IT'S been so long between drinks, Wagga Heat coach Zac Maloney had to write the team song on a whiteboard after Saturday's drought-breaking 70-45 win at Newcastle.
After sitting out 2020 and going winless last year it was the side's first victory in 988 days, when they defeated Dubbo in the final round of 2019.
So it's no surprise the lyrics were belted out with gusto after the 988 day wait ended.
Player-coach Maloney scored 19 of his 33 points in the first quarter, and 28 in the first half, as the Heat built a 48-29 half-time advantage.
The hosts locked down on Maloney in the second half, but even without point guard Chaz Bishop (ankle) the young Heat held their own to finally break their drought.
"I had to write the song on the whiteboard before we started singing. It was good to get it out and sing it again, a few of the boys have never heard it," Maloney said.
"Only Jake (Edwards), Scott (Hare) and Merks (captain Eddie Merkel) have sung it before.
"It's testament to the boys for sticking it out. We came into this weekend without Chaz, and Matt (Bishop, assistant coach) couldn't come away either, so everyone had to step up and help out.
"The way they all came together, the positivity in the team and how they executed what they wanted to do was second to none."
While Maloney had an afternoon out, it was the defensive end where the Heat got the job done.
"In the second half they switched up their defence which limited my touches, but the game was really won on the defensive end," he said.
"In the third quarter we weren't doing much offensively, but were stopping them.
"In the first half we executed the game plan and ran in transition, and we rebounded well which is a big thing against this team.
"Once we got out and running, we had a great start to the game.
The Heat had shown signs a breakthrough wasn't far away, especially in their season opener at Springwood where they gave up an 11-point lead down the stretch to fall in overtime.
They followed it up with a competitive home loss to unbeaten Canberra Gunners Academy, before finally getting the breakthrough win.
Wagga couldn't repeat the dose in the second leg of its road double, going down by seven points to Central Coast on Sunday.
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