The best in Big V division one basketball meet at Shepparton Sports Stadium tonight.
Shepparton Gators host Keysborough Cougars with one side to walk away from the match with the first blight on their record this season.
Both sides are the only two undefeated teams in the competition and the Cougars will take some beating, having accounted for last year’s grand finalists in Chelsea Gulls already this year.
But Gators coach Leigh Bathman believes his side can rise to the occasion and maintain its stay at the top of the table.
‘‘I think it will be a really good early season indicator of where we’re at, we’ve gotten on top of some teams we should have and done the job on those quite well, but in saying that there were still patches through each of those games we need to work on,’’ he said.
Both sides have had some heated battles in the past and with plenty at stake again, this game is sure to bring out the best of both sides.
With an even spread of scorers in the Cougars line-up, Bathman has pinpointed a key player who will have to be accounted for at all times.
‘‘Calvin Enge, he’s their main guy and leads them and sparks them, they’re a bit like us where they have a couple of different options for scoring,’’ he said.
Keysborough’s American import Gerrard Newby has averaged almost 16 points a game but could be even more dangerous should he be left loose.
Shepparton recruit Jake Cowling has not shied away from challenging opponents this season and will have another tough ask tonight given the plethora of high-quality local talent.
Talented footballer Jayden Bubb will cause problems with his height as the games of Johnny Kloester and Ben Morwood are well known by Gators players.
Ian Wright will be looking to make an impact for the home side as the forward refuses to let a shoulder injury stop him from performing, while Jordan Michel returns to play more Big V minutes after debuting last weekend.
‘‘We’re looking forward to the contest, sometimes we get a bit anxious because you never know what teams have got but we know what we’re up against,’’ Bathman said.
Tip-off for the Shepparton Gators blockbuster against Keysborough Cougars is at 7.30pm at Shepparton Sports Stadium.