15/04/2024

The Perth Wildcats bench celebrating a basket. (Image: @PerthWildcats/Twitter)

With the top six shaking up as each game progresses, the Perth Wildcats secured a much-needed win as the Wildcats look close to sealing their finals spot with a win over the Kings.

Both teams had a scoring run of their own, with the Wildcats dominating the first half of the first quarter, whilst the Kings lifted to dominate the last five minutes of the quarter.

The Perth Wildcats’ offence clicked well, with Corey Webster lighting it up from the three-point line and TaShawn Thomas also being an inside presence.

The Kings found a way to control the tempo on their terms in the early stages of the second quarter, with Dejan Vasiljevic, Xavier Cooks, and Angus Glover making an impact, but two threes from Wildcats captain Jesse Wagstaff forced the Kings to call a timeout.

Brady Manek, Tai Webster, and Bryce Cotton also stepped up, providing cuts and drives to the basket, to give the Wildcats a six-point lead at half-time.

Both teams shot the ball well from the field and once again controlled the tempo at different stages of the second quarter, shooting at 49 and 47 per cent respectively, the Wildcats shooting from three was a factor, shooting at 47 per cent compared to the Kings, 27 per cent.

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With the Wildcats’ offence drying, the Kings picked up the pace and continue to attack the basket, finishing the third quarter shooting at 50 per cent from the field.

Dejan Vasiljevic was huge in the third quarter, nailing three three-pointers to reduce the margin to two points, to force the Wildcats to call a timeout.

The Wildcats ended the third quarter with five turnovers, whilst the Kings converted six points from turnovers.

The Wildcats found their range from the three-point line once more, dominating the last quarter, 35-24, finishing the game shooting at 49 per cent from three.

Brady Manek once more was a threat from the perimeter, whilst Bryce Cotton and Luke Travers stepped up in clutch moments to extend the Wildcats’ lead.

Speaking to the media post-game, Perth Wildcats coach John Rillie spoke about the confidence of the group.

“I think tonight was our best collection of moving onto the next play, staying composed and pushing through,” Rillie said.

I like where we’re heading, I think we’ve still got room to improve, keep getting better.”

Wildcats forward TaShawn Thomas spoke about the communication and everyone in the team feeling good.

“We’re trusting the process and it’s all coming together. Everyone’s feeling good right now,” Thomas said.

For their second game of the weekend, The Wildcats will travel to Melbourne to face the South East Melbourne Phoenix on Sunday.

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