Monday, 21 October 2013

Cairns hold off New Zealand for their first match up win in 3 years

The Cairns Taipans held off the New Zealand breakers for the first time in 3 years behind a spectacular performance from Cam Cliddon.  Gliddon shooting at 82% finished with 24 points with 13 of them in the third quarter. Cairns held onto a tough win 86-85. It was a tight game with the Breakers never letting the Taipans get too far away from them. Cairns held the lead after a blistering start from Cam Tragardh who finished with 13 points in 12 minutes. Breakers held them close with the lead getting to a high of 8 points for the Taipans, but the breakers kept pulling it back. It was a physical battle with several players hitting the floor across the second half. Mika Vukona got called for a foul as Demitri McCamey drove past him and Vukona gives a little tackle as he goes to the floor and McCamey postures for a fight. I'm not sure the refs in North Queensland got the memo on the rule revisions. Jamar Wilson chipped a tooth and acted like it didn't happen as he played on. Wilson has stepped up to show what a force he can be in the league, as he controlled the tempo in the game. His stats of 3 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists doesn't correctly show his impact on the floor, but his play making was impressive to watch. Cairns head coach Aaron Fearne made an excellent decision getting a second import guard in Demetri McCamey who could take some of the pressure off Wilson as a play maker to open up his already impressive shooting line up. He made some big plays driving to the hole picking up 17 points in total.

New Zealand's import guard Kevin Johnson filled the stat sheet with 18 points, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 rebounds and CJ Bruton had a big game with a lot of minutes finishing with 15 points. CJ had the shot for the win with an open 3 but missed on the buzzer. That shot has and will sink several teams hopes in the dyeing seconds. I think CJ is what the Breakers were missing on Friday's game against Townsville. His impact for the Breakers as a leader and for his cool shooting can not be underestimated. The breakers were down by 3 in the final 30 seconds as Wilson got called for a techincal foul on a breakers inbound. CJ Bruton sinks the 2 free throws but the Breakers miss on the possesion. Up by one point Cairns use the whole shot clock and McCamey takes a step back 2 but missed, Mitch young brings down rebound for Cairns but missed. With 5 seconds left the Breakers bring down the rebound, get it to Johnson who ran the flloor getting it to CJ for an open 3 but missed giving Cairns the win 85-86.
It was an exciting game and showed some big things for both teams. I'm expecting to see both of them in the top four at the end of the season.

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