HORSHAM’S wealth of basketball talent will be on display at Horsham Basketball Stadium on Saturday night as the Hornets men and women vie for Country Basketball League south-west conference crowns.
The men will take on reigning premiers Mt Gambier Lakers, while the women will go head-to-head with undefeated Portland Coasters.
Horsham Amateur Basketball Association president Dean Lakin said Wimmera residents would be treated to an action-packed evening.
“It’s fantastic to have both the men’s and women’s teams in grand finals,” he said.
“It’s great for both the teams, but also for the association.”
Mr Lakin is tipping a strong performance from the Hornets men, who earned their grand final berth with a come-from-behind win over Colac on Saturday.
“The men have had some good matches against Mt Gambier,” he said.
“They lost the last one, but they didn’t have Cam Bruce.
“I think he’ll make a difference and I’m really confident the boys will win.”
Mr Lakin is also confident the women will impress against the Coasters.
“The women haven’t beaten Portland, but they hadn’t beaten Warrnambool until last weekend either,” he said.
“They have certainly proven they have stepped it up a notch.”
Horsham defeated the Mermaids by 26 points to advance to the decider.
Mr Lakin praised the efforts of the Hornets women in their first year of CBL competition.
“I reckon it’s a real credit to Sharon Fedke, Gareth Hiscock and all the girls for getting this far and to be playing in the grand final,” he said.
“It was a bit hard this year with only four teams in the competition.
“Hopefully there will be a couple more teams next year which will allow them to get more game time.”
Mr Lakin said Horsham basketball was in a good position after the association withdrew its men’s team from the Big V competition at the end of last season.
“We’re concentrating on the CBL at the moment and using it as a starting point to build up our players,” he said.
“It’s always been our goal to get back into the Big V competition.
"We’ve got plenty of talent and it’s great to have a few of them back playing here.”
Mr Lakin is expecting plenty of home-town support on Saturday night.
“We had full crowds in Horsham during the home and away season just for those games, so I’m sure there’ll be a lot of support for the grand finals,” he said.
“If we can get the grand stand chock-a-block it will be fantastic.
“I wish both sides all the best.”
The Hornets women take to the court at 6pm, followed by the men’s grand final at 8pm.