Sixers defeat defiant Wildcats in an overtime thriller
3rd December 2016
Words by Bevan Jones
The Adelaide 36ers have kept their season alive after holding on for a thrilling 6 point victory in overtime against the Perth Wildcats at the Titanium Security Arena. In one of the games of the year so far, there were many momentum swings and some spectacular highlights including some big slam dunks from Jaron Johnson from the Wildcats and Majok Deng from the 36ers.
The win was Adelaide’s third in a row and it caps off an incredible week for the 36ers where they have now defeated three championship contenders Brisbane, Sydney and now Perth to well and truly put their season back on track.
After a slow start Jerome Randle was the game high scorer with 23 points for the 36ers including an 11 point third quarter which had the parochial home crowd on their feet and Daniel Johnson finished with 16 points including some clutch free throws in overtime.
For the visitors, Jaron Johnson recovered from a quiet first half to finish with 18 points including a couple of big alley-oops and Jarrod Kenny had a big second half and finished with 15 points.
The loss of key players, Ben Knight and Damien Martyn hurt the visitors and they have now lost four games in a row.
Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson was frustrated by the slow start by his side and particularly import Jaron Johnson who only had one point and one rebound in the first half.
“To only have one shot (attempt) and one point at halftime is not going to cut it,” Gleeson said.
“I said to him at halftime ‘just go and score, I don’t care how you do it’.
Johnson responded by scoring 17 points in the second half and helping to take the game into overtime after being down by as many as 15 points in the 3rd quarter.
Adelaide 36ers coach Joey Wright was ecstatic with the gutsy win by his young side which is proved that they are good enough to match it with the best sides in the competition.
“Perth is a great team. There is no way they were just going to lie down,” he said.
“I expected them to come back, I was just hoping we could hold and get it done.”
The visitors got off to a flyer in the first quarter with a 7-0 run, however after a quick time-out the 36ers recovered to take a 25-19 lead at quarter time. It was young guns Terrance Ferguson with 2 big long range 3 pointers and Majok Deng who both had 7 points each who were the stars in the first quarter,
The second quarter was an even affair and the home side took a 46-36 lead into the long break. Brendon Teys was the main scorer for the 36ers with 9 points and Jameel Mckay with 10 for the Wildcats.
The third quarter was the Jerome Randle show with the star import scoring 11 points in less than 3 minutes to take his tally from 6 points to 17 points at 3 quarter time. This helped the 36ers to a 15 point lead midway through the third period. As expected, Perth mounted a fightback late in the third period, thanks largely to veteran Wildcat, Shawn Redhage who finished with 9 points including a buzzer beating three pointer to reduce the margin to 8 points at three quarter time.
The final quarter was an epic tussle with many momentum swings and lead changes and thanks to some excellent shooting from long range by Jarrod Kenny and Jaron Johnson, Perth were able to come back from a 15 point deficit to take the game into overtime.
The Adelaide 36ers were too strong for the Wildcats in overtime and ran out victors 92 to 86, Daniel Johnson was cool under pressure from the free throw line where he finished with 12 of 14.