Blues looking to hold on to top four spot in last round

THE Frankston Blues will be aiming to hold on to their placing inside the top four of the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Under-18 Girls competition when they take on the Dandenong Rangers at Frankston Basketball Stadium on Friday night.

Given the competition has reached the final round of the home and away fixture for season 2022, there are plenty of crucial matchups when it comes to shaping the ladder on the eve of the finals. The top four is far from secure and while the eight is set, there is still a fair bit that will change over the course of the weekend.

There are a number of sides fighting for fourth spot, including the Blues, who are in the box seat given they have the highest percentage. However, there are a number of sides hot on their tail, so Friday night looms as a crucial encounter.

Frankston Blues vs. Dandenong Rangers
Friday, August 19 @ 9:40pm
Frankston Basketball Stadium

As touched on above, the stakes are extremely high for Frankston when it comes to their clash against the Rangers. A spot in the top four guarantees a double chance, and given the fact that they have a significantly higher percentage than Kilsyth and Sandringham, a win against Dandenong would lock this in. While the Rangers have not been red hot in the back half of the season, there is no such thing as a guaranteed result, so the Blues will need to bring their high-energy and fast-paced style of play, which has brought many sides undone, particularly in transition. Fresh off an 18-point triumph against Gippsland, the home side will have no shortage of belief in their system and each other. Bonnie Deas was a scoring machine in their win last weekend, registering 21 of the team’s 59 points, and will be eager to continue this hot run of form in a crucial clash.

The Rangers are currently sitting in eighth spot with a record of four wins and four losses since joining the VC Championship division. While they are not expected to do much damage come finals time, Friday presents a good opportunity to see how they go against some of the better sides the competition has to offer. If they can shake things up and cause an upset on the eve of the postseason, it will do wonders to their confidence moving forward. To do that, they will need to replicate their performance against Nunawading last weekend, which saw Dandenong claim a whopping 35-point win at home. It was a message to the rest of the competition that the Rangers are no easy beats, and what better way to back that up then disrupting Frankston’s path in the finals. In the triumph over the Spectres, Manuela Puoch was on fire with ball in hand, racking up a game-high 21 points, so expect the Dandenong offence to look for again on Friday.

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