Hunters take no chances

NEWCASTLE Hunters celebrating their win in the Kibble Mallon cup this month. Picture Jonathan CarrollNEWCASTLE Hunters coach Trevor Gallacher said his players had more than enough to deal with in their ongoing development without allowing complacency to be an issue in their Waratah Basketball League game against winless Sutherland Sharks at Broadmeadow on Sunday.

After splitting their road double against Parramatta and Manly last weekend to be eighth with a 5-6 win-loss record, the Hunters tip off at 3pm tomorrow. Gallacher said they could not afford to take the Sharks (0-10) lightly.

‘‘The longer they go winless, the more they will play with a nothing-to-lose attitude when they play teams,’’ Gallacher said.

‘‘Our scouting report on Sutherland says that they’re a fast-break team and a perimeter shooting team, so even a team that lives and dies by that quick offence and a perimeter game can come out at any time and have a good one.

‘‘We can’t take anything for granted with a team like that. They’re going to throw everything at us and do their best, and if we turn up expecting a walkover, we might be on the end of one.

‘‘We’re really happy with the progress that we’re making, and the players don’t want to take a big step backwards by having a poor performance against Sutherland. Regardless of the scoreline, we want to play well and we want to keep improving every week.’’

Gallacher has been cleared to coach the Hunters after Basketball NSW rescinded a technical foul he incurred in their 79-72 loss to Manly last Sunday. Had it stood, it would have been his third this season, meaning a mandatory two-week suspension.

‘‘The referees didn’t cost us the game, but there were some game-management issues which were frustrating throughout the game,’’ he said.

‘‘I crossed the line and received a technical foul, which was deserved, but Basketball NSW have responded by suggesting there were other contributing factors and this particular technical foul did not warrant the initiation of a two-week ban.

‘‘I just have to apply more caution towards the officials in future and negotiate in a more reasonable manner.

‘‘It’s part of my responsibility as a coach to learn that lesson and be more flexible to the way the officials are refereeing the game.’’

The Hunters (4-4) will try to avenge their 2012 finals elimination when they host Sutherland (3-4) in the women’s game at 1pm tomorrow.

Coach Paul Lyth said the Hunters would be at full strength, welcoming back Charlotte Bull and Chloe Mullaney after they missed their 61-37 away win against Parramatta last Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Mustangs (1-8) will try to snap a five-game losing streak when they host Bankstown (4-4) at Maitland tonight.

The game will start at 7pm, preceded by the women’s game at 5pm.

Still chasing their first win, Maitland (0-7) will have to be at their best against reigning women’s champs Bankstown.