By Lachlan Mitchell
Casey Cavaliers were all suited up for an important day on the NBL1 calendar on the weekend.
Both the men and women were supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Round and wore pink jerseys to mark the occasion.
The sides were back at Casey Stadium for a double header…the men faced Mount Gambier who went into the clash unbeaten.
The Cavs had a slow start falling to a 1-10 opening run by the Pioneers.
Casey got its first bucket through William Hickey who made his first start for the season after being released by NBL side Melbourne United.
Hickey got his scoring account opening with a free-throw and quickly had his first from range firing home a three.
The Pioneers showed their class to go on a 10-point scoring run to run out to a 47-26 lead.
The Cavs looked behind the pace trailing by 20 at the first break.
The gap extended to a 34-66 half-time lead, with the Cavs having it all to do in the second-half.
The Cavaliers continued to fight putting on a 26-point third term to gain momentum.
The task got increasingly harder and harder for the Casey side that couldn’t fight back from the slow start.
Mt Gambier winning by 37-points and keeping their unbeaten streak alive.
The Cavs women were on centre stage; with both sides undefeated and sitting pretty in the top echelon of the ladder.
The women had a strong start through Louise Brown, who has had a stellar season and continues to go from strength-to-strength
Rachel Bell also was a threat from long-range, firing home her sides first three, to give Casey a 22-20 quarter-time lead.
Shereesha Richards also had the ball on a string keeping a healthy 10-point margin at half-time.
Brown had a role in defence to play in the second half with a plethora of defensive rebounds.
Casey continued to hold sway with its margin cut to six going into the final term.
The Pioneers were strong in the final term hitting the lead through Shakera Reilly.
The Cavaliers continued to rally through Bell, who sank a three to give her side a three-point advantage with two minutes to go.
Pioneers Hannah Young was able to put away two free-throws, to give her side a one-point advantage with 10 seconds left on the clock.
A late turn-over was the decisive moment, causing the Cavs to be overrun losing by two-points in the 88-86 point loss.
Cavs women’s coach Alex Palazzolo was disappointed with the result after leading for most of the game.
“We were a really good side to keep us in the game,” he said.
“It was disappointing to lose the game, especially when we lead for most of the match.
“We are getting ourselves in really good positions to win games.
“But we’re allowing teams to get back into games and we have seen some areas as to why that’s happening.
“We just have to continue to work and make sure we are getting better.”
MENS LADDER – WINS
Geelong Supercats 4, Mt Gambier Pioneers 4, Kilsyth Cobras 4, Nunawading 3, Frankston Blues 3, Ringwood Hawks 3, Waverly Falcons 2, NW Tasmania 2, Ballarat Miners 2, Diamond Valley Eagles 2, Melbourne Tigers 2, Hobart Chargers 1, Knox Raiders 1, Dandenong Rangers 1, Keilor Thunder 1, Casey Cavaliers 1, Sandringham Sabres 1, Bendigo Braves 0, Eltham Wildcats 0.
WOMENS LADDER – WINS
Mt Gambier Pioneers 4, Launceston Tornadoes 3, Casey Cavaliers 3, Bendigo Braves 3, Ringwood Hawks 3, Geelong Supercats 3, Sandringham Sabres 3, Waverly Falcons 2, Knox Raiders 2, Nunawading Spectres 2, Frankston Blues 2, Ballarat Miners 2, Kilsyth Cobras 2, Eltham Wildcats 1, Dandenong Rangers 1, Keilor Thunder 1, Diamond Valley Eagles 0, Hobart Chargers 0, Melbourne Tigers.