NBL 2014/15 Round 1: 36ers finish weekend with a win
With both these teams playing on Friday night and losing tight contests, each squad was looking to finish the weekend with a win. Joey Wright wanted an improved effort by his team on defence and he got just what he asked for.
Right from the opening tip, this looked like it was going to be a close game. The first half provided an up and down affair that had both teams going point for point.
The 36ers were aggressive early forcing the crocodiles into 10 turnovers and totally 4 steals in the first half. But it was the 13 bench points that were keeping the Townsville boys in the game. Todd Blanchfeild led the crocodiles in scoring at the half with 11, connecting on three of his five 3 point looks in the first two periods. On the other end for the 36ers, Mitch Creek lead his team into the locker room with 12 points.
With the scores close at 43- 42 at the half, it looked like this was going to be a great contest right to the end. The 36ers must have gotten a blast from Wright at the half as the team came out strong, picking up the defensive pressure.
The away side started to pull away on a BJ Anthony shot with 3:51 left in the 3rd. A missed shot on the ensuing possession by Brian Conklin was followed by a series of misses from outside by Steindl and Henry.
As the crocs hit a cold spell the 36ers started looking to get to the basket and picked by their aggression, getting to the line 6 times in a 2-minute stretch. By the end of the third the 36ers had increased the lead to 9 points.
With momentum clearly on their side, the 36ers kept the boys in green in check and forced them into tough shots from the start of the 4th. As the lead ballooned to 15 there was nothing the crocs could do to get themselves back in the game.
Despite Conklin’s strong second half Townsville couldn’t stop the 36ers from storming away with the victory. The big man for the crocodiles finished with 23 points and 7 rebounds for the game.
Whilst the balanced scoring attack by the 36ers had four of the five starters scoring in double figures. Mitch Creek and Jamar Wilson lead the way with 17 a piece, while Daequon Montreal provided a solid 16 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. The final score was 97-83, with the 36ers coming away with a great win, built on an improved defensive focus.
The crocodiles now fall to 0-2 in the win-loss column. They face the Sydney Kings next week; a side coming off a 3 point win against Wollongong this weekend. Be sure to tune in and find out if Townsville can make the necessary changes to turn things around.
Townsville Crocodiles 83 (Conklin 23, Blanchfield 16, Markovic 12)
Adelaide 36ers 97 (Creek 17, Wilson 17, Montreal 16)