on Saturday if the Pacers are to have the last laugh – the Whittlesea star has averages 16.1 points and a league-high 14.8 rebounds per game. 

Chelsea vs Collingwood — Sat 4pm — Patterson River Stadium

Werribee vs Whittlesea — Sat 7pm — Eagle Stadium


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