THE Knox Raiders have kept their undefeated streak rolling in the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Under-18 Boys since joining the VC Championship division, with their latest victory coming against Geelong United.
The two sides locked horns at AWA Alliance Bank Stadium on Friday night, with the Raiders coming in as heavy favourites, given their opponents had secured four less wins in the same amount of games. Despite a see-sawing start to the game, Knox managed to break away in the second quarter and take quite a significant lead into the main break. There was an improved effort from the home side in the second half, as United managed to stop the bleeding with a better defensive showing. However, the damage done in the second period proved to be too much as the Raiders cruised home to a 17-point win, their seventh in the VC Championship division.
For the Raiders, it was the usual suspects leading the way. As they have done all season, Fraser Roxburgh and Luke Fennell combined to guide Knox to a winning score with some excellent individual work. Roxburgh had 21 points, while Fennell was not too far behind with a 20-point outing of his own, as the Geelong defence had no answers for the pair’s explosive scoring. The duo have scored the third and fourth amount of points for the season overall, despite playing one less game than the leaders in this category. They will be a big factor in Knox’s championship hopes, but Friday showed that they are capable of leading their side all the way.
For United, Max Zalakos was the shining light for all four quarters, leading the hosts on the offensive end of the court. He had a team-high 18 points, and despite United falling short at a team level, can hold his head high regardless of the result. Also impressing was Leo Burgess, who notched up 10 points of his own.
Geelong United (59) def. by Knox Raiders (76)
The game opened in pretty tense fashion, as both sides fought to get scoreboard ascendancy without any success. The first term saw neither side claim a significant lead, and the Raiders led by a single point at the first change of play. Quarter number two was where Knox truly got on top, outplaying United in convincing fashion and bursting away on the scoreboard. When half time rolled around, the Raiders held an impressive 13-point advantage, and all of the momentum.
The second half saw United lift their effort on the offensive end, but they could not quite slow down the impressive scoring of their opponents. Despite better signs, Knox’s lead was still extended by three heading into the last 10 minutes of the match. In a low-scoring final term, both sides struggled to find the bottom of the net, which ended up working against United. With Geelong unable to mount an almighty comeback, the Raiders were able to glide home to victory.