Young gun fires
IF you're ever wondering how much of a difference home crowd support makes to a team, all you have to do is ask the Coffs Harbour Suns player, Ben Holder.
The rookie 18 year-old was asked this question ahead of tonight's state league local derby against the Grafton Vikings and his response made you wish that the small forward gets a packed house to play in front of tonight.
"I don't know if you can actually describe the feeling in words," Holder said.
"As you're coming off the bench and they announce it and you get your name called out and then all these people that you don't even know cheer like anything, it gives you goosebumps every time.
"It's definitely extra motivation and it's more like you want to play for them and not yourself and you want to give them a show."
Holder may be in his first season at the senior level but coach Peter Barton hasn't been protecting him from the hurly burly of state league ball at all. In fact the caoch has been giving him 20-25 minutes a game.
The faith shown in him has pushed the young gun onto better things.
"I'm getting better each week," he finally admitted after deep questioning.
"The first few games I was getting something like two points but last weekend I think I got 16 and 10 in those games.
"I don't look at my points though, it's more rebounding and that sort of stuff that I look at."
When tonight's tip-off happens at 7:00pm, Holder knows that the Suns will be protecting a six-game winning streak against their northern neighbours.
Grafton enter tonight's match winning half of their matches so far this season but even Holder knows that past records stand for little in these matches.
"Always in a local derby against Port Macquarie or Grafton there's a bit of extra feeling in the game."