Sore Taipan Wilson fit for battle
A RESURGENT Jamar Wilson will take a leg injury into tonight's battle in Perth, the star guard getting the OK to fly despite failing to finish training yesterday.
A slow start forgotten, Wilson has been tipping the scales at about 18 points a game since late last year and was the architect of their last-start defeat of Wollongong with 13 points and eight assists.
Wilson's coach Aaron Fearne said yesterday that they would not risk his long-term health if it was more than general soreness.
"We don't want anything that will sit him out for three or four games, but there is a difference between being hurt and being injured and it's a matter of whether it can get worse," he said.
"It's obvious he is valuable, like any import guard, to their team."
The Taipans' task will be to cut down their turnovers and limit their rebounds after a listless 19-point loss to Perth at home two weeks ago.
Those two areas improved against the Hawks last week as they snapped a four-game losing streak.
But Fearne knows it will be a different challenge in front of 12,000 fans in the Wildcats' new home.
"They are down in the worst teams for shooting but they average about 10 more possessions a game and that's where they win," Fearne said.
"We gave them those possessions last game and lost by 20. If we are tighter, we give ourselves a chance."
And if they use the ball as well as they did last Friday 16 of 27 triples saw them anointed the most accurate team in the league from outside the arc the Taipans are a chance of inflicting their sixth defeat on Perth in the last two seasons.
"I'm excited. If you're a professional athlete, would you rather play in front of 10 people or 12,000? You have to deal with it and they'll have to step up and execute."
While Wilson appears likely to play, Dusty Rychart was not so fortunate. He will be replaced by Shaun Bruce after being ruled out with leg soreness, despite training yesterday.
Meanwhile, restricted in his opportunities to score in recent weeks, the noted shooter's haul of two points in a winning side last Friday stood out like a sore thumb.
While a win is all the forward cares about, he knows he was hired to score and must start doing it again soon.
That starts by putting up more shots Tragardh has struggled to shoot more than 10 times a game lately when his goal is to unleash closer to 20.
"I've just been struggling to find my spots and that's on me; I ve got to adjust and I've always been good at finding a way to contribute. I can't keep going like this though, I need to keep the scoreboard ticking over."
He reckons that will come if he can start to feel part of the contest again.
"I'm just running up and down at the moment. Usually my mouth's running, but I haven't been myself. I think the mouth is going again and that's a good thing because we are going into the lion's den and you have to go in, spear in hand, yelling like a banshee," he said.
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Higher aspirations: Cameron Tragardh at training with the Taipans at the Fish Tank. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS