Eltham Dandenong Tournament





We can all be enormously proud of how this wonderful group of Girls represented our club throughout the Eltham Dandenong Tournament.

They have had a terrific start to the season and deserved to enjoy some spoils which they certainly did in the tournament.

We were graded in A Grade for the tournament and came up against some evenly matched teams. This gave the girls an opportunity to put all their hard work into action and show how much they have progressed.

They came out of the blocks racing winning impressively 37-24 against Waverley 1 on Sunday morning. Whilst the game didn’t all go our way after being held scoreless in the 2nd quarter, we consolidated the game in the 3rd quarter and then took out the win with an impressive 19-point last quarter! Great defensive pressure and finishing our shots made a huge difference.

They then played a tight game against McKinnon 1. Whilst it was even through the game, McKinnon pulled away in the 4th quarter to take a 6-point win 27-21. I believe the girls were much stronger than their opponents, had some good looks at the basket but failed to convert……so more shooting practice at training!!

Thanks to hosts Brett & Ali, the girls then enjoyed a much needed aqua-aerobic recovery session (aka Pool Party & BBQ). This gave the girl’s (and parents!) an opportunity to have lots of fun and to get to know each other. Thanks again to Liv’s parents for being so hospitable!

On Monday night the girls then played a strong game against Kilsyth 2 and came away with a solid 30-point win 42-12! We were able to control the majority of the game which gave us the opportunity to try players in different roles and work on our set plays.

Unfortunately dropping the game against McKinnon 1 meant we didn’t make finals but the 3 games we did have were invaluable to us developing as a team.

There was some stand out moments for every player and we were incredibly pleased with the way the girls carried out instructions, ran our set inbound plays and increased their intensity on the court. There were some amazing individual efforts (impossible steals, gutsy defence, brilliant drives to the basket) but it was the girls overall TEAM effort that impressed and made us immensely proud to be their coaches.

Thanks to our awesome Assistant Coach Chloe Mallamaci and to our terrific TM’s Simon & Bec, and all the parents, for organising the girls and keeping them energised, it is very much appreciated.

Paul Martin – coach

GIRLS 12.2 The 12.2 girls had a great tournament weekend. They stepped up the pace of their game and really started to gel together nicely. The girls had two very comfortable wins against Eltham 3 and Kilsyth 4, where they showed some amazing team-work and passing. Our second game was a tough one against Hawthorn 3, who ended up beating us by 2pts. Although we weren’t able to settle into our usual rhythm, we still took a lot away from the game and learnt how to cope with more pressure.  

The team made it to finals playing Blackburn 1, which was fantastic. The girls really rose to the intensity of this game, but the strength of Blackburn was just a bit too much (for now) and we lost by 20pts.

I am super proud of how the girls performed in their first tournament together. They all learnt so much and are starting to play some great basketball. Thank you to our Team Manager Lewis for keeping everyone well informed and each day running so smoothly. Also a big thank you to our parents for everything they do for the team and girls!

Looking forward to a great season ahead. Well done team! 

GIRLS 12.3 On Sunday morning the girls were so excited to play together again coming off a good game Friday night. However we came up against some very tall competition. In a tough game the girls did not give up and started to show some signs of improvement. 

Game 2 we found another tall team. The girl’s continued to play hard right to the end. 

Monday evening in game 3 we focused on our defensive effort and finished the tournament with a draw. 

Emily and I are looking forward to the season ahead to see the girls continue to improve and develop!!

Sarah and Emily!! 

GIRLS 12.4 For the 12-4 girls the number one goal for the tournament was to come together as a team and start to learn how each other played. In this regard the girls were very successful, beginning to show some fantastic team-work and great spirit.

On the court we also had a successful tournament, with big wins over Wallan and Craigieburn 3 and a nail biting 2pt win over Eltham 4. In the final we came up against a Broadmeadows side with a very tall player who we struggled to get around in offence and she, together with some great finishing from their very skilful guard, left us trailing early. Toward the end of the third quarter, we were trailing by ten and struggling to score. We lifted however and got within 2 with a minute to play but could not quite bridge the gap and lost by 3. 

All girls were fantastic and improved as the tournament went on and I look forward to seeing their development throughout the season


GIRLS 12.5 The 12/5 girls proudly donned their Dragons uniforms for only the second time over the weekend. On Sunday we fronted two far taller teams from higher pools and fought hard to go from fearful to fearless. On Monday we faced a more evenly matched opponent. Our play progressed from feral to ferocious…down by a field basket with forty-nine seconds to go, the girls followed instructions and after a successful Free throw and some fierce defence managed to hit the last shot as the buzzer fired, to win by 1 point!

A fabulous set of girls, fantastic families and loads of fun! I look forward to further feistiness and fine tuning our finesse in the future! A big thank you to all….Andrea

GIRLS 14.3 The under 14.3 girls faced competitive and skilled opposition during their Eltham tournament this year. Our first game, against Eltham 5, saw a comfortable win coming off the back of excellent displays of individual defence in the backcourt, aggressive attacks on the loose ball and dominance on the offensive boards. Maya Ducquet starred inside the key while Hayley Columbine was showed off her lock-down defense in transition.

Our second game came with a close 3-point loss to Kilsyth 3 whose length and aggressive backcourt trap made transition difficult. Nevertheless, the girls fought hard with incredible displays of hustle from Elisa Torun and Ashley Zhou while Bridget Newman was excellent with her persistent efforts in help defence.

Our final game landed loss to an older and taller Waverly 2 who executed an imposing and dominant press. Despite this, cool heads and good passing from Emily Weine, Frankie Sheehan, Sanulee Godaweha and Ash Brownline meant that their press was broken with ease by the third quarter. Overall, the tournament showed us that we had the capacity to display quality, attacking basketball, while also outlining a few areas to push our game further.

GIRLS 14.5 The team came together for the Eltham tournament so girls were learning each others names as well as getting to know the coaches style of play. 

Well, the girls were brilliant we steam rolled every team we came up against and we were having plenty of fun along the way. These girls are strong and have plenty of grit and determination, I’m very proud of their efforts .

It was a fantastic finish to the tournament meeting the U14.4 girls in the Grand Final, the U14.4s were too talented for us on the day but watch this space, we are hungry to learn…. 

GIRLS 16.2 Well done to the 16.2 girls who played 3 very tough games of basketball over the weekend.

Although we didn’t come away with a win, it was a great weekend for the girls to get to know each other better. They lost their first game by 7 points against Eltham 16.3, however with a little more game time as team I’m sure they would turn the tables!  It was also impressive to watch the girls not give up against the Blackburn 16.1 team who are a strong team and ran a full-court press throughout the game.

A huge THANK YOU to Lucas (G16.4 coach) who stepped in for Glenn and coached the girls throughout the tournament.  Your encouragement and coaching were greatly appreciated!

Connie Gerdsen, Team Manager G16.2


GIRLS 16.3 The 16-3 Girls had some challenging matches ahead of them this tournament, facing some fierce and determined opponents. 

However, as the tournament went on we improved our fight, effort and intensity, and in our third match the girls showed an impressive defensive effort , and were holding their own and in the lead at half time. Unfortunately a few turnovers saw our opponents streak away to get the win.

Despite going out without a win ,these girls definitely improved over the weekend as a team ,with our coach Michael pushing and ensuring they maintained focus and intensity in every match.

Well done Ivona (TM) on keeping us super organised over the weekend.

Looking forward to seeing what this group can do this season.

GIRLS 16.4 The Girls 16.4s were strong throughout the tournament, showing poise in their gameplay. Confidence and trust in each other increased, losing game 1 before turning things around to win the next two games and play the Semi-Final.  Clashing with a taller side, the girls never gave up the fight, losing by just 12 points in the end
GIRLS 16.5 The team got off to a great start in the tournament with a strong win over Ringwood 16.3.  We played this same team on Friday night in grading round 1 and lost to them, so to turn it around and win by 15 was a great result. 

Our second-round match was against Blackburn Vikings 16.4 who proved too tall and too fast.  The girls played well but were not able to keep up on the scoreboard.

Our final match was against Eltham 16.6 who were again too strong for us with too much height and scoring options.

For a team that has had limited training opportunities together and all bottom age girls, there were passages of play throughout the tournament that demonstrated fast ball movement up court and a great passing game that will worry a lot of teams this year.  This was a great opportunity to get to know each other’s game and take confidence into the rep season.  Thanks also to Rachel Bett for filling into coach.

GIRLS 18.1 The under 18.1 girls headed into the Eltham Dandenong Tournament excited to get some more playing time under our belt, and work through some elements of our game that we hadn’t had a chance to touch on. The focus for us for the tournament was not about results, but more about seeing what worked, what didn’t and any holes or gaps that we needed to fill quickly!

We had three close loses in the tournament, but learned a lot about playing together and who we are as a group. The girls did a great job taking on board everything we through at them across the weekend. We have come out of the tournament a more cohesive group, which showed in our brilliant win last Friday night. We are excited to see what this season holds for this great group.

Rachel and Kaitlyn

GIRLS 18.2 The girls had 3 very encouraging and competitive games.  They drew in their first game to Eltham 3 who won the GF and loss the next 2 within 5pts.  It was a great effort overall and each player committed strongly to their coach’s instructions.  As a new team the girls bonded well within a varying range of rotations and positions to test their flexibility.

It was good to see lots of energy and many shooting attempts.  However, the attempts did not pay off for their hard and fast effort.  Boxing out and rebounding needed to improve, and the girls need to develop greater shooting composure to gain a winning edge in their games for the future.

Well done girls, a very pleasing start to the season and a big thank you to our Team Manager and parents for their never-ending support and care.

GIRLS 21.1 The Eltham tournament represented the first chance for the U21-1 Women’s team to be back on court in 11 months.  Our defence stood strong and quickly returned after our Covid enforced break, standing up well against strong opposition.  With limited opportunity for the team to train as a whole prior to the tournament it was an opportunity for the girls to get to know each other and how they played during our 5 games.  Each of the girls improved throughout the tournament and had moments to shine, but most importantly began to gell as a team.  Ultimately the team had a successful tournament finishing Runners up to Craigieburn U21-1’s in the final where they gave it their all, but just missed getting over the line in a toughly fought contest, only soured by a knee injury for Jess .  I’m sure we will meet Craigieburn again during the season, with the girls determined the result will be different next time around. 
BOYS 12.1


The 12-1 boys had an absolutely stellar weekend in A grade, winning 4 games and losing their only game in the grand final. We started off our weekend with a solid 20 point win over Whittlesea 1, albeit a slow start. To fill in the time between games, we decided to go and chow down on some pancakes at the local Pancake Parlour. Whilst this was fun at the time, this seemed to act as a catalyst to our already slow first quarter tendencies, with the first quarter siren sounding in our second game showing us trailing 6-18 to Melbourne 1. However, we did manage to pick it up for the following 3 quarters behind 20 points from Will Borrello and a cascade of backcourt steals and deflections from Oscar Buultjens to snag a 51-42 win.

The boys came out fired up in our third game against Kilsyth 1 (who were also 2-0), and turned our previous form on its head, starting this game with a 18-3 quarter time lead. From here we never looked back, and with a great combined team effort headlined by strong scoring performances from Ollie Tadic-Harrington, Ben Richardson, Beau Willcocks and Lukas Koutoufides, we ran away with a 60-33 win and secured ourselves top spot, locking in 1st place in our pool.

8am Tuesday morning saw us face local rivals Hawthorn 1. We traded baskets the entire game with them, but strong defensive performances from Gabriel Tonin, some great low post offensive aggression from Wilson Fang, and some crucial rebounds from Nick Rigby out rebounding the Hawthorn bigs, combined with seamless offensive execution deep in the game saw us break away late and snag a 50-41 win.

By this point, we had already exceeded myself and Rye’s expectations as coaches, which were already very high, so we were much less phased about the result of the grand final and more just excited to have the chance to coach these guys for another game. We started the game strong and led by 2-3 buckets most of the first half, but unfortunately we ran out of ‘legs’, both physically and mentally, and went down 46-54 to a strong Dandenong 1 team headlined by an extremely talented point guard. Regardless of this result, this weekend was a hugely positive experience for both team chemistry, as well as basketball improvement, and Rye and I cannot wait to continue to work with these guys to compete with (and beat) more of the strongest associations across the state.

A huge thank-you to our team manager Tash, and also to all our parents for keeping the kids ready and having them places on time. Another big thank-you to my assistant coach Rye; I have not coached with an assistant before but he makes coaching infinitely easier for me and I look forward to continuing to work with him.

BOYS 12.2 The u12.2s boys had an amazing weekend. Playing in B1 North, I thought it was going to be an extremely tough weekend, but the boys proved me wrong. The development this tournament was astronomical. The discipline and the boys ability to adapt was showcased and demonstrated throughout the whole weekend, but in particular, during our finals games. The boys developed the ability to be patient and gel as a team which was ultimately, the reason why we were able to win the grand final. This was the highlight of the weekend. Collingwood 1 previously beat us in round three of the tournament by 9, and were the most challenging team we had faced so far. However, the boys were able to adapt and change their game plan effectively which gave us a three point win against them in OT. Their defence against them was extremely tough and disciplined and I couldn’t be prouder of them. I am so excited to coach this bunch of boys throughout the remainder of the season! The energy, passion and determination that these boys have make coaching so much more enjoyable! 
BOYS 12.3 The U12B/3 were coming off a big win on the Friday night against the Melbourne Tigers and full of confidence at 8am on Sunday coming up against Ringwood 3. While the parents were possibly not quite as full of energy, the boys got the tournament off to a great start posting a strong early win, with teamwork and pressure defence being the highlights. A scrappy win against Magic 6 followed later that day with some tired bodies not having quite the same zip that they had had earlier in the morning (and that’s just the parents again…). Re-setting on the Monday afternoon the lads came up against the other undefeated team in the pool Waverley 3. The pressure was back, and the boys got the result by over 20 points to set up a semi-final with Cross Over. With no knowledge of Cross Over whatsoever Tuesday morning was a bit of an unknown but once again the boys were able to work together and take a solid win to reach the grand final against Hawthorn Magic. In what was a tight game all the way the lads went down by 2 points with them not having much luck at all along the way. What really stood out was how even the contributions across the playing group are and what a lovely group of kids we have the opportunity to coach this season.
BOYS 12.4 The Boys U12.4s got off to a shaky start, with a loss against magic 5s, however, it was a close and competitive game that came down to defence in the end and unfortunately, we weren’t good enough for the game. The boys then took on Crossover which was a game you had to be there to see! One of the most competitive games of basketball that was anyone’s game. In the last 2 minutes, there were multiple lead changes which added an extra level of pressure with every shot. However again, unfortunately, we couldn’t get the job done and lost by 2 in an absolute nail bitter! Determined to get a win the boys regrouped and were not going to let anything stop them. The final game of the tournament against Ringwood 4s and the boys get off to a fantastic start and displaying one of the best games we’ve had so far this season with a 62-point win, that ended the tournament on a high! Even though we missed out on finals by 2 points, the team have their heads high, knowing that they left everything on the court. The MVP for the tournament would be Max, who absolutely controlled and dominated under the ring in both defence and offence, a truly fierce competitor. 
BOYS 14.4 The under 14/4 boys had a successful tournament despite not ending with the desired result. After an extremely strong 63-19 win over Diamond Valley 6, they faced two close games against Eltham 9 and Crossover Gold. In each matchup the boys fought hard to come back from fourth quarter deficits, where clutch performances resulted in a 2-point win in both games. The team came ready to play against Waverly 4 in the semi-final, winning 43-35 where the result was never in doubt form the tip-off. Although they went down by 11 to Kilsyth 6 in the grand final, the boys had a fun weekend of Basketball and were able to develop a sense of connection and chemistry that will set them up for a successful year. Thank you to team manager Ben and the parents for supporting me and the boys throughout this tournament.

Tom Denovan (Coach)

BOYS 14.6 The 14.6 boys team was formed after the tryout period from a group of top and bottom age boys that had displayed potential but narrowly missed the cut.  The team was late nominated into the VJBL and as such, we had only two training sessions and one game prior to the tournament.  With limited preparations, we weren’t overly optimistic about our chances of success, but everyone was excited and enthusiastic nonetheless.

Come game day, the 6’s were fired up and relishing the chance to prove themselves against the Ringwood and Eltham teams that we were pooled with.  We jumped out of the blocks in every game, playing an up-tempo, transition style offence which lead to quick scoring and put our opposition on the back foot from the get-go.  Our full court pressure suffocated our opponent’s offence, leading to three comfortable wins with an average 20+ point margin. 

The semi saw the 6s play the Camberwell 5s in and inter-club derby.  The 5s played well and fought hard throughout the game, but the 6s were too strong and took out the win by 14 points.  Hard running, great passing and teamwork were features of the win, with all boys getting on the stat sheet.  Our boxing out and rebounding was a little off, and we over dribbled when a half court press was applied, but these were a timely reminder coming into the last game of the tournament.

So through to the Grand Final, where the 6s played the Ringwood 5 boys that we had played in Round 1.  The first quarter was an even contest, with the 6s leading by just 2 at the first break.  Ringwood had improved their form since the first game and were running some well executed half court offensive sets which opened up some good entries into the paint and generated some good looks.  After some adjustments to handle their on-ball screens, the 6s tightened up on D, contesting these shot attempts and getting some great blocks in the process.  The margin was 7 by half time.  In the second half, despite heavy legs and tired bodies, the boys really turned up the heat.  United in their determination, they pulled away from their opponents on the back of an intense half court press which generated several steals and break-away lay-ups.  By the final siren, the 6s had pulled away and got the job done handsomely with a final score of 45-25.

There were plenty of takeaways from the tournament, including identifying player’s strengths and weaknesses, assessing different player positions and combinations, as well as testing some early set plays.  It was also noted that our off-court performance was excellent, with all parents and players being well organised, paid up and on-time to every game.  Many thanks to our amazing TM Allison for whipping us all into shape so quickly.

Throughout the tournament, the boys committed to and exemplified our team values.  The POSITIVITY and EFFORT displayed by all ten boys was fantastic, and all players showed RESPECT to their opponents, referees and teammates at all times.  Most encouraging was the level of TEAMWORK, which for such a new team was exceptional, with unselfish plays and ball movement being the default approach.  And lastly we’ve already completed our post tournament review and identified HOW we can get better, both individually and as a team, and are ready to get to work as training commences.  Let’s go Dragons!

BOYS 16.2 The U16.2 Boys undertook their tournament campaign at airconditioned courts of Manningham DISC which made for a pleasant few matches.

The boys played some great basketball, came up against some tough and seasoned opponents and held their own with 1 win and two losses.  While the boys didn’t make finals this time around it was a fantastic opportunity for them to get to know one another, learn from their coach and have invaluable game time as a team. Big shout out and thanks to Luke Bett for coaching! 

BOYS 16.4 The 16.4s had a great tournament. Coming off a 60-point win on Friday night we were looking really good as a team and were quite confident going into the tournament. All the teams that were in our grade were several pools higher than us on a Friday night however we still managed to win 1 game and have 2 very close losses. The boys really improved a lot over the weekend and really started to play as a team! Overall, it was a great learning experience for the boys and an even better time for them to get to know each other and build some chemistry!  ~Sandy
BOYS 16.6 No messing about, the U16.6 boys had a tough, pressure game against Balwyn to start the tournament losing by 6 points.

2 days later with wins against St. Fidelis, Ringwood and Waverley (SF) we met Balwyn again in the GF and won by a point with Bradley Cox picking up a well-deserved MVP award.

BOYS 18.1 Under 18 boys came into the tournament expecting a hard weekend playing 3 highly ranked teams.

First game against Dimond Valley 1, we came out with better defensive intensity then displayed the night before. But did not execute on the chances we created from our defence which hurt us in the second quarter, which allowed them to gain the upper hand. We where able to fight back but could not get over the the 5-10’s where our intensity was below par. We ended up losing by 5.

Game 2 against Whittlesea 1. Saw us play another strong team. We came out strong getting a great start to the game with our defensive insanity creating opportunities early that we took advantage of. Had a lapse where our defensive intensity allowed Whittlesea to get back into game and tied late in game. But we where able to wrestle back the game by lifting our intensity which allowed us the get a 6 point win.

Game 3 against Waverley 1. We matched this highly touted team early. But after half time allowed them to take momentum for a long period of time which allowed Waverley to go on a run and take control of the game. The boys tried to fight back but did not have the intensity to get the game back, losing by 8 points

Overall happy with boys over weekend as has given the boys the perfect preparation for coming grading rounds and know the intensity that needs to be brought to games and trainings.

BOYS 18.2 The Eltham Tournament was a good challenge for the team and the competitive nature of the games played will set up the team well for the season ahead.  We finished the pool games on top with 2 wins and 1 loss and went down in a close semi-final.  

Thanks to Jarrod for coaching the team over the tournament. It’s great to see the boys coming together as a team and enjoying their basketball.

BOYS 18.3 A weekend of tough and committed basketball by a group that has come together very quickly.

The boys opened with double-digit wins against Kilsyth 3 and Eltham 5, and the following night completed a sweep of pool play with a hard-fought nine-point win against a bigger and stronger Waverley 2.

Our run ended with a six-point loss to Eltham 4, which went on to win the tournament, although we had our chances late – closing to within three inside the last two minutes. 

All in all, a series of impressive performances from a team that played with great spirit and intensity and has the personnel and potential to achieve some very good things this season.

Thank you to all the boys for their efforts, to the parents for their support and encouragement over the weekend, and to the tournament for another successful and well-run event.

A great way to launch our season.

Andrew Johnstone

BOYS 21.3 The boys had a very good tournament. They lost their first and last game (to the same team) by very narrow margins, but in between had some strong wins. More importantly, the boys enjoyed themselves. Good signs for the season ahead!

Thanks to stand-in coaches Steve and Steve for giving up their long weekend.

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