Veteran CBC coach Rob Tagliaferri has framed his side’s Kalgoorlie-Boulder Basketball Association men’s division 1 grand final tonight against unbeaten league leaders The Franchise as a David and Goliath contest.
A CBC victory would even the ledger in the emerging rivalry between one of Kalgoorlie’s oldest basketball clubs and the division’s youngest, who have faced off in the past three deciders.
The Franchise hold a 2-1 advantage over three championship clashes between 2016 and 2018 and will claim back-to-back titles for the first time since joining the league in 2012 if the outcome of tonight’s match follows the form guide.
They face a youthful and rapidly improving CBC, who won seven games and finished third in qualifying before eliminating second-placed Saints in a tight preliminary final last Monday.
“For us now we’ve got a pretty settled team, we’re nearly at full strength so we’re most probably in the best position we can be all season,” Tagliaferri said.
“In some ways it’s almost a David and Goliath type story. We’ve come from third, we’ve only won seven qualifying games but we’re playing good basketball at this stage and the Franchise are a quality side and deserve favouritism going in.”
The Franchise boasts a commanding line-up packed with State Basketball League experience including the competition’s runaway top scorers Jerome Reid (30.5 points a game) and Russell Hurst (27.6).
But player-coach Lou Causer said it would take a whole team effort to seal the deal after going 15-0 in their qualifying campaign.
“We’ve got two of the most dominant scorers in the league, but two guys don’t win a game, it takes a team, so all five guys on the court and the guys on the bench coming on and doing their role as well,” he said.
“That’s something CBC do really well, I know they’ve got about six guys that score multiple figures so they have a very even spread of scorers which is very dangerous and we do not underestimate them at all.”
The re-emergence of former Goldfields Giants guard Miles Tierney since Christmas has added a fresh twist to the contest, after he top-scored with 24 points in CBC’s eight-point win over Saints.