Taipans know a snake when they get bitten by one

BASKETBALL

Describing the many offensive moves of Wollongong import Kevin Tiggs, Cairns coach Aaron Fearne might as well have been talking about a snake.

"He's a bit slinky and slithery down there around the bucket," Fearne said.

"He's a tough cover because he's a bit unorthodox. You try and force him to be a perimeter player, but Wollongong run some pretty good action to get him on the rim."

Tiggs was instrumental in last week's 82-79 road win over Cairns, pacing the Hawks with 12 first-half points en route to a game-high 20.

He was near unstoppable in one-on-one situations, squeezing off lay-ups against taller opponents and earning several trips to the free-throw line.

"We won't change a lot defensively," Fearne said.

"We might double-team him a little to get the ball out of his hands. We'll try and force him to be a shooter, but that's easier said than done."

Of course, Fearne doesn't need reminding that the Taipans also have to keep close tabs on Hawks sharpshooter Rotnei Clarke.

"It's not like we sit there and go 'we have to shut down Clarke', because we know they've got a number of guys who can hurt you," he said.

"They run a good system that spreads you out, but they have to shoot the ball well to keep that spacing honest."

Wollongong were down by 13 at half-time last week before outscoring Cairns 27-10 in the third quarter.

The Taipans spent most of the week focusing on last night's home game against Sydney.

"We'll do the best we can recovery-wise after Friday's game and then see how tough we can be for 40 minutes in Wollongong," Fearne said.

"We'll have a bit of a tweak here and there. We won the first, second and fourth quarters last week and we just got our butts whipped in the third."

Wollongong lead the four-game series 2-0.

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