Words by Bevan Jones
The Cairns Taipans have celebrated the 350th and final regular season game of veteran Mark Worthington with a 9 point win against Adelaide 36ers at Titanium Security Arena on Saturday night.
A basket to Nathan Sobey late in the game got the 36ers within 4 points but a 3 point bomb by Cam Gliddon sealed the deal for Cairns as they clinched 2nd spot and a home final.
The 36ers got out of the blocks early in the first term with a 10 to 2 run that had the crowd on their feet and they took a 9 point lead to half time after a brilliant 10pt second term from Majok Deng including a big slam.
Former NBA and Boomer star Nathan Jawai was controversially fouled out in the 2nd term and it seemed as though Adelaide were going to end their 3 game losing streak.
After half time though it was an inspired Cairns outfit who came out and led by Travis Trice 18 points, Cam Gliddon and Jarrad Weeks 16 points they managed to fight their way back into the contest and amazingly led by 7 at 3 quarter time.
Despite 13 points in the final term by Jerome Randle it was not enough and a jubilant Cairns celebrated their 2nd win in 48 hours against the minor premiers and now take huge confidence into the playoffs.
The Sixers didn’t do themselves any favours, shooting only 53% from the free throw line and Coach Joey Wright blamed complacency on his team’s 4th loss in a row and
“Our free throw percentage was well below average and it’s disappointing but we have been complacent and that shouldn’t be factor with finals coming up,” Joey Wright said.
The Sixers will now do battle with Illawarra on Thursday at Titanium Security Arena and Cairns have a home tussle on Friday night with last year’s premiers, Perth Wildcats.
T Trice 18
C Gliddon 16
J Weeks 16
J Randle 24
M Creek 16
D Johnson 13