Sabres eye off breathing space in VJBL U18 Girls

SANDRINGHAM Sabres can create some greater separation inside the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) Under 18 Girls top four with a victory over Melbourne Tigers tonight. The fourth placed Sabres are two points clear of fifth spot, but have a 2-2 record with a draw thus far in season 2022 for the Championship division, so will be looking to improve that against the Tigers. Melbourne on the other hand has won three of its five Championship games, but coming into the pool with less points than other sides has meant the Tigers have needed to play catch-up and sit in seventh after five rounds.

Sandringham enters Round 6 coming off an 11-point victory over Nunawading Spectres on the road. Prior to that, the Sabres drew with Knox Raiders, which was after back-to-back losses to Kilsyth Cobras and Casey Cavaliers. A 16-point victory over Dandenong Rangers is the Sabres best win to-date. With top-of-the-the-table Bulleen Boomers next round, followed by Frankston Blues and Gippsland United – the latter two winnable games – the Sabres would love to lock up the top four spot with a victory here.

Melbourne Tigers entered the 2022 VJBL Under 18 Championship season on a roll, defeating Frankston Blues and Dandenong Rangers in back-to-back home games before destroying Gippsland United on the road by 30 points. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they faced two of the top three sides the past fortnight, falling to Bulleen Boomers and Kilsyth Cobras to now sit 3-2. Given Nunawading Spectres is the only side below the Tigers remaining in their fixture, they have a tough run home and will need to take all the chances they are given to stop others overtaking them.

Hannah Wickstrom is the star shooter for the Sabres, putting up 18 points in three of her five games, and averaging 14 points per match across her Championship season. Isla Airey is averaging just over 10 points per game, but has managed 12 and 14 in her past two outings for the Sabres, with Jaida Reid also putting up the same numbers, with two scores of 15 and 13 this season. Though Amelia Hobson has averaged around six points, but tallied up her best score of the season with 10 against the Spectres last round.

Edie Clarke was dearly missed last match for the Tigers, having averaged 12 points per game prior to Round 5, and put up 17 points against the top of the table Bulleen Boomers. Hayley Letts has managed the 10.4 points per game across all five games, while Emilia Marinkovic has a season-high of 13 points, and Keisha Hooper is averaging eight points per game.

In other matches, Casey Cavaliers will prepare to add another win to the tally, taking on last placed Gippsland United at home in what looms as a one-sided contest. The other matches are predicted to b a little closer, with Bulleen Boomers next opponent being fifth placed Knox Raiders, while third placed Kilsyth Cobras will hope to make the most of a home fixture against the eighth placed Dandenong Rangers. In the other match of Round 6, sixth placed Frankston Blues will be favourites at home against the 1-4 Nunawading Spectres.


Kilsyth Cobras vs. Dandenong Rangers
Sandringham Sabres vs. Melbourne Tigers
Casey Cavaliers vs. Gippsland United
Frankston Blues vs. Nunawading Spectres
Knox Raiders vs. Bulleen Boomers

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