The Grafton Vikings managed a win and a loss from their two State League matches last weekend.
The Grafton Vikings managed a win and a loss from their two State League matches last weekend. Tarum Images

Vikings bounce back at the Cage

THE Grafton Vikings split their weekend’s State Basketball League games, going down to the Coffs Harbour Suns on Saturday night before escaping with a hard-fought 76-71 win over the Armidale Lions in the Cage on Sunday.

On Saturday night in Coffs Harbour they went down to the Suns 107 -79.

The Coffs team is lead by ex-NBL player Matt Shannahan, who dominated with his passing game.

The Suns got out to an early lead which the Vikings couldn’t pull back.

Top scorer on the night was Callan Crapp with 24 points, with Nathan Martin and Joe Roche playing strong games.

Sunday’s game at home against the very tall Armidale Lions team started off well for the Vikings with the speed of guards Levi Parbery and Toby Jeffery outrunning the big boys from Armidale.

Viking big man, Sydney Hume, proved a handful for the Lions at both ends of the court, leading the statistics in rebounding, blocked shots and scoring.

The Vikings began to dominate the game, skipping to an early lead courtesy of some tenacious defence and an excellent display of running basketball.

The end of the first stanza saw the Vikings with a handy 12-point lead with rookie forward leading the scoring while point guard, Levi Parbery, led the way in the defensive stakes.

The second quarter saw the Vikings extend their defensive pressure, resulting in the Vikings running in lay-ups at will to extend their lead to 20.

The third quarter saw a rejuvenated Lions attack hit the court with former Viking Hamish Denshire leading the fightback.

He led the attack for the visitors, seemingly scoring at will while foul trouble saw Viking big man Jack Bull and captain Nathan Martin spending extended minutes on the bench.

Going into the last quarter the Vikings held a slim lead of five.

The injection of Hume into the game during the fourth stanza proved to be the difference, with the centre showing that he is a player of the future for the Vikings, coming up with numerous blocks and dominating on the offensive end.

Crapp pressed his early claims for Rookie of the Year honours with another strong performance, while Levi Parbery showed great composure to lead his team around the court.

With a new and very young team, coach Dion Parbery was happy with all the players’ performances on the weekend and can see improvement in every game.

The Vikings now have a three week break and will travel to Tamworth on May 14 to take on the undefeated Thunderbolts.

Their next home game is Sunday, May 22, against the Port Macquarie Dolphins.

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