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‘Cats sweep Hawks to win record Eighth Championship

Sunday March 5, 2017 by  

Bryce Cotton arrived to revive the Perth Wildcats season and not only did he do that, he delivered another championship with 45 points in the 95-86 National Basketball League Grand Final Game Three win over the Illawarra Hawks on Sunday.

Congratulations Perth Wildcats, 2016/17 NBL Champions.
Photo courtesy of NBL Media

The Wildcats returned to Perth Arena trying to sweep the best-of-five series over the Hawks with 13,611 fans cheering them on, and appeared set to cruise to that task after scoring the opening 12 points.

But the Hawks made the Grand Final on guts and determination, and fought valiantly to be within two late in the third term.

Cotton was the difference, though and nailed a miracle three to open the fourth quarter on the way to the nine-point win. Read more

Copybook ‘Cats repeat dose without Knight

Wednesday March 1, 2017 by  

The Perth Wildcats are one game away from a second straight title after Wednesday night’s come-from-behind win over Illawarra in game two of the best of five grand final series.

After beating the Hawks 89-77 in game one in Perth, the Wildcats overturned a 45-40 half-time deficit to prevail by the identical 89-77 score line in Game 2.

Bryce Cotton led Perth with 20 points and Casey Prather added 18, while Angus Brandt (15 points) filled a huge void after Matt Knight had to be assisted off the court early in the third term, suffering apparent concussion symptoms. Read more

Desperate ‘Cats out-hustle Hawks

Sunday February 26, 2017 by  

The three-pronged attack of Casey Prather, Bryce Cotton and Matt Knight lifted the Perth Wildcats to the 89-77 win over the Illawarra Hawks at Perth Arena on Sunday to open the National Basketball League Grand Final Series.

After some rust showed early, it was Knight giving the ‘Cats some respite with 10 first quarter points following a strong start from a Hawks side missing import Marvelle Harris, and centre AJ Ogilvy fighting through an injured ankle.

Knight had the touch from 15-20 feet from the get-go and continued hitting his mid-range jumpers throughout the evening to finish with 18 points. Read more

Hawks rise to the occasion, advance to GF

Thursday February 23, 2017 by  

It was a war of attrition at Titanium Security Arena in Thursday night’s National Basketball League semi-final decider, and for the better part of 40 minutes only one team truly turned up.

The Illawarra Hawks showed the poise needed on the big stage, holding off a stunning late Adelaide 36ers run, winning 106-98, and booking a date with the Perth Wildcats in the Grand Final.

Buoyed by 66 bench points the Hawks played like the 36ers have played the majority of the season – unified and clinical. Marvelle Harris and Rotnei Clarke captained the ship in the first half, whilst resurgent big men Cody Ellis and Tim Coenraad finished the journey in the second. Read more

Perth sweep Cairns, advance to Grand Final

Monday February 20, 2017 by  

The career of the great Mark Worthington is over and the Cairns Taipans have to wait another year for that elusive championship after the Perth Wildcats advanced to the NBL Grand Final with a 74-66 win at Perth Arena on Monday.

Perth claimed Game 2 of the NBL semi-final series by eight points after winning the opener in Cairns 91-69 on Friday.

The Taipans came out a vastly different outfit in enemy territory and put in a strong showing defensively, but offensive execution cruelled them as they posted their third-lowest score of the season. Read more

Cotton masterclass destroys Taipans

Friday February 17, 2017 by  

He may not have been with the group for long, but Bryce Cotton showed he has Wildcat genes with a 34-point masterclass as Perth ambushed the Snakes to take Game 1 of their semi-final series 91-69 on Friday.

After going a scintillating 5/5 from downtown in his only other visit to the Cairns Convention Centre, Cotton had his deadly jumpshot on full display again to rain on Cairns’ parade and declare their championship prospects are as good as any.

The Snakes, winners of six of their past seven games coming into the night, were simply shell-shocked by American stars Cotton – who scored the most points by a Wildcat in a finals game since 2008 – and Casey Prather (22 points), who was near unstoppable in the pick-and-roll. Read more

Randle walks the walk for the Sixers

Thursday February 16, 2017 by  

Newly crowned NBL Most Valuable Player Jerome Randle put the Adelaide 36ers team on his back with 18 first-half points as the Sixers outgunned the visiting Illawarra Hawks 93-78 in Game 1 of their Semi Final series.

Randle needed to put forward his best after calling the Hawks a “dirty team” that he “didn’t like playing” against mid-week. He certainly rose to the occasion, bringing some of his Chicago A-game.

Such was his energy expenditure that he violently cramped up at the start of the fourth term, only to return at the midpoint and deal some final damage. Read more

Wright named the NBL’s Coach of the Year

Monday February 13, 2017 by  

The Adelaide 36ers’ Joey Wright is the recipient of the Lindsay Gaze Trophy as the 2016-17 National Basketball League Coach of the Year.

Wright becomes just the second 36ers coach to win the Award, joining Ken Cole who was honoured in 1986.

He also becomes only the third coach to win the award three times, joining Brian Goorjian (6) and Lindsay Gaze (3). Wright previously received Coach of the Year honours in 2004 and 2007 while leading the Brisbane Bullets. Read more

Randle named the NBL’s MVP

Monday February 13, 2017 by  

The Adelaide 36ers’ Jerome Randle, who finished top three in both scoring and assists, has won the 2016-17 National Basketball League Most Valuable Player Award.

Randle becomes just the second 36ers player to be named MVP, joining Mark Davis who was honoured in 1987. Randle received a total of 143 votes to win the Award.

The Perth Wildcats’ Casey Prather finished second with 107 votes and the Sydney Kings’ Kevin Lisch was third with 82 votes. The Illawarra Hawks’ Rotnei Clarke (76 votes) and Melbourne United’s Casper Ware (74 votes) rounded out the top five. Read more

Brilliant Prather takes ‘Cats to post-season

Sunday February 12, 2017 by  

Perth Wildcats had the wrong side of history staring them in the face against Melbourne United on Sunday before a supreme fourth-quarter performance made sure of their 31st consecutive NBL Finals appearance.

It was finals or burst for the Wildcats in the final game of the regular season and Casper Ware’s four points early in the final term had the scores tied and Perth looking in trouble.

But the visitors lifted as Casey Prather – who may have played his best ever NBL game – scored a road career-high 26 points and dished a career-high 11 assists, making several contested shots down the stretch. Read more