Shepparton Gators will show faith in its current crop of players when it embarks on a return to Big V next month.By Damen Francis
Shepparton Gators will show faith in its current crop of players when it embarks on a return to Big V next month.
Fresh from sealing consecutive Country Basketball League north-east titles, the Gators will contest the state final this weekend, before heading to Frankston to contest the pre-season Big V Tournament on March 9.
Gators head coach Steve Nioa said the team would remain largely unchanged when it hosted Casey Cavaliers at Shepparton Sports Stadium in round one of Victoria’s premier senior basketball competition one week later.
‘‘We look like getting pretty much the same guys and it looks like there are a couple of guys from Wodonga that are pretty keen to come over and play with us as well,’’ Nioa said.
‘‘We’re really just using CBL as a step from Junior Gators into senior competition and then obviously they graduate through the CBL program into Big V.’’
Unfortunately, the Gators have to move forward without talented guards Matt Bartlett and Zaine Allen.
Allen will play in a higher division in Melbourne, while Bartlett, who was most valuable player in Saturday’s CBL north-east final, has returned to Bendigo Braves for the upcoming SEABL season.
Nioa will return to the helm to allow CBL co-coaches Jack Threlfall and Shannon Ralph to concentrate on playing and he said he couldn’t wait to get started.
‘‘I’ve sort of been missing it a little bit and as it came to finals I was slowly getting closer and closer to it, freeing them up to be able to play more,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m really excited about Big V, coming away from a successful CBL season helps out as well and hopefully because of that we get a lot of local support behind us.
‘‘We had a huge amount of support at the grand final because of the junior tournament and then obviously a bit of success throughout with the boys (under-16 division one team) and the girls (under-18 division one team) winning.
‘‘Our crowd was fantastic and I know my junior team that I coached you could swear they had just won the CBL grand final on the Saturday night, they were just as excited.’’
City of Greater Shepparton councillors have chosen not to provide support for the Slap Tomorrow forum on climate change to be held next month.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
Echuca East Primary School students had to remove dog poo before they could play a game of junior football at Echuca East Recreation Reserve on Friday.
The Elmore Events Centre has received a $500,000 grant which it will put towards the centre's $1.1 million upgrade.
The call has gone out for Kyabram residents to throw open their garage doors for Kyabram Gift Inc's annual Purple Weekend fundraiser.
Ten people were injured after Two Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) collided during a training course at the Puckapunyal Military Training Range in on Wednesday, May 22.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
A fire on a historic bridge on the Heathcote Spring Plains Rd is being treated as suspicious.
Koonoomoo’s recovery from a tornado which hit the township in March is continuing — but this weekend the process will take on a lighter note.
The Roos, after losing four games in a row, have won their second straight with an 80-point thrashing of Picola United.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
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