Perth Wildcats vs Skycity Breakers NZ
RAC ARENA – PERTH
Saturday 25/11/18 7:50pm NZ (5:20pm AU)
By: Leon Taylor – Basketball Yeti
Tonight Wildcats missing Cotton, but Breakers with no Shea Ili (baby on the way) or Finn Delany (hamstring). First Quarter 10-0 run for the Breakers and looking strong to start. Using some solid basketball screen and rolls, reads and defence huge. Perths Head Coach Trevor Gleeson call a Perth timeout and encourages them to be more aggressive. Angus Brandt back in the side and first to score for the Wildcats. Corey three and will want to be hot after a poor Friday being fouled out and only scoring 3 points. Breakers looking a step ahead of Perth until Nick Kay corner 3 PER 7-13 NZ 5:22.
Tai Wesley hits a three in transition and showing he is a dominant power forward in the NBL. Clint Steindl hits a reply there Wesley strips Terrico White on the run and looking engaged. Long contends Brandt and winning the battle down under. Perth miss 5 opportunity off offensive rebounds and Breakers convert in transition Weeks goes Coast to Coast and Breakers up 12 with 2 mins to play. A few in and out attempts from Perth, missing Bryce Cotton and finding tough with the great Breakers defensive mindset ( only 2 fouls to Breakers this quarter).
First Quarter: Wildcats 14-24 Breakers ( 31-55% FG).
Second Quarter first points are earned at the line for Perth from Clint Steindl. Armani forced fade-away at the buzzer starts Breakers scoring. Perth Three from Rhys Vague and within 7. Weeks goes quickly in the lane with a right handed of the left of the basket. Armani muscles his way inside attacking the post. Jarrad Weeks off loads to Patrick Richard in transition and hits a three. Perth move the ball and get a three in reply. Jordan Ngatai three and a 14 point Breaker lead. Mitch Norton still feeling in form from 23 game high on Friday with a three. Armani Moore goes Coast to Coast and Perth call a timeout PER 25-38 NZ 4:48.
Armani Moore feeling it hits his third three for the season in transition. Clint Steindl one of the only Perth players finding scoring and finds room in the paint for an easy two, Braswell calls a Breakers timeout. Nicholas Kay with a two off Terrico White pass. Tough battles in the post and Breakers forcing Perth to turn the ball over. Tom Abercrombie being quiet is fouled and makes 2/2. A soft foul called on Shawn Long and sends Mitch Norton to the line makes 1/2 with 1:11 to play. Shawn has three goes at the shot and makes it. Tai Wesley kick out pass to a wide open Abercrombie who converts taking Breakers to the half with a 13 point lead.
Halftime: Wildcats 35-48 Breakers
The Wildcats really missing Bryce Cotton and his pressure he adds on both defence and offensive end. Breakers keep forcing the Wildcats to shoot threes and then contesting them restricting them to 35%. Breakers will want to keep the momentum with the Ball movement and vision they showed and both ends. Halftime: Wildcats 35-48 Breakers (31-55%fg 35-53% 3pt).
Third Quarter tough contested and Abercrombie dives for the Ball and gets tangled with Norton. Tai Wesley over two defenders with a left handed shot and keeps Breakers up 10 in the opening 3:30 mins. Nicholas Kay found inspiration found open banks it off the glass. Kay left hand finish over a contesting Shawn Long. Tom Abercrombie corner three and Perth reply in the paint. Breakers miss five shots in a row before Clint Steindl 3 and Perth only trail by six after starting the quarter 14-7 run. PER 49-55 NZ 4:17. Breakers finding tough in the last few minutes to score missing open shots.
Shawn Long looks aggressive off a Jarrad Weeks pick n roll and is fouled hits the and one. Terrico White getting hot with a pop n stop for Perth. Armani Moore feeling it hits a three and much needed for the Breakers. Terrico White of the glass, fouled sinks and one. Jarrad Weeks with a perfect lay in is fouled hitting the and one and up ten with two mins to play. Greg Hire hits a two and floater. Norton takes a charge and Ball back for the Wildcats with 99 seconds on the clock. Armani gets fouled after a steal and is hits 1/2. Mitch Norton fouled by Wesley driving the lane and hits 1/2. Patrick Richard three off a Wesley screen and gives the Breakers an 11 point lead. Norton fouled again and hits 2/2. Perth win the quarter 24-20 but Breakers lead by 9 and will need to defend hard and watch Mitch Norton inside the lane.
Third Quarter:Wildcats 59-68 Breakers
Fourth Quarter and Armani fakes the three and turns it in to a great pass with Tai Wesley tidy off the glass. Mitch Norton to Nick Kay in traffic off the glass energisers the Perth home crowd. Armani drives to the basket and Kay sells the soft charge the officials buying what Kay is selling. Perth quick to move the ball, Jesse Wagstaff three and Perth only trail by 6. Shawn Long gets called for the offensive foul, that was sold by Jesse Wagstaff and starting to smell a little like Friday with five fouls called on the Breakers this quarter after only getting five in the first half. Breakers have to hold their composure in the final 7:20 PER 66-70 NZ. Armani hits a three to remind the arena he’s still hot. Breakers fumble and Wagstaff turns it in to two off the glass. Corey Webster left alone from the top of the key and Breakers back up 8.
Jesse Wagstaff works one off the glass. Corey Webster uses his skills inside. Perth try double team Webster but leave Patrick open for a three. Clint Steindl hurts his knee going up for the ball and has to sit for Perth. It’s a five point game with 4 kind to play and Wagstaff putting in a huge effort. Perth move the ball and spread the floor and Nick Kay hits a deep three (20/10/6) and Wildcats with two PER 79-81 NZ 3:33. White hits a three and Perth’s first lead. Tom Abercrombie steps in to a three and snatches back the one point lead. Hire is fouled and goes to the line makes 2/2 and Tied at 84. Perth have a few missed opportunities and Breakers get the ball back and Weeks is fouled and Perth are not in the bounds yet.
Breakers inbound and it turns in to a jump ball with a fresh shot clock. The intense rivalry continues with under a minute to play a Terrico White hits a huge three for Perth. 15 threes from the Breakers and season high and will need a huge effort to win. Corey Webster misses the three off a good screen. 13000 strong crowd sees one of Wildcats best performances missing Bryce Cotton, Damien Martian as Nick Kay, Mitch Norton, Jesse Wagstaff, Clint Steindl and Terrico White step up in the second half to get the win for Perth and go 10-1.
Fulltime: Wildcats 91-86 Breakers
Game Round-up and Thoughts: A very disappointing loss for the Breakers being up as much as 13 and keeping a gap of at least 10 for three quarters. But the home of the red army ignited Nicholas Kay, Mitch Norton and Jesse Wagstaff also coming off the bench and bringing the energy at to get Perth Wildcats a remarkable victory. For Perth Wildcats, they have had the easiest schedule in the NBL and have capitalised on their comfortable start. What will be interesting to see how the next ten games pan out. 5 straight road games
For the casual fan it may seem hard to near impossible for for Breakers to comeback from this point and make finals being 4-7 in the season. But the season has 17 games for the Breakers to go and a 8 team league. If they can string 8 out of ten wins, anything is possible in the Breakers camp sitting sixth on the table. This will actually be great time for players like Corey Webster to have a rest after 17 months straight playing basketball and also be missing the Tall Blacks FIBA window. Shea Ili becoming a Dad for the welcoming the first child (almost well timed) and Finn Delany resting a niggling injury.
This will give three imports a window to look in to how they can hone some skills and put some solid rest time after a short preseason run and have played hard since getting off the plane. Shawn Long is making waves around the league in the conversation with Andrew Bogut and Josh Boone as the most dominating big men in the league. Patrick Richard has found his grove and proving he is a offensive weapon. While Armani Moore often a spark out of time outs either on the defensive end or scoring when the Breakers need a bucket.
The schedule doesn’t favour the Breakers either over the next ten games and after this FIBA window. The Breakers will be playing seven away games including ADELAIDE 36ers at home, twice in 6 days and the Perth Wildcats just inside the new year. But the start of the ten games is a home one at Spark Arena verses the Sydney Kings 9th December who will be coming off a Thursday game verses Perth.
Notable Breakers (Points/Rebounds)Assists):
Armani Moore 16/4/1
Tai Wesley 16/7/3 1 steal, 1 block
Tom Abercrombie 13/8/2
Shawn Long 9/11/1
Jarrad Weeks 10/2/5 – 2 steals
Wildcats vs Breakers Video Highlight:
Next Home Game: Spark Arena Sunday 9th December 2:20pm tipoff.