Taylor Schmidt attempts a fadeaway jumper for the Coffs Harbour Suns in their Waratah League season opener against the Newcastle Hunters.
Taylor Schmidt attempts a fadeaway jumper for the Coffs Harbour Suns in their Waratah League season opener against the Newcastle Hunters. Brad Greenshields

Close but no cigar for the Suns

The scores were level early in the last quarter but Coffs Harbour's men's Waratah League was unable to close its contest against Newcastle down the stretch.

The Suns were inspired by captain Matthew Cook who drained a trio of three pointers in the final term to reach a tally of 22 points but it wasn't enough to stop the Hunters from winning 77-69.

Coffs Harbour coach Blake Kelly said his team just failed to nail their shots late when the match was up for grabs.

"First game jitters I think. We played well, we battled hard at the end," Kelly said.

"We were down a bit then got ourselves back in it but it was just a little bit of poor execution in the end.

"They (Newcastle) were a little bit better drilled than us I think as they were coming in with a game under their belt. That's now one for us, we'll regroup and get ready for a couple of weeks time."

While Cook lit up the scoresheet late, there were few others who put consistent pressure on the Newcastle defence.

Kelly said sharing the load is something that will be worked on at training.

"We were pretty good offensively in some patches and then other patches I think we just tried to rely on one or two people too much," he said.

"I thought we did a pretty good job of executing our offense, we didn't really get the looks we wanted. We just need to get the right people in the right spots next time."

Although disappointed the coach said there was still plenty to like about tonight's performance to give him hope the Suns can again reach the semi finals come the end of the season.

"Newcastle is a pretty good team, we've had a decent pre-season and it's going to take us a little bit to get ourselves together but we'll be good. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season," he said.

The next Waratah League matches to be played will be a double header at Sportz Central on April 7.

The Suns women will play their first match of the season when they meet Newcastle at 5pm with the men's team following after at 7pm in a match against the Central Coast Crusaders.



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