Mildura Weekly : Friday March 13 2015 Vol 9 No 18
sport 35 FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU By ADAM LUITJES ROUND one of the Big V Basketball League starts tomorrow and after a big pre-season Mildura’s Heat and Lady Heat teams are ready for tip- off. Starting their 2015 campaign against Melton Thoroughbreds at the Toyota Hothouse will be the Heat, who are set to unveil new American import Anthony Thomas, RIGHT. Touching down in Mildura last weekend, the 198cm small forward will be expected to play plenty of minutes in the absence of star Cal- vin Henry, who won’t be returning from Norway until round three. After stints at Hutchinson Com- munity College, Appalachian State and College of Charleston, Mildura is the first international contract for the 23-year-old. Having suited up for the Heat for the first time in a practice game last Sunday, Anthony said his team- mates had made him feel welcome. “When I played the guys were cheering me on,” Anthony said. “It’s something I have never really experienced – the guys have your back here – I like that, so I reckon I’ll fit in well.” Having experienced a successful college career, Anthony is hoping to make a smooth transition into coach James Madigan’s plans. “I love coach Madigan already,” he said. “He just tells me to be ag- gressive and play my game. “I think he likes the way I play, and I like the way he coaches, so it’ll work out.” Entering his 10th season coach- ing Mildura, Madigan is optimistic about season 2015. With another year under the belts of youngsters Dallas Brown, Alex Newstead and Jay Madigan – and the welcome return of veteran Jason Pratt – Madigan is happy with the make-up of his squad. “I expect every time we take the court we are going to have a win- ner’s mentality,” he said. “At mini- mum our goal is to make finals, and then see what happens from there.” Despite the absence of reigning Division One Most Valuable Player Calvin Henry, Madigan is expecting his team to put on a show for fans tomorrow night. “We want to play hard, tough defence and hold Melton to a low score,” he said. “It’s going to be a really tough game, they have been training since October with a full squad.” Facing a daunting road trip to Traralgon to face rivals Latrobe City Energy – without import Ivy Abio- na who is stuck in America waiting for her visa to be approved – Lady Heat coach Ang Wall says there is no love lost between the two sides. “I’m sure they will be flashing back to last year when we knocked them out to go into the grand fi- nal,” Ang said. “We still have the likes of Vanessa Power (captain) that they have to shut down, and not even a 6ft 10ins import could shut her down because of the high calibre player she is. “Mikayla Delcastegne is play- ing good basketball in the premier league, she’s been working hard, and is a lot more explosive than last year.” Despite losing import Sarina Simmons and starters Sam Zoch and Jasmine Simmons, the Lady Heat have welcomed past players Tracey-Lee Sherlock and Brooke Rule back into the fold. Having finished runners-up to Geelong Supercats in 2014, Ang said backing up last season’s efforts will be a challenge. “There are going to be four or five teams in Division One who will have an import,” she said. “Last year there was only the two of us, so that will shake things up. “This year the league is going to have a top five instead of a top four – because there is 11 teams in the conference – so I think we can make finals, which is definitely our goal.” Tomorrow night’s Mildura Heat Big V season opener will be played at the Toyota Hothouse with tip-off at 7pm. Big V Basketball season kicks off tomorrow night RECEPTION: 5023 3311 | COMPETITION LINE: 5023 1467 www.easymix.com.au Secret Sound... 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Friday March 6 2015 Vol 9 No 17
Friday March 20 2015 Vol 9 No 19