Mandurah’s young guns shine in State Basketball League’s pre-season blitz

The Mandurah Magic’s men and women received encouraging signs from several young players ahead of the 2018 State Basketball League season when they took to the court for the league’s Pre-season Blitz at Warwick Stadium over the weekend.

Up and comers and fresh faces alike got the chance to shine in a Magic uniform at the Blitz, which provides teams with the opportunity to test different line-ups and game plans ahead of the season.

Buoyed by strong performances from youngster Rachel Pettit, Mandurah’s women showed they had no plans to slow down on the back of their outstanding 2017 campaign when they stormed to wins in all four of their Blitz games.

The squad overcame strong line-ups against Willetton (49-29) and Stirling (43-36) on Saturday before cruising to wins over an undermanned Lakeside team and the WA Metro Women the following day.

Jemma Gatti impressed at the Blitz. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Jemma Gatti impressed at the Blitz. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Pettit seized her opportunity in the pre-season, putting up points totals of 13, 17, nine and six across the carnival and leading the team’s scoring against Stirling.

Coach Randy Miegel said the young gun had given herself every chance of earning more minutes in the upcoming season.

“Rachel’s a fantastic player and I think she’ll continue to work her way into bigger roles as the season goes on,” he said.

“She’s in a great team so she knows she needs to take every opportunity she can get, and that’s what she did.

Miegel said the side would take valuable confidence out of topping the pre-season ladder.

“Obviously it’s pre-season, and it doesn’t mean a whole lot, but finishing on top just helps build that winning culture and encourages us as a team,” he said.

“It’s a small thing to take away but I think it helps.”

Mandurah’s men’s side finished their campaign with a 1-3 record, taking the chance to showcase plenty of new talent.

Sam Julitz showed good signs for the men. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Sam Julitz showed good signs for the men. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Jamal Shabazz (12 points) and Shaun Stewart (15) teamed up as the side narrowly went down to the South West in game one, while Sam Julitz (10) led the way in a victory over Rockingham.

Stewart put up a further 20 in the side’s first Sunday clash against East Perth, before sitting out the final game.

The Magic will now return to their training regimes as they turn their attention to a looming round one clash with Perry Lakes at Bendat Basketball Centre.

The women’s game tips off at 6pm on Saturday, March 17, with the men to follow at 8pm.