Whittlesea Pacers coach Damon Lowery is excited by the potential of the side’s new imports for next year’s Big V women’s state championship season.
After a tough first season back in the top division, the Pacers have added new imports Saule Kontautaite and I’mani Davis.
Lowery said he is excited by what both of them can bring to the squad.
Kontautaite, who is from Lithuania, has spent the past two years playing in the Big V division 2 competition with the Coburg Giants.
Lowery said Kontautaite wanted to challenge herself in the higher level.
“She can really shoot and has a strong shot.
“She plays really tough and will bring a lot to the table. She’s had two years already out here, so she’s seen a fair bit. She has the talent to jump up to state champs. She can play basketball.”
Kontautaite has already started doing work with some of the Pacers junior players.
Davis will arrive in Australia in February.
Lowery said while Davis fills the small forward role they have been looking for, she provides a lot more than that.
“We’ve got a two guard, a small forward and power forward. We’ve got that in a six foot athlete.
“She shoots the three, handles the ball, rebounds and blocks shots. I’mani can play every position on the floor.”
The two have big shoes to fill, replacing Dani Reinwald and Rachel Bell who both starred last season.
Bell was the state championship division leading scorer, while Reinwald was the leading rebounder.
Bell has joined state championship rival Hume City Broncos.
Lowery said overall they were looking to have a better squad for next season.
“Last year, Dani and Rachel were fantastic,” he said. “This year, the Australian girls behind the imports, we will be better.
“Hayley Wynd is stepping up. She’s done everything that she can in youth league. “We’ve got another couple of recruits. We have a lot more depth than last year.”
Lowery said they were seeing more people wanting to get involved with the club, as they enter state championship for a second straight season.
The Pacers came into the state championship division with a number of teams leaving to go to the NBL1 competition.
“We were lucky not to get relegated last year and we’re still a state champ team,” he said.
“There’s a lot more depth than last year.
“We struggled with numbers at times last year, but this year it won’t be an issue.”
Lowery, who is also co-coaching director at the Whittlesea Pacers, said they were hopeful of appointing a men’s coach shortly.
Brian Vaughns had to step down from the role. Lowery said they had a number of really good applicants.