SEASON REVIEW: RED DUST HEELERS
RED DUST HEELERS
Wins - 3
Losses – 15
Standing – 6th
2016 result – 5 wins, 12 losses 4th
Red Dust started the season well courtesy of success against the Thunder and at the end of Round 2, they were sitting inside the top four with a 3-3 record. While they could not maintain that form, the Heelers were very impressive defensively all season long, giving up the third least amount of points for the year. A nice spread of scorers saw the likes of Ryan Morich (10.9 points, 2.9 assists), Rob Pike, Jake Kavanagh (5.8 points, 4.3 rebounds) and Jannik Blair (the Low-Point MVP) star and will give them confidence heading into 2018 that they can return to the finals with a developing roster.
The Heelers were battered by injuries that threw a spanner in the works with Brad Ness having surgery on his shoulder after Round 2 and missing the rest of the season. Having led them with 13.2 points per game through their first six contests, the Heelers did not win another match after Ness went down while they also lost Adam Deans late in the year after he had recorded 11.3 points and 9.5 boards per game. With a league average of 63.5 points per game, Red Dust only exceeded that score once throughout 2017.
Their most potent three-point shooter, Pike came alive near the end of the season for the Heelers in the face of a few injuries to team mates and will be hoping to carry that momentum into next year. He averaged 6.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists but in his final five games, recorded two double-doubles for 9.8 points, 11.6 boards and 4.8 assists. Pike will be looking for a bigger role in the team next season and his final few outings proved he can be a number one option in the future.
There could be a few roster changes coming for Red Dust ahead of 2018 with injuries a major factor but they do have the depth to still put out a threatening side. A two-time Paralympian, Blair is a leader of the club and they will be hoping to see the likes of Kavanagh and Tony Wade continue their improvement as well to help them return to a playoff position.