MELBOURNE Quakes have awoken from their slumber notching up their second consecutive win of the M-League Mixed Premier season, defeating LTU by nine goals in a high-scoring encounter. In what has become a typical scoreline for LTU who has a high-powered attack, the Quakes won 66-57 to add to their victory over Eastside Sonics last week, after four consecutive losses to start the season.
Fielding the strongest team they have all season, the Quakes were able to be more versatile with their lineup, as 10 players took to the court, the same amount at LTU who again looked to towering shooter Liam Killey as the main source of scoring. Killey scored 51 of this side’s 57 goals in the victory, and though LTU was in the contest for the most part, could not sustain it over four quarters.
Melbourne won the first two quarters by three and four goals respectively, as Annabelle Gorman slotted 13 first quarter goals, before rolling into goal attack and David Chisholm came on to shoot 13 of his own in the second quarter. Jed Christian was influential in the same shooting circle, putting up six goals in the first term, then having a break across the next two quarters, with Gorman and Chisholm combining for 31 goals in that time.
Olivia Cameron and Olivia Ellis were having a great battle in midcourt with the Quakes centre getting the chocolates in terms of points, but Ellis perhaps having the slight upper hand in terms of overall impact in a losing side. Ronan Pring has been in excellent form this season, and that continued up against the tough challenge that was Killey. Though naturally the feeds into Killey made it tough for Pring, he did get on top in the final term, limiting the LTU shooter to just 10 goals for the quarter.
By the end of the game, the Quakes had weathered a third quarter comeback from LTU who had closed the gap to six goals at the final break. Melbourne scored 16 goals to 13 in the final 15 minutes to run out a comfortable 66-57 winner. Christian was named best-on court, while Cameron and Ellis were also among the better players for their respective sides in the tight clash.
Over on Court 5, Valley Wolves were able to account for the winless Eastside Sonics by 21 goals in a rather straightforward win. Despite missing a host of top stars, the Wolves still got it done in a big way, with James Story piling on 37 goals – including 16 in the third term – as the Sonics struggled to contain the Wolves. Taurin Eimermacher was outstanding across the midcourt, while Karina Martin stepped up in defence with Alaliria Smith.
Parkville Panthers’ terrific season rolled on with a 37-goal thrashing of NNE Vipers. Despite fielding the same seven players for three of the four quarters, the top-end quality saw them destroy the Vipers from the get-go. The Panthers piled on 24 goals to three in the opening term as Kaylia Stanton and Connor Lilly proved too much for the Vipers defence. Though the Vipers did manage to stem the bleeding in the final three quarters, the Panthers still ran away 72-35 winners. Casey Adamson was best-on for her work in centre and wing attack while Jake Hederics also stepped up across each third of the court. Stanton finished with 24 goals.
In the final match, Altona Falcons had a similarly massive win, defeating Ariels by 35 goals.Taking control across the first half, the Falcons piled on 35 goals to 19 to set up the win, but finished off on a high with 21 goals to eight in the fourth quarter to put an exclamation mark on the performance. Deepak Patu made his long-awaited debut for the Falcons in centre, earning best on court honours, while Andrew Lewis shot 41 goals, teaming up well with Uneeq Palavi (19).