Lai gets hot, drives Dragons past Braves

Jaden Lai poured in a season-high 25 points and Hugo Bergamin finished with 15 points to lead our Youth League One team to a valuable Big V road win against Bendigo at the Red Energy Centre yesterday.

Lai (above) shot the ball at a blistering 69 per cent from the field (9-of-13 shooting) and made both of his three-point attempts as the Dragons turned their seven-point lead at the half into a 103-85 win.

Bergamin added eight rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Angus Nelson continued his recent good form with 14 points, six boards, a team-high four assists and two steals.

All 12 players scored for Camberwell, including Matthew Marcun, who provided a spark off the bench to close with eight points and a steal in just under seven minutes.

It was the second straight win – and the third in five games – for the Dragons, who improved to 8-4 and closed Round 9 in fourth place on the Youth League One Men ladder, behind Hume (9-1), Sherbrooke (9-3) and Wyndham (8-3).

They’ll continue their campaign with a home date against Collingwood at Balwyn High School on Saturday night (6pm).

In other Dragons Big V action yesterday, league-leading Eltham had too much for our Youth League One Women in their Round 9 clash at Eltham High School.

Rachael Smith had nine points and nine rebounds and Catherine Seletto added eight points and 11 boards, but their efforts weren’t nearly enough for Camberwell, which shot the ball at just 26 per cent from the field and 27 per cent from the three-point line.

Meghan Stagoli had a game-high 20 points to lead Eltham, which set up its 67-53 win with a 32-23 first half and built on its lead the rest of the way.

The Wildcats improved to 12-0, while the Dragons (9-2) dropped to third place after losing its second game in two days – their first one of the weekend an 89-81 road loss to Pakenham on Saturday night.

And at Balwyn High School, our Championship Women started well but couldn’t hold off fast-finishing Sunbury.

The undermanned Dragons led by 15 at quarter-time and by the same margin at the half, before the Jets took charge with a 28-15 final quarter to secure a 74-72 win.

Camberwell’s Samantha Labros led all scorers with 25 points, Andrea Belmonte closed with 10 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists and six steals, and Saule Kontautaite signed off with 17 points, three assists and three steals.

The Dragons slipped to 3-8.


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