Pioneers open account on the road

TOUGH ENCOUNTER: Pioneers men's coach Richard Hill expects a tough game against Ringwood tomorrow night at the Icehouse.

By Trevor Jackson

ANOTHER 30-plus points game by Castec Rural Pioneers Duom Dawam has helped the side record its first win of the NBL1 South competition.

To add to the 32-point haul, Dawam pulled down 16 rebounds, with 12 at the defensive end of the floor.

It was a dominant performance by the Pioneers against Sandringham Sabres on the road, with the visitors winning every quarter expect the last, where both sides hit 19 points.

In the end the 122-90 result was impressive, with five Pioneers hitting double-figure scores.

Tom Daly (25), Tom Kubank (19), Erik Burdon (15) and Nick Marshall (10) all joined Dawam in double figures, a vast turnaround from the opening round.

A 37-28 opening term suggested a high-scoring contest, but only the Pioneers went on with it, with a 27-17 second term stamping their authority on the contest.

They followed up with a 39-19 third term, before the more sedate 19-19 final stanza.

Shooting percentages were also a vast improvement from the opening round, with the Pioneers shooting at 57.7pc from the field and 53.3pc from three-point territory.

Coach Richard Hill was pleased with the final result after the opening round loss.

“We played much better,” Hill said.

“We still have a lot of things to improve but it was encouraging to go away and win.”

With just a few years in the sport, Dawam has certainly made his presence felt in the first two rounds, which has not been lost on Hill.

“Duom had 24 points at half time,” he said.

“They didn’t really have an answer for him.

“The week before he was up against some good size, but Saturday they couldn’t contain him at all.

“He started playing basketball when he was younger, but he has been doing footy for a while.

“He hasn’t played at anything like this level, so he has been a diamond in the rough for us.”

Hill said Daly was the best player on the court, while Kubank also had a good game.

The side will also receive a boost this week with the return of Titus Robinson.

Robinson has been in quarantine for the last 14 days in Adelaide and will be ready to go Friday.

He will train Friday night and play on Saturday as the pioneers face a tough opponent in Ringwood.

“We don’t expect too much this week because he has been in quarantine for 14 days, but knowing him he will be in decent shape,” Hill said.

“He will make life easier for Duom at the defensive end – he will help out enormously.

“He is a good rebounder, he can score and will have an impact for sure.”

Hill said another bonus was Robinson is well know to the Limestone Coast basketball fraternity, having played for the side previously and married a Mount Gambier girl.

He will be put straight to the test, with Hill expecting a tough game against Ringwood.

“Ringwood historically are a very good club,” he said.

“Most of their team are guys who have played together for a while, so I am expecting a tough game.”

The men’s game tips off tomorrow night at 8.30pm.