DAY ONE VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS (2 - 3 mins download time required)
The boilover of the opening night of the Top End Challenge was the Wollongong Hawks turning up the heat in the second half to run away with an easy 100-94 win over the favoured Melbourne Tigers.
New Hawks import Tywain McKee (Coppin St) came into his own in the second half, penetrating his way to the hoop at will. Slick ball handling and slashing finishes at the rim saw McKee finish with a game-high 24 points.
It wasn’t just the McKee show however as the Hawks had four others in double-figures; Cameron Tragardh with 20, rookie Tim Coenraad 15, Glen Saville 11 and Larry Davidson 10.
The Tigers got out of the blocks fast and led 29-20 at the first break. Daniel Johnson was a key as he had all 10 of his points in the first ten minutes.
Once the second quarter began, the Tigers started to show that they have been on the road for over week and playing their fifth game in seven days.
With the Hawks blowing out the lead to nineteen points during the third it was Nathan Crosswell (17 points) and his penetration that helped the Tigers give themselves a chance. Matt O’Hea and Luke Kendall nailed threes to cut the led to five, but it was that man McKee who penetrated and found Larry Davidson in the corner for three. The Hawks never looked back after the “Hungarian Stir Fry” drained it from down town.
The composure the Hawks played with when the Tigers were trying to claw their way back into the game should have the people of Wollongong excited about their team.
The Hawks will play the Townsville Crocodiles on Friday and the winner will advance to the Grand Final on Saturday night.
Random Thoughts From The Game
- Chris Anstey is taking his time and using the preseason to get himself ready for the season. He logged 20 minutes but the intensity was not there for the former Boomer.
- Tim Coenraad will give the Rookie of the Year Award a nudge this year. Back from the States and just finished playing for the Northside Wizards in the Queensland ABL, this young fellow plays with confidence and a chip on his shoulder. Gordie McLeod has found a good one here.
- It has been mentioned to me that Tywain McKee is a young Butch Hays. If first impressions are anything, this comparison could be on the money. Minus the long socks, McKee conducted himself with confidence and style. He had the move of the night when he hustled down a loose ball, threw it through his legs in traffic and tear dropped it over the Tigers defence for two.
- The Melbourne Tigers will make a roster move at some stage. They have some good youngsters getting some experience in the preseason but we all know Seamus McPeake has a plan.