Coffs Suns continue to shine
THE Coffs Harbour Harvey Norman junior representative basketball teams played their last round matches last weekend, when Sportz Central hosted teams from across the north and north-west basketball region.
Thanks to Naomi Markham and Sandra Mottram for their organisation of the games and referees over the weekend showing once again that Coffs Harbour Basketball has wonderful volunteers with exceptional commitment to junior basketball development.
As a result of last weekend's round games, Coffs Harbour will have all 12 teams heading to the finals series for Northern Junior league.
Everyone one of our eight division one teams will go through to the finals, our under 18 girls and boys, the under 16 girls and boys, the under 14 boys and girls and the under 12 boys and girls.
In division two the under 16 girls, under 14 boys and girls and the under 12 girls will progress through to the finals rounds.
Under 16 men
AFTER a two week holiday and only one training since school holidays began, it was obvious that some of the Suns players had worked on their individual skills during the holiday break.
They took to the court in the first game against Port Macquarie with a fantastic display of athletic ability and teamwork.
The Port Macquarie Dolphin's could not match the Sun's height as David Grunsell, Simon Cross and Mathew France dominated the boards.
Nick Hughes showed he had worked on his ball skills, Suns winning 95 to 58.
The first game on Sunday was against Lismore who are fast improving in all parts of their game, being the only team over the weekend to really push the Suns.
They still had no answers to the Suns intense 'in your face' defence that continued for the full 40 minutes.
Suns dominated the boards and ran the floor, turning this into scoring opportunities winning 87 to 68.
Grafton was the final game of the weekend and although they played well, Suns were stronger and Grafton had no answers.
Congratulations to Coffs Harbour Suns.
They now go to the finals in first place being undefeated in every game during the season.
Under 16 girls
THE Suns 16 girls hit their best form for season 2006 with three solid and convincing wins over Tamworth, Port Macquarie and Lismore last weekend.
In a likely preview of the coming NJL Grand Final clash in three weeks, the determined Suns overpowered the Thunderbolts 81-62 in a fantastic game of high quality basketball to start the weekend proceedings.
Most pleasing for Coffs Harbour was the inside dominance of Suns power forward Aimee Durbidge who pulled down 30 rebounds and nailed 26 points in a match-winning performance.
Jessica Bailey, Hayley Cassell and Jessica Gordon also contributed to their team win with double figure scores.
Second game saw the Suns scorers run rampant against the gallant Port Dolphins with the 100 points to 33 difference in the scores reflective of the pinpoint accuracy of the Suns shooting brigade.
Alex Wilson led the scoring barrage for the winners with 18 points while Gabby Johnson also chipped in with 18 points to her credit.
Our third game was against Lismore Storm, with had the confident Suns raining in baskets from the perimeter to establish a sensational 45-6 lead at quarter time.
The shooting accuracy of the home team continued for the remainder of the game with the Suns coasting home easy winners 123-24 with the enthusiastic Storm girls fighting out the one sided contest to the final buzzer.
Sammy Cooper, Emma Howarth and Jerica Lacey stepped up with their extra court time to all record double figure scores for their team with all nine players providing rock-solid defence of their basket.
Under 14 girls
THE Coffs girls did extremely well considering that captain Brittney Ainsworth was out for the weekend with illness and key small forward Rebecca Wilson was injured in the first game and was unable to play in the remaining two matches.
In the first game against Tamworth 1 Coffs played a steady half court man to man defence and took every opportunity to drive the ball to the basket on offence.
At the end of the first quarter Coffs were nine in front.
The third quarter is where the home team showed their dominance to race away putting the game out of the reach of the Tamworth girls.
The final score was Coffs 57-36.
Liza Goulding had her biggest game of the season with 18 rebounds and 20 points while Bronte Emanuel, 11 and Meghan Rae, 10 were the other main contributors on the scoresheet.
In the remaining two matches Coffs played solid basketball to have comfortable wins over Tamworth 2 and Bellinger Valley to head into the finals with a 12-0 win-loss record.