Boomers chase top spot in Big V Women’s
BULLEEN Boomers are within striking distance of Big V Women’s Championship ladder leaders Wyndham, ahead of their final three games of the regular season. Starting with a must-win clash against bottom two side Pakenham Warriors on the road, the Boomers have an additional two games – one more than Wyndham – when they take on Southern Peninsula Sharks and McKinnon Cougars. Given Bulleen’s percentage is higher than that of Wynham’s the Boomers will take the minor premiership if they win all three matches.
Bulleen is coming off a comfortable 25-point win over Sunbury on the road, making up for the shock six-point loss to Sunbury on the Boomers’ home court back in Round 12. Since then, Bulleen has strung together five consecutive wins to give itself the best chance of top spot. Pakenham Warriors on the other hand have struggled this season and are coming off a 42-point belting at the hands of Wyndham in Round 16. The last time these sides played in Bulleen, the Boomers thumped the Warriors by a whopping 46 points. Pakenham is also on the end of a nine-game losing streak, having not won since Round 9 when the Warriors defeated Southern Peninsula by four points at home.
Haille Nickerson has been the clear standout shooter for the Warriors in 2022, averaging 17.4 points per game, around double that of the next highest player with more than five games to their name. Nickerson has also managed 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, shooting at 34 per cent from beyond the arc. Deanna Jolliffe leads the assists count with 3.46 for the Warriors, while also having 7.9 points and 3.8 rebounds. Assisting off the boards is Tarryn Wilkin (9.9 points, 7.6 rebounds).
Unsurprisingly, the Boomers are stacked with talent having five players average double-figure points. Olivia Bontempelli leads the way with 17.1 points per game, while also managing 6.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.8 steals to be an all-round contributor. Louella Tomlinson is next best with 12.6 points, while leading the side in assists (4.3), and also managing a team-high 8.9 rebounds per match. Annabel Deerbon (11.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.5 steals) has also been strong, while Kayla Vitale has started on the bench in every match, but been a sharp shooter when coming on, draining 41 triples – at 40.6 per cent efficiency – to help herself to 11.2 points per game.
Pakenham will also have to back up for a second game on the weekend, taking on the Sharks in a bottom two clash. If the Warriors get up, they will potentially leapfrog Chelsea Gulls. The Gulls take on Sunbury Jets in what should be an enthralling contest, with Chelsea’s Lee Burch (12.0 points, 4.8 rebounds) looking to quell the might of Sunbury’s Maria Steen Jespersen (24.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3.2 assists). Meanwhile Morgan Ili (13.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.4 steals) and the McKinnon Cougars will be looking for the comfortable win over the young Sharks, and Wyndham hosts Hume City Broncos in what should e a massive clash.
BIG V CHAMPIONSHIP WOMEN’S ROUND 17 FIXTURES:
Saturday, July 23:
McKinnon Cougars vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks @ GESAC
Pakenham Warriors vs. Bulleen Boomers @ Cardinia Life
Sunday, July 24:
Chelsea Gulls vs. Sunbury Jets @ Patterson River Stadium
Wyndham vs. Hume City Broncos @ Eagle Stadium
Pakenham Warriors vs. Southern Peninsula Sharks @ Cardinia Life