Big Red faces his demons
IT’S at The Swamp that Luke Schenscher will have his reply to Perth’s taunts.
When the Townsville Crocodiles big man last returned to the West Australian capital where he won the NBL title last season, he was greeted by howls of disapproval from hordes of fans he once loved to play in front of.
It made for a bitter NBL outing, but the affable centre took the hisses from the stands without complaint.
The reason for the cool reception, he says, stemmed from misinformation surrounding his departure.
Yesterday, for the first time, Schenscher spoke openly about his disappointment and how he intended to exorcise his demons when the teams next meet on Friday.
‘‘ No one likes to be booed, especially because I left on good terms with the club and they said stuff about me that wasn’t true in the media,’’ Schenscher said.
‘‘ It was a misunderstanding and that is kinda upsetting.
‘‘ They misinterpreted what my agent was asking for and saying I was asking for an exorbitant amount of money which was completely false.’’
Schenscher stressed that he hadn’t short-changed anyone when he signed with the Crocs for 2010-11.
Rather than go on about the fallout, he simply stated: ‘‘ I can do the talking on the court’’.
And he will have plenty to say, and is keen to make it loud enough that they hear it loud and clear over in Wildcats territory.
A win now, for a Townsville side looking to leapfrog Perth into second place, would provide a timely boost against a side the Crocs have so far failed to slay.
The Wildcats have had Townsville’s measure both at home and away, with the Crocs dropping their only game at The Swamp this season against the defending champions.
‘‘ We need to win this game and the next couple to get second spot which is what we are gunning for,’’ Schenscher said.
‘ ‘ S o t h a t makes t h i s t h e biggest game of the season for us.’’
While Schenscher predicts meeting a vastly different team to the one that trampled them in late January, Wildcats captain Shawn Redhage having since gone down injured for the season, he stressed there should be no change in how Townsville approached them.
In short, the Crocs are going to have to hit hard and hit often.
‘‘ We just have to match their intensity and we know they are going to come out and lay the first punch, so we have to be the ones to do it first,’’ Schenscher said.
‘‘ We can’t allow what happened with New Zealand last game to happen against Perth.
‘‘ They’re just so intense that if they get any lead, any jump it’s real hard to get back.’’ Picture: TROY ROGERS