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24 November 2021
By SARAH MATTHEWS
After more than 18 months away from competitive basketball, Horsham Hornets men’s and women’s teams are champing at the bit to kickstart their 2021-22 Country Basketball League campaigns at the weekend.
The women will travel to Terang to take on the Tornadoes on Saturday night, while the men will head to Colac on Sunday to meet the Kookas.
The south-west conference features seven men’s teams this season, with six in the women’s competition.
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Surfcoast is a newcomer in both grades, while Ararat Basketball Association has decided not to enter a men’s team based on a lack of interested players.
Lady Hornets coach Rebecca McIntyre said nine of her 11 squad members would line up for round one, with Shannon Cross and Jess Cannane unavailable.
She said she was happy with how her squad was shaping up, with a good mix of youth and experience.
“Liv Jones has been appointed captain and Faith McKenzie vice-captain and they will lead the way on and off the court,” she said.
“We’ve also got Ema Iredell back after a couple of years off the court and Georgia Hiscock, who although she is still quite young, has a lot of experience under her belt.”
The squad also features experienced Caitlin Story and up-and-comers Grace Manserra and Imogen Worthy.
“We’ve also got Nekayla Butler and Jedah Huf in the squad – so we’re looking pretty good,” McIntyre said.
She said she expected it would take a few weeks for players to settle in and to determine where sides were at.
“The season has come up quickly – a little too quickly – but we will go in excited and ready to go,” she said.
“We won’t be holding anything back, we’ll absolutely be trying our best and giving it a crack.”
Men’s coach Scott Benbow is also keen to see what his charges can deliver during his first season at the helm.
“We have a young squad this season and the boys are very enthusiastic and ready to go,” he said.
The Hornets will take a full squad to Colac, with veteran Matt Lovel to hit the court for his 150th game.
“It’s a big milestone for Matty,” Benbow said.
He said Mitch Martin, Cody Bryan and Sam Breuer had been leading the way at training, but he expected a solid team effort on Sunday.
“We had a practice match last week against the ladies and everyone scored points, so I think they will all be really competitive,” he said.
“It was a really good hit-out and it’s a shame we don’t get to play together this weekend, but it will just be great to get back out there and see what we can do.”
The entire November 24, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire November 24, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!