READY TO PLAY: The Coffs Harbour Suns State Youth League team play their first two matches of the season this weekend.
READY TO PLAY: The Coffs Harbour Suns State Youth League team play their first two matches of the season this weekend. Tarum Images

Feast of top level basketball

STATE league fans are in for a big weekend of basketball with three State league games on Saturday evening at Sportz Central and another three games being played there on Sunday.

This weekend will be the first hit out for Coffs Harbour’s Youth League team, who have re-entered the statewide competition after a two-year break.

The youth league competition teams include Grafton Vikings, Coffs Harbour Suns, Central Coast Power, Central Coast Crusaders, Newcastle Hunters, Cessnock Cobras and Maitland Mustangs.

The top two teams at the end of the home and away series qualify for the State league finals series.

The Suns youth league team has been training very well under the supervision of coach Laurie Van Loo over the past month.

The boys are itching to get on the floor to show the fans their skills and teamwork.

A hallmark of coach Van Loo’s game is strong defence and everyone can be assured that the time spent at practise on fundamental defensive footwork will put the boys ‘one step ahead’ of their opposition this weekend.

The youth league boys played a scrimmage game on Tuesday night against the State league men and although unable to match the strength of the men under the basket they were able to use their speed to run the floor for successful fast breaks. Even during the practise match a great team spirit was evident in the youth league team.

Many of these boys have played together in junior representative basketball but the addition of a few extra boys has added greater depth to the squad.

The women’s and men’s teams will be looking to repeat their first round wins this weekend.

The women’s confidence has been boosted by the news that captain Regan Kama will return from work overseas just in time for the weekend games.

“Regan is a vital link in the psychological make up of the team,” women’s coach Herb Haddon said.

“Her leadership skills keep the team focused and her competitive spirit ensures each and every player puts in their best effort on the court.

“We are not too sure who Lismore will field in their team but it seems we may be up against a couple of former Coffs juniors who are now attending university in Lismore.

“My team is hoping for two wins over the weekend but being the first time up against Lismore and Ballina this season we will play each game as it comes.”

The men’s team will be without Matt Shanahan for the weekend and while this will create some headaches for men’s coach Brad Sibraa, it is also an opportunity for others to step up and fill the gap.

“We have practised all through the off season without Matt and while it is unfortunate not to have him with us, we have the depth in the team to confidently face our opposition,” Sibraa said.

“We easily accounted for Ballina in the pre-season but this will be our first run against Port.

“I am very confident that we will produce the game to get wins over both teams this weekend.”

2010 SUNS YOUTH LEAGUE TEAM

Ben Slater

Luke McGinniskin

Bryce Davis

Travis Slater

Jimmy Robinson

Nathaniel James

Mathew France

Petnoy Wonisch

Ethan Thornborough

Nick Hughes

Joel Brennan

Coach: Laurie Van Loo

Manager: Wendy Davis



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