The Melbourne Tigers Youth sides were on the road this week with the Youth Women squad travelling to take on Hawthorn while the Youth Men had the daunting task of taking on the undefeated Bulleen Boomers.
The Youth Women tipped off at 1:00pm in a tough contested game that saw both teams miss plenty of shots in the 1st quarter. Both teams traded their first couple of baskets until Phoebe Gaze scored on back to back Tigers possessions to start an 8 – 0 run that saw the Tigers get out a 4 – 10 lead. The Magic answered with 4 points of their own but the Tigers held steady for the rest of the quarter and went into the first break up 10 – 14.
The Hawthorn Magic had the scores all tied up in just over 2 minutes of play into the 2nd quarter but the Tigers scored the next 4 points. The Magic kept on coming though and eventually took a 1-point lead with 1:04 left on the clock. Ashley Stainer hit a 3 with 13 seconds remaining till halftime for the Tigers to retake the lead and hold it for those few moments. The Tigers ked 25 – 27.
The Melbourne Tigers got the early jump on Hawthorn to start the 3rd to start extending the lead but Hawthorn were quick to reel the Tigers back in. With 3:59 left to go in the quarter the Magic took a 3-point lead. With the Magic holding that lead the game got tougher as both defences stepped it up a notch with neither team able to score. The Tigers broke through thanks to Phoebe Gaze who got the Tigers going again and was followed by Lucy Purchase scoring 20 seconds later for the Tigers to retake the lead. The Magic still weren’t able to score and in the final minute of the quarter Lucy Purchase scored once more to cap off a 6 – 0 run to close the quarter out and give the Tigers a 45 – 42 lead going into the last quarter.
The pressure from the Tigers didn’t let up and the Magic lifted theirs again as well. The first points of the last quarter came from Jordan Cransberg as she made 1 of 2 free throws. That came after 2:07 of play, 40 seconds later the Magic hit back with a 3 and cut the Tigers lead back to 1. They were the only scores until there was 3:51 left in the game when Lucy Purchase scored. The Magic kept trying to push back at the Tigers but were unable to get any closer than 3 points as the Tigers went on to win, 48 – 54.
Lucy Purchase led all scorers with 14 points coming off the bench, she also added 7 rebounds, Jordan Cransberg also scored 12 points and had 4 steals and 2 blocks. Zoe Cransberg had 13 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocks to go along with her 7 points. Ashley Stainer had 11 rebounds and 5 assists to go with her 7 points also.
The Youth Men tipped off at 1:30pm at East Doncaster Secondary College, as they looked to be the 1st team to knock off the Bulleen Boomers.
Both teams took a little bit to get going but the Tigers struck first with Daniel Sutcliffe scoring for the Tigers. Unfortunately for the Tigers though their defence couldn’t contain Bulleen much longer as they scored the next 10 points. From there it was an uphill battle for Melbourne as the Boomers extended their lead to 15 with 1:21 to go. The Tigers were able to score the last 4 points of the quarter to bring the score to 21 – 10 at quarter time.
Bulleen and Melbourne traded baskets for the first 2 minutes before the Boomers reeled off the next 8 points to extend their lead out to 19. The Tigers couldn’t get any closer than 16 points and the Boomers were putting Melbourne to the sword early as they reeled off the last 8 points of the 2nd quarter to lead, 51 – 24 at halftime.
The Tigers were in a position that was most unusual to them as they haven’t trailed by as many points in quite some time. The Tigers needed to come out strong in the 3rd quarter to which they did as they scored the first 5 points of the quarter before trading baskets with Bulleen. A 2-point jump shot by Daniel Kinkela had brought the Tigers back to within 20 points of Bulleen with 6:50 remaining in the period. The Boomers had seen enough and tightened up their defence once more as they scored the next 13 points to take their lead out to 33 with 4:22 left. The Boomers got out to as much as 36 points but the Tigers were able to reduce the margin to 31 as they trailed, 79 – 48 going into the last break.
The Boomers continued the onslaught as they outscored Melbourne 9 – 2 in the opening 2 minutes of the last quarter to take their lead out to 38 points. Nearing the midway mark of the last quarter and the Boomers leading by 37 points, Billy Hughes hit a 3 which keyed an 11 – 1 run where Billy scored all 11 points. The margin was back to 27 but a Bulleen 3 quickly took that back to 30 but the Tigers scored the next 6 points to have the margin at 24. A shot from Bulleen with 10 seconds remaining though took the final margin to 26 points. With the Tigers suffering their worst loss for the season, 100 – 74.
Billy Hughes led all scorers with 19 points coming off the bench, Abraham Kaplandjian and Daniel Sutcliffe both added 12 points each.