The Dubbo Rams are hoping a solid 18-point win against the Springwood Scorchers can kickstart their season and spark a run into the Waratah League semi-finals.
The Rams were outsiders in the Division One south title after losing six of their first seven games heading into Saturday but the 82-68 victory has given the side confidence.
Playing in front of a vocal crowd at the the Woolshed on Saturday night, the Rams were the dominant team, getting out to a 16-point lead before a third-quarter lapse saw Springwood get back into the match.
In the fourth quarter the hosts found their groove again.
“We should have put the game away earlier,” Sykes said. “We had a handy lead at half-time but as we’ve done a few times this year, we dropped our intensity.
“It could have been dangerous for us but one of the guys scored three or four three-pointers and that got us our intensity back.
“It’s been the case so often for us this year that we’ve played two and a half quarters, dropped off for a quarter and then got ourselves going again, but by that stage we lose by 10.”
It’s been an issue for the Dubbo team that has cost them on several occasions this year but Sykes hopes winning can bring it to an end.
“I think we have a team that is good enough to beat anybody but we have to get this out of our game because otherwise it allows teams to put us to the sword,” he said.
“We’ll take a lot of confidence from that game and use that for our home games against Lithgow and Wagga over the next two weeks.
“If we win those two games we are right back in the fight.”
There will be additional good news for the Rams with former Sydney Kings with Martin Iti back after missing the last two games. He will come into a side with some in-form players.
“Any time you can bring a 7-footer back into your side you will be better for it,” Sykes said.
“Martin will give us a boost. We missed him against Lithgow.
“Adam Ward has been very good for us. He was our top scorer against Springwood and Steve Hall got us back into the match with some big scoring.”