Media Release

Pioneers vs Kilsyth Cobras – Match Report Friday 15 June 2018

Mount Gambier Pioneers vs Kilsyth Cobras Match Report Friday 15 June 2018

The Pioneers were cruelly denied their fifth victory of season 2018 on Friday night when they fell to the Kilsyth Cobras by three points in an overtime thriller. Despite trailing for most of the match, the home side dug deep in the final term as they fought back from a nine-point deficit at the last change to force overtime against their ladder leading opponents. A parochial home crowd did their best to lift their team to an unlikely victory but were left broken hearted as their side fell agonisingly short 100-103.

The Pioneers were looking to put a rough few months of basketball behind them and with the new faces of Sam McDaniel and Alex Marzette filling some gaping holes on the Pioneers roster it appeared they would be a new team after the bye long weekend. A McDaniel triple was the perfect start to the Pioneers night, but the home side would not have it all their own way as the Cobras made them sweat on every possession. The height of the Cobras was stretching an undersized Pioneers line up, led by Dane Pineau who was wreaking all kinds of havoc on the interior. Tom Daly was the one man wrecking crew for the Pioneers in the opening term as he fought valiantly to the basket time and again to register 13 points in one quarter of basketball. Despite their problems in the paint, the Pioneers found themselves in front at quarter time by two points courtesy of an Alex Marzette buzzer beating trey. 

Cobras captain Chris Patton set the tone for his side to commence the second term with his opening basket fuelling a 13-4 run that saw the visiting side take control of the match. Alex Marzette was doing his best to keep his new side in the contest with his energy, effort and commitment at both ends of the floor exemplary. Marzette was keeping the Pioneers in the contest as Daly was kept to just three second term points and when he hit 2/2 from the line the game was all knotted up at 47 apiece. However, the Cobras would go on a 7-0 run to finish the term, a tear that would include a third three-pointer from Felix von Hofe for the quarter. It would be those nine points from von Hofe that would prove the difference between the two sides in the second term as the Cobras outscored the Pioneers by 25-16 to set up a seven-point half time lead. Tom Daly led the way for the home side with 16 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds whilst he was ably supported by Alex Marzette who compiled 14 points and 2 rebounds to half time. For the visiting Cobras it was Chris Patton leading the way with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists whilst Dane Pineau had 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals. 

The Pioneers started the third term in the same way they started the match with another customary Sam McDaniel triple bringing hope to the cause of the home side. When Tom Daly sunk a sensational jump shot, the Pioneers appeared to be back in the contest and trailed by just two points. The Pioneers maintained pace with their more highly fancied opponents for the majority of the quarter but despite their best efforts they could not draw within an arm’s length of the Cobras. When Sam McDaniel hit his fourth triple from five attempts, the Pioneers were once again within two points of the lead but what happened next can only be described as disastrous for the home side. A combination of poor shooting, turnovers, ill-discipline and second chance points hindered the Pioneers cause as they allowed their opponents to close out the third term in the same way they closed the second term with a 7-0 run. 

With their season at the crossroads, the Pioneers needed to find something in the final term to inject hope back into their 2018 campaign and an immediate 8-3 run was the perfect antidote for their ailing cause. Suddenly, the Cobras were on the back foot and were making numerous skill errors as the Pioneers defence rose to the occasion. Marzette was putting on a block party whilst McDaniel was at his pick pocketing best as he racked up five steals for the contest. Back to back triples from Sam McDaniel gave the Pioneers a surprising lead and they would continue to maintain the advantage throughout the closing stages of the contest. When Tom Daly hit the second of two free throws, the Pioneers held a three-point advantage with just 33 seconds to play. However, there would be a twist in the plot as Lewis Thomas interfered with Sam Daly’s second free throw and would be called for goal tending which gifted the Cobras a three-point play and locked the game up at 95-95. Both sides attempted to sink game winning baskets, but neither were successful and the game was headed to overtime.

Despite having all the momentum and the home crowd as the sixth man, the Pioneers found themselves struggling to begin the overtime period as they missed their opening three shots. Fortunately, the Cobras only managed one basket in this time and when Sam McDaniel found the bottom of the net for his seventh trey of the evening the Pioneers held a one-point lead. Baskets to Sam Daly and Isaac Turner put the Cobras up by three points with just 24 seconds on the clock. All eyes were on three-point king McDaniel to bridge the gap, but the Pioneers had to settle for a Tom Daly two-point jump shot and the home side trailed by one. A late foul on Turner resulted in two converted free throws and the Cobras lead was back out to three points. Sam McDaniel tried to get off a last-ditch effort from beyond the arc but it was blocked and the Pioneers sunk to the most heartbreaking of defeats 100-103. Tom Daly led the way for the Pioneers with 29 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, Sam McDaniel put up 28 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals and Alex Marzette impressed with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. For the visitors it was Isaac Turner who top scored with 21 points to go with 2 assists and 2 steals, Sam Daly had 19 points and 9 rebounds, Chris Patton had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists and Dane Pineau had 14 points, 12 rebounds, 7 blocks and 5 steals. 

In reviewing the game, Pioneers Coach Richard Hill believed it was “a game we felt we had done enough to win but unfortunately a couple of mental errors inside the last minute proved crucial”. The turning point came at the end of the third term where “unfortunately in less than two minutes immediately before three quarter time we saw a two-point deficit blow out to nine points”. “We showed a lot of courage to keep coming back to give ourselves a chance to win”. 

The Pioneers now face a gruelling schedule with four games inside eight days with an upcoming road double header against Bendigo and Ballarat to kick off the hectic period. The Cobras will be looking to maintain top position on the SEABL ladder when they meet Geelong next Sunday at home.  


Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 10.24.50 am



10Key Castec rural Supplies Pioneers veteran Brad Hill has succumbed to a chronic ankle injury, forcing him out for the remainder of the 2018 season.

Brad has been battling for the past couple of seasons with a degenerative condition in his ankle. He and the club had hoped that off season surgery had arrested the problem and all early Indications were that he would be able to return to his best. Two pre-season mishaps set Brad back and a recent visit to his surgeon confirmed further damage to the ankle.

After discussions with the Surgeon, his wife Julie, the club and his coach the decision was clear that he was not going to be able to contribute to the team at an acceptable level and without doing irreparable damage.

Brad a veteran of 277 NBL games, 139 of those with the 36ers and 191 SEABL games, 138 of those with the Pioneers where he has found a home and been a key member of the Pioneers incredible run of 5 National finals and 3 National Championships.

Brad has been an all SEABL team member on 3 occasions, Alan Scott medallist twice (runner up twice) and was Grand Final MVP in the Pioneers first Championship win.

Brad started as a Sturt Junior graduated to the AIS, was a Australian representative as a Junior and Senior.

“Brad has been a huge part of our unprecedented Championship run” Pioneers Coach Richard Hill said. “Brad along with his team mates have all sacrificed individually to achieve team success”.

“Brad will be missed but the strength of our program has been the collective unit and the Pioneers will continue to thrive” Coach Hill concluded.

The Pioneers are set to announce a replacement who may be in uniform for the team on Friday night in their grand final re-match with the Dandenong Rangers.


Round 7 Game 1 Match Report 18th May

Mount Gambier Pioneers vs Hobart Chargers Match Report Friday 18 May 2018
The Pioneers’ early season woes continued on Friday night when they were narrowly defeated by a tough Hobart opponent by just two points. Tim Coenraad did his best to haul his side over the line but even his 39 points were not enough to stop the Pioneers from sliding below .500 on the season.

With so much to play for, the Pioneers came out and took it right up to the Chargers from the opening tip, as defence was the name of the game with the first field goal taking almost two minutes to drop. The Chargers fought back to go on an 8-0 run as their front court began to overwhelm their undersized opponents with a series of layups and inside jump shots accented by a Zac White dunk! The Pioneers relied solely on Lewis Thomas and Tim Coenraad on the offensive end as the dynamic duo scored all of the Pioneers 19 points to open the contest. A 10-5 run by the Pioneers to close out the first term put the game back on a knife’s edge at 20-19 in favour of the home side.

The Pioneers needed a fast start to the second term but it would not be forthcoming as a Kane de Wit foul on Zac White outside the arc afforded the Charger’s enforcer three free throw attempts of which he nailed all three. The Pioneers did their best to maintain pace with their more highly fancied opponents and despite the Chargers lead blowing out to eight points at several stages in the second term, the Pioneers continued to fight thanks largely to the exploits of Coenraad and Thomas, the latter proving his worth against his former side with a dominant display at both ends of the hardwood. The Pioneers rallied late in the term with several successful three-point attempts and against all the odds would go in to half time with a slender one-point advantage. The Chargers were being led by their big three of Tre Nichols (11 points, 2 rebounds), Mathiang Muo (10 points) and Craig Moller (8 points, 7 rebounds) whilst for the Pioneers it was the Tim Coenraad Show as he compiled 26 points or 55% of his team’s scoring to half time.

Despite being undermanned yet again, the Pioneers continued to fight tooth and nail as they sparked a 7-3 run which saw their lead stretch out to five points. Tre Nichols was causing all kinds of headaches for the Pioneers as he had his way inside time after time and when he missed, Moller and White were there to clean up on the glass. Luke Jamieson fought his way into the contest in the third term and gave the Pioneers some extra firepower inside the paint whilst Erik Burdon was making it rain for the visitors from beyond the arc with two telling triples for the term. The Pioneers would extend their half time lead by one point and head into the final stanza with the score at 77-75.

There was no doubt this contest would go down to the wire and the final term produced a see-sawing score line that kept those present on the edge of their seats. The Pioneers continued to feed their front court with Jamieson, Thomas and Coenraad heaping all the pressure on the highly favoured home side as time began to expire. Tre Nichols had all the answers though and would put on a masterclass in the final term adding 16 points to finish with 36 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds. The back and forth nature of the final term produced an epic finish as Kyle Tipene was given the opportunity to win the game for the Pioneers with just five seconds remaining, however his three-point attempt did not fall and the Pioneers succumbed to yet another loss, this one hurting more than most with just one basket separating the two sides, 108-106.

Despite the loss, Pioneers Coach Richard Hill was upbeat believing that his side’s performance “was first class and being led by Tim Coenraad we were one possession away from perhaps our best road win in my time as coach of the Pioneers”. However, the game still goes down as another defeat and the Pioneers will be looking to right their ship when they face off against North West Tasmania in a must win Saturday night encounter.

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 10.38.14 am

Coopers 4 Team Challenge

The Millicent Basketball Association will be once again holding the annual Coopers 4 team challenge held at the Peter Seebohm Stadium this year. The round robin tournament will be held on Friday the 2nd, Saturday the 3rd and Sunday the 4th of March.

The 4 team challenge welcomes back the regular Mount Gambier Pioneers whom compete in this challenge annually and the Woodville Warriors who are returning from last years’ experience. Two new teams are being introduced to the competition; Eltham Wildcats and the South Adelaide Panthers. All four teams will look to showcase their full squads and present an exhilarating basketball atmosphere for the local community. In the previous years the standard has been set extremely high and there are no doubts that the competition is going to exceed the expectations and provide amusing and professional basketball to the crowd. 

In talking to the Castec Rural Supplies Pioneers Coach Richard Hill it was obvious he is very excited about the upcoming season and the lead in to it.

“It was great to have the team together for the first time last week. Generally we are in great shape and the guys have worked very hard in the off season”

“The group is pumped and anxious to get into some “real” basketball after 2 months of individual skill and physical preparation”

“The Millicent tournament is always a huge part of our pre-season, this year will be no different. Integrating Kyle, and Lewis into the group will be a priority for us.” Hill said.

The Pioneers will be missing Majok Deng, still at the 36ers, Chol Luk who will be rehabbing an achilles strain and Brad Hill is on a restricted program after ankle surgery and will play limited minutes.

Local Millicent player Josh Murphy will join the squad to help our front court depth. He is a talented young player and this will be a great experience for him.

“I would encourage Pioneer supporters to check out the action on the weekend, it is always a very competitive and well run tournament and will be the only chance to see your team

in action without travelling to Geelong or Melbourne before round two of the SEABL season” Coach Hill concluded.


Coopers 4 Team Challenge Pioneers