Hopeful signs for Vikings
By BRUCE LEONARD
THE Grafton City Vikings in a good performance went down to the Port Macquarie Dolphins in a tight game 73-70 in front of a good crowd.
The Vikings struggled early in the game due to their lack of pre-season games and were very disjointed and stagnant in offence.
The inexperienced team started with a lot of nerves and it showed.
Port Macquarie, a much taller team, used the inside game to good effect, scoring repeatedly inside and skipping away to a 10 point lead early in the game, but some hot outside shooting from Nathan Martin kept the Vikings within striking distance at quarter time, down only by two, 15-17.
The second quarter was a mirror of the first, with the Vikings showing their inexperience to be down 28-37.
The Vikings were at this stage very tentative and it looked like Port would win by how many.
The third quarter saw a change to the Vikings with their well-known defence starting to work and forcing Port to make bad decisions, allowing the Vikings tradesman-like fast break to score uncontested shots and get back into the game.
In a good effort, the Vikings were able to outscore the Dolphins 16-10 to allow them to get back into the game through some good shooting from Matt Moran to go into the last quarter down 44-47 and to have a real chance in the game.
The last quarter saw the Vikings start well and at one stage had taken the lead up to eight points.
Port Macquarie then went inside to score easy shots in the last minutes of play and with the Vikings losing two of their experienced players with five fouls.
The inexperienced Vikings came from well down to hit the lead but just didn't know how to win.
Although beaten, the Vikings turned in a surprisngly good performance and had some very good players.
Nathan Martin probably had his best game in State League, while Matt Moran, Glenn Boorman and Danny Boorman all played well.
Mention has to be made of young point guard Tim Kent, playing his first game in the State League and starting the hardest spot in the court.
He showed that he has a lot of talent and as the year goes on should develop into a classy player.
Point scorers for the Vikings were: N Martin 26, M Moran 20, T Kent 10, G Boorman and D Boorman 7.
The Vikings' next game is Saturday night at home against the North Sydney Bears.
The young Vikings will be a lot better for this game and would have a chance of an upset in this game.