Cairns 70, Adelaide 69
With 16 seconds left, Jamar Wilson had given the Taipans a 70-69 lead with a key free throw. He missed the second, giving the 36ers sixteen seconds to score a basket and come away with a win. Co-captain Adam Gibson held the ball, letting the clock run down before passing off to Steve Weigh. Weigh was being closely guarded but left his feet to take a three. Mid-air he decided to try to pass into the key. The clock expired and the Sixers ended their home season in a manner reflective of their subpar season.
Both teams struggled to get any momentum early but it was Cairns who jumped out to a 8-2 lead. The start by the Sixers was ominous. In a game that meant so much to the fans (who must be congratulated for turning out in such good numbers), Adelaide came out looking like it couldn't wait for the season to end. Cairns finished the lacklustre quarter with a 14-8 lead.
The Taipans gave some good rest to it's key starters in the second which allowed Adelaide to claw it back to 34-31 at the half. Shaun Bruce and Dusty Rychart made important contributions but it was import Shane Edwards who started to look the most dangerous, largely because he was being guarded by Adelaide's guards or Stephen Weigh. For Adelaide, Petrie and Weigh got the scoreboard ticking and even Scott Christopherson got in on the act with a well overdue three.
Cairns wrestled back control in the third period, outscoring Adelaide 24-20. Jamar Wilson and Cam Tragardh were patient and found ways to score. Adelaide relied heavily on DJ, who led Adelaide with 8. It was DJ who gave Adelaide it's first lead of the game at the 2:52 mark and gave fans hope of a win. Cairns closed though with an 8-0 run and finished the quarter up 58-51.
It was always going to come down to who could execute their plays better in the fourth and the Cairns veterans played with much better composure. Adelaide had it chances at the line and kept coming up empty. Tom Daly went 3-3 from the line but Nathan Crosswell (0-3) and Anthony Petrie (2-4) couldn't get it done from the line. In a one point game that's what it came down to. Adelaide lost 70-69 and ended up finishing with very little outside Tom Daly's game to be positive about.
The biggest concerns from this game were............
-Jason Cadee (1pt, 2 reb, 2 ast). Was again largely given the ball and turned in a very disappointing performance. Lacked composure and took too many plays off. He won't enjoy watching the replay. His best three games have all been on the road and needs to sort out his Adelaide Arena phobia in the off-season.
-It was good to see Daly get 20 minutes but with the season shot, Warbout and Doyle could also have been given a run. Crosswell had a couple of good moments but not sure why he got 20 minutes. Weigh and Gibson both played over 34 minutes also.
-Clarke hardly made a case for reappointment. Ran some ridiculous three guard lineups without trying to go the other way and outsize Cairns with a Vasiljevic/Johnson lineup.
Adelaide finishes it's year with two away games to the Taipans and Hawks. I think most members though will be looking more forward to this Wednesday's members forum with new GM Dean Parker. A lot to fix before next season.