Cat's polish off the King's
Despite a much improved performance from the Sydney Uni Wheelkings, The Be Active Perth Wheelcats just had too much polish to sweep their two game series.
An 89-52 first up win was followed by a 78-59 win and it was the big guys that did all the scoreboard damage. Justin Eveson and Brad Ness have played basketball together for a long time and it shows. Without Shaun Norris or Michael Hartnett making the trip east, the two combined for an average of 52 points per game (Eveson 29, Ness 23) at an average of just 27 minutes each. The Wheelcats really are spoilt for quality big men having the luxury of playing Robbie Pike off the bench. In a team so deep in talent, Pike goes relatively unnoticed but his 2013 numbers alone show he’s as damaging as any big man in the league. Averaging 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists without playing more than 19 minutes in any game this year, he seems quite content to continue to play that sixth man role off the Wheelcats bench.
For the Wheelkings is was Michael Auprince and CJ Grogan that they looked to for offence and both put in much improved performances in round 3. Josh Meoli continues to be a surprise packet in 2013, playing easily the best game of his career on Sunday which included 19 points and 9 rebounds, just one board short of his first career double-double in the NWBL.
The biggest change for the Wheelkings in round 3 was the addition of Keegan Oh-Chee. While he may not have set the world on fire with the numbers he posted, sometimes statistics can be misleading. Oh-Chee’s chair skills and speed allowed the Wheelkings to consistently beat the Wheelcats press and his tough, physical approach was exactly what the Wheelkings needed against their much bigger opponents.
Perth now sits comfortably on top of the NWBL ladder as the season starts to take shape. The Wheelkings are not out of finals contention just yet but will need to take at least one game off QLD in round 4 to put themselves in a position to challenge Victoria for that fourth place finish in the regular season.
Written by Joel Mackenzie