The West

Cats target stronger defence
Cats target stronger defence

The Perth Wildcats will go back to the drawing board in a bid to rediscover their defensive mojo but will not dwell on yesterday’s heavy defeat to Wollongong.

The Wildcats were thrashed 100-67 in their biggest loss since Rob Beveridge took over as head coach more than three years ago.

The result ended their unbeaten start to the season.

Wildcats forward Jesse Wagstaff stood tall in the first half before fouling out of the game and admitted it was one of the worst losses in his time at the club.

But Wagstaff said it wouldn’t have a major effect on the team in the long term.

“At the end of the day it’s one loss,” Wagstaff said.

“We went to New Zealand in the first game of the season and won but 20, but that was one win.

“That was one loss and it goes down in the record books as one loss.”

The Wildcats have prided themselves on being the best defensive team in the league over the past three seasons but
let their guard down yesterday.

The Hawks ran rampant in the first period, shooting at 76 per cent from the field to score 38 points and open up a 24-point gap before quarter-time.

“It was an onslaught. I don’t remember them missing a basket,” Wagstaff said.

“They shot the ball extremely well, and we were giving up penetration and giving up open shots.

“We pride ourselves on defence and Bevo (Beveridge) tries to put that defensive system in. we obviously didn’t get the job done and that comes back on the players.

“I think we’re in for a long week of a lot of things (at training) but defence will definitely be one of them.”

The Wildcats take on Adelaide on Sunday in the final game of a horror start that has included five consecutive assignments away from home.

They return to Perth next week for their first home game on November 16.

The West Australian

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