Knock­out blow the dif­fer­ence be­tween vic­tory and de­feat, says Wild­cats coach

Townsville Bulletin - - Bizfi Nd -

IT was the blow that Perth coach Rob Bev­eridge said cost the Wild­cats the game.

With Perth lead­ing the Townsville Croc­o­diles with lit­tle over five min­utes to play, Wild­cats power for­ward Matt Knight was knocked out in a sick­en­ing col­li­son un­der the bas­ket.

Go­ing up for an of­fen­sive re­bound, the 25-year-old be­came tan­gled up with Crocs point guard Will Blalock at the same time as Luke Schen­scher was com­ing over the top of the pair.

The re­sult was a grisly scene of Knight div­ing head first into the hard­wood.

Not only did the in­ci­dent rob the ’ Cats of their lead­ing big, but as medics at­tended to the star ath­lete Bev­eridge felt the Crocs got their fi­nal wind.

‘‘ We want to play a game that is up tempo and cre­ates fa­tigue down the stretch, so when you have that fiveminute break it af­fects their abil­ity to re­fresh and that was def­i­nitely a huge ad­van­tage for Townsville,’’ Bev­eridge said.

‘‘ Matty is one of the premier big men in the league, he is a great de­fender, a great re­bounder and all-round out­stand­ing player. So yeah, when you lose a player like that it hurts.’’

So much so that it was Knight’s in­jury that Bev­eridge was most an­i­mated about in the post-match press con­fer­ence. ‘‘ Right now we are prob­a­bly more con­cerned with Matty than los­ing the game,’’ Bev­eridge said.

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