HORSHAM Lady Hornets will start the new basketball season on Sunday with high hopes of another premiership win.
The Lady Hornets will take on the Stawell Wildcats in round two of the Country Basketball League at 12pm at the Horsham Basketball Stadium.
The Lady Hornets had a strong 2015-16 season with an epic 76-69 grand final victory against Colac.
Several new recruits have joined the Lady Hornets on the back of the success, with a stellar line-up expected to further enhance the team’s competitiveness.
Coach Gareth Hiscock said he was confident in the line-up, but was wary of the two new teams in the league, Millicent Magic and the Corio Bay Stingrays.
Both Millicent Magic and the Stingrays secured impressive wins in round one of the competition, placing them in the top two positions on the league ladder.
Hiscock said the opening game was crucial.
“We want to start our season strongly, especially with the success of the two new teams,” he said.
“We need to concentrate.
“Most of our players haven’t played a competitive game of basketball since the grand final about eight months ago. I am expecting we will be rusty.”
Hiscock said the Lady Hornets had two solid months of training to prepare for Sunday’s clash.
“Even though we’ve had two solid months I am expecting it could blow out,” he said.
“In saying that, we have been training well with practice matches every Tuesday night. We have added some real class to the list with some strong inclusions.”
A number of Lady Hornets are unavailable for Sunday’s game, but Hiscock said he remained confident in the remaining available players.
New additions Gabby O’Brien, Jess Canane and Jessie Elder are unavailable.
Last year’s guard Shannon Reinheimer is also unavailable, while Sharon Fedke is another possible out due to injury.
Hiscock said he was not phased by the outs and was confident with returning player Caitlin Story, new signing Sophie Alexander and the rest of the team.
“Sophie is obviously a very talented, experienced player who will bring some extra polish to the team,” he said.
“She is the right size for us too. We had some good guards but we needed another forward.”
Hiscock said the Lady Hornets would not be underestimating the Wildcats.
“Any side that has Grace Bibby in it will be competitive, but we will be focusing on what we need to and beyond the game with Stawell,” he said.
“We have a really deep, even list so now is our opportunity to perform.”
Hiscock said his team was keen to get on the court. “They are really looking forward to it,” he said.