It’s the final round of the season, and while the top six looks somewhat set in stone, the final standings are still in dispute. While some teams have already been eliminated from the finals race, they would still love the chance to rue the day for their opponents. Let’s check out the games.
The Maccabi Warriors will travel to face the Bushrangers on Saturday night. Maccabi, currently sitting in seventh place, are still mathematically a chance of qualifying for the top six spots but will need results to fall the Warriors way to make it. But a loss to the feisty Bushrangers will dash that dream.
The Pakenham Warriors are in a similar spot, sitting on the outside looking in a the top six. These Warriors are also needing results and more importantly upsets to spill their way to make it through. But they need to get past the Panthers first. Wallan defeated Pakenham back in round 7 and will be looking for the same result on its home court.
Mildura have a chance at nabbing the fourth seed and a home court final, but it all depends on the Heat securing a win over the Thoroughbreds. Melton have discovered some late season form winning its last two matches and will hope it continues at the Toyota Hothouse.
Camberwell are pulling double duty to run out the regular season, travelling to face the tough Coburg Giants on Saturday night. The Dragons played the second-placed Giants tough earlier in the season before falling by three points. Camberwell will need that fire again to knock Coburg off especially on its home court. The Dragons back up on Sunday afternoon hosting the Suns. Sherbrooke have struggled losing three of its last five contests, and a determined Camberwell squad doesn’t bode well to end this poor run of form.
Craigieburn finish its regular season with a trip to face Wallan. The Panthers have lost seven straight games and now have to face the top team in the league… yikes. The Eagles to fly away with this one. Maccabi will hope this match-up against the Sharks isn’t a dead rubber come Sunday afternoon. Southern Peninsula are assured safe passage through to the top six but will not want to endure a loss to damage the Sharks confidence before finals. The Warriors will fight and fight, but the Sharks should be too strong in this one.
Pakenham is another team hoping its Sunday fixture is not a foregone dead rubber, the Warriors are hoping a win over the Altona Gators will see them elevated into the top six. But the Gators have been playing some good ball in their last two, look for the upset win away from home for Altona here.
Mildura will come to play but with a doulbe header road trip looming it may be our day. Another top-six showdown pits Mildura against Craigieburn on Saturday night as the Eagles look to earn back top place on the ladder while the Heat can solidify fifth and push towards fourth heading into the last round. Calvin Henry (22PPG, 10.53RPG) has been elite throughout this year alongside Brent Symons (15.6PPG) and Dallas Brown (15.11PPG) while Craigieburn’s Damon Smith (18.3PPG) and Liam Watt (14.38PPG) have impressed for Craigieburn. North East will be next up against Mildura, as the Bushrangers try to put their first win on the board. They’re playing for pride at this stage of the year and have been well served by Liam Wright (17.3PPG), let’s hope some of the young guns step-up for a big game!
Well it is going to be on this weekend! Match of the Round looks to be the opening game as North East host Blackburn in Wodonga. Back in Round 6 in April, the Bushrangers collected a comfortable road win, and the Vikings will be looking for revenge here. A win for the visitors will go a long way to cementing a Top 4 finish, and will see North East potentially slip out of the Top 5 if other results go against them. A home team win will clinch the series and make Blackburn earn their spot in remaining games. Expect this one to be a hotly contested match up with so much at stake.
The Eagles will host the Bushrangers on Sunday it what has the potential to be a blow-out victory for the league leading Craigieburn. It would be the shock of the season if the Bushrangers were able to record a stunning win. Camberwell possess one of the most stifling defences in all of D2M holding opponents to 72.1 points per contest.
North East host Melb Uni in Wang and we have to go way back to March to get form on the matchups. Last time, the Black Angels recorded a comfortable win at Tin Alley with Melanie Fidler and Lauren Bellegante leading the charge while Rachel Jeffrey played all 40 on court for North East. If the Bushrangers can turn the tables with a home shed result, head to head might be important in the last round of the season.
Pakenham takes on North East at home on Sunday to try and create some form and turn around its three-game slump. Josh Bjelan (16.36PPG), Ben Gaze (13.29PPG) and Hayden Davey (12.14PPG, 9.14RPG) have all flown the flag this season while Ash Szalek (7 points, 4.5 RPG) may need to dust off the headband for an end-of-season tilt.
North East has the double-header as well, hosting Camberwell on Saturday night before heading to Pakenham as the search for the first win continues. Liam Wright (18.19 PPG) and Richard Townsend-Gant (16.69PPG) have been gallant for the Bushrangers that said.
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It would seem a tough task for Sherbrooke to take the W against North East, who are a side clinging to the chasing pack. It will be the Bushrangers last visit to Melbourne for a few weeks, so if they can get a victory and potentially string some home form, they’ll be definitely be in post season contention. For the Suns each game in their debut season breeds experience.
We kick off R13 with one of the biggest battles in the competition 11th vs 12th the Bushies have the chance to get their first win of the season, while the Suns started strong in 2018 they have been on the down fall since R7 which was were they last recorded a win, dropping their last 7 straight they will be pushing to stop the run of losses and get back to the winners table. The Bushies have struggled week in week out but have shown promise in some games, if they can put the pressure on for all 4 quarters they definitely can get a win here.
With both teams at home again this weekend we will see two great games. The girls will be in a nail biting clash taking on 6th placed Collingwood All Stars with our own 7th placed Stars the Lady Bushies. With a break last week we are aiming high for the girls to get this one in the bag and climb over Collingwood who have been on the way down in the last couple of weeks whilst the girls are sitting nicely with two last wins. Liv Storer seems to have assisted in making the difference after returning home from a successful College Year in the US.
Now its the men's turn who will take on Southern Pen but the card up the sleeve is the return of Lloyd Wright just in from his college year at Orange County College (OCC). We spoke with Coach Spencer who had this to say about Lloyd-
Along the way we beat many school records including longest winning streak since 1956/57. Winning against teams in the conference we had not beaten for 11 years. Coach Spencer credits Lloyd with a lot of the OCC 2017 – 2018 success.
WOW Lloyd what a year!
With any luck Lloyd can turn the table for the Bushrangers! Get on Down and give Wrighty a well earned North East welcome and support the teams as they change the tables. Wangaratta Stadium 5.00 and 7.00.
Lady Bushies at home in Wodonga
Mornington travel to the twin cities to take on North East who will be recovering on the bus trip back from Coburg the night before. The Breakers did a great job of getting over the line against Melton and will be looking to claim another Coburg induced scalp as they did last round. North East are quite a challenge to hold out at home, but Melton and Craigieburn prove it can be done.
The Bushies boys are away
After a mixed round last week the Giants will be kicking themselves for losing that top position, this week they may be playing the bottom side but that doesn’t mean its going to be easy. North East have been getting better and better each week, Coburg’s bigs will have a job to try stop the Bushies big man Richard Townsend-Gant and find a way to get around him to the hoop. North East have to be careful because if they don’t come out of the block firing the Giants may leave them for dead quick smart.