Men in good shape at pointy end

IN CHARGE: Can Nick Marshall lead the Pioneers to another win at Wulanda? Picture: FILE

By Trevor Jackson

WHILE the Mount Gambier Pioneers men currently sit top of the NBL1 South ladder, that could all change in an instant and tonight provides one of those danger games.

The Pioneers host the Nunawading Spectres, historically a tough side and sitting in sixth place with five wins and three losses.

That compares to the Pioneers’ six wins and two losses, with both having played just eight games.

The Spectres certainly have some firepower, with Jalen Johnson leading their scoring with 18.63 points per game.

He also leads the rebounding with 7.38 per game, along with .75 blocks.

Trendon Hankerson averages 17 points per game, along with seven rebounds, while Kingsley Box and Jack Gandolfi both average double-figure scores.

It is no surprise Nick Marshall leads the scoring for the Pioneers, with 23.75 points per game, along with 7.75 rebounds and four assists.

He is well supported by Akech Aliir with double-double averages of 15.75 points and 10.25 rebounds.

Austin Shelley also averages double figures in scoring.

Last weekend in a road double the Pioneers showcased what they are well know for – sharing the ball around.

Marshall has put up some big numbers this season, but last week it was about the whole team, which went a long way to securing two wins to push the Pioneers to the top of the ladder.

Titus Robinson returned after an injury and was in exceptional form, Christian Peevy put up some good numbers and the whole team looked much better.

If the Pioneers can keep that form going against a tough Spectres outfit they should chalk up another victory, but as coach Richard Hill continually points out, there are no easy games this season.

The 2024 season certainly does seem to have lifted a notch and the quality of games on display this round are certainly worth the trip down to Wulanda to see.

The Pioneers women are also in top form and with both hitting the floor tonight, it is the place to be.