Young Wildcats Head to Finals Weekend
Wildcats head coach Joseph Gonzales said Parramatta started the game slowly and trailed by six points midway through the first quarter.
Maitland took full advantage of their home court atmosphere and shot the ball confidently, whilst Parramatta’s five turnovers in that opening period certainly didn’t help the visiting team’s cause.
The Wildcats did however defend well late in the term, getting the margin back to one point (15-14) at the first break, then running their offence much better in the second term to eventually lead 42-30 at half time.
The home team made a strong effort to keep in the game during a tense third quarter but at the end of that period of play, the Wildcats had edged further ahead to lead 71-55 at the final break in play.
Parramatta unleashed a scoring frenzy at the start of the fourth quarter, racing away to a twenty-four point lead in the opening minutes, only to have the Mustangs fight back strongly, reducing the margin back to twelve points midway through the term.
Coach Gonzales said “We re-grouped, switched to a more aggressive defence but continued our all-out aggression on offence, which carried us away to a 23-point win”.
“It’s a credit to the team that we had contributions by the whole team, with nine players scoring in the game and five of those in double figures”.
The Wildcats now face the Central Coast Crusaders in an elimination semi-final this Saturday (again in Maitland), with the winner of that game to play the winner of the Northern Suburbs Bears / Maitland Mustangs elimination semi-final in the Grand Final.
The Mustangs were the lucky loser of the three quarter finals played over the weekend, being the highest-ranked loser in those three games and therefore winning the last spot in the Finals Weekend playoffs.
The two grand final teams automatically qualify for Division One in 2013.
Parramatta Wildcats 97 (Daniel Moser 29 points, Jake Newham 15, Filip Andric 12, Harman Josan 12, Jordan House 10) def Maitland Mustangs 74 (Josh Thomas 24 points, Isaiah Ryan 12, Phillipe Danet 11)
PHOTO: Daniel Moser in action with the Wildcats senior team earlier this year - photo by Noel Rowsell
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