CROCS DEFEAT PIGS
AN exceptional individual performance from point guard EJ Rowland saved Townsville from an embarrassing defeat in their thrilling overtime victory against West Sydney in their round 15 National Basketball League clash in Terrigal last night.
Against a team that had not won in its past 16 attempts, the Crocodiles were made to work hard, surviving a game-tying buzzerbeating three-point shot from Razorback Liam Rush on fulltime to run out 111-106 winners.
Despite being outplayed for large portions of the contest and trailing by one with less than a minute remaining in regular time, it was the Crocs’ cool heads that got them home.
Rowland caused havoc for the home team all night, scoring 22 points, seven rebounds, five assists and recording a staggering six steals.
He was well supported by John Rillie, who scored 21 points, including three crucial free throws in extra time, while Larry Abney had 18 points and 10 rebounds in his return from a threematch absence.
While it was scrappy and nowhere near the standard that the Crocs set when they worked their way to six consecutive victories earlier in the month, captain Rillie said there were still plenty of positives to be found.
‘‘We never seemed to get in any real groove,’’ he said of the match, which was Townsville’s first overtime game in three seasons and first victory in extra time in five years.
‘‘But if you watch the Razorbacks play, they are probably a top-eight team for 36 minutes, so we knew they were going to be around the mark.
CAPTAIN’S KNOCK . . . Crocs skipper John Rillie, left, was again one of his side’s stronger performers in last night’s win over the West Sydney Razorbacks