Wildcats ready to pounce in season opener

STAWELL - Stawell Wildcats are ready and raring to go for their inaugural season in the Country Basketball League South West men's competition.

It has been a whirlwind journey for Stawell, who formed just eight weeks ago following a visit from West Victorian Wimmera and District Basketball representatives.

Coached by Trevor Holmes, who was at the helm of CBL Horsham Hornets last season, Stawell play a double header this weekend.

On Saturday night, the Wildcats travel to Portland to take on last year's CBL premiers Portland Coasters before returning to Stawell where they will clash with Corio Bay Stingers.

Training has been at a high pace and intense level to prepare the team for competition. Tuesday's training session saw the first team selected to play Portland at Portland.

Coach Trevor Holmes said it is a very balanced side that will be 'a threat' to other sides this season.

"We have a a blend of experience from Joel Freeland, Tim Hollis and Archie Logan, some explosive work from Jordan Little, Ryan Logan and Aiden Lee and the youth factor with Rory Jones, James Hallett and Zac Salmi," Holmes said.

"Include all this with the Jarrad Ohayon factor and the team is very well balanced in any type of game we need to play."

Ohayon was last year's CBL Hornets best and fairest winner and definitely one to watch.

"He's a seasoned big league player, an athletic type. Jordan Little is going to be a big power forward and Rory Jones, who is 16, is an up and coming strong player who keeps on learning. He's like a sponge at the moment," Holmes said.

Joel Freeland is returning from a four month lay off due to an ankle injury, but Holmes said he is progressing well.

The team may change to play Corio Bay Stingrays in the club's first home game at Stawell Leisure Complex on Sunday depending on how well they pull up after Saturday night's match.

However, Holmes is confident his side will be right to be play both matches.

"It (the double header) doesn't concern me. We've got a list of 20 players to pick from. The fitness is there - the boys all train hard and I know they'll cope with two games," he said.

"Everything is falling into place and we're looking to this weekend. Our first home game is on Sunday and we're hoping to get a big crowd."

For those interested in attending Sunday's home game, tip off is at 1pm following a curtain raiser game between two under 14 boys teams starting at 11.30am.

Stawell Wildcats would like to thank the businesses and community of Stawell for their support to enable them to compete in the 2012/2013 Country Basketball League.

Stawell Wildcats likely lineup:

Jarrad Ohayon, Jordan Little, Archie Logan, Matthew Bourke, Ryan Logan, Rory Jones, Aiden Lee, Tim Hollis, James Hallett, Zac Salmi, Joel Freeland, Michael Seeary.

Wildcats CBL matches for 2012/13:

Round one: bye. Round two: Portland (Away), Corio Bay (Home). Round three: bye. Round four: Mt Gambier (H). Round five: Colac (H). Round six: Horsham (H). Round seven: Warrnambool (A). Round eight: Horsham (A). Round nine: Warrnambool (A). Round 10: Corio Bay (A), Colac (A). Round 11: Mt Gambier. Round 12: Portland (H). Round 13: Hamilton (A). Round 14: bye.

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