Official Player Websites Subscribe - Free Newsletter

Sports News First

Road NBL wins for Tigers, Taipans

By Chris Pike
4 January 2014 01:43AM EST

THE Cairns Taipans continued the Sydney Kings' final quarter woes in the NBL on Friday night while the Melbourne Tigers scored a thumping win at The Swamp over the Townsville Crocs.

Sydney made a flying start against Cairns at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Friday night racing to a 20-5 lead in the opening period, but once the Taipans steadied they worked their way on top to dominate and end up prevailing 73-62.

The NBL Friday night action then continued in Townsville with the Tigers cruising to a 95-77 victory over the Crocodiles having withstood a final quarter fight back from the Crocs.

Sydney came into its home clash against Cairns on a three-game losing slide and having lost four of five games since replacing import point guard Jesse Sanders with swingman Sam Young, and going without a genuine point guard in their line-up.

The Kings, though, looked set to return to the winner's list thanks to a hot start but the longer the game went, the more things fell away for the home team and the more the Taipans picked it up even without injured power forward Cam Tragardh.

The Taipans ended up winning impressively by 11 points to have now won four of five games to improve to a 6-8 record and to replace Sydney in fourth place on the ladder.

Cairns scored the first two points of the game but Sydney then caught fire racing to a 16-3 lead having scored 16 of 17 points in an incredible run with import Young set the Kingdome alight.

Sydney then led 20-5, but the Taipans hit back to score seven of the last nine points of the first quarter and then the opening four points of the second period to move to within six points.

By half-time, Cairns had closed the deficit to just four points with Sydney leading 34-30 at the main break.

It took less than five minutes into the second half for the Taipans to hit the front for the first time since the game's opening minute and they went onto gradually build on that advantage the rest of the night eventually prevailing by 11 points.

Cairns point guard Jamar Wilson was terrific running the team and scored 15 points while Stephen Weigh stepped up in the absence of Tragardh with 14 points on the back of shooting 6-of-8 from the field and 2-of-2 from three-point land.

Import guard Demetri McCamey also added 13 points, nine rebounds and three assists with Alex Loughton adding nine points and seven rebounds, Matt Burston eight points and eight boards, and Cameron Gliddon seven points, four steals, three rebounds and two assists.

Young top-scored for the Kings with 17 points and six rebounds with Charles Carmouche the only other Sydney player in double-figures with 10 points.

Cody Ellis, the son of Perth Wildcats great Mike, made his NBL debut having just joined up with the Kings following finishing his college career, and showed good signs with nine points and five rebounds.

The NBL action then turned to Townsville, where Melbourne continued its hot run of form following a dominant first half, and then withstanding a Crocs fight back to comfortably win by 18 points in the finish.

The Tigers have now won five straight matches to improve to a 9-6 record on the season to be putting a gap in third position on the chasing Taipans, Sydney Kings and New Zealand Breakers, while also keeping in touch with the second-place Adelaide 36ers who sit on a 10-4 record at present.

The Tigers got off to a fast start in Townsville racing to a 16-8 lead early and that soon ballooned out to a 15-point advantage just before quarter-time.

The Crocodiles did back to as close as seven points during the second quarter, but by half-time Melbourne had opened up a commanding 17-point advantage.

Townsville wouldn’t go away, though, and after falling as far as 23 points behind during the third quarter, the home side did show some fight and got to within seven points with three minutes in the game remaining.

However, Melbourne had all the answers and outscored Townsville 13-2 in the final three minutes to end up winning by 18 points.

The NBL's leading scorer Chris Goulding again led the way for the Tigers with 26 points, five assists and three rebounds for the night.

Lucas Walker added 18 points and nine rebounds for Melbourne as well while Mustapha Farrakhan finished with 12 points, Adam Ballinger 11 and centre Scott Morrison 11 to go with his five rebounds.

Jacob Holmes finished with 13 points and six rebounds for a Townsville team that again desperately missed the all-round abilities of import Josh Pace as he again sat with a hand injury.

Russell Hinder added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Crocs with Steve Markovic finishing with 11 points and Todd Blanchfield 10 to go with eight boards, three steals and two assists.

Round 12 of the NBL continues on Saturday night with the Wollongong Hawks hosting the Perth Wildcats before on Sunday afternoon, third-placed Melbourne hosts the third-placed Cairns in what should be an enthralling contest.

Your view first

Add your comment... Comments (0)