Suns get the 'W' in an overtime thriller
IN A contest the Coffs Harbour Suns were supposed to win easily, it took five extra minutes of play before they disposed of the lowly ranked Norths Bears.
A poor shooting percentage from both the floor and in particular the free throw line, meant the Suns were locked in a battle many in the healthy Sportz Central crowd didn't see coming.
Standing as coach for the night as well as being the on-court general, Matt Cook said the Suns only had themselves to blame for being locked into such an arm wrestle.
"We made it hard ourselves. We were just our own worst enemy out there," Cook said.
"We talked about minimising the turnovers, doing the small things right. When we did them right that's when it worked for us but when it wasn't working alright that's when it was hurting us."
Thanks to a two point lay-up made from under the basket by Andrew Williams with less than three seconds to play, the Suns were able to tie up the scores at 67-all and send the Waratah League match into overtime.
Most of thanks should go to Jah Soloai.
With leading point scorer Forde Heatley not on the court, Soloai lifted his game up another gear not only being a beast around the boards with his rebounds at both ends of the court but also around the hoop where he netted 36 points.
"As soon as you get that big guy inside you can't stop him," Cook said in awe of Soloai's ability and performance.
Next week the Suns are at home again.
The opponent this time is the Newcastle Hunters, a team roughly on a par with the Suns this season and fighting for a finals berth.
Cook is confident the Coffs Harbour boys can overcome the Hunters and start making a winning charge in the second half of the season.
"The rest of the season should be games that we should get the 'W'," he said.
"It should be a good roll in to the finals for us, we can get into that top eight, hopefully the top four to get that home semi final here in front of our home crowd."
COFFS HARBOUR SUNS 77 (J. Soloai 36, J. Manns 11) def NORTHS BEARS 74 (T. Elkington 32, A. Auguste 12) after overtime. Scores 67-all at full time.