Matt Moran (left) drives Grafton Vikings against Armidale Lions at the Grafton Indoor Sports Stadium.
Matt Moran (left) drives Grafton Vikings against Armidale Lions at the Grafton Indoor Sports Stadium. Debrah Novak

Vikings make it three from four

THE Grafton Vikings made it three from four in games played at the Grafton Sports Centre over the weekend.

Their winning run started with the Youth League men stopping a late comeback by the Central Coast Power to win by 12. The Youth men displayed great running basketball, constantly putting their opposition on the back foot. Through guards Levi Parbery and Jack Marat the young Vikings were able to feed early ball to Hamish Denshire and Sean Traby who both finished well. Denshire’s athleticism was on display as he slammed the ball home numerous times before an enthusiastic home crowd.

In a great team display all players featured on the score sheet. Scorers were Sean Traby 20, Hamish Denshire 19, Rayne Ellis 15, Anthony Kopcikas 14, Jack Marat 7, Dylan Parbery 6, Levi Parbery 5 and Kyam Shannon 4.

In the second game on Saturday night, the Grafton District Services Club Vikings took on the Thunderbolts from Tamworth. After receiving a 40-point drubbing the last time the two teams met, the Vikings were out to avenge – and vengeance they had – taking out the game 74 – 46.

A poor offensive start by the home team, in which the Vikings scored just two points in the first quarter, must have concerned the home crowd for their team’s chances. However, exceptional defence kept the visitors to just 11 first-quarter points. While not happy with his team’s offence, coach Nathan Martin praised his team defence in the first quarter.

“I knew that with the defence we played we would start turning it into offensive pressure and the boys showed that,” he said. Vikings took 10-point lead going into the main break.

The injection of Matt Moran and Daniel Boorman into the game during the second quarter made an immediate impact. It levelled the score midway through the second before some great defence, such as has been missing in recent weeks. This led to some easy fast-break points where the Vikings managed 30 points to take them 32 – 22 into the main break – up by

Anthony Kopcikas showed his dominance early in the third, scoring five unanswered points to boost his team’s confidence. This, along with a great running game from Moran and Dion McGregor, gave the Vikings a handy lead of nine going into the final stanza.

Some great play at both ends by Cameron Fishburn, who played all but one minute of the game, put to game out of touch for the visitors and the Vikings ran out winners. This was an extraordinary feat after playing a full game of Rugby Union for the Yamba Buccaneers.

Best on court for the Vikings were Matt Moran who scored 25 points in his comeback, Anthony Kopcikas 15 points and Cameron Fishburn 9. Other scorers were Dion McGregor 9, Nathan Darby 8, Danny Boorman 7, and Sam Wicks 2.

Yesterday the Youth Men took on the Maitland Mustangs in a hard-fought game.

Both teams traded baskets throughout the first quarter with not much focus on the defensive side of the game.

In the third quarter the team concentrated more on the defensive aspect of the game and again they traded baskets, with the Viking able to outscore the visitor by just two points. During the fourth quarter, the Vikings looked to have stolen the game skipping out to a 10-point lead before some poor shot options and a spirited comeback from the Mustangs let the visitor steal the game 95-89.

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