MT. GAMBIER PIONEERS
Wins - 20
Losses – 4
Standing – 1st South Conference
Post-Season Results – Champions
2013 result – 22 wins 4 losses, 1st South Conference
A 17-game winning streak through the regular season was an incredible feat for a side that also finished 15-0 against conference rivals and 11-2 on the road. Their team-oriented style of play saw five guys average at least 14 points a game while the addition of Tyrone Lee to replace Ben Allen worked perfectly. Back-to-back championships is nothing short of what the team and Coach of the Year Richard Hill deserved.
A relatively slow start for a side that has dominated the past two seasons, Mt. Gambier were just 2-2 mid-way through Round 4. Despite owning a team with some of the most pure shooters in the league, they hit just 65% from the free-throw line.
Winner of the SEABL Grand Final MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, Damian Johnson cracked the century mark in blocks on Grand Final day. To put that in perspective, only one other team reached that mark through the entire season. He also finished second for steals and averaged 15.9 points and 9.7 rebounds while improving those numbers to 20.5 points and 15.5 boards in the playoffs.
Having found the perfect blend between their starting five and role players in the past two seasons, Mt. Gambier will have to fight to maintain that balance with Johnson departing and Lee recently signed by the British Basketball League. They still have the core three of Brad Hill, Erik Burdon and Tom Daly but will quickly need to replace those stars with similar talent while continuing to put time into the likes of Kane DeWitt and Hayden Annett.
Brad Rathjen is already fielding NBL offers at the age of 18 but Mt. Gambier offers him the perfect opportunity to hone his game in the Winter as he plays alongside Daly and Matt Sutton at the point guard position. Playing 18 games in two seasons has not given the league much of a chance to see him but the mail is that Rathjen is a star of the future.