Taipans claim win over Wildcats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Taipans claim win over Wildcats

10/01/2008 12:16:05 AM Comments (0)

Cairns kept their NBL top four hopes alive with a much-needed 93-89 victory over Perth at the Cairns Convention Centre.

Spurred on by a vocal home crowd, the Taipans got off to a blistering start, racing to a 35-18 lead as Stephen Black (26 points) and Larry Abney (25) in particular toyed with the Wildcats defence.

Perth quickly halted the home team's momentum in the second period, outscoring the Taipans 23-10 and at one stage scoring 12 consecutive points, as Paul Rogers (21 points ), Alex Loughton (24) and Shawn Redhage (14) took control, cutting the Taipans lead to 45-41 at halftime.

Fortunes again swung in the third quarter, with Cairns regaining control this time courtesy of their own 12-point run as Abney and Darnell Mee restored cohesion to the side's offence.

The home side led 73-65 going in to the final period.

They extended their lead to 10 points early in the final stanza but could not shake a desperate Wildcats, with superb shooting from Loughton keeping the visitors in the game until the final seconds.

However, Abney was able to steer his side to victory, stepping up to take the starring role normally reserved for Nathan Jawai, who was superbly shot down by Rogers.

Taipans coach Alan Black was pleased with his side's performance despite the second quarter lapse.

"This was a flog'em, hit'em, belt'em, come out the other side, type of game, and I thought we handled it pretty well," Black said.

"(In the second quarter) I think we just got away from doing the things that we making us successful.

"I think our defence in that first quarter was sensational, we were rotating and getting steals and getting clear boards and running, and I thought we let ourselves down defensively in that second quarter.

"I thought in the third quarter, Darnell made a couple of good steals and got us going again and then we started to understand what we needed to do."

Disappointed Wildcats coach Scott Fisher was proud of his injury-ravaged side's effort.

"The tech fouls cost us (and) I didn't like the 25 turnovers, but other than that the effort, the way they stood together, the camaraderie, the way they laid it out there, and gave it all they had, that was great."

He said two technical fouls given away by Rogers in the final quarter had contributed to the loss.

"We obviously gave them a big head start, we got back into it, but it takes a lot to get back into a game.

"I felt (Cairns) were stiffening up a bit and I was feeling confident with the way things were going but then they spread the gap again (with the technical fouls) and that was definitely the turning point."

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