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Suns beaten but finish high

THE Coffs Harbour Suns competed in the finals of the State Basketball League competition over the weekend and although they didn't win, they certainly didn't lose any fans with their first-class performance.

Going into the sudden-death final against the Shoalhaven Tigers without two of their more consistent performers in Nikki Baade and Millie Bendall, Coffs Harbour were always going to have to play at their very best to defeat the defending champions.

From the word go, the young Suns outfit battled valiantly scoring freely with some outstanding outside shooting and strong interior defence which meant that the girls went into the long break still in touch, trailing by just points.

But after half-time, Shoalhaven's massive height advantage came to the fore.

The Tigers began to play to their strength and Coffs Harbour were unable to stay in touch.

With seven seconds remaining in the third period, the Suns were still within 10 points but a three pointer by Shoalhaven guard Simone Gibbs made it hard for the Suns to build a comeback victory.

In the finish the lead blew out to 22 but the final score was not a true indication of how well the Suns played.

The rebound count, which was 65-45 in Shoalhaven's favour, indicates how difficult it was for the Coffs to counter their opponents' clear height advantage.