Nick Kay has delivered another solid performance but it was not another to stop the Cairns Taipans upsetting the Wildcats at Perth’s RAC Arena.
Kay, originally from Tamworth, had 18 points, five rebounds and four assists, in the 81-79 loss on Friday night.
The Taipans had snapped their 14-game losing run against the Brisbane Bullets, before a competitive showing in a loss to the league-leading Sydney Kings last Monday.
They took it right up to the Wildcats from go to woe on Friday, with pressure building on the home team to find some form in front of their home supporters – having lost four of five games on the road since going down at RAC Arena to the Kings back on December 14.
But this would be a night to savour for the Taipans, who have stuck together despite the losses mounting, with their growing chemistry evident under rookie coach Mike Kelly.
They led for 38 minutes and then withstood the charge from the Wildcats, leaving the Perth with 12 wins against eight losses.
Melo Trimble was the star of the show for the Taipans, sinking 21 first-half points. Despite Perth clamping down on him in the second half, he finished with 32 including nailing six of seven shots deep in the match.
Bryce Cotton paced the Wildcats with 20 points but shot 7/26 from the floor and 4/15 from deep.
Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson didn’t mince words afterwards that his team needs to improve.
“I’m more concerned about our intent and how we’re playing the game, and if we are desperate and hungry,” Gleeson said.
Next up for the Wildcats is an away clash in Adelaide on Thursday.