THE contenders have well and truly begun to announce themselves. Round 4 of the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Under 18 boys competition took place around Victoria on Friday night, as some of the state’s premier young basketballers were given the opportunity to showcase their skills.
The two divisions held some cracking contests for the fourth week in a row, with a fair bit to take out of the round. There were eye catching individual performances and ripping team displays. The latter came in the form of Nunawading, who proved far too good for the Frankston Blues when the two sides faced off. The Blues were heavy underdogs, given they had not won a game coming in, and these predictions ended up being justified, with Nunawading cruising home to a big win to remain one of the heavyweights for season 2022.
Frankston (59) def. by Nunawading (74)
Nunawading has remained atop the VC Ashe standings with a 15-point triumph over the Frankston Blues at Frankston Basketball Stadium on Friday night. As mentioned above, the visitors were expected to win the match coming in, given the two sides had contrasting records heading into Round 4. However, the Blues would have fancied themselves a chance to grab an upset win in front of their home crowd, with their frenetic style of play bringing success throughout patches of their first three games. Things did not end up going that way, with Nunawading cruising home to its fourth win of the season, while Frankston continues to search for its maiden triumph for the year.
The visitors got off to a ripping start, claiming an early lead over the Blues and asserting itself as the team to beat in the matchup. They held onto a five-point lead at the first break, before extending it to seven at the main break. The offence for the Blues dropped even further in the third quarter, as they could only muster up nine points, and found themselves trailing by 14 heading into the last. Nunawading refused to take the foot off the gas in the last, pushing the margin out even further and claiming a nice win on the road.
For the victors, Billy Hicks and Lucas Koch combined for 35 of the team’s 74 points, with the pair proving a reliable source of offensive for all four quarters. There was not much the defence could do to stop the duo from getting in a scoring position despite their best efforts. For the Blues, Lachlan Jensen fought hard all day and finished with a team-high 12 points, while Ryan Lane added 11 of his own.
Metropolitan Melbourne and country Victoria were also treated to a number of other clashes taking place on Friday night, with basketball fans treated to some ripping affairs.
Across the courts
Kilsyth (67) def. by Casey (69)
Dandenong (78) def. by Bulleen (87)
Camberwell (71) def. Diamond Valley (58)
Melbourne (86) def. Eltham (58)
Ballarat (77) def. Bendigo (53)
Geelong United (53) def. Wangaratta (47)