Crusaders Bring Down Wildcats
Crusaders Bring Down Wildcats
The Parramatta Wildcats senior men's team has let a golden opportunity for a rare win (at least this season) slip out of their fingers on Saturday night at the Auburn Basketball Centre. The Wildcats are currently languishing in last place on the competition ladder but were in great form in the early stages of Saturday night's game against the seventh-placed Central Coast Crusaders, before allowing a solid ten-point lead to literally evaporate into thin air and result in a 105-98 loss, rather than a much-needed victory. Parramatta fans were both pleased and yet disappointed at the absence of former Wildcat Stefan Blaszczynski from the Crusaders' squad on the night but his absence did at least appear to give the Wildcats a great opportunity to defeat the higher-rated Crusaders team. That winning scenario seemed highly plausible in the first term, as the Wildcats took a conservative, traditional approach for the first time this season yet benefitting with a 24-14 lead at the end of the first term. Old habits are however hard to break and the Wildcats calm demeanor soon began to show slight cracks, allowing the Crusaders to gain confidence and narrow the margin to just seven points (42-35) at the half time break and five points (67-62) at the end of the third quarter. Whilst many of the Crusaders squad had made a significant impact in the game, the final result would swing on the form of Central Coast rookie Callum Jenkins, who had demolished the Penrith Panthers the previous weekend in Terrigal. Jenkins had shown amazing potential in leading the Crusaders Youth League team to the premiership title in 2011 and has taken that outstanding form into his debut season in the WCL. The young giant was dominant in the final quarter and almost led the Crusaders to victory in regular time, although the Wildcats would give their supporters a glimpse of hope, hitting the final basket to tie the score at 88-88. Extra time would however belong to the now-rampant Crusaders, who dominated that period of play to grab a 7-point win. Jenkins led all scorers with 34 points and 19 boards, whilst team-mates Norman Shoaib (24 points), Dane Hillman (17), Jason Taylor (13) and Steve Mackay (12) all made significant contributions. Goran Veg (23 points, 12 boards, 5 blocked shots) and Rory Sutton (23 points, 12 boards) were the best for the Wildcats, ahead of Adi Causevic 17 points and Rangi Kennedy 15. The Wildcats head to the Northern Beaches Indoor Sports Stadium, Warriewood this weekend to play the Sea Eagles, who improved remarkably in Round Six to score a shock 63-47 win over the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong. The Lady Wildcats are also back in action this weekend against the Sea Eagles women, with tip off at 4pm - the men's game tips off at 6pm. Outstanding rookie Callum Jenkins led all scorers against the Wildcats - photo by Noel Rowsell (www.photoexcellence.com.au)
The photo can also be viewed on the PhotoExcellence website.