SEASON REVIEW: RED DUST HEELERS
RED DUST HEELERS
Wins - 5
Losses – 10
Standing – 4th
2015 result – 11 wins, 4 losses
Led by player/coach Brad Ness (24.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists), the Heelers edged the Spinning Bullets with a 2-1 record in the regular season to sneak into the playoffs. Jannik Blair earned the Low-Point MVP after averaging 7.8 points per game in the most productive season of his career while Adam Deans and Rob Pike combined for just under 20 points per contest.
Despite making the playoffs again in 2016, the Heelers were unable to recreate their efforts from last year’s post-season when they reached the Grand Final. They dropped their final seven games of the year including going out in straight sets in the finals to Wollongong and their record against the rest of the top four was 0-11.
On the verge of his fifth Paralympics, Ness has lost none of his touch at the age of 41 and the added pressure of coaching the Heelers did not seem to faze him in 2016. Scoring 15+ in all but two games, the High-Pointer recorded nine double-doubles and a triple-double against the Blues in Round 4 while shooting at 57% from the field overall.
The Heelers have been right on the edge of glory in the past two years but age could play a factor with Ness heading into next season. The team will look to fellow Rollers Blair and Deans to maintain the on-court leadership while Gliders Clare Nott and Georgia Inglis could garner bigger roles. Retaining the scoring power of Pike and Jake Kavanagh will also be critical to their 2017 chances.