Wildcats thrash Phoenix
The Perth Wildcats have arrested a two match losing run, hammering the South East Melbourne Phoenix 106-75 at the State Basketball Centre in Melbourne on Thursday night.
It was a fitting result in Trevor Gleeson's milestone game, overtaking Alan Black as the record holder of both most games coached and most wins by a Wildcats coach in the club's rich history.
The defending champions ensured the five-time championship-winning coach eclipsed both marks by holding the Phoenix to 11 points in the second quarter and establishing a 48-27 advantage by halftime.
There was no way back for the Phoenix after the main break as Todd Blanchfield scored a season-high 22 points and import centre John Mooney finished with a double-double (18 points, 13 rebounds) to see Perth improve to a 2-2 record.
"That's an unbelievable achievement," guard Mitch Norton said after Gleeson etched his name into club folklore.
"It doesn't matter what stage of your career you're at, you are going to learn things from him and you're going to be held accountable - I think that's been a great recipe for success."
Perth's early-season struggles from beyond the arc continued after making just 1-of-9 three-point shots as South East Melbourne held a narrow lead approaching the end of the first quarter.
But tough finishing from veteran Tom Jervis and Mitch Norton triggered a 6-0 burst for Perth to close the term ahead 21-16 and the home side quickly unravelled as the Wildcats took charge in the second quarter.
Perth's superior ball movement and strength under the basket came to the fore as they outscored the Phoenix 27-11 to amass a 21-point lead at halftime.
Any hopes of a second-half Phoenix comeback were dashed as Bryce Cotton triggered a 9-2 start to the third quarter as the lead quickly became insurmountable for the home side.
The two teams will face off again on Sunday in what will be their fourth meeting of the season.
IMAGE: Perth Now.