48-hours proved too short a turnaround for Illawarra, with the Hawks failing to reproduce their Friday night heroics in a tough Sunday night loss to Cairns.
The Taipans, coming off their first win of the season on Thursday, had an additional 24-hours of rest and it proved the difference, with the Cairns outfit out-running and out-shooting the Hawks for their first road win of the season, 98-83.
The night was a big occasion for the Hawks, but unfortunately they failed to deliver a win for milestone man Tim Coenraad, who became the seventh Hawk to play 200+ games for the club.
Coenraad finished the night with a traditionally hard-fought 8 points, 2 rebounds and an assist next to his name. Congratulations Tim on your career thus far with the Hawks.
On a night where the Rob Beveridge coached side had the opportunity to improve to 3-4, they now slip to 2-5 and anchor themselves at the wrong end of the NBL ladder.
AJ Ogilvy, who was quiet Friday night, started the game in impressive fashion and was arguably the Hawks best. The game plan appeared to be to throw it into the big man as regularly as possible, allowing him to rack up 7 first quarter points.
The issue was Cairns then took the ball, charged the floor and shot 12 three-pointers, nine more than Illawarra. As quickly as Illawarra tried to play, Cairns easily matched the tempo. Led by tiny point guard Travis Trice, they were simply better in just about every facet of the game.
A dejected Marvelle Harris said it best after the game; alluding to the fact Cairns wanted the win more.
Harris was at his best in the first half, keeping his side in the game and finished with 19 points, a game high. A team combined 46% shooting was just not enough to get the job done.
Illawarra get the chance to go at it again on their home court this coming Sunday, when Melbourne United come to town (tickets). It has been a tough start to the 2016/17 NBL season but as we all know the Hawks will continue to fight.
CAIRNS TAIPANS 98 (Edwin 15, Worthington 15, Jawai 14)
ILLAWARRA HAWKS 83 (Harris 19, Ogilvy 13, Norton 10)
Story by Jarrod Mcgrouther