Taipans bite back over Dragons 126-100 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Taipans bite back over Dragons 126-100

By Grace Uhr 09/12/2006 10:57:43 PM Comments (0)

Cairns Taipans turned the tables on a lacklustre South Dragons with a 126-100 NBL win at the Cairns Convention Centre.

Returning from two successive losses on the road against Sydney and New Zealand, the Snakes were desperate for a win and incentive was never higher after handing the Dragons franchise its first ever win in Melbourne in round six.

Martin Cattalini put New Zealand import Carlos Powell on notice that he was not ready to give up his NBL highest point-scorer tag just yet, netting a game-high 26 in a gritty performance.

Other big contributors for the Taipans were Kevin Owens with 22 and Anthony Stewart with 19.

Rosell Ellis led the way for the Dragons, netting 20, while Kavossy Franklin added 19 and Shane Heal 16 despite a quiet first half.

Cairns changed its starting five for the first time all season and Gary Boodnikoff repaid coach Alan Black's faith with eight points for the Snakes in the first two minutes.

The Taipans led by seven early but the visitors dragged the advantage back to lead 29-27 at the first break - Jacob Holmes netting nine points.

Cairns started to fire from long range in the second term, a 10-point run putting them 14 clear until Ellis's late burst reduced the deficit to 62-51 at halftime.

The Dragons rallied in the third, Heal finally hitting range, but Cairns responded with Stewart landing 10 points for the term to take a 92-79 lead into the last.

A 15-4 run to open the final quarter put the game beyond reach, Cattalini boosting his figures with an eight point finish to seal his own game high haul.

While impressed with the result, Taipans coach Black said the side needed to transfer these performances onto the road.

"We've got to temper this and say we've got to bottle this up and take it with us," Black said.

"We're 2-7 on the road and that's just not good enough and it's great we can win here, but we've got to get it done on the road.

"There's other teams like this, I don't think we're the lone rangers on this, but I think it's hurting us more than it's hurting other teams."

However, Black said the win was particularly good after a hectic period for the club.

"You can never get any better exponent of sport being a mental game," Black said.

"When you think we've played four games in eight days and we shot the hell out of it, it was great defence ... we just exploded on it."

South Dragons coach Heal declared his team was now at a "cross-roads" after two sluggish performances, in Cairns and Friday night in Townsville.

"It's a real danger period for us," Heal said.

"We didn't compete with Cairns tonight and we didn't compete with Townsville last night and for us to be a good team we have to do that.

"We've got a long way to go before we're going to be a good team."

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