Coffs Harbour's leading scorer Forde Heatley returns for the Suns tonight.
Coffs Harbour's leading scorer Forde Heatley returns for the Suns tonight. Brad Greenshields

Suns hunt for spark to start finals charge

FOR Coffs Harbour's Waratah League men's team, tonight is the night they want a big crowd at Sportz Central.

"We've only got three home games left for the season but this is probably the biggest one we've got," coach Blake Kelly said.

The Suns play against Newcastle tonight and although it will be the first time the two teams have met this season, Kelly said he's got a pretty good idea of what to expect from the Hunters.

"Matthew Cook played a lot of his basketball at State League and NBL level at Newcastle and he's been calling me every night with information on how they run their defence and what they do in offence," he said.

The current Division 1 table shows how tight the competition is this year.

Tonight's combatants are two of eight teams sitting from fifth to 12th that are all sitting on four losses.

It makes tonight's clash crucial.

A positive for the Suns heading into such a vital encounter is the return of the team's leading scorer Forde Heatley.

Last week Coffs Harbour dominated possession against Norths but had a low shooting percentage which almost cost the Suns dearly.

Having Heatley back in the squad as well as plenty of time spent this week practising free throws has the Suns in a good position to brak out of their one win-one loss pattern.

"We're definitely on track for the finals," Kelly said.

"We play Newcastle twice in the run home but they're the only team in the top 16 that we play for the rest of the year."

The coach said the time to start the charge is now.

"If we're going to be a show for a home final, this is where it starts."



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