Sabres and Raiders split points in Round 4

A REMARKABLE last quarter comeback from Knox Raiders has ensured they did not go home empty handed against Sandringham Sabres in the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Under 18 Girls Championship division. Both sides finished on 54 points during their Round 4 clash in what was a see-sawing contest at the Sandringham Family Leisure Centre last Friday night.

Coming into the match, both sides were delicately poised in the middle of the table, within reach of the top sides, but also not too far off the lower ones. By posting the draw, both sides leap frogged Melbourne Tigers and Frankston Blues, though no doubt both teams would have loved to take the entire points on offer. Starting off the match, the Raiders got out to a two-point lead at quarter time, but soon the sides were back even again after an impressive 15-13 term from the Sabres.

The home team continued its momentum into the third quarter, doubling the Raiders’ score by putting up 20 points to 10. Seemingly home and hosed, the Sabres would try and hold onto their lead, but the Raiders charged home, producing an identical dose to that they had received, with a 20-10 fourth quarter scoreline leading to a 54-all draw. Erin McAlary put up 22 points for Knox, which included four long-range bombs, while Erica Cid managed the 11 points. For Sandringham, Hannah Wickstrom (18 points) was again the top scorer, while Isla Airey and Amy Kurkowski both finished with 12.

The upset of the round occurred at Frankston, as the Blues took down Kilsyth Cobras in a thrilling seven-point game. After only scoring 14 points and trailing by five at the break, Frankston stepped up to add 28 in the second half – including a dominant 17-8 final term to run over the top of the Cobras and win, 42-35. Bonnie Deas was unstoppable, putting up 25 points in the win, while Hannah Day was the top scorer for the Cobras with nine in a more even term performance.

Casey Cavaliers continued their winning ways with an impressive 24-point win over Nunawading Spectres. The Cavaliers took control from early on and never looked like rescinding control of the match, coming away with the 69-45 triumph. Dakota Crichton (25 points) was the top scorer for the ladder leaders, while Lucy Dexter (13), Kaitlyn Scott (11) and Kyra Webb (11) also did their part. Anika Stehbens (10 points) was the highest scorer for the Spectres.

Reminding the competition what they were capable of, Bulleen Boomers ran out 21-point winners over Melbourne Tigers. The Boomers controlled the opening three quarters to win each quarter by at least six points and eventually record a 72-51 victory. Lilly Amor (19 points) drained a ridiculous five triples, while Chantal Vitale had 13 (three triples) as two of four double-figure scorers. Edie Clarke (17 points) and Hayley Letts (10) were the key scorers for the Tigers.

In a clash between the bottom two sides, Dandenong Rangers came away with a hard-fought three-point victory over Gippsland United. Played in Traralgon, the home team showed spirit by coming from seven points down at half-time to cut the final break deficit to one, but the Rangers proved their mettle by scoring 13-11 in the fourth quarter to win, 40-37. Georgia Taylor (nine points) was the top scorer for the Rangers, while Asha Nightingale was near unstoppable for the home team, putting up 21 points in a strong performance.


Gippsland United (37) defeated by Dandenong Rangers (40)
Casey Cavailiers (69) defeated Nunawading Spectres (45)
Melbourne Tigers (51) defeated by Bulleen Boomers (72)
Frankston Blues (42) defeated Kilsyth Cobras (35)
Sandringham Sabres (54) drew with Knox Raiders (54)

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