Big Red faces his demons

Townsville Bulletin - - Bizfi Nd - by Andrew Aloia andrew. aloia@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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

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