By Hayley Wildes
Round 12 of the Big V season was an indifferent one for the Casey Cavaliers.
The Championship men had a busy weekend and started it off with a home win over Keilor on Saturday night. It was a tight first half, but the Cavs out-scored the Thunder 28-19 in the third term to take control of the game and eventually run out 89-78 winners.
Matt Donlan (25 points) caught fire from deep to drain six triples, while Raheem Lemons (23 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists) and Brandon Polk (20 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists) did plenty of damage too.
Backing up the following afternoon, the Cavs produced a disappointing effort in Geelong against cellar-dwellers, Corio Bay.
The Cavs found it tough to slow down the Stingrays and eventually fell by eight points, 97-89. Lemons (20 points and 6 rebounds) led the way, while Donlan (18 points) was again hot from behind the arc as he drained another six long bombs to make it a dozen triples over the weekend.
After going 1-1 over the weekend, Casey remains second on the ladder with a 12-4 record.
The Championship women’s season continues to spiral out of control as they suffered their seventh loss in a row, this time falling to Southern Peninsula at home, 102-76.
Despite the best efforts of Toccara Ross (31 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals) and Sarah Halejian (16 rebounds, 14 points and 8 assists), Casey couldn’t get the required stops and they just can’t find their groove this season. With a 4-8 record, the Cavs are seventh.
The Youth League 1 men suffered a heartbreaking loss on the road against Camberwell. In a back and forth game, the Cavs fought tooth and nail for the win, but ultimately fell agonisingly short, 77-76.
Brendon Head (29 points and 10 rebounds) was sublime and almost got the Cavs over the line, while Jordan Gooiker (15 points and 10 rebounds) also battled hard all afternoon. In what is a very tight competition, Casey sits fifth with a 10-6 record.
The juggernaut that is the Casey Youth League 1 women’s team continues to roll on. Taking on third-placed Camberwell on the road shaped as a major test for the Cavs, but they passed with flying colours.
Whilst Casey struggled at times on offence, their defensive tenacity made sure they stayed in the contest and eventually flourished to beat the Dragons by 15 points, 56-41. Lauren Tuplin (22 points and 7 steals) was the lone Cav to get going on offence, but it mattered little as Casey held Camberwell to just 10 per cent shooting from deep.
The Cavs (12-2) are riding a nine-game winning streak and sit on top of the ladder.
Round 13 action tips off with a Youth League 1 women and men double-header at Casey Stadium on Saturday from 6pm, while the Championship men and women hit the road to battle Hume City.