Suns win against Vikings
SATURDAY, March 13 the North Coast’s best basketball teams made their way to the Raymond Laurie Sports Centre in Yamba for the inaugural Pre-Season Basketball Classic.
Now named the The Prawn Bowl after the famous Yamba Prawn and the bowl that teams will annually be awarded for winning.
Ballina, Grafton, Coffs Harbour and the Lower Clarence all competed in a round-robin format with two teams progressing into the grand final.
First game was the local derby between the Lower Clarence Trawlers and the Grafton City Vikings.
The game was played with a high degree of intensity and some great basketball was displayed by both teams.
Vikings coach Nathan Martin did a good job rotating all 14 of his troops and was happy in what he saw.
The Vikings just got on top with a good start to the day winning 57-55. James Whitby for the Trawlers top-scored with 16 points followed by big Cameron Fishburn for the Vikings with 14 points.
A lot of interest was to see the Coffs Harbour outfit and their new paid recruit in ex-NBL player Matt Shanahan in action. The Coffs Harbour side started their day well defeating Ballina 46-33. Although the big test for Coffs was to see how they would go against the Lower Clarence Trawlers.
Coffs started the game well getting out to a quick lead of 10-0 but the Trawlers slowly got going, finishing the quarter with Coffs leading 19-10. The second quarter was a role reversal with the Trawlers exploding from the break, led by veteran guard Lance Predo scoring at will.
The Trawlers defence resembled a Trawler net not allowing Coffs to break free, with the Suns managing only 11 points for the quarter.
The Coffs money-man Matt Shanahan had no answers to the veteran experience of Lance Predo and Stuart Tait as the Trawlers got back in the game.
The third quarter the score line went back and forth with both teams rotating their benches as all players needed a deserved rest, scores eventually locked at 54-54 by third quarter time.
The fourth quarter showed the Trawlers slowly tiring and the Coffs Suns hitting some big outside shots in Brodie Calvert, the Suns came out winners 68-60.