Byline: Steve Smith
CLARENCE Valley Vikings took on top-of-the-table Central Coast Crusaders and the Newcastle Hunters in Grafton over the weekend in the New South Wales State Basketball League competition.
Despite showing some good signs, the local team was unable to match the strength of the southern sides.
In Saturday night's game against the Central Coast Crusaders, the Vikings women got away to a slow start and allowed the Crusaders to forge ahead early.
The Vikings gradually got some momentum and with some patience on the offensive end the Vikings had ample opportunity to score but the shots just did not drop.
Despite the Crusaders having the game in the bag the Vikings competed well for the whole game.
They looked set to take Saturday's form into Sunday's Newcastle clash and cause an upset if their shots would fall.
The Vikings men took on a complete basketball outfit in the Crusaders. The Crusaders, with some big men inside and big men outside who could pull the trigger from a long way behind the three-point line, were always going to be tough for the Vikings to handle.
The Vikings made some runs at the Crusaders, to be down by only 6-8 points at times but some relieving three-point shots for the Crusaders meant the Vikings just could not claw to the front.
In the fourth quarter the Vikings rallied but the Crusaders had every answer and the Vikings went down by 20.
In Sunday's games the men had the day's opener at 10am and took on the Newcastle Hunters in a tight game that had it all.
It was physical, fast, rushed at times and at other times both teams showed great control.
The Vikings welcomed back Cameron Fishburn, who helped with the Vikings compete physically inside.