Pioneers primed for season

Pioneers primed for season

The Mount Gambier Pioneers have had their first competitive hit out for the year, taking part in the annual four team challenge in Millicent.

The Castec Rural Pioneers men played against NBL1 Central Conference teams Norwood Flames and Woodville Warriors.

They also took the court against conference rivals Diamond Valley Eagles.

The Pioneers came away undefeated, winning all three games by around 10 points.

It was the first real hit out for the Mount Gambier side, with all players bar guard Nick Marshall taking part.

Marshall is set to return to the Blue Lake city shortly after playing with the Australian Boomers team in the FIBA World Cup qualifying window.

Veteran guard Tom Daly was ruled out for the weekend due to injury with another guard Kane De Wit only playing half of the Friday night game due to injury, which head coach Richard Hill said was nothing serious.

Hill said guard Austin Shelley was a standout over the weekend, commanding the offence at point guard due to the absences of Daly and De Wit.

Hill said he was also pleased with US import forward Christian Peevy who played well in the game against Woodville.

Hill was also impressed by new signing forward Akech Allir who “had a great game against Norwood on Friday night”.

Hill said the team was starting to gell together, with the players all taking part in a heavy training schedule.

“It’s only early days and they’re all good guys and good basketball players so I expect them to gell well as time goes along,” he said.

Meanwhile, the OneFortyOne Pioneers women also took the court in Millicent, playing Norwood and Woodville.

The women won both matches comfortably and will continue their pre-season along with the men’s side against Geelong in Portland on March 16.

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