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Eltham Wildcats 58 def by Craigieburn Eagles 66
Top Performers: J. Weddle 13 points/7 rebounds, E. Davies 9 points, M. Stagoll 8 points/10 rebounds, K. Toohey 8 points,
After 15 long months the Big V season returned to action on the weekend with our Youth League 1 Women tipping off their 2021 campaign on the road against Craigieburn on Saturday night. The Wildcats came to play from the tip executing their offensive sets and defending their scout to perfection which saw them go into the halftime break with a 33-28 lead. The Eagles found form to start the third period as the Wildcats were unable to hit the scoreboard only netting 9 points for the quarter. The fourth quarter went back and fourth with both teams having opportunities to win the game but with the Wildcats missing numerous shots in the paint and only shooting 12/26 from the free throw line saw the home team hold on to win the game.
Although the result on the scoreboard wasn’t in favour of the Wildcats Coach D’Wayne Hogan took plenty of positives from his teams first game of the season.
“We played an exciting style of game, there was plenty of upside and improvement to build on moving forward. We are not overly a big team and we competed on the glass out-rebounding them (54-41) which is something we are really impressed with.”
The Youth Women will play the Bulleen Boomers in their home opener this Saturday night at Eltham High School (6pm). Tickets will be released this week via Trybooking.
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Eltham Wildcats 82 def Blackburn Vikings 68
Top Performers: Z. Cunningham 17 points, A. Bandilovski 15 points, J. Toohey 13 points
Game one of the 2021 Big V season for our Victorian Youth Championship Men was on the road on Saturday night against the Blackburn Vikings. This game would only be separated in the third quarter as the Wildcats outscored the Vikings 17-7 while the other three periods were neck and neck. A great contribution by all 12 players from the Wildcats would control the fourth quarter and seal their first win of the season.
It wasn’t their best performance but Coach Craig Stratford was happy for his group to just be back on the court.
“It was great to be back on the floor together, we definitely looked like we haven’t played a competitive game for over 12 months but we hung together and found a way to get over the line.”
Eltham Wildcats 69 def Diamond Valley Eagles 63
Top Performers: O. Magbegor 16 points/10 rebounds, A. Bandilovski 14 points, N. Dillion 11 points
The second leg of a double header is always tough especially against local rivals the Diamond Valley Eagles on Sunday at Eltham High School. Eltham came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter outplaying and outscoring the Eagles 26-13 behind some brilliant defence to offence transitions. The second quarter was a much different story as the visitors found their feet knocking down open shots and executing nice offensive sets while the Wildcats could only manage 7 points for the quarter.
A. Bandilovski makes the defence pay. Photo: Peter Steven
The entire second half went back and fourth with both teams providing brilliant plays on either end of the floor but it was the Wildcats who lifted behind their huge home crowd forcing crucial turnovers (17 steals & 23 turnovers) from the Eagles in the final minutes of the game to secure a perfect 2-0 start to the season.
“We started to cement ourselves as a good defensive unit which is something for us to build on moving forward,” said Craig Stratford.
With 250+ spectators in attendance the environment at Eltham High School was electric for the local derby and provided a great learning experience for the new players to the group according to Stratford.
“It was great to see our new players experience a high intensive game in front of our vocal home crowd.”
The Youth Men will be back at Eltham High School this Saturday night when they take on the Melbourne Tigers at 8pm. Tickets will be released this week via Trybooking.