Points flow for the Suns
THE Hoey Moey State League men’s and women’s basketball teams travelled west to Tamworth and Armidale over the weekend, scoring a massive 319 points to come home with three wins from three games.
The women had a solid 63-49 win in a physical game and against a vocal home crowd in Tamworth. The men followed with an impressive 110 to 68 win over the Thunderbolts and then outplayed the Armidale Lions 143 to 49 on Sunday.
The first quarter of the women’s game against Tamworth was a torrid defensive affair with both teams trying to assert their superiority.
The final quarter score of only 7-6 indicated the intensity of the defensive effort of both teams. Cristi Juffermans and Katie Henry worked overtime to shut down the Thunderbolts’ inside game, while Sammy Cooper was working over their ball carrier.
In the second quarter the game opened up a bit with the Thunderbolts increasing their lead to six. However, the Suns came back late in the quarter to gain a slender one-point lead going into half-time 26-25 with captain Regan Kama leading the Suns.
In the third quarter the Suns slowly gained the upper hand on the back of 10 points from Aimee Durbidge, to lead the Thunderbolts at the end of the third quarter 45-39.
In the last quarter some great rebounding by Bonnie Kuchel and smart play and scoring by Nicky Baade kept the Suns in control, despite the Thunderbolts throwing everything at the Suns. The Suns eased out to a 10-point lead and finished it off down the stretch for the 14-point win.
Top scorers for the Suns were Aimee Durbidge with 22, Cristi Juffermans with 9 and Regan Kama and Nicky Baade with 7 each.
Coach Herb Haddon was pleased with the all-round team effort and the improvement the Suns are gaining with every game.
With the win the Suns keep their equal top spot on the table but will be tested against the equal first-placed Lismore team this Sunday.
In the men’s first game of the weekend against Tamworth, the boys got off to a great start leading 14-4 early in the first quarter. That set the tone for the rest of the game.
Tamworth tried to increase its intensity in the second quarter but the Suns were too fit and strong. The Suns went on to win by 42 points.
One of the shining lights was the contribution from 15-year-old rep player Blake Kelly, who showed a lot of confidence to come off the bench and contribute eight points.
Leading scorers were Mitch Cole and Matt Shanahan with 22 points each. On Sunday the Suns travelled down the highway to Armidale.
The team played with high intensity from start to finish and refused to give the Lions any easy opportunities.
The Suns thrashed their opposition by 96 points in a one-sided game.
Leading scorers were Robbie Linton with 33, Mitch Cole with 28 and Jessie Browning 20.
On the whole the Suns men finished the weekend with two great wins and now the boys are eagerly looking forward to the game against equal first-placed team Ballina at home this Saturday.
Basketball NSW statistics show Mitchell Cole is the second top point scorer in the league to date, averaging 24.2 points a game this season. Not to be outdone, Suns women’s player Aimee Durbidge is in seventh position in the league’s top 10 point scorers with a game average of 16.4 points.
Suns fans are urged to get along to Sportz Central this weekend for the top of the league clash between the Suns men and Ballina men at 4.30pm on Saturday, followed by the top of the ladder clash between the Suns women and Lismore at 11am Sunday. The women will warm up for their Lismore game with their match on Saturday evening at 6.30pm against fourth place Ballina.