HOT-shooting West Adelaide climbed into the top five after seeing off South Adelaide in a hard-fought contest at Marion Stadium on Saturday night.
The Bearcats and Panthers went toe-to-toe throughout before the visitors’ class prevailed in their 97-85 victory.
The away side shot at 50 per cent throughout the contest, compared to 40 per cent by the hosts.
Import Dee Oldham starred for West, putting down 26 points to go with 14 rebounds and five assists.
Eian Davis did all he could for the Panthers, scoring 40 points at 73 per cent, dishing off another six and grabbing five boards.
South started strongly looking to hold onto its spot in the top five.
The Panthers led 22-18 after one period before an arm-wrestle broke out in the second term.
South held sway for most of the second 10-minutes before a Harold Ridgeway dunk with 57 seconds left and buzzer-beater by Paul Rankin put the Bearcats up by three.
The Panthers fell seven behind by the final change.
South kept asking questions in the last but West had all the answers.
Davis cut the margin for five on the first shot of the last quarter before Ridgeway made back-to-back shots – including another huge dunk – and Oldham a free throw to push the margin out to 11.
The Panthers trimmed the lead to six several times but could get no closer.
Davis finished with 27 second-half points in another eye-catching performance.
Ryan Gardner was South’s next best scorer with 19 points.
Young gun Jarryd Hoppo added nine and a team-high seven rebounds and had ‘The Jungle’ on its feet a couple of times.
Along with Oldham, Tristan Braithwaite (18 points) and Ridgeway (15 points and 11 boards) had big nights for the Bearcats.