A season high 36 points from Quayshun Hawkins helped the Tamworth Thunderbolts peg back an early deficit and post their sixth win of the season in Tamworth on Saturday night.
Back at home for the first time in three weeks the Thunderbolts found themselves on the back foot early with the Central Coast Crusaders jumping out to a 13-2 lead after three minutes.
"They came out hot and made some threes," Thunderbolts coach John Ireland said.
The irony of that was it was the Thunderbolts' defence around the perimeter that forced the Crusaders into shooting from long range.
"I was really happy with our defence, to force them into long rang jump shots and not let them get easy lay-ups," Ireland said.
"But the thing was they connected all night."
"I think they shot 19 threes against us."
It was about waiting for their opportunity and capitalising on it.
"We talked about how they are not going to make shots the whole game, there will be runs where they do have misses and breakdowns in offence and we need to take those opportunities," Ireland said.
With Hawkins and Rhys Chillingworth (13) leading the way the Thunderbolts fought back to trail by one point at the first break.
Riley Murphy then gave them the lead early in the second quarter and they were never headed from there as they ran out 95-86 winners to jump to second in their pool.
Ireland said Hawkins was outstanding.
"It was his best game for us so far," he said.
"He made some massive buckets for us at clutch points in the game."
The Thunderbolts' import was equally as pivotal in defence.
"He was guarding their best player as well as delivering for us on offence," Ireland said.
With Chris Skilton finding himself in some foul trouble, Billy Parsons had to step up and did a great job, Ireland said, providing good impact off the bench.
He was their third top-scorer with 12 points.
Saturday night was the first of three home games in a row for the Thunderbolts. They've got Port Macquarie this coming Saturday and Springwood the following Saturday.