Mixed results for Suns
THE Harvey Norman Suns women's State league basketball team commenced their disrupted season last weekend with a double header road trip to Sydney and the Central Coast, coming home with one win and one loss.
The women's State league program was thrown into confusion in March with the withdrawal of Newcastle and North Sydney.
Following successful meetings with southern organisers and NSWBA staff, a revamped competition will see the three remaining northern teams play each other twice on a home and away basis, followed by two central venue weekends against southern and western teams.
One of these central venues will be conducted in Coffs Harbour.
Because of these last minute changes to the program, Coffs Harbour were not able to field their full strength team, so the 50 per cent win/loss result was a successful outcome.
The Harvey Norman girls defeated 2004 and 2005 premiers Gosford, but lost to a new-look Hills Hornets team.
Against the Hills on Saturday night, former Suns junior Kristy Goodman made an outstanding debut to the senior representative arena, nailing seven points and leading the rebounding effort for the Suns.
Kristy was well supported by Clare Thomson, who top scored with 16 points.
Foul trouble kept a number of players quiet during the second half of the game and will limited bench players, coach Haddon had no choice but to play conservative basketball.
However, the Coffs girls are determined to turn the tables on the Hills girls in the next round at home.
On Sunday morning against Gosford Emma Van der Waal led the way with an outstanding point guard game.
She drove the ball inside, resulting in 10 points from the free throw line.
Brooke Seccombe stepped up a level in her first senior representative game, sending pinpoint assists to her team mates and contributing 11points in her baptism into State League.
Regan Kama showed why she is highly regarded as a player and a coach with her continued defensive pressure and support for fellow teammates, even from the bench when she was fouled out of the game in the last quarter.
Katie Henry pulled in some magnificent rebounds and added 8 points to the team's total.
Kristy Goodman continued her outstanding form and added 14 points.
New recruit Rachel Harrigan showed courage and determination with great defence and excellent assists to help Coffs to a victory.
With Clare Thomson top scoring with 25 points for the game, the team energy was high and future wins are high in the girls' minds.
The Camera House Suns men's team also played the Hills and Gosford, but could not get a win against either team.
Losing by 10 and 8 points respectively, the team now has a two win/two loss record, all on the road.
Under new coach Peter Barton, the Suns performed well despite the final game results.
"Going on the road is always tough and having our first four games away has been difficult, but now we can look forward to home games next week and the week after," Barton said.
The Camera House Suns go into the 2006 season with a much younger team than previously.
Mitch Cole, Kurt Riddell and Ryan Cross have graduated out of the 2005 junior program, and it will be interesting to see how they perform against the older, more physical players.
"All three are reasonably big boys, so they have the size, but it will be the toughness and experience of the older opposition players that might be difficult to match," Burton said.
"However, I am confident that all three will provide speed and fitness to the Suns and we will mould into a formidable team."
The first of the 2006 State league home games will be held in Coffs Harbour on Saturday when the Camera House men take on the Newcastle Hunters at the stadium at 7pm.
Corporate box and season ticket holders will be able to collect their season tickets at the door on Saturday night.
We hope to see a big crowd at SportzCentral for the first home game, followed by a big roll up at the after game function at the Plantation Hotel.