Snakes show bite against burly Breakers/Newsport
Sunday March 2, 2014 9:35am
A determined Jamar Wilson has led the Cairns Taipans to a thrilling home win over the New Zealand Breakers at the Cairns Convention Centre on Saturday.
The Snakes prevailed 92-87 against their Trans-Tasman rivals in an at times spiteful affair.
Wilson, starting for the first time this season, relentlessly attacked the basket from the outset on his way to an NBL career high 33 points.
The star guard wreaked havoc on the Breakers' defence, knifing his way to the hoop with a series of athletic moves throughout the game.
Breakers coach, Dean Vickerman said the visitors simply had no answer for the Snakes playmaker.
"He was just unbelievable tonight," Vickerman said.
Taipans coach Aaron Fearne said Wilson's aggression inspired his teammates.
"I thought Jamar came out with fantastic enthusiasm and passion. Our guys really fed off that," Fearne said.
"It's the first time this year I've seen us not back down, back each other up and not let teammates get disrespected."
Wilson's leadership was apparent early on, even at one stage scuffling with Breakers swingman Mika Vukona.
The Bronx-born guard said he relished the opportunity to play big minutes.
"I've enjoyed coming off the bench but starting the game you get to put your stamp on it from the get-go," Wilson said.
"We didn't back down, got in people's faces and that's the way we need to play."
The Taipans led 84-79 with 1:33 to play in the game, following a Wilson jump shot over Breakers veteran CJ Bruton.
But Bruton drew a controversial foul near the Taipans bench on big man Mitch Young with a ball fake in the corner.
Bruton appeared to step inside the three-point line to create the contact but the referees called it a three-point attempt.
An incensed coach Fearne yelled at the baseline official before before being restrained by assistant Mick Downer.
Fearne received a technical, gifting the Breakers five shots from the foul line and side ball possession.
Bruton sank four of five free throws but the Snakes showed poise down the stretch, with Cam Gliddon stripping Tom Abercrombie on the defensive end and Demetri McCamey sinking free throws to ice the game.
Afterwards Fearne said he was disappointed in himself for receiving the technical.
"I've got to show better discipline than that, especially at that moment but the guys rallied and made some plays," he said.
"I was ticked. That wasn't the right thing for me to do at the time.
"But it was an absolutely disgraceful call."
The Snakes played in their annual 'pink game' with the club auctioning their distinct jerseys off to raise money for the Marylyn Mayo Lodge in Cairns.
The club says it was pleased to raise more than $5,000 dollars this year.
Founded in 2011, the Marylyn Mayo Lodge provides a home away from home for regional and rural cancer patients and their carers when they need to travel for cancer treatment.
The Taipans play the Wollongong Hawks at the WIN Entertainment Centre next Saturday, March 8.