HENCHMAN: Vikings Hamish Denshire in action at home.
HENCHMAN: Vikings Hamish Denshire in action at home. Matthew Elkerton

Denshire has defensive focus in effort to shut down Storm

BASKETBALL: Grafton Vikings big man Hamish Denshire is relishing a more simplified role this season as the Vikings aim to continue their undefeated run at home tonight against Lismore Storm.

Frigid-Air Sunshine Conference MVP two years ago, Denshire has been allowed to pull back from scoring duties under coach Nathan Martin this season as he simplifies his approach to the game.

"All I worry about is defensive rebounds, I don't have to score points,” he said.

"While we have always been team oriented, for the third season in a row we are using the same program and all the blokes have caught on.

"It is not so much just the one guy doing all the damage now, it's spread across the whole team.”

Instead of Denshire and point guard Sam Wicks consistently leading the score sheets, this season the honour has been shared across the Vikings' starting five.

But one player who has consistently topped the records is Mitch Wicks, who will return tonight after missing the past few games.

The last time Grafton faced the Storm it was pushed to the limit, and Denshire expected it would be much of the same.

"It was a pretty scrappy contest, we had to fight hard for that win,” he said.

"They have got Nathan Darby as their coach this season and he is an old Grafton player.

"You can tell he is teaching them a lot of the same stuff we do, fighting fire with fire.

"They are a young side on the up and starting to play some really good basketball.

"We have to fight for every possession and I think that might be why it gets so scrappy.”

This will be the last time the Vikings men and women play at home this season, and Denshire wants to see a good crowd get out for the occasion.

"It has been absolutely unreal with the support we have been getting this year.”

The Vikings women will play the Storm as a curtain raiser at the Grafton Sports Centre at 4.30pm.