Coach Laurie Van Loo issues the instructions to the Youth League team.
Coach Laurie Van Loo issues the instructions to the Youth League team. Leigh Jensen

Suns let Hunters get jump on them

PLAYING their first game for the season against potential gold medallists Newcastle, the Suns Youth League men learnt a very important lesson about playing hard from the starting jump ball.

The Suns allowed the Hunters to get a jump on them in the first quarter with the score going 27-7 against the Suns.

From there the Coffs Harbour team was always playing ‘catch up ball’ and although their second quarter score was only three points behind the Hunters, they could not make-up the devastating first quarter lead.

“The Newcastle defence was very tough and it caused us to panic and make poor offensive decisions,” youth team coach Laurie Van Loo said.

“Although we were outplayed by an older and bigger team I was proud of the way the Suns never gave up and hustled hard for the entire game.

“The loss has given us a list of fundamentals to work on before we meet them again.”

On Sunday morning the loss to Newcastle proved to be just the motivation the boys needed when facing the strong Central Coast Crusaders team. The Suns picked up their defensive effort right from the tip off in this game, not wanting a repeat of the night before.

The Suns offence improved also and despite some exciting individual moves and good team play the young Suns just could not buy a basket. The normally prolific inside scorer Luke McGinniskin couldn’t find the basket in the early stages of the game but had a devastating last quarter, ending equal top scorer on 13 points with Matt France.

Petnoy Wonisch showed flashes of brilliance and once he gets into the training regime with the team will surely show the skills that made him one of Coffs best junior players.

Travis Slater’s height was used to great advantage under the basket while Bryce Davis’ outside shooting game kept the Suns in the lead for most of the game.

The game went to a draw with just a few seconds remaining but the Suns hung on for a very exciting win right in the last seconds of the game.

“A few boys spoke to me after the game and know what they have to do individually to improve and they are all so keen to do well,” Van Loo added.

“I think that with that sort of camaraderie and hard work we can only get better and I am really looking forward to the rest of the season with this group of dedicated and talented group of young men.”

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