The Perth Wildcats equalled their best ever start to a season with a sixth consecutive win tonight, thrashing Wollongong 87-47 at Perth Arena.
It was the first time the Wildcats had achieved the feat since 2006 and they remain unbeaten against Wollongong in their past 16 meetings in Perth, an extraordinary streak that dates back to November 2005.
The huge win was also the Wildcats’ biggest margin since beating New Zealand by 40 at Challenge Stadium three years ago.
Outstanding import James Ennis was yesterday named player of the month for October, but it was fellow American Jermaine Beal who was the star of this show.
Beal, who replaced former league MVP Kevin Lisch on the roster this season, top-scored with 21 points and was brilliant early when the game was on the line.
His haul included 5-of-9 three-pointers and was backed up by four assists.
Wildcats captain Damian Martin added offensive potency to his irrepressible defensive game, scoring 16 points with four assists.
Ennis appeared quiet by his standards but gradually racked up a workmanlike 17 points and nine rebounds and threw down a huge open-court dunk in the final quarter.
Oscar Forman was the only man to reach double figures for Wollongong, scoring 12 points.
The Wildcats dominated the opening exchanges on the back of some rare hot shooting and a big block from Martin on Tim Coenraad.
Wollongong knew things weren’t going their way when new import Kevin Tiggs squandered an easy two points, attempting a big dunk in the open court that bounced back off the rim in embarrassing fashion.
The home side nailed seven three-pointers in the first period and led 30-11 at quarter-time after Jesse Wagstaff was awarded a dubious bucket on the buzzer.
Replays showed Wagstaff was nowhere near releasing the ball before the buzzer, but the referees let the points count.
Wollongong narrowly lost the second quarter, but the stingy Wildcats defence again strangled their opponents in the third as they opened up an unassailable 31-point lead.
The Arena went into party mode in the final quarter as the Wildcats looked to entertain and no celebration would have been complete without some Ennis magic.
Martin threw an attempted long-range alley-oop pass to Ennis that didn’t come off, but the American excitement machine added another clip to the highlights reel moments later with his big dunk.Elsewhere on Friday, Brad Hill’s late basket gave Sydney a thrilling 88-86 win over Townsville on the road.
American import Charles Carmouche top-scored with 33 points for the Kings.