Crocs in close NBL shave over Kings - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crocs in close NBL shave over Kings

20/12/2002 06:20:31 AM Comments (0)

Talk about a close shave.

The Townsville Crocodiles kept alive one of the more bizarre team bets by scraping home 94-92 in their national basketball league clash with the embattled Sydney Kings in Sydney on Thursday night.

In a final desperate bid to turn around a disappointing season, Townsville coach Ian Stacker dared his team after a disastrous December 7 loss to lowly Brisbane that they could only have a hair cut or shave if they won five games in a row.

And it looks like their barbers may be needed soon after Townsville won its second straight and inflicted the third consecutive loss - the fifth in seven games - on the Kings at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

The Kings were sitting pretty with a 77-66 lead early in the fourth quarter before threes from Mike Kelly, Peter Crawford and veteran import Robert Rose snatched an 85-84 lead from a shellshocked Sydney with four minutes left.

The Kings then faltered at the free throw line - they shot 48 per cent compared to Townsville's 86 - before an attempted three from skipper Shane Heal on the buzzer fell by the wayside - as could Sydney's finals hopes.

Last season the Kings were sitting pretty on top of the ladder at 9-3 with a mid-season poll tipping Sydney to not only make its first grand final but also run away with a maiden title.

The Kings promptly missed the play-offs altogether, warranting more calls of "Violet Crumble" from cynics - a nickname hailing from their ability to fall to pieces at the crunch and their purple uniforms.

In an eery similarity to last season, the Kings were once again riding high with a 9-2 record before dropping their last three including the heartbreaker against the Crocs.

Sydney is now 9-5 while Townsville continues its resurgence at 5-11.

For Townsville, 37-year-old Rose had 19 points, Kelly 18 and import Wayne Turner 16 while for Sydney, import Chris Williams (23 points, 12 rebounds), Kavossy Franklin (15 points) and Matthew Nielsen (15 points) tried hard.

Townsville emerged from a first quarter arm wrestle ahead 29-22 but not even a 10 point second term by Turner could stop the Kings stealing a 52-50 halftime advantage sealed by a Ben Melmeth lay-up on the buzzer.

A 14-0 run early in the third handed the Kings a double digit buffer and a 74-64 lead at the final break but the Crocodiles weren't to be denied.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news