CBL Round 2 Preview

THERE’S plenty on offer this weekend as the Country Basketball League ramps up for another power-packed round.

GIPPSLAND – MEN

Maffra vs Warragul screams out in the preview as the must-see match of the round. Both sides sailed off to amazing starts – 2-0 apiece heading into a Saturday night thriller. The Eagles soared past Churchill and Sale while the Warriors charged over Bairnsdale and Traralgon. The winner sets the tone early in Gippsland’s men’s conference and the way Maffra ran over the top of some incredible teams… you’d think it’s them. Sam Whelan is on fire early for the Eagles and his presence alone seems to take proceedings in Maffra’s favour. The Eagles back up against the T-Birds on Sunday and in the blink of an eye they could be 4-0 and storming away from this competition.

Moe will look to stay in the top ranks with its clash against Bairnsdale on Sunday while another interesting clash to keep an eye on is Traralgon vs Korumburra as both sides look to buck last week’s poor start to the season.

Sale v Bairnsdale

Maffra v Warragul

Traralgon v Korumburra

Bairnsdale v Moe

Traralgon v Maffra

GIPPSLAND – WOMEN

Traralgon is pulling no punches this season so far and it’s out for another TKO this weekend against Korumburra and Maffra.

There’s plenty of young talent in the T-Birds roster as Emirson Devenie and Joanna Watson have fired out of the blocks. Devenie has scarcely put a foot wrong this year – featuring heavily in the Vic Country U16 silver medal triumph in Maroochydore – and is continuing her strong form in the CBL.  It’s a potent line-up and it seems to be just the beginning for the side.

Korumburra is next up with a double-header against either end of the spectrum in Traralgon and Sale. Any side featuring Jamie-Lee Jeffs and Loni Jeffs will always be potent in this league and Mat Holmes has plenty of young talent like Chloe Hogg around them to work with. If you can find your way down to Traralgon on Saturday night, you won’t regret the decision.

Maffra v Warragul

Traralgon v Korumburra

Traralgon v Maffra

Sale v Korumburra

 

NORTH WEST – MEN

Wow. Didn’t Echuca make an impact over the weekend? Taking the big scalp of Bendigo on top of a comfortable win against Swan Hill, all the pieces are slotting together nicely for the Pirates. Luke Rosendale and Kaaran Richardson have enjoyed their first week in the line-up this season and will continue to prove a potent one-two punch going forward. Heading towards their second double-header in as many weeks, the Pirates can assert their dominance over the league in its away clashes against Kyneton and Maryborough away. If the road trip goes to plan they’ll have a comfortable break on the chasing pack heading into their round three bye.

Maryborough started with a thrashing of Castlemaine and will aim to keep the good times rolling against Mildura and Echuca to round out the weekend. Brady Neill has been Mr Consistent in the league for eons and has started 2018/19 in the same fashion.

Kyneton v Echuca

Maryborough v Mildura

Castlemaine v Mildura

Maryborough v Echuca

 

NORTH EAST – WOMEN

Shepparton enters the ring for their CBL season debut and will battle it out against Maryborough on Saturday night. They’ve gone fairly young in 2018/19 – with seven born this millennium – but they’ve also got some decent firepower with the likes of 2017/18 leading scorer Rhianna Barton and Marni Sharp returning to the roster.

Also joining the fray are Maryborough – with starring youth players Bella Westbrook, Keely Hare and Maggie Tranter returning – and Wodonga – with a new look roster this season featuring plenty of exciting young talent.

Kyneton v Echuca

Maryborough v Shepparton

Myrtleford v Wodonga

Maryborough v Echuca

 

NORTH EAST – MEN

Benalla will christen their home court on Saturday night against Wallan before heading across to Myrtleford to battle the high-flying Saints. The Breakers will look to get on the board in style and put behind them the 91-53 loss to Seymour last weekend. Patrick Mahoney, Corry Westbury and 201cm Lachlan Kego make a potent trio for the Breakers but will need to dial in to take apart Wallan. They then head off to battle Myrtleford with both sides coming off Saturday night clashes. A clean sweep will give the Saints the early bragging rights in the CBL North East atop the ladder. Life without Jalen Barker is going well so far for Myrtleford but only time will tell what their younger brigade can offer.

Seymour has shone its might early in the division and should be well placed once again. They’ve got options across the board – Robbie Sartori, Matthew Boland, Jack Huxtable… and many more – and look to have only just gotten out of first gear. Who knows how far they can go when all cylinders are firing.

Benalla v Wallan

Seymour v Wangaratta

Myrtleford v Wodonga

Myrtleford v Benalla

 

SOUTH WEST – MEN

Ararat will take to the court for the first time this weekend as we see what the Redbacks have against the likes of Warrnambool and Horsham in their two game home swing.

Marcus Jenkins told the Ararat Advertiser this week he is ready to tip off the season and make home court an almighty prospect for visitors.

“I am really eager to work with these players, some might have never experienced the intensity or structure that I have set during pre-season training,” Jenkins said to the Ararat Advertiser. “We have worked hard leading up to tip off on Saturday. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the courts and creating a fortress like atmosphere within the stadium for the club.”

Bacchus Marsh stepped up and delivered on debut last week against Hamilton and will battle Horsham away on Saturday night before hosting Colac on Sunday afternoon. Will they keep their home defence up? How will they fare against the Hornets? Billy Feben had it on a string as he shot the lights out with 17 in the first term, but it wasn’t just all on him. An even Lions’ line-up will go well against Colac. On the other hand Horsham had some potent power through Jeremiah McKenzie and Damien Skurrie and will look to continue powering through with its young stars. In these early days of the season we’re on the hunt for teams to distinguish themselves and one of these sides could very well be on the rise.

Ararat v Warrnambool

Hamilton v Geelong

Horsham v Bacchus Marsh

Ararat v Horsham

Bacchus Marsh v Colac

Mt Gambier v Hamilton

 

SOUTH EAST – WOMEN

Colac women will look to bounce back with clashes against Horsham on the road and Warrnambool at home. Kookas’ Janelle Monaghan started like a house on fire and in league with Michelle Winch and Emma Hawker is showing some good signs early in the season. Emalie Iredell has picked up where she left off last season for Horsham.

Bellarine hosts Horsham on Saturday. The Storm split its results in Round 1, but pleasingly the influence of Jess Watson, Bree Matthews and Raini Matthews was all on show to start the season.

Horsham v Colac

Bellarine v Horsham

Colac v Warrnambool

 

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