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Cockburn Cougars Award Winners 2023

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The historic 2023 NBL1 West season of the Cockburn Cougars was celebrated on Saturday night with Sarah Mortensen named MVP of the championship winning women’s team while Gavin Field extended his legacy with a seventh MVP award.

The Awards Night to celebrate the 2023 NBL1 West season for the Cockburn Cougars took place this past Saturday in the South Fremantle Football Club function room at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

It was a memorable evening to celebrate a season where the Cougars women won the NBL1 West championship for the first ever time with the Championship Women team also making the Grand Final while the men’s battled against the odds to put together a competitive season.

The two main awards for the evening were the MVP winners of the respective Cockburn teams in the NBL1 West competition with Sarah Mortensen and Gavin Field named the winners for their performances throughout the season.

Mortensen was playing her first season with the Cougars with the Danish forward making a huge impact to be named the Cockburn MVP on the back of also being runner-up in league MVP voting and being named to the All-First Team.

Throughout the season, she averaged 24.6 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists a game while in the last eight games leading into the winning Grand Final, she was delivering 32.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Mortensen’s season-best performance was 42 points and 13 rebounds against the Perth Redbacks on July 1 while she scored 30 or more points eight times throughout the campaign to deservedly claim the MVP award in a championship winning season.

Meanwhile, Field was named the men’s MVP once again for another tremendous season where he celebrated his 300th game with the Cougars along the way.

It makes it the seventh time now that Field has won the Cougars MVP award to continue the remarkable legacy that he continues to build.

Throughout the 2023 season, Field averaged 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game including 27 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the last night of the season in the dramatic double overtime win against the Kalamunda Eastern Suns.

Also along the way, Field had some standout nights throughout the season including 30 points, 10 rebounds and four assists against the Goldfields Giants, 25 points, five boards and three assists against the Rockingham Flames, and 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds against the Mandurah Magic.

As for the other women’s award winners, Perth Lynx WNBL signing and Grand Final MVP Steph Gorman was named runner-up MVP along with the Best Defensive Player along with winning the same award for the league in 2023.

She had a standout first season in the NBL1 West with the Cougars to end up averaging 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.2 to become one of the best two-way players across the competition.

Other awards presented on the night included championship winning captain Kirsty Whitfield receiving the Player’s Player Award on the back of a season where not only did she become the title winning skipper, but she celebrated her 200th game to achieve life membership with Cockburn.

At the other end of her career, exciting 16-year-old from Narrogin, Amelia Corasaniti had a significant impact in Cockburn’s championship success and was named the Youth Player of the Year.

Fellow teenager, Kinley Paterson also took out to the Most Improved Player award along with being named the Championship Women MVP for the team that made it all the way to the Grand Final.

Latysha Derecourt was also named the Most Improved Player for the Championship Women’s team with Jess Hickey rewarded with the Coaches Award while Jaya Scafidi was recognised both with the Community and Cougar Pride awards.

Then in recognition of the season of the Cougars men’s team where they battled admirably to remain in the playoff race most of the way and then ending up with a 9-13 record, Gavin Field was also presented with the Player’s Player Award on top of the seventh MVP triumph he had.

One new face in the Cougars men’s team for 2023 was Kieran Berry who had played the first 92 games of his career at the East Perth Eagles.

He made a significant impact in his first season at Cockburn including being the starting point guard for most of the season. He went on to average 7.6 points, 2.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds to end up receiving the Coaches Award in recognition of his performances.

Keegan Phillips received more and more responsibility in the Cougars team as the season progressed and as the injuries mounted including to brother Liam, and he was recognised by taking out three significant awards.

Keegan was presented with the Youth Player of the Year, Most Improved and Pete Stanley awards for his efforts throughout the season which he will now look to build on further as one of the more versatile players in the league in 2024.

Meanwhile, Noah Stewart received the Community Award, strength and conditioning coach Tom Swindale was presented with the Clubman Award, and then Jonah Palelei was Most Improved Player in the Championship men’s team with Alex Mackinlay receiving the Coaches Award.


MVP – Sarah Mortensen
Runner-up MVP – Steph Gorman
Player’s Player Award – Kirsty Whitfield
Cougar Pride Award – Jaya Scafidi
Best Defensive Player – Steph Gorman
Youth Player of the Year Award – Amelia Corasaniti
Most Improved Player – Kinley Paterson
Community Award – Jaya Scafidi
Championship Women MVP – Kinley Paterson
Championship Women Most Improved Player – Latysha Derecourt
Championship Women Coaches Award – Jess Hickey

MVP – Gavin Field
Player’s Player Award – Gavin Field
Coaches Award – Kieran Berry
Youth Player of the Year Award – Keegan Phillips
Most Improved Player – Keegan Phillips
Pete Stanley Award – Keegan Phillips
Community Award – Noah Stewart
Clubman Award – Tom Swindale
Championship Men Most Improved Player – Jonah Palelei
Championship Men Coaches Award – Alex Mackinlay

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