Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Dellon Brown, Jack Madgen, Matt Sutton, Zach DeWitt, Daniel Alexander, John Jones.

Lauchie Hunter, Tom Daly, Luke Jamieson, Brad Hill, Erik Burdon, Kane DeWitt.

Kyle Tipene, Chol Luk, Lewis Thomas, Majok Deng, Mitch Hunter.

Mt Gambier will begin their season in Geelong before returning home to host Albury Wodonga in round 2       when they will unveil their 2017 championship banner. The Pioneers will retain their home court advantage through to Round 5 while they will also meet Dandenong in a Grand Final replay in Round 9.

Installing themselves as one of the greatest teams SEABL has ever seen, the Pioneers clinched a third title in four years under coach Richard Hill last season. The core group of point guard Tom Daly, Brad Hill (who averaged 15.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 2017) and sharp-shooter Erik Burdon (10.2 points per game on 40% three-point shooting last year) will be back to add to the team’s legacy with Richard Hill also returning to lead them from the sidelines.

Mt. Gambier’s greatest attribute over the journey has been their impressive depth and Luke Jamieson added to that last year, recording 11.8 points and 7.2 boards. His athleticism around the rim and capable three-point shot are valuable assets and without Daniel Alexander, Jamieson will be required to fill out the paint even more this season. He will be joined under the rim by Lewis Thomas, who has come over from the Chargers where he averaged 9.7 points and 7.5 rebounds in his first year while he particularly enjoyed playing against the Pioneers, collecting two of his three double-doubles for the season against them.

With no imports, it will be interesting to see how far Mt. Gambier can go on their Australian talent as Alexander and Damian Johnson were key to their Championships over the past few years but the opportunity is there for a young local like Kane De Wit or 17-year old Mitch Hunter to make their mark. Oppositions will still fear coming to the Ice House with the Pioneers owning a 56-7 record at home since 2012 and they have also not lost a playoff game there under coach Richard Hill.