Jake Wallis, Daniel Styles and Jake Tilston have provided rare highlights for Port Macquarie Dolphins

Born leader: Port Macquarie Dolphins captain Jake Wallis has impressed coach Mark Champion despite a tough 2018 season. Photo: Ivan Sajko
Born leader: Port Macquarie Dolphins captain Jake Wallis has impressed coach Mark Champion despite a tough 2018 season. Photo: Ivan Sajko

TWO more efforts – one against Manly on Sunday and then Newcastle next Saturday.

That’s all that stands between Port Macquarie Dolphins and the end of a challenging and tiring, but ultimately important 2018 Waratah State League campaign.

The lessons the young Dolphins have learned will ultimately provide them with positives in years to come.

While they still sit anchored to the bottom of the ladder, coach Mark Champion said it was the performances of a young trio that had provided cause for optimism.

“It’s only Jake Wallis’s third year of state league basketball,” Champion said.

“He’s our captain and while he’s undersized for his position and he’s not the quickest, every week he puts in the hard yards.

“He’s one of those players that the worse we play, the better he plays individually.”

Daniel Styles and another Jake – Tilston – have also performed admirably in trying circumstances.

“Daniel was a B-grade domestic player at the start of the season and now he’s a state league player,” Champion said.

“He’s done a lot of hard work and has gotten better as the season went on.”

Tilston arguably impressed the coach the most – despite not playing any form of representative basketball prior to this season.

“He only missed the cut-off for juniors by a week so we told him to come and train with us,” Champion said.

“Jake is another one that keeps improving because he’s all heart and all effort and doesn’t make mistakes because he knows what he’s capable of.

“Over time he’ll be capable of far more than what he is now.”

Champion admitted he was unsure what sort of performance the Dolphins would dish up on Sunday.

“It’s always hard to know how the team will respond because it’s been a long season and it’s starting to wear on them now,” he said.

“There are a lot of tired minds and bodies out there, but everyone is approaching this weekend with the determination to try and win.

Tip-off is midday at the Port Macquarie Indoor Stadium.

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