Bunbury season lines up with some surprises

Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
Wade Hitchcock
Camera IconWade Hitchcock Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Some big names have switched allegiances ahead of tomorrow night’s first round of the Bunbury Basketball Association.

Aces Navy, Aces White, Bulls, Busselton and Tornadoes Red and Black will compete for the men’s championship, while Aces, Busselton, Bulls and Tornadoes Black and Red will fight it out for women’s glory.

Defending men’s champions Tornadoes Black have retained most of their senior members in Jason Smith, Nat Van Dijk and Cameron Raper, while Lucas Goff will return to the court after missing most of last season with injuries.

Bulls have reduced their teams to just one, with former South West Slammers Paddy Phillips and Trent Worthington to lead what is always a strong team.

Consistent scorer Wade Hitchcock has returned to Aces Navy after one season with the Bulls and will lead a relatively young side which includes quality youngsters in Clayton Dickinson and Dan Woods.

Clubmates White has added former Bull Teny Puot to its list, while tall shooter Travis Vogel is expected to add some firepower alongside the England brothers Josh and Brody.

Busselton has kept its experienced players Dylan Ness and Matt Mansfield, but will rely on the youth to get them through this year.

Tornadoes Red has recruited well during the off-season and has a tall line-up which includes Jayden and Braden Wilson as well as 2016-17 season breakout star Brandon Bennell.

The biggest shock has come in the women’s league, with former Aces coach Kate Fielding setting up a powerhouse team for arch rivals Tornadoes.

Fielding will play alongside fellow Slammers Taylah Kemp, Tayah Burrows and Raya Thompson as well as Rockingham’s Dena English for Tornadoes Red.

Clubmates Tornadoes Black will be led by stalwart Lisa Cartwright who has plenty of youth around her in Cian Parsons, Zaya Black and the daughter of legendary Slammer James Fitch – Javene.

Bulls have set themselves up for a big season with Brittany Gliddon, Demi Liddle, Courtney Bayliss and Rebecca Preston set to be the foundation of their strong side.

Former Aces shooter Shannon Verhagen will suit up for Busselton alongside young prospect Adele East, with Misty Wallace to captain the side.

Little is known about Aces ahead of the weekend, with club providing a list of just four players in Jaz Barrett, Emily Jones, Amanda Frontino and Sydney Lewis.

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