Storm blows Ballina's hopes away

THE Storm was too strong as the Lismore ladies blew Ballina’s Breakers away 65-48 in State League Basketball at the weekend.

A top-notch defensive effort from Lismore ensured they would hold bragging rights over their coastal cousins while retaining second spot in the Northern pool.

Storm coach Michael Willemsen saw plenty that he liked in the performance, starting with his star import Tami Willey.

“Another strong game with Tami proving again that she is a dominant rebounding presence while Jess Ward and Hayley Cassell worked hard chipping in 15 and 12 points respectively,” Willemsen said.

But it was at the defensive end where the coach was most pleased.

“The defensive work from Emma Kopcikas, Emma Wilson and Katie Slattery deserves to be praised,” he said.

Veronica Silver (21 points) and Kellie Coates (12) were best performed for the lady Breakers who now sit fourth in the Northern pool with two wins from five matches.

Lismore are 4-1 – equal with Coffs Harbour who are ranked on top based on percentages.

Both of the ladies teams’ next test comes on the road against Tamworth.

The Breakers will look to soften up the third-placed team on May 29 before the Storm blow into town for a June 5 clash.

In men’s round 11 action the Breakers overcame a half-time deficit to win past the Port Macquarie Dolphins 73-66.

James Whitby was again the star with a game-high 20 points, and was supported by returning big-man Jayden Hetherington who had 15.

The Breakers men sit second in the Northern pool with a 5-1 record, one win adrift of Coffs Harbour.

The next test for the men comes on May 29 when they travel with the ladies to Tamworth for a double header against the Thunderbolts.



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