The Stawell Wildcats men’s and women’s teams will attempt to regroup following a winless 2016-17 Country Basketball League season.
Both teams struggled for consistency on the court, with the men finishing 0-16 and the women 0-14 in the league’s south-west conference.
Men’s coach Jarred Ohayon said the side had fielded 16 different players throughout the season, making consistency difficult to achieve.
“When we had a full team we had some really close games but when we didn't have a full team we really struggled,” he said.
“We basically had a different team every week so it's hard to say who the standouts were, but I was surprised by the efforts of Jake Stainsby, Jason Cameron and Paul Summers, who were probably the most consistent throughout the season.”
Too many times this season we had guys on the court running around not knowing where they should be- Men's coach Jarred Ohayon
The Wildcats’ young playing group will provide depth in future seasons if the club can maintain its list.
Ohayon said it had been hard to coordinate play with a different group on the court each week.
“We have a really young group and if they all stick around and we have more consistency we have a bright future,” he said.
“I think we need to get our main players to training and playing together more regularly.
“Too many times this season we had guys on the court running around not knowing where they should be.
“If it was the same group all the time the players would learn how to play with each other and who can do what.”
The women’s side faced a different problem, with low player numbers affecting the side’s ability to compete for four quarters each game.
Coach Grace Bibby said the side had improved at a steady rate, but had not kept up with the rapid improvement of the other teams in the south-west conference.
“If we had played the way we played this season, last season we would have had some wins,” she said.
“If we had played some of the weaker teams late in the season we would have come up with some wins.
“We knew we were always going to struggle with wins, and we struggled week-to-week on the court.
“We are lot older so it is harder to teach older guys to play a young brand of basketball.”
The women’s side found improvement in players such as Christine Graveson, who saw more court time this season, and Julie Maasland, who played her first game for the Wildcats in 2016-17.
The junior girls program had under-12 and 14 teams, whose players were too young to suit up for the seniors.
This will change with the growth of the under-14 players ahead of next season, providing more depth to a side that struggled with numbers.
Bibby said if they could bring in the younger players it would give the club a stronger list.
“They are driving a fair bit of interest from their age group,” she said.
“If the team goes ahead we will have a stronger list.”
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