Cameron Sporting Complex was a buzz on Saturday afternoon as Maffra and Sale basketball associations came together for their annual practice matches as a curtain-raiser for the senior Country Basketball League games.

Now in its third instalment, the Maffra-Sale Day is fast becoming a tradition that is a highlight on the local basketball calendar each year.

Both clubs put forward their junior squad teams for practice matches during the day, which saw some high-level basketball played.

It is a great initiative that creates a strong relationship between the two clubs and their athletes, plenty of whom go to school together and then enjoy competing against one another in their sport.

Once the junior games are finished, the attention turns to the CBL matches between the senior Eagles and Sonics squads.

First up was the women’s match, where plenty thought it may be a one-sided affair based on Round 1 results.

However, with some of Sale’s young stars back in the line-up, those in the know expected a closely fought battle, and that’s exactly what the 400-strong crowd got.

The first three quarters saw both teams go on small runs, and the lead change multiple times, with the Eagles taking a three-point lead at the end of the third quarter.

Tanna Boyle, in just her second season of senior basketball, then stepped up to the plate with some key defensive steals leading to fast break points, which pushed the Maffra lead towards 10 before the Sonics once again made their run.

In the final minute, Sale closed to within one point, but that was as close as they could come as some clutch free throws from Paige Biddle and Julie Foat closed out the game to see Maffra win 74-70.

Leading scorers for the Eagles were Biddle (16 points), Emerson Connolly (16) and Jaime Gallatly (15), while for the Sonics, it was the youngsters Tayli Dimarco (19) and Jemma Birss (15) who hit the scoreboard.

Senior men’s CBL action between Maffra and Sale.

The men’s match promised to be a close game, and through the first 10 minutes, it was exactly that, with Sale taking a two-point lead into quarter time off the back of some hot shooting beyond the three-point line.

However, much like in Round 1 in Morwell, the experienced Maffra side kicked into gear in the second quarter on the back of Sam Whelan and Ethan McIntyre’s shooting, as well as Mem Bektas’ strong inside play.

Halftime saw the Eagles take a 46-36 lead.

With plenty of support on the sidelines, Maffra was able to push their lead out to 17 points.

The fourth quarter brought some excitement when Maffra junior Marcus Proud hit the floor for his first senior match and immediately sent the crowd into a frenzy, draining a long-range three-point basket before Mark Cordon and Jayson Mandilag also hit the scoresheet for the first time in their CBL careers.

The result was a 29-point victory for the Eagles, 94-65, with Sam Whelan (37 points) continuing his hot start to the season, with both McIntyre (13) and Byron Sandeman (13) in double figures.

Sale’s leading scorers were Ash Bell with 17, and Ben Dessent contributing 11.

Round 3 sees the Eagles have a home double-header facing Traralgon on Saturday night then backing up to face Moe on Sunday afternoon.

Sale face Warragul next Saturday night.