Wildcats make meal of Crocs

Townsville Crocodiles guard Eddie Gill had an unhappy visit to Hegvold Stadium on Saturday night in the opening match of the NBL Sunshine State Challenge.
Townsville Crocodiles guard Eddie Gill had an unhappy visit to Hegvold Stadium on Saturday night in the opening match of the NBL Sunshine State Challenge. Sharyn Oneill

THE post-match smile on coach Rob Beveridge's face said it all, after his Perth Wildcats outclassed the Townsville Crocodiles at Rockhampton's Hegvold Stadium on Saturday night.

Following their 20-point win on Friday night, the Wildcats started their 2011 NBL Sunstate Preseason Challenge on the perfect note with a 98-59 win, thanks to a 26-7 run in the final quarter.

The only thing missing for Beveridge was former Wildcat and Rockhampton product Stephen Weigh, who has joined the Adelaide 36ers for the 2011/12 NBL season.

"It would've been terrific to have him here tonight in front of his home crowd, but he's got a great opportunity (in Adelaide)," Beveridge said.

Perth's Drew Williams shot five from nine from the three-point line to lead the scoring with 17 points. He had support from Luke Neville, Shawn Redhage, Kevin Lisch and Damian Martin, who all finished in double figures.

Townsville big man Luke Schenscher led the way for the Crocs, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds.

The Wildcats shot brilliantly from the three-point line (48 per cent), while Townsville was terrible (17 per cent).

Beveridge said it was the 2009/10 NBL champions' defensive pressure that forced Townsville to unravel.

"Defensively tonight we were at a different level and that's what we wanted," Beveridge said after the match.

"(Friday) night there were some areas that broke down, but tonight we took care of it.

"We've got arguably the best defensive guards in the league. Damien Martin, he's as good as you'll get in the world as a defensive stopper.

"Eddie Gill is going to be a great guard in this league and has played in the NBA but he hasn't come up against a Damien Martin and Brad Robbins - they're tag-team wrestlers.

"They frustrated him out of the game."

The Wildcats forced Townsville into 23 turnovers, almost double Perth's total, with Townsville guard Eddie Gill having a particularly unhappy night, finishing with none from three.

"I'm obviously extremely disappointed in the way we played, but you have to give credit to Perth," Townsville coach Paul Woolpert said. "Obviously they've been together for a number of years and they played extremely hard and extremely physical. We didn't match them and that's something that has to happen." 

Topics:  basketball crocodiles wildcats

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