Vikings roar as they add size and strength up front
BASKETBALL: Grafton Vikings captain Sam Wicks is hoping the inclusion of more size in the side's front court will make all the difference when they travel to Lismore to avenge their season-opening loss a fortnight ago.
Opening their campaign in a grand final rematch against the Byron Bay Beez, the Vikings fell away in the back half of the contest, losing by two points after holding a double digit lead at half-time.
Wicks said his side had learnt from their mistakes, and there would be no repeat of the second half lapse against the Storm.
"That was not how we wanted to finish the clash,” he said. "We know we let that one go, so we have been picking up the intensity at training, trying to emulate the way we want to play.
"I think after the loss everyone has gotten a lot more fired up. We want to come out and prove we are better than that game.”
A welcome addition for the Vikings will be the Sunshine Conference debut of Wicks' elder brother and former Grafton Ghost Mitch Wicks, who will add some needed size to the Vikings' front court.
"He is a definite starter in the team,” Wicks said. "He will bring that physical side of things from rugby league to the game. He doesn't back down from anyone and we need that.”
The former league forward will line up at power forward working alongside towering centre Hamish Denshire as the Vikings aim up in defence to bring their strong transitional game into play.
FRIGID AIR SUNSHINE CONFERENCE ROUND 2:
Lismore Storm v Grafton Vikings at Lismore Basketball Stadium.
Byron Bay Beez v Ballina Breakers at Cavanbah Centre.
Ladies from 4.30pm, men tip-off at 6.30pm.