New look for women's basketball

A NEW-LOOK Grafton Vikings women's side will take the court in their NSW State Basketball League season opener against Lismore in Grafton tonight.

Most of the team have never played together, with interim coach Bruce Leonard expecting it to take a bit of time for the squad to gel.

“The younger players in the team are very talented, but very inexperienced at this level,” Leonard said.

“Hayley Cassell and Emma Kopcikas have been showing outstanding form at training and big games are expected of them on Saturday night.”

Leonard said Brittney Ainsworth, Gabbey Johnson, Alex Wilson, Aimee Durbridge and Emma Brennan were all showing signs they will develop into excellent players.

Experienced players Kelle Murphy, Natalie Sear and Kelly Smyth add that little extra to the team that should blend well with the talented younger players to form a sound squad.

Murphy, who moved to Grafton with her husband Matthew last year, has been named captain of the team.

“We will win the game on the defensive end, the plan will be to run them off their feet,” Murphy said.

“We have a small, but very quick squad, so there will be lots of fast breaks and defensive stops.”

Lismore were comfortably beaten by the north's top team, Tamworth, last week.

“But they also have a couple of outstanding players in their group and will be a tough nut to crack first up,” Leonard said.

“Whatever happens tonight, the team will only get better as the season goes on.”

  •  The women's match tips off at 5.30pm.


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