Road trip for undefeated Pioneers

BIG WEEKEND: Mount Gambier Pioneer's Haliegh Reinoehl will be one to watch when they hit the road for a double-header this weekend. Picture: JAMES MURPHY

James Murphy

A DOUBLE-HEADER on the road awaits the Mount Gambier Pioneers women and they will be hopeful to continue their impressive start to the 2024 NBL1 South season.

The team sits 6-0 after four rounds of competition, which puts it in fourth position due to having played less games than the top-three sides.

However, the Pioneers are the only undefeated side in the league and will want to keep that title in tact.

A meeting with Geelong United awaits on Saturday night and with the hosts sitting in 15th position the Pioneers should enter as favourites.

Zitina Aokuso enters the round off an impressive performance last week, which earned her the Anzac Day Medal in front of a home Pioneers crowd.

She will look to carry her good form into the weekend, especially in Sunday’s clash with Bendigo Braves.

Bendigo is nipping at the Pioneers in fifth spot – after six wins from seven games – and there will be somewhat of a point to prove on the day.

The Braves stand as the reigning premiers and it was at their hands the Pioneers’ 2023 season came to an end in a nail-biting preliminary final.

On that occasion it was a one-point game, with the Braves narrowly progressing into the grand final before ultimately securing the championship honours.

Kelly Wilson shot the winning bucket on that fateful day and she enters the round off a triple-double against Sandringham, where she had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists.

Megan McKay also comes in hot, with a 33-point game against the Sabres.

However, the Pioneers have their own firepower with Haliegh Reinoehl, Sherrie Calleia and Isabella Brancatisano all shooting double figures along with Aokuso’s double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.

It promises to be a match not to miss and could be an indicator on who might be the team to beat in 2024.