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Sobey, Randle outgun wayward Snakes

Nathan Sobey is fast becoming one of the most exciting players in the NBL, with another inspirational and emotional performance lifting the Adelaide 36ers to an 83-67 win over Cairns on Friday. Sobey’s reckless disregard for his own safety and high-energy style combined with the flashy brilliance of point guard Jerome Randle as the Sixers blitzed the Snakes in a night full of emotion at Titanium Security Arena. “[Sobey] goes hard. He works hard, trains hard, plays hard and that energy, we’ve been feeding off of that,” Coach Joey Wright said post-game. “[Al Green] has been putting in some extra work with ‘Sobes’ and it’s paying off.” The 36ers have been searching for their own brand of basketball and Wright believes they are finally on the right track. “After our last two games we’re on the right track, we’ve gotten out in transition and I think we’re really good in transition,” he said. The first half mostly belonged to Sobey and fellow bounce brother Terrance Ferguson who propelled the home side to a 13-point lead, which they largely maintained throughout the contest. Ferguson hit two consecutive first-quarter triples, and sparks flew when he tangled early with veteran Mark Worthington – a man more than up for the challenge. Wrestling for a rebound late in the first quarter, Ferguson was baited into throwing an elbow at Worthington, resulting in an unsportsmanlike foul and two shots from the stripe. That was as close to the basket as Cairns dared to get in the first half, shooting an incredible 4/23 from deep. The Snakes have been the worst shooting team in the league so far, averaging only 36 per cent from the field and 26 per cent from the arc coming into the contest. And it didn’t look much better on Friday, ending the game with 13/42 from deep and a remarkable average of more than one three-point attempt per-minute. Asked on his team’s offensive struggles, a despondent coach Aaron Fearne said, “It’s the biggest issue we’ve got at the moment. “That’s three games in a row. We can’t put any scoreboard pressure on anyone right now.” Worthington was a physical presence and is playing with real heart and emotion on the court – something the Snakes desperately need. Former Michigan State point guard Travis Trice looks to be settling in, with the promise of a breakout game looming. Trice showed glimpses of brilliance in the third, bridging the Adelaide lead to eight points at one stage on back-to-back three balls. The experience of Randle continued to show however as the pocket rocket was again the leading scorer and is looking like Most Valuable Player calibre – his trademark crossover and pull up jumper at the elbow was putting Trice on skates. The Sixers were clinical from the stripe, landing 19/22 to compliment nearly 50 per cent from the field. Randle in particular is becoming a fourth quarter specialist and tonight constructed a halfcourt alley-oop with Sobey, clashed verbally with Trice and dropped a deep three on his head all within one minute as the level of emotion approached all-time levels in Adelaide. Cairns will look to trade triples with Melbourne United at home next Thursday, while the 36ers head across the pond to Vector Arena Saturday week for a contest with the Breakers.   ADELAIDE 36ERS 83 (Randle 23, Sobey 15, Johnson 13) CAIRNS TAIPANS 67 (Giddon 14, Worthington 11, Trice 11) BOX SCORE  
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