Heuir takes lead in battle of the titans
IT WAS billed as Cairns against Logan but it turned into Damon Heuir against Michael Cedar.
The QBL clubs at Cairns’ Fish Tank on Friday night were only going to go as far as their star shooting guards took them and, thankfully for the Marlins, Heuir won the personal battle and delivered a chance to gain a home final.
Heuir and Cedar were the only two players on the court to score more than 20 points, as they went head to head for near on four quarters.
Cedar, the Logan Thunder captain and former Townsville Crocodile, started the hotter of the pair as the visitors skipped out to an early lead on the back of his sweet stroke.
The silky guard had his outside game going as well as making tough jumpers in traffic as Logan took a 12-point advantage into the long break.
Marlins coach Jamie Pearlman was left frustrated with their defensive intent in the opening half.
Their defence picked up in the final two terms, so did the influence of the hosts co-captain, as they drew level late in the third term before putting away Logan in the final term.
Heuir shot at a ridiculous 77 per cent from behind the three point arc as he finished with 34 points and six assists in a matchwinning performance.
“Damo was being that scorer for us as well as taking on that defensive responsibility at the other end,” Pearlman said.
“I continue to ask him to do that job and he has done it time and time again for us. It was a fantastic contest to watch and Michael Cedar is having his best season in a number of years.”
Fellow co-captain, Aaron Bin Tahal, was also brilliant, handing out seven assists in just under 15 minutes as well as pressuring the Thunder’s guards.
Pearlman was pleased to hold Logan to just 34 points in the second half.
“I was really happy with our defensive effort in the second half, that is where it needs to be and our defence created more offence,” Pearlman said. “That is the more finals basketball style. We need to get 40 minutes of that kind of effort.”
The Marlins are assured of a spot in the finals but must finish the regular season with two wins to secure homecourt advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
Pearlman is confident point guard Jarrad Weeks will be fit for the final round of the season and playoffs after missing the win over Logan.
DUAL ROLE: Marlins' Damon Heuir makes a break in the Queensland Basketball League match between the Cairns Marlins and the Logan Thunder, in Manunda on Friday.