Courting a clean sweep
NORTHERN Rivers teams made a clean sweep of NSW State League basketball action at the weekend with all three recording solid victories.
The Ballina Breakers men became the first team from the northern conference to rack up triple figures in a 100-51 thrashing of Grafton, while their lady counterparts and the Lismore Storm racked up victories in the build-up to the weekend’s local derby.
Grafton’s Vikings were no match for our only male team – the Breakers’ speed and fitness giving them an early lead which they never surrendered. James Whitby was again the star with 29 points and was well-supported by John Smetzer with 20.
But it was the enthusiasm of the team after a one-month layoff which most impressed coach Marty Smith.
“The enthusiasm could have easily dropped after such a long time without a game but they were as keen and motivated as I could hope for,” Smith said.
Dylan Sharp, Jessie Coates and Michael Baggely tag-teamed the Vikings’ biggest danger, limiting Cameron Fishburn to just 10 points.
In Lismore, Tami Willey dropped 36 points to lead the Storm ladies past Tamworth and to the top of Pool A alongside Coffs Harbour.
Hayley Cassell controlled the game with her deft passing and penetration, while Jess Ward bought her Australian Championships form home to torment Tamworth with relentless defence.
Ballina’s ladies welcomed Victoria Silver back to the fold and she top-scored with 21 as the Breakers overcame a half-time deficit to run down the Bellinger Valley Braves.