Adelaide 87, Cairns 84
Two huge Mitch Creek threes in just over 90 seconds (somewhereDaniel Rouse is giving himself high 5's) helped Adelaide secure a huge come from behind win tonight over the Cairns Taipans.
Creek played a key role in helping Adelaide get the win and this time it was his not his renowned hustle that was key. Mitch nailed both of his three attempts in the last few minutes and did it in a game against former team mate Steve Weigh. The former Sixer had a game to forget, shooting 0/10 from the field (0/4 threes) including several tough misses in the last few minutes. Many Sixers fans believed Weigh was given too many minutes in his time in Adelaide, robbing Creek of deserved minutes. Creek tonight certainly had the better of the matchup.
Creek- 14 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 13 minutes
Creek was huge and several of his bench buddies also played key roles.
Adelaide started poorly, again being made to pay for it's decision to allow it's opponent long threes. Cairns hit 5 triples in the first quarter and raced to a 29-15 lead. The Sixers largely played a 2-3 zone which gave up too many threes and middle of the key shots. The Taipans, despite missing Cam Gliddon, looked to have too many weapons as Ervin and DJ were close to ice cold at the other end. Earlier in the day, "King Podge " had written in this article that he thought his beloved Taipans would win by 25. At quarter time he looked like a genius.
The game got turned on it's head in the second when Adelaide turned a 41-28 deficit into a 45-44 lead by the end of the quarter. The Sixers had gone to a man and kept it's centre "at home" defensively. On offense Jarrid Frye got to the basket with relative ease and captain Adam Gibson also hit some key shots. The open shots started drying up for Cairns as they struggled to score, adding only 3 points in the last 5:41 of the half. It looked like it was game on.
Cairns opened the second half with a 9-0 run and wrestled back control of the game. Jamar Wilson got into rhythm and Adelaide went cold from both the field and free throw line. All of Adelaide's good work came undone as the Taipans took control of the game, leading 66-55 going into the final quarter.
Adelaide opened the fourth with the key players of the second quarter run- Ervin, Gibson, Frye, Petrie and Schenscher. It paid immediate dividends as the boys ran up a 12-2 run to trail by just 1 with over five minutes remaining. The game stayed tight with no team getting out to more than a five point lead. Creek's threes and some Gary Ervin free throws got the team home in the end and helped the team claim a legit scalp to stake their playoff claims.
Alex Loughton and Jamar Wilson were big for Cairns with some cameos by McCamey,Burston and Tragardh. Thy certainly missed Gliddon. It's bench scored just 14, matching Mitch Creek's output alone.
Here's how I saw the Sixers' games.
Ervin (33min, 10pts, 6 reb, 5 ast). His shot was off from inside,outside and the free throw line (2/10 FG, 5/8 FT). Some important free throws down the stretch though.
Gibson (32min, 13 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast). Important in the patches in the key second and fourth quarters. Some good defensive moments including a block and a steal.
Frye (25min, 13pts, 7 reb, 3 ast). Huge second quarter where he got to the basket several times in traffic and also showed his passing skills with some gimmes to Schensch.
Petrie (25min, 13pts, 7 reb, 1 ast). Had a great fourth quarter which was probably his best quarter of the year, coming up with key buckets and boards.
Johnson (22min, 10pts, 5 reb, 1 ast). Struggled on offense and threw up a few silly ones. Huge mental lapse could have been costly when he followed through on a potential "And 1" for Creek, cancelling out a potential 2 and giving Mitch two free throws (he only hit one). Some poor moments on defense, often getting drawn too far from the basket.
Cadee (11min, 0pts, 1 reb, 1 ast). No impact as he struggled with matchups.
Teys (1min, donuts). Nada.
Schenscher (14min, 8pts, 2 reb, 0 ast). Some key buckets but biggest help was some game-changing D in the second. Look forward to running his +/- numbers.
Creek (13min, 14pts, 3 reb, 2 ast). His bench scoring has become vital to this team. Scoring at an incredible rate and always changes the game when he checks in. Adding a decent three point shot to his arsenal has helped too.
Anthony (19min, 6pts, 6 reb, 0 ast). Did his job and gives Adelaide a different look when he's out there with his bollocking inside game.Important baskets in the fourth.
Apparently Andthefoul creator Nat Sullivan flew up to Cairns after the game and called an emergency meeting with contributor King Podge. We couldn't get camera access but can show you this reenactment, with guns and badges being used in place of Podge's Blackberry and Crayon.