Media Release



The Pioneers Basketball Club board of management have made their first off court appointments heading into the 2018 SEABL season.

The 2017 season capped of a successful and un rivalled on court era by its current board. Winning five consecutive conference finals and winning three of four of the last national championships.

Current club Chairman Neil Boase informed his board in August that he would not seek re-election at the end of his 3rd term in the position.

Tom Kosch and Travis Fatchen have been elected by the current board to fill the role as Chair and Vice-Chair. With the above appointments and election of remaining board positions to to be ratified at the clubs Annual General Meeting on Saturday October 28th.

2017 AGM


Notice is hereby given that the AGM of Members of the Pioneers Basketball Club Incorporated will be held as follows:

Saturday 28 October 2017

Commencing 10am at Commodore on the Park
Corner Jubilee Highway East and Penola Road, Mount Gambier

Election to Board

Expressions of interest are called and will be considered by the Board. Expressions are to be forwarded to:-

Mr Tom Kosch

Pioneers Basketball Club Inc.

PO Box 2379


Or by email: – ua.mo1513331815c.lla1513331815bteks1513331815absre1513331815enoip1513331815@nimd1513331815a1513331815

Nominations are to be received no later than 5.00pm on Wednesday 25 October 2017.

Members wishing to nominate should contact the Secretary to obtain an application form. Nominations must be signed by two current financial members. For the information of the Board, nominees must also provide a personal statement supporting their nomination.



Pioneers Basketball Club Inc.

SEABL Grand Final

Mount Gambier Pioneers vs Dandenong Rangers National Final Match Preview Saturday 2 Sept 2017
The 2017 SEABL season reaches its pinnacle this Saturday night when the Mount Gambier Pioneers and Dandenong Rangers face off in Kilsyth for the ultimate prize, the national championship.
Both sides barely emerged from their respective conference finals with both matches being decided in the final seconds of the contest. The Pioneers snuck home by three points against Nunawading after Dain Swetalla missed a three-pointer that would have sent the game into overtime. Dandenong on the other hand had an even tighter finish with Jorden Page hitting a three-pointer to send the game into overtime before the Rangers got the better of Ballarat and closed the game out by eight points in the extra period.
The two sides split their season series with the Pioneers winning on their home court by seven points and the Rangers returning serve with victory in their arena way back on June 18 by 14 points. A lot of water has passed under the bridge for both sides since their last meeting and Pioneers Coach Richard Hill agrees, stating that “our road loss to the Rangers seems like an eternity ago and they have changed a lot since then”. Hill knows his side faces an uphill battle and believes “Dandenong are a very talented and deep team, winning 12 of their last 15 games to come out of what ended up being a very strong South Conference”. “Adding Garrett Jackson has given them a very potent offensive unit whilst not losing much at the defensive end”.
The Pioneers strongest weapon this season has been their own talent and depth across all positions allowing them to consolidate a lead when the second unit is deployed and maintain a high level of intensity throughout four quarters of basketball. Big games call for big performances and the Pioneers will be once again looking to its big three of Tom Daly, Brad Hill and Daniel Alexander to get the job done.
Daly was exceptional against the Spectres last week with a whopping 21 points and 11 assists that kept the Pioneers in the contest. Brad Hill was the hero in the semifinal against Nunawading with 29 points (7-11 3P) at 58% but soon became the villain in the conference final putting up just nine points at 36.4% shooting. Hill is a key part of the Pioneers setup because he can score from anywhere on the floor and rebound with intensity, making him a two-way threat and a nightmare for Rangers Coach Darren Perry.
Daniel Alexander is the Pioneers most valuable player but he didn’t live up to the title on the offensive end last week and that needs to change. Alexander may have eventually compiled a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds but he missed his first five shots and would go on to fire 3-12 from the field at 25% for the game. Alexander may have won the match for the Pioneers last week with his heroic rebound and clutch free throws but he did go missing for extended periods of time and must put in a 40-minute effort this week if the Pioneers are going to avenge their 2013 national final loss to the Rangers.
The Rangers will be looking to their own big three of point guard Lucas Barker, shooting guard Chauncey Orr and small forward Garrett Jackson to provide the nucleus of a memorable victory. Each of these players have produced solid numbers this season with Barker putting up 14.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 5.4 apg, Orr adding 14.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 3.1 apg and Jackson has come on strong with 17.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 1.5 apg on the season. Barker will take Daly to task and stretch the Pioneers captain on defence, Orr will relish the challenge of running Erik Burdon off the three-point line and Garrett Jackson will be looking to play a three/stretch four position and push Brad Hill’s limits on both ends of the court. Add to that the very real triple threat of Jorden Page who put up four last quarter treys to win the game for his side last week and you have a serious offensive force to be reckoned with.
With the Rangers boasting such offensive weaponry, Pioneers Coach Richard Hill is clearly aware that tough defensive application is crucial for his side, stating that “interior defence and rebounding will be key for us”. Both sides had tough conference final matchups but the Pioneers do have the added advantage of an additional day’s break and this could prove a decisive factor as time winds down in the final moments of season 2017. Coach Hill believes his side will be “better for the tough clash with Nunawading and will be in good shape come game time”. Coach Hill sums up the contest perfectly when he states that Saturday night will feature “two outstanding teams in good form on a neutral court which should provide a great final”. If the conference finals are any indication, this match is going to be another epic encounter with neither side willing to back down in the pursuit of the ultimate prize.


Mount Gambier Pioneers vs Nunawading Spectres Semi Final Match Preview Friday 11 August
The stage is set for another epic chapter to be written in the Mount Gambier vs Nunawading story this Friday night at the Ice House as the top two sides in the East Conference battle it out for the right to host the East Conference Final in two weeks’ time.
The Pioneers split their two-game road trip last weekend to finish with an imposing 21-3 win/loss season record which included an undefeated season on their home deck. The Pioneers also won the season series against the Spectres 2-0, winning by three points on the road in round six before prevailing by a more commanding 11 points at home in round 14. Despite these two losses, both games were decided late in the game and the Spectres boast a strong lineup that will test a Pioneers lineup that is arguably the deepest in the league.
Simon Conn was recently crowned as the 2017 SEABL season MVP, beating a host of worthy contenders including a likely opponent on Friday night in Daniel Alexander. Announcing the season MVP before the post-season has played out didn’t work so well in the NBA in 1995 when Hakeem Olajuwon dominated newly crowned MVP David Robinson in the playoffs and Pioneers fans will be hoping that missing out on the league’s highest honour will provide similar motivation for Alexander.
Nunawading are coming off successive victories, albeit against Canberra and Melbourne who both finished second last in their respective conferences. At the business end of the season you want to be playing in a finals-like atmosphere so it will be interesting to see how the Spectres handle the heat that will be applied to them on Friday night. The Pioneers have their own concerns after enduring a tough schedule but Pioneers coach Richard Hill believes his side is “well prepared after seven games in 21 days”. The Pioneers bench did get a solid workout in the final rounds of the season so the starting lineup should be fresh and ready to fire come tip-off.
Size, shooting and experience are the Spectres key strengths according to Pioneers Coach Richard Hill who states “Nunawading is a tough veteran unit, with great size and shooting ability”. With Simon Conn winning the 2017 MVP Award, the Spectres now have “Shane McDonald and Simon Conn who are now both MVP’s and they have been the best one-two punch in the competition for at least six years” states Hill. Hill believes his side will “need to slow either McDonald or Conn if we want to be successful”. McDonald once again led the SEABL in assists with 8.2 apg and shutting down his dime dishing domination must be the Pioneers’ primary objective. Tom Daly’s role has never been more important because if he can shut down McDonald it will limit the amount of quality ball that Conn and Dain Swetalla receive which will effectively dismantle the Spectres offence.
With both sides boasting a strong front court, the rebounding battle will be pivotal in deciding the outcome of this contest. Coach Hill agrees, stating that “rebounding will be key and we will need to be at our best on the boards to compete with the size and versatility of the Spectres”. Luke Jamieson (11.5ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Daniel Alexander (19.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg) have been brutal in the paint this season for the Pioneers whilst John Jones (5.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg) has provided solid rim protection off the bench. The Spectres on the other hand have Simon Conn (20.8 ppg, 9.1 rpg) and Dain Swetalla (15.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg) who have lit the SEABL up all season and they won’t be intimidated by playing in enemy territory. With both sides so evenly matched at the four and the five positions, the battle of the boards could very well be decided at the wing position where the Pioneers hold the advantage given Brad Hill’s 6.9 rpg this season compared to his opposing number in Andrew Steel who has managed 4.6 rpg in 2017.
With a week’s break and home court advantage in the East Conference Final on the line, both sides will leave everything out on the court in what promises to be one of the matches of the season. The rivalry between these two sides is always intense and you can be guaranteed that they will put on a show to remember. So, make sure to get to your seats early because you will not want to miss a second of this colossal encounter!

Mount Gambier Pioneers vs Hobart Chargers Match Preview Friday 5 August 2017

Mount Gambier Pioneers vs Hobart Chargers Match Preview Friday 5 August 2017

The Mount Gambier Pioneers will meet the Hobart Chargers on Friday night in what could be a preview to the national championship final. The Pioneers have already secured two home finals whilst Hobart will be chasing the double chance this weekend and must win this encounter to leap frog Ballarat into second place.

The schedule has not been the Pioneers friend this season as they must endure a three-game road trip to finish the season. A second meeting with Hobart within a week is an anomaly of the fixture but it will give both sides the opportunity to prepare for the post-season against a high-quality opponent. Pioneers Coach Richard Hill is wary of the Chargers challenge stating that the game is “a quick turnaround and another challenge for us against a very good Hobart team that is desperate to win”. “They have a top two spot on the line so the stakes are high”. “Our aim will be to continue to improve as a group and this is a great opportunity to test ourselves on the road”.

The Pioneers offence has been one of their major strengths this season as they regularly top the century mark and often have 4-6 players scoring in double digits each week. But they will meet their match this week against a Hobart side that has deadly shooters across the floor who can run hot and stay hot for extended periods. According to Coach Hill, “Hobart are a high powered offensive team”. “Amazingly on Saturday against a good Sandringham side and without Tom Garlepp they had three players score 86 of their 98 points”. “They have enormous firepower so our depth will be tested again”.

The Chargers three-point brigade of Chris Whitehead, Rob Heyer and Mathiang Muo were well defended at the Ice House on Friday night but they still managed to score at 43% from distance. Whilst that is a great conversion rate, Sandringham allowed the trio to score at an unbelievable 67% just one night later. Running the trio off the three-point line will be the order of the day from Coach Hill who believes that his side’s “ability to defend the three-point line will probably determine the outcome of the match”.

The Chargers gave the Pioneers a huge scare on Friday night and will be an even tougher opponent on their home court. Had it not been for Tom Daly’s last quarter heroics where he put the team on his back for 14 fourth quarter points, the Pioneers would have struggled to get across the line. Daly’s role is once again crucial and he has been earmarked by Coach Hill who feels that “Daly will need to be at his best to match Chris Whitehead who is in great form scoring the ball”. “Whitehead is averaging 27 ppg across their last three games and was a headache for us last week”.

At this stage of the season there is no room for complacency and the Pioneers cannot rest on their 20-2 win-loss season laurels or they will be humbled by a strong Hobart opponent. With finals basketball just one week away this match is the perfect tune-up for the type of cutthroat basketball that will present itself as season 2017 reaches its pinnacle.