Poor opening costs Breakers

THE Ballina Breakers State League basketball men have suffered their first loss of the season but it’s far from panic stations for the new look team.

A calamitous first quarter where Ballina was outscored 18-7 proved their ultimate undoing – they came back to win each of the remaining quarters and fall just short, 62-59.

After winning their first two games of the season the Breakers went on the trip high on confidence and returned with it in-tact, knowing they can more than compete with the best sides in the league.

Coach Marty Smith was disappointed to go down, but is happy that his players now know that if they perform for the 40 minutes each week they can be a championship force.

“We should have won the game and the boys know that,” Smith said.

Sharp-shooting James Whitby was again the star as he racked up another 32 points just a day after playing a youth league game.

The swingman dragged his team into the lead during the third quarter before being forced to sit down as he cramped up.

With a six-point lead, skipper Jessie Coates and interior force Jayden Hetherington were also benched as they picked up their fourth fouls as the Suns stole back the momentum.

The final term began with the scores locked and both teams went up a notch down the home stretch.

Coates and Hetherington eventually fouled out, robbing Ballina of its rebounding brute before a pair of triples from Coffs’ Robbie Linton gave the Suns victory.

Coach Smith cant wait for the rematch in Ballina.

“They were fundamental mistakes we made in the first quarter,” he said.

“The boys will have them all pointed out clearly at training and we wont be making those same mistakes again.”

On the same night the Lady Breakers were dealt a 60-point hiding by the Coffs Harbour women.

This weekend the men will host Port Macquarie while the women will look for redemption in the derby against Lismore in Lismore.

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