HORSHAM Hornets will hit the road this week to face reigning Country Basketball League South West conference men's champion Mount Gambier tomorrow night.
The Hornets top the ladder with eight wins from nine games, while the Lakers are fourth with a 7-4 record.
Despite the gap in ladder position, Hornets coach Tim Pickert said his team would be undermanned and was expecting a tough fight.
Several of its key contributors will be missing, including guards Darcy Tucker, Cam Bruce and Jono Lovel.
Tucker will be in New Zealand to play for Australia in a match against the New Zealand men's national AFL, Bruce is hosting a Big V basketball camp in Horsham and Lovel has family commitments.
Tucker missed most of the Hornets' season so far with a broken hand, but quickly found his rhythm upon returning, scoring 21 points against Stawell in the Hornets' last match to lead the team.
Pickert said the team could overcome Mount Gambier but it would take a big effort.
Pickert said if the Hornets won the game they would be guaranteed a home semi-final.
The Hornets' women will also travel for a road double header along with the Stawell Wildcats women's team this weekend.
The Wildcats will play Portland tomorrow evening before travelling to Warrnambool on Sunday, while the Hornets play the Mermaids tomorrow and Portland on Sunday.