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NBL 2014/15 Round 12: Cairns keep rolling despite late scare
After what was considered a slow start by the Cairns Taipans, the visitors burst back on to the scene thanks to a massive second quarter and, despite a late scare, continued on to roll past the Wollongong Hawks 100-93 at the WIN Entertainment Centre on Saturday night.
It was the Taipans tandem consisting of Stephen Weigh and Cameron Tragardh that led the way on the offensive end, combining for 38 of the Snakes 100 points, with both players locked in at their efficient best (Weigh 6-8FG, Tragardh 8-11FG)
Cameron Gliddon was at it again, doing a little bit of everything, all at the right time of the game. Finishing with 11 points, six rebounds, five assists, five steals and a block, Gliddon led from the front.
For Gordie McLeod’s side, in-form Gary Ervin led all scorers with 24 points, to go along with five rebounds. Larry Davidson was excellent on the glass, registering 14 points and 10 rebounds including eight offensive boards.
As the Snakes gave up 30 points in the opening ten minutes, head coach Aaron Fearne was far from pleased and made sure his team heard his displeasure throughout the first break.
The visitors certainly felt the shock treatment handed to them heading back out onto the court, as they responded finding their defensive intensity in the second stanza. The Taipans limited the home side to just 15 points to score a nine-point half time lead.
Throughout the second half, the game became a tactical stalemate, with both teams struggling to catch a break and sprint away.
Luke Nevill’s impact minutes were impressive, with McLeod deciding to throw him in for just ten minutes to finish with 10 points on 4-5FG shooting.
With the game in the balance down the stretch, it was the Hawks who played their cards with just four minutes remaining, storming home behind their home fans to make a game of it.
The game had finally come to life in what had seemed like the Taipans had a stranglehold of the game since early in the second quarter.
Two pairs of Davidson free throws, followed by a Rhys Martin (10 points, 3 steals) And-1 and then another Ervin jump shot pegged the margin back to just five with a minute and a half to play.
Cairns then put the game out of the home side’s reach with a 7-0 run of their own which included a big Gliddon triple, as the Snakes sealed the deal with nervous free throw shooting to finish the game and solidify second place on the NBL ladder.
Wollongong Hawks 93 (Ervin 24, Davidson 14, Martin 10)
Cairns Taipans 100 (Weigh 21, Tragardh 17, Loughton 15)
@ WIN Entertainment Centre