THE Horsham Hornets are preparing themselves for a blockbuster clash against Mount Gambier on Saturday in the Country Basketball League’s South West conference, and will do so without playing coach Cam Bruce.
Bruce will have season-ending knee surgery on Friday, an operation he said he has known about for some time.
“I’m having microfracture surgery, so it’s a bit disappointing but I wanted to get the surgery done early,” he said.
“I won’t be able to put any weight on it for six weeks and then will have six months of rehab. I’ve never missed any games so it’s something I need to deal with.”
The championship-winning coach said the surgery might just put a stop on his basketball career with the Horsham Hornets. He has been a regular with the side for more than 10 years.
“I’ve had a really good run and it’s time to give guys like Mitch Martin, Matt Lloyd and Jeremiah McKenzie a good opportunity to develop,” he said.
“We need to give these young guys plenty of minutes and we have great on-court leaders, especially with Tim Pickert as our captain. He has helped me a lot with training this year.”
The Hornets have had a faultless start to the season with nine wins from as many games, but it was the Mount Gambier Lakers who proved to be their closest competitors earlier in the season.
Horsham came away with a 76-72 away win when the teams met late last month.
The two sides meet on Saturday night in Horsham.
“I believe Mount Gambier is the best team in the competition,” Bruce said.
“They have a tall and mobile team, so they are hard to match up on. We were probably fortunate to beat them but we showed a lot of composure down the stretch.
“We have a really good chance at home to make a statement to the league and solidify our spot on top.”
The Hornets welcome back Matt Lloyd for his first game of the 2018-19 season.
“Mitch Martin is out but Matt is back in after training with us for the last few weeks,” Bruce said.
“He will come in, which is excellent for us. He has played with us for the last few years, so he knows our structures and how we play.”