By Lachlan Mitchell
The Casey Cavaliers made its historical debut in NBL-1 on Friday night.
Both the men’s and women’s sides featured in a bumper double-header at Casey Stadium.
The women were on centre court first up against a notable Melbourne Tigers outfit.
The girls didn’t let the occasion get the better of them with a dominate first quarter clinic.
After a slow start, Louise Brown got the Cavs off to the best start sinking two free throws to open their scoring.
New-recruit Monique Conti was at her brilliant best making a vital steal leading to a 10-0 run to open the night.
The Tigers found their roar through Hannah Giddey, sister of Josh – who is staring in the NBA with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
A strong performance by Taylah Gilliam in the first quarter saw her dominate in and around the arc, nailing her side’ first three to push the Cavs out a 26-7 quarter time lead.
Conti picked up just where she left off, sinking a three from long range within 30 seconds of the restart.
Zoe Zwerling also made it her night, pulling up in the paint after driving to the ring.
The Cavaliers pressure and offence saw them push out to a 54-21-point half time lead.
Conti was once again amongst the action, scoring from all around the arc and breezing past the Tigers defence.
The Tigers continued to press but tailed off leading to a 24-9 third quarter rampage by the Cavaliers.
The fourth quarter was dominated by the Cav’s, who were on top, running away with a 94-44 win in their opening match.
Conti and Rachel Bell finished with 20 points each.
Bell was shooting the lights out with a 50 percent from three-point range.
Louise Brown made every post a winner as she picked up 16 rebounds.
The men also faced up against the Melbourne Tigers for the same result…winning their opening fixture.
The side had a much tougher contest trailing at every break by one point.
Overseas import Jordan Bell showed his class scoring 17 and having a very respectable 15 rebounds.
Bell was lethal from the free-thrown line, shooting six from seven and crucially three in the final term
Gerasimos McKay nailed crucial shots with just 16 seconds left to put them just out of arms reach.
The Cavs winning by five points.
Both sides were forced into a quick turn-around leading to their second game of the week.
The women continued their winning ways with a 15-point win over the Dandenong Rangers away from home.
Bell and Conti once against lead the way with 18 and 19 points respectively.
Overseas import Shereesha Richards picking up 16 rebounds, helping the Cavs to their second consecutive win by 15 points.
Women’s coach Alex Palazzo was pleased with the performance, after his sides interrupted pre-season.
“Considering our lack of preparation with had two excellent results on the weekend,” he explained.
“We played a young Melbourne team on Friday night, but to back up on Saturday against Dandenong, who are an experience team on their home court, it was a great achievement by our girls.
“We can take a lot out of the two games, but there is still a lot of improvement, which is positive.
“There’s a lot we need to work on moving forward but I am really happy with what we achieved.”
The men suffered their first loss against the Rangers; Matthew Donlan was Casey’s best scoring 20 points nailing five from beyond the arc.
The Cavaliers falling 16 points short in the 102-86 score line.