Taipans in rut after another home loss
Falling short: Taipans' Clint Steindl in action in the team's loss against Perth over the weekend. Picture: Stewart McLean
The downward spiral reached its bottom-most point, at least as far as the ladder is concerned, for the Taipans on Saturday night.
Their 85-66 loss to the Perth Wildcats consigned them to last place on the NBL ladder, a position that seemed inconceivable only a few weeks ago when Townsville were winless from their first 10 matches.
But that's how it is and that's how it looked on Saturday night, with coach Aaron Fearne describing the team's performance in the past two games as the worst in years.
The Snakes were never in it, turning the ball over 24 times and taking more than five minutes to score their first points.
Dusty Rychart had five turnovers in just over nine minutes, Kerry Williams five in 10 minutes and Jamar Wilson six in 29 minutes.
Shane Edwards was one-of-seven in his four points, while Cam Tragardh (three-of-seven) was again gagged of opportunities.
Every time they threatened to mount a comeback Perth, as calmly as you like, slotted quick points to silence the smaller but still vocal 4013-strong crowd.
"I'm pretty disappointed," Fearne said.
"They kicked our butt from start to finish.We have played some good ball, but the last couple of games are the worst we've played in a couple of years, especially at home."
He blamed their poor composure and anxiety on the turnover count that stands at a staggering 47 in the past two games.
That statistic was a clear indication that they have played the benchmark teams in the league and fallen well short.
In wins and losses gone by it has been the defence, offence, transition play, shooting percentages and not playing to their plan, that have been blamed.
But against Perth, and New Zealand a few days prior, they weren't even allowed to get that far into the game to use that as an excuse.
"They expose your weaknesses in a heartbeat and now we know we've a lot of work to do," Fearne said.
"We are getting nervous. There is no poise under pressure and we can't even get a shot up because we keep turning it over.
"If you think clear you'll make smart decisions, run what we are trying to and execute. We aren't doing that at the moment."
It doesn't get any easier in the next fortnight, with a trip to Wollongong and then Perth ahead.
Frustrated co-captain Alex Loughton will continue to have nightmares over their turnover statistics in the meantime.
"We've talked about it 'til the cows come home,'' he said.
"I'm tired of seeing these 20-plus turnovers, let alone 12 or 15. How do you get those kinds of figures? It blows my mind.
"We are trying to find form. That can only be the focus. The position is what it is, but if we dwell on it we're going backwards."