2011/12 NBL Semi Finals: Game 2

Blaze tie series against Wildcats, 72 – 70
With their season on the line and a game on their home court, the Blaze knew they had to come out strong to have any chance of keeping the Wildcats at bay; and come out strong they did, opening up a 20-5 lead at one point in the first quarter, lead by a huge early dunk by Will Hudson that brought the crowd and viewers to their feet.
Whilst the Wildcats’ car was slow off the mark, the Blaze’s car had no similar troubles
The Cats knew they had a hard task on their hands, even after their convincing win at the Jungle in game 1 that displayed an effort started by defence but ended with superb offence.

Matt Knight and Damian Martin took centre stage for the Cats with each player scoring a team high 14pts, Knight also adding 9reb and a block and Martin adding 8reb 2st and a block, Shawn Redhage had 11pts to add to the scorers list and had a 3pt shot in the last moments that brought the scores within 1 pt to keep the Wildcats in striking distance.

Kevin Lisch messed around and almost had a triple double but was reduced in his offensive production compared to his season MVP type numbers, his 10pts 7reb 8ast showed he found other ways to contribute other than just offensively, Lisch may have seemingly struggled but he didn’t struggle as much as 6th Man of the Year winner Jesse Wagstaff who did have 8pts and 7reb but shot 3/13 from the field.

The Blaze were lead scoring wise by their import point guard Adris Deleon with 15pts 4reb 3ast 2st but it was his lack of efficiency that could have hurt the Blaze more than help them, Deleon had more shot attempts than points.

Wortho stepped up his game a little, having a double double of 11pts and 11reb but also didn’t have an efficient night going 3/9 from the field.

Chris Goulding and Will Hudson joined Wortho in the 11pt game bracket providing some much needed offensive production for the Blaze, Hudson also adding 6reb to his point total but the same production in other statistics can’t be said for Goulding, Petrie was the only other legit scorer who didn’t have a tally of 11pts, he managed just one better with 12pts to go with his 5reb 2ast and 2st.

So now it’s back to the Jungle for game 3, a hostile Wildcats crowd and the nemesis of Deleon and Gibson sitting courtside, a guy simply known on twitter as @junglewelcome who will be providing his well known brand of sledging and encouragement from the sidelines, brace yourselves, this game is going to be one for the ages.
We love the confidence in this guy’s message
The Jungle crowd as usual will be loud as anything, we’re sure the refs will be doing their hair as they know they’ll be on TV, they seem to blow their whistle’s a lot more when they are televised for some reason, just a shame their game isn’t elevated as well.

Oh, and as usual, the boys from CBAB will be there live seeing as it would be pointless to hope to see it on live TV on OneHD.
(Box Score)                                                                                                                                                    

Breakers return favour of home court loss to Crocs, 94 – 83
After a shock game 1 loss on their home court, everyone thought the Breakers were 1 and done, only problem is, nobody seemed to tell the Breakers they were done and dusted and in game 2 they came out to show why they were the number 1 ranked team all year.
The Crocs were hoping their home crowd could steer them home to what would be the biggest upset in season 2011/12 by knocking off the Breakers in the semi finals in 2 games, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
Even on their home court with their crowd behind them, the Crocs were out played by the Breakers who lead for the whole game bar a 1 minute stretch where the Crocs were up by 2 points in the first quarter.
If the Crocs were going to win they needed production from their go to players, Eddie Gill answered that call with a team high 24pts and 5ast, he was one of 3 double figure scorers for the Crocs along with Michael Cedar who had 15pts 2reb 2ast and Todd Blanchfield with 10pts 3reb.
But it all could have been a different story result wise if their usual big game player Peter Crawford had one of his usual nights of productivity, Crawford struggled shooting 3/14 from the field including a horrible 1/7 from beyond the 3pt line, just a few shots dropping for Crawford could have been all that stood in the way between them and a grand final appearance.
The Struggles weren’t just from Crawford, but big man Luke Schenscher who was touted as being their key acquisition in the offseason to provide inside presence and size they had previously lacked in Croc Land was also ineffective, Schenscher had 8pts and 7reb in 20+ minutes, whether he could have been used better or played more is a question that needs to be asked, but one thing is for certain, if the Crocs wish to be in the grand final series, Crawford and Schenscher need to play the game of their lives in game 3 in the land of the long white cloud.
The Breakers were the Breakers we had seen all year, balanced scoring and production from multiple players mixed with big game antics from the veterans on the team.
CJ Bruton turned back time and brought a performance of old that we remember him for leading the scoring for the Breakers with a team high 18pts, Bruton was 4/11 on the shot chart with amazingly all 11 shots being 3pt attempts, his other 6pts coming from the free throw line.
But it was a front court versus back court competition from the Breakers that delivered, the front court of Wilkinson and Pledger mirroring the back court of Jackson and Abercrombie scoring wise, Wilkinson had 14pts 6reb and Pledger had 12pts 6reb to match Jackson who had 14pts 4reb 5ast and Abercrombie’s 12pts, we don’t know what’s going on in the locker room, but there seems to be some kind of competition going on.
Darryl Corletto and his composure was the man who stepped up at the end and put the icing on the cake sealing the victory for the Breakers with his cool head and control of the tempo in the final stages of the game, Corletto only had 8pts and 4reb but it was his control of the game in the final stages that was key for the Breakers victory.
So with the deck stacked against them the Crocs need to have the game of their life if they are going to beat the league’s best team in season 2011/12 and advance to the grand final series, but then again, they did it in game 1 so there really i no reason it can’t be done, but you can be sure the Breakers are going to have something say about that, especially on their home court, Saturday night is going to be amazing as we will know who will be in the grand final series by Sunday morning.

About Author

Leave A Reply