Wildcats defeat Cairns for fourth win on the trot
The Wildcats produced one of their most even team performances of the season, led by superstar Bryce Cotton’s 25-point effort.
Cotton, who hit 20-plus points for a fourth consecutive match to continue his mid-season surge, was one of five players to reach double-figures for the hosts alongside Alex Sarr (12 points and three assists) and Tai Webster (12 and three assists), Kristian Doolittle (10 and eight rebounds) and Jordan Usher (10).
Wildcats head coach John Rillie said while Cotton’s offensive game was impressive, he deserved credit for his “elite” defensive acts as well.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 7-0 advantage within the first three minutes, highlighted by a corner three from Doolittle and dunk from Keanu Pinder against his old team.
After copping plenty of extra attention from his opponent, Cotton broke free midway through the term to have a game-high seven points by quarter-time to help the hosts lead 25-20.
Sarr, rated the top NBA draft prospect in the latest mock draft, capped off the quarter with a block at one end and tip-in at the other.
The second term was an even contest until the last couple of minutes when the Wildcats made the most of an escalating Taipans foul count to go ahead 47-43 at the main break.
Sarr was the difference in the third quarter, doing it at both ends to get the Red Army on their feet and give his team a double-digit buffer with one term to play.
Leading 66-56 at three-quarter time, Perth were relatively untroubled in the last.
Captain Jesse Wagstaff was in everything, from hitting threes to layups and desperate acts to setup teammate Cotton.
The Wildcats head to Queensland on Friday morning to take on Brisbane Bullets the following night.