Adelaide 90, Townsville 89
Back-up point guard Jason Cadee had his best game of the year, filling in for Gary Ervin and helping get his team a big win in Townsville to close off 2013.
The Crocs started well, jumping to a 12-5 lead on the back of some bollocking work inside by Brian Conklin and sweet shooting by Olympian Peter Crawford. When these teams last met, these two guys had sub-par games and it was looking ominous for Adelaide early with Townsville clicking at both ends. Coach Wright called a timeout with the scores at 14-5 and gave the ball to Jason Cadee. He quickly compiled 3 assists and the team went on an 11-2 run to get it back to 16-16. At the end of the quarter it was Adelaide 25-22.
Adelaide held it's lead for most of the second, thanks largely to it's excellent offensive rebounding which led to many second opportunities. The Crocs stormed back late though, going on a 11-1 run to close the half with a 50-44 lead. Adelaide fans were getting fidgety and it wasn't just because commentator Trevor Roberts was still calling Jarrid Frye "Jarrid Friar" as well as confusing him at one point with BJ Anthony. He also got Mitch Creek and Anthony Petrie mixed up.
Whatever Joey Wright said at halftime seemed to work, with Adelaide opening with an 8-0 run to get back it's lead. From there it was pretty ugly with both teams getting "t'd" up. Not surprisingly the culprits were Anthony Petrie in the first instance and Brian Conklin in the second. Neither team truly capitalised from the freebies though and we were effectively back to where we started going into the fourth with the scores tied 64-64.
Townsville opened the fourth with a barnstorming 17-8 run and led 81-72 with just under 5 minutes left. Even without Gary Ervin though, we knew not to count out Adelaide just yet. After an Adelaide timeout, the Sixers went on a remarkable 14-0 run. Cadee was huge down the stretch, contributing two back-breaking threes, a runner and a free throw to score 9 of those points. He was well supported by Peach and Gibbo who ensured Adelaide wouldn't lose again. A late Peter Crawford 3 got the lead back to 1 but the clock ensured Adelaide got over the line.
Adelaide's starters were all solid with Cadee, Gibson and DJ probably the stars. Peach was his reliable self and Schenscher also provided some handy minutes.
The Crocs were down Josh Pace and his loss was probably harder on the Crocs than Ervin's was to Adelaide. Cadee has been in great form of late and Adelaide has several options at the 1. Townsville's depth is weaker and it particularly missed Pace's scoring and defense.
Townsville shot the ball much better and had 26 assists to Adelaide's 16. It's glaring issue was rebounding, where Adelaide smacked them 44-30, including a 17-7 edge on offensive boards.
Adam Gibson (37min, 14pts, 4 reb, 5 ast). Solid game and was a key steadying hand. Nailed three threes.
Jason Cadee (30min, 18pts, 6 reb, 6 ast). Massive performance. Shot the ball well and sparked two key runs. 5 turnovers showed he was sloppy at times and had some bad defensive lapses but overall a key performer.
Jarrid Frye (26min, 10pts, 4 reb, 2 ast). Again got to 4 fouls but did his bit.
Anthony Petrie (20mins,12pts, 8 reb, 2 ast). Also battled foul trouble but put up great numbers for just 20 minutes. Also handy in some key Adelaide runs.
Daniel Johnson (34min, 20pts, 9 reb, 0 ast). Struggled to contain Conklin but the Crocs also had no answer for him. Scored 12 of his 20pts from the line as the Crocs fouled him 11 times.
Brendan Teys (7min, donuts). Shot 0/4 as his shot continues to desert him.
Luke Schenscher (14min, 9pts, 5 reb, 1 ast). Handy contribution for such few minutes. Recorded 4 blocks too.
BJ Anthony (10min, 5pts, 3 reb, 0 ast). Also had the foul bug but played his part. Would love to see what he'd do with 25-30mins.
Mitch Creek (18pts, 2pts, 5 reb, 0 ast). Shot 1/6 but hit the boards hard.