With the Big V basketball season right on our doorstep, HAYLEY WILDES takes a look at how the two senior Casey Cavaliers teams are shaping up…
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP MEN
2017 finish: 5th (15 wins, 7 losses)
Roster: #1 Ricki DeHaan – guard, #5 Michael McInnes – guard, #6 Jorden Page – guard, #7 Dean Johnson – forward, #9 Matthew Donlan – forward, #10 Hunter Marks – forward, #13 Brandon Polk – centre, #14 Raheem Lemons – forward, #15 Mitch Chapman – guard, #35 Ben Louis – guard, #41 Brent Hobba – forward, #53 Jordan Gooiker – guard.
The Casey Cavaliers State Championship Men will be looking to build on the momentum they enjoyed in the second half of the 2017 season. The Cavs won their final seven regular season games, before going down in an Elimination Final at the hands of Eltham in a heartbreaking one-point loss.
2017 leading scorer for the Cavs, Brandon Polk is back again in 2018. Averaging 17.3 points and 10 rebounds in 2017, the import was dominant and over the seven game win streak averaged 23 points per game.
Ben Louis, the do-it-all guard, had a stand-out year for the Cavs in 2017 and will be looking to continue that form in 2018. Louis averaged 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game and his drives to the basket became a staple of the Cavs offence with his ability to score and pass through traffic.
Jordan Gooiker 2017 Youth Men Rising Star and Hunter Marks, Youth Men Defensive Player of the Year will be looking to continue their rise and prove themselves at State Championship level.
Two keys to Casey’s hopes this season are their big off-season signings; Jorden Page and Matt Donlan. Both played NCAA Division 1 hoops; Page at St Mary’s College and Donlan at Youngstown State University.
Donlan is a player that can light up the court with his shooting. A terrific three-point threat, Donlan shot 46.3% from deep in his final year at college in 2016.
With these two key additions, along with a great mix of young and veteran returning players from the 2017 squad, Casey looks set to make some noise in 2018.
DIVISION ONE WOMEN
2017 finish: 11th (4 wins, 16 losses)
Roster: #2 Rebecca Borham – guard, #4 Amanda Hobba – guard, #5 Keeley Patterson – guard, #6 Shannon Patterson – forward, #9 Tanarly Hood – guard, #11 Rebecca Szalek – guard, #15 Stephanie Pal – forward, #20 Tarryn Wilkin – centre, #24 Jamie-Lee Jeffs – forward, #32 Billie Lucas – forward, #41 Loni Jeffs – guard, #50 Caitlyn Wakartschuk – guard, #53 Sarsha Cadle – forward.
After a disappointing 2017 campaign, the Lady-Cavs have recruited well and added plenty of firepower to their 2018 roster.
The arrivals of Tanarly Hood and Billie Lucas will bolster the scoring options for the Lady-Cavs.
Hood was named Division One MVP and included in the All-Star 5 in 2017, averaging a league-best 22.6 points and 8 rebounds per game whilst playing for the Latrobe City Energy.
Hood is an absolute star of BigV basketball. Her ability to create her own shot, as well as shoot off the catch, result in many easy buckets for her team.
Lucas led the Chelsea Gulls to the 2017 Division One Championship, averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds. She was also a member of the All-Star 5 in 2016.
Both Hood and Lucas arrive at Casey with the expectation to bring it on offence – something that the Lady-Cavs severely lacked in 2017.
2017 Lady-Cavs’ leading scorer, Rebecca Borham (14.4 points) and double-double machine Tarryn Wilkin (12.9 points and 11.45 rebounds) have both returned for season 2018.
With major offensive weapons added to the roster, you can expect to see the Lady-Cavs perform much better than in their 4-win season in 2017.