The Adelaide Thirty Sixers (90) returned home with a win against The Cairns Taipans (86) on Friday night in front of an energetic Adelaide Arena crowd.

Cairns did most of the chasing throughout the game after an electric start by the Sixers. However in both the second and fourth quarters the taipans were able to peg back the lead, and even lead late in the first half.

This could be down to the team’s courageous efforts along with two highly entertaining 10 point quarters by Small Forward Torrey Craig (28 points, 7 rebounds) who thrives off the Adelaide crowd.

“He likes to play against us, said Adelaide Coach Joey Wright.

“When he walks into this stadium or sees us in our uniform he doesn’t feel that anxiety.

“We’ve got to understand when we have someone who feels that comfortable with you, you got to find a way that makes him go I don’t like those guys.”

But In the first quarter, Adelaide’s great start was a sign of a team that wanted to turn their season back around. The team pressed well and looked to attack at every opportunity.

Anthony Petrie (16 points, 3 rebounds) led the way in the first quarter, scoring 13 points.

The two metre Forward hit Adelaide’s first six of the quarter, and later teamed up with American Jamaar Wilson (16 points, 3 rebounds), who assisted Petrie with a sneaky behind the back bounce pass.

The Sixers were full of energy and it showed as Cairns struggled to keep up.

“We weren’t great defensively to start the game, said Cairns Coach Aaron Fearne.

“(They) got too many easy buckets and it just put us on the back foot, but in saying that I thought the fight from the guys (Cairns) was fantastic.”

In the second the tables looked to have turned as Cairns looked to be the team with all the momentum.

The Taipans slowly drew the lead back as they shut down the Sixers to just a 17 point quarter, to Cairn’s 27 to head in level at half time.

Scottie Wilbekin (11 points, 8 assists) tore the court up early as he cut in and out of Adelaide’s defence throwing a couple of ankle breakers along the way.

Then mid-way through the quarter, Back to back three’s by Craig gave the Taipans the lead for the first time. Though, Adelaide responded well as they kept on hassling a then confident Taipans side.

In the second half the Sixers were quick to regain their lead after a big three pointer by in form Jamaar Wilson, which lifted the crowd off their feet.

Adelaide looked to reverse the damage the Taipans did in the second quarter as they were shut down to just 15 points.

Big Bj Anthony (3 points, 3 rebounds) denied Shaun Bruce (1 block, 1 assist) a look at the bucket as he tried to drive into the key. The New Zealander stood tall and put a hand in the face of Bruce before swatting the ball away.

Brock Motum (17 points, 10 rebounds) who dominated with a double double sparked a huge reaction from the crowd after a drive towards the bucket. The NBA import was fouled on his way to the ring, before sinking an off balance underarmed the ball that kissed the glass on its way.

And in the final quarter Taipans made one final push as they looked push for the win and second spot on the ladder.

An acrobatic layup by Torrey around Gibson, followed by a mid-range jump shot by Cameron Tragardh saw the lead down to just five with 3:41 left on the clock.

But with little time left, a pin point pass by Gibson that found Motum in the key just to the right of the bucket was enough to secure the win. The Boomer felt the presence of an oncoming Stephen Weigh and ducked under the small forward before putting it in off the glass.

“We’ve got to play, I mean when you’ve got guys stepping up and playing defence it’s going to make a difference, said Joey Wright as he talked about his team moving forward for the rest of the season.

“What I need to do will help us win, and I think we got it.

“We said the next five games we’re going to play a better style of basketball, that’s what you saw tonight.”

Adelaide 36ers: 90 (Gibson 17, Wilson 16, Motum 17, Petrie 17)

Cairns Taipans: 86 (Craig 28, Tragardh 18)

Crowd: 4,798

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