10 Apr 2011

Taipans down Crocs to force game three

9:31 am on 10 April 2011

The Australian basketball semi-final series between Townsville and Cairns will go to a decider after the Taipans thrashed their southern rivals the Crocodiles 74-57 at Cairns Convention Centre to level the playoffs at 1-1.

Forward Alex Loughton led the way with 14 points for the home side, while Ron Dorsey added 11 points and nine boards and centre Ian Crosswhite also had 15 points to secure the vital win that keeps alive their grand final hopes.

In a low-scoring encounter Rosell Ellis had 14 points and Luke Schenscher added 12, but they fell well short in their bid to sweep the series.

The "Reptile Rumble" moved to Cairns on Saturday night after the Crocs narrowly edged out the Taipans in game one of the North Queensland derby in Townsville on Friday.

But the Crocs' hopes of an early entry to the grand final quickly fell apart, with the Taipans surging to a commanding 46-24 lead at halftime.

The two teams will now face a decider in Townsville next Sunday. Despite their decisive victory, the odds will be squarely against the Taipans, who have lost their last 10 games at The Swamp.

The Breakers must win in Perth this evening if they're to force their playoff series with the defending champion Wildcats to a third game.