NBL 2014/15 Round 10: Taipans run away with Reptile Rumble

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Cairns have comfortably accounted for their north-Queensland rivals in the latest Reptile Rumble, running out 77-61 victors over Townsville at home to consolidate third place on the NBL ladder.

After a slow start to the match it was the hometown Snakes who broke away in the second term to set up the win before extending their lead in the third period and putting the game to bed before three-quarter time.

Both teams struggled for offensive consistency in the opening stanza, with Stephen Weigh (16 points, 7-9 FG) starting well for the Snakes and Brian Conklin (22 points, 10 rebounds) likewise for the Crocs as the teams headed into the first break locked at 16 apiece.

The Snakes applied the shackles in the second term and held the visitors to just nine points, taking a handy 10-point advantage into the long break as Cam Tragardh began to find his groove.

A brief Townsville rally, led by Todd Blanchfield, saw the Crocs close to within five early in the third but from then on it was all Cairns again, with the Taipans finishing on a 28-12 run for the remainder of the term to put the contest to bed.

The visitors managed to win the final term and, with a four minutes remaining, closed within 12 to put a slight scare through the Cairns camp, however it was all in vain as the Snakes won their tenth game of the season and condemned the Crocs to their ninth loss.

Tragardh finished with 15 points and 7 boards, hitting 4-of-4 from the field, to give the Taipans plenty off the bench, while guards Cam Gliddon and Scottie Wilbekin each added nine despite combining for 8-of-24 shooting.

Townsville only had two players in double digits, with Conklin and Blanchfield (16 points, 11 rebounds) each recording double-doubles despite the defeat.

Cairns will now get a week’s rest before embarking on a tough double in round 11, starting in Adelaide on Friday night, while Townsville will travel to New Zealand to face the league-leaders, also on Friday night.

Cairns Taipans 77 (Weigh 18, Tragardh 15, Wilbekin 9)

Townsville Crocodiles 61 (Conklin 22, Blanchfield 16, Markovic 7)

@ Cairns Convention Centre