Ballina, Lismore share top billing
Like the Storm, the Breakers men now share top billing in Pool A with the Coffs Harbour Suns.
And like the Storm, the Breakers must now win their remaining four matches – including a decisive final round clash with the Suns – to avoid a long road-trip to take on a metropolitan powerhouse in week one of the finals.
Breakers coach Marty Smith has made it clear which result he prefers.
“We don’t want to be travelling for a sudden-death semi-final,” he said. “We need to win our next three matches, and win them well, and then knock off the Suns at home to finish the season.”
The Breakers and Suns both have records of 9-1 and should be 12-1 when they meet in the final game of the season on July 24. But the Suns have a superior for and against leaving the Breakers needing nothing but wins to grab a home semi-final.
Smith’s men travelled to Coffs for a dress rehearsal at the weekend. They left with deja-vu. Just as in their first meeting of the season, Suns sharpshooter Robbie Linton hit a three with the last shot of the match to break Ballina 75-72.
Next assignment is Tamworth at home on July 3.
THE Storm ladies enjoyed a different result to the Breakers men, toppling the heavyweights Suns 79-60 to grab a share of top spot in the women’s Pool A.
The Storm went south on a mission and come home with the points comfortably on the back of 26 points and 14 rebounds from Tami Willey.
Coach Mick Willemsen’s brief was to shut down the Suns’ premier scorer, Aimee Durbidge, and his girls did that by limiting her to just a three-point contribution.
Durbidge has averaged 17 points through the season.
The Storm held outright leadership of the competition for a day, but Coffs quickly rejoined them with an 81-42 shellacking of Ballina.
Veronica Silver top-scored again for the lady Breakers with 20 points but it was far from enough for a side struggling with a record of 3-5.
Lismore now have matches against Tamworth (2) and Bellinger Valley before their big dance with the Suns on July 25.
The lady Breakers’ next assignment comes against Tamworth on July 3.