State title winfor Wheelabies
THE Coffs Harbour Wheellabies have had an extremely successful season in 2004. This year the northern division games were held in Port Macquarie and then Maitland, with the Coffs team recording wins in seven of their eight games. This put them in top position in the northern area league and in a great position going into the Finals playoffs. Last weekend the team, coached by Brian Latham(also a player), travelled to Albion Park and the Shellharbour Basketball stadium for the finals. They were down one player as unfortunately Ray Munro could not make it due to work committments. They were expecting tough competition from the southern area due to the greater number of teams and more opportunities for players in this area to gain competition experience. Coffs met Albury, who finished second on the southern ladder,in the first final and quickly dispatched them with a resounding 52 to 18 victory. In the Grand Finals Coffs played the Illawarra Hawks. Illawarra is the largest club in NSW having at least three teams including one in the National League. The scores were even at the end of the first quarter, but solid defence by all players and especially by Ian Newman, combined with excellent offensive play saw the Wheellabies finish the game with an impressive 63-36 win. Top scorers in the grand finals were Adam Latham on 22 and Bill Latham on 18. Bill was also presented with a trophy for the highest point scorer in the northern league and Adam was presnted with the most valuable player award for the grand final game. At the end of the competition the traditional City v Country games were held. John Coady played in the Country A team who were narrowly defeated by City A whilst Scott Spies played for Country B who defeated City B. Bill Latham played in the National grade competition for City (He plays in a city national team as well as a country team) who defeated country.