THE Clarence Valley Vikings men's basketball team needs to overcome a player shortage to be competitive in the State League competition.
Shortages on the bench cost the Vikings one and possibly two games last weekend, and with in-form player Matt Moran out for this weekend's matches the situation is not improving.
Last weekend the Vikings men had a tough draw, taking on the Lismore Storm at home in Yamba and then backing up to play the Port Macquarie Dolphins in Port Macquarie on Sunday.
Both games started well, with the Vikings taking early leads, but a shortage of reserves was the difference between winning and losing.
Even so, the Saturday-night loss at the Raymond Laurie Sports Centre was a game that got away, in the most heartbreaking of circumstances.
Throughout the game the Vikings seemed in control of the tempo of the match and even though they fell behind the Storm at times, looked capable of grinding out a win.
In the third quarter the Vikings allowed the Storm to get out to a seven-point lead but with some substitutions the Vikings managed to peg back the lead.
With 13 seconds left in the game the Vikings had a four-point lead and the game in the bag.
With a Lismore possession the Storm scored a three-pointer and with eight seconds to go the Vikings in-bounded the ball straight to a Storm player under the basket, putting the visitors up by one.
They then compounded the error by missing unmarked Viking Jack Bull under the basket, to complete a heart breaking 52-51 loss.
Against the Dolphins the Vikings started well again, playing with composure and having plenty of time to get their shots off. …