Earlier this year
Premier League Grand Final
The two best sides for the year have earned their way through to the Grand Final in what promises to be a high quality game.
Tom Daly (22.9ppg, 5.1apg) vs Kane De Wit (9ppg, 8.8apg)
Daly has the advantage here against his former understudy in De Wit. Mount Gambier plays at the fasted pace in the league and Tom is a huge reason why - steady and in control, but always playing quick. De Wit sets the table for the Eagles and has had a significant impact this season but might struggle to contain Daly here.
Erik Burdon (12.3ppg, 40% 3s) vs Mike Harris (18.5ppg, 38% 3s)
Battle of the snipers with both being elite long distance bombers. Burdon has plenty of experience in big games, where Harris has been inconsistent when faced with the big moments. If either is able to hit 5+ 3s it could go a long way to helping their side.
Brad Rathjen (13.5ppg, 4.9apg) vs Brendan Teys (19.8ppg, 4.6apg)
Teys leadership helped Forestville last week, scoring some clutch baskets in the final quarter. Rathjen has been given the big tasks on a lot of the best wings this year and done admirably, while also producing down the other end. Teys ability to get clutch baskets will be important for the Eagles.
Kentrell Barkley (24.7ppg, 15.1rpg) vs Majok Deng (28.2ppg, 11.3rpg)
The best player on each team and the biggest matchup for the game. Both have had huge games for their sides, including against each other. Majok had his way last week against Norwood, scoring in a variety of ways. Barkley is a bulldog with a huge motor and outworks the opposition regularly. If Majok is moving better than a fortnight ago, the Pioneers could have their hands full trying to stop him.
DeJar Dickson (13.1ppg, 9.1rpg) vs Greg Mays (21.5ppg, 10.5rpg)
Mays has the advantage here with superior athletic ability and a wider skill set. Dickson is a staunch defender though and can make Mays life difficult. If the Pioneers can break even here they would consider that a win.
Key bench players
Sam Daly (14.8ppg, 4.8apg)
Lachlan Hunter (7.8ppg, 4.5rpg)
Jake Rios (10.6ppg, 41% 3s)
Neither team runs particularly deep but the Pioneers are likely to have slightly more bench minutes on Saturday. Daly is a starter level player who has quietly had a good season in a different role. With his ability to get on the rim and find others he can be a handful. Hunter will provide spot minutes in the 4 and 5 spots to relive their imports while Rios has played an important role for the Eagles down the stretch as De Wit has played slightly less in the last month or so.
So who wins? Form is hard to go past and the Pioneers have found the win against the Eagles every time. If the Eagles are to win, Majok would have to score 40+ and have at least 1, possibly 2 go with him in scoring 20+. The Pioneers have more avenues to victory and I think will take home the Premier League title.
Pioneers by 6.
Sturt play Forestville in the women at 6:15pm in what promises to be a huge game between rival clubs. If someone with knowledge of the competition could do a write up that would be fantastic.
I also have to say the talent on display this year in the Premier League has been exceptional. With finals going on in state leagues all across the country at the moment, I think these grand final teams would stack up in any league.