THE Horsham Hornets will welcome back star guard Cam Bruce for Saturday night’s Country Basketball League grand final showdown with Mount Gambier Lakers.
Playing coach Tim Pickert said Bruce would bolster an already strong line-up.
“Cam brings plenty of experience – he’s one of the best guards going around in the league,” he said.
“To get him back for a grand final is definitely a bonus.”
The teams have claimed one win apiece from their two encounters in the 2013-14 south-west conference season.
The Hornets triumphed by 15 points at home in round one, with the Lakers finishing on top in the penultimate round of the home and away season.
Pickert is confident his charges can topple Mount Gambier on Saturday night.
“We won in round one without a full side and we were without four or five guys the last time we played them and only lost by four points,” he said.
“We’re feeling really good about the game.
“It’s the second time all year we’ve had a full side to pick from.”
Mount Gambier comes into the grand final off the back of a 16-point upset win against top team Warrnambool Seahawks.
The Lakers built on their three-point three-quarter time lead by piling on 28 points to 17 in the final term. The Hornets also enjoyed a strong last quarter in their come-from-behind win over Colac Kookas on Saturday.
Pickert said both sides would fight for an early advantage.
“When we played Mount Gambier last time we let our form drop a bit in the second quarter,” he said.
“We were 24 points down and came back to only lose by four.
“Playing catch-up basketball isn’t much fun – we need to try to get a good lead early and build on it from there.”
Pickert said the Hornets would need to overcome a number of other challenges.
“We’ll have to watch out for the Berkefeld brothers, they’re both guards and they’re both good,” he said.
“They also have a few big guys – one is seven-foot-three – they’re pretty good across the board.
“Good defence is going to be really important.”
Pickert hopes Horsham residents will continue to show their support.
“To be honest I think it was the crowd that got us over the line last week,” he said.
“Hopefully we’ll have a big crowd again and it will be nice and loud – that support really helps.
“I’d just like to say good luck to the girls, hopefully we can have two good wins."