THE Casey Cavaliers benefited from a terrific showing from Taylah Gilliam, as they cruised past the Launceston Tornadoes in Round 7 of the NBL1 South competition on the weekend. Saturday night saw the two teams face off across the Bass Strait at the Ulverston Sports and Leisure Centre, with the clubs enjoying similar levels of success to start season 2022.
There was a considerable level of intrigue coming in, as the winner would likely move up the standings into fifth spot. The first half was very back and forth, with no true showing of dominance from either side. However, things changed in the third term when the Cavaliers outscored the opposition 29-16, and they rode that momentum home for a 14-point triumph, their sixth of the year.
Despite a number of contributors in the win, there were none more impressive than Gilliam, who was just about unstoppable on the offensive end. She finished with an equal game-high 29 points, producing points from all over the court, and was a masssive factor in getting Casey to victory.
Launceston Tornadoes (71) def. by Casey Cavaliers (85)
Taylah Gilliam – 29 points, three rebounds, three assists
Gilliam chimed in with her first bucket of the game a couple of minutes into the opening quarter, nailing a three and putting the Cavaliers in front. There were not many easy buckets for either side in the first term, but Gilliam managed to catch fire towards the end of the period. She scored eight points in the final three minutes, and was the highest scorer on the court when the first change of play rolled around.
Gilliam was receiving a bit more defensive attention as the game wore on, so she found her teammates with some clever passes. She finally registered another couple of points on the eve of half time, driving to the hoop for a classy finish with a lay-up.
Reflective of her side’s form, Gilliam began to catch fire in the third term, with eight points in the first few minutes thanks to another couple of shots from behind the arc. Casey began to break away on the scoreboard, largely due to the efforts of Gilliam, who was either nailing baskets from downtown or acting as a decoy to help get her teammates open. She drained her first two free throws of the game to finish the term, with the Cavaliers holding a significant lead heading into the final 10 minutes of play on the road.
Gilliam registered her third assist to kick off the last quarter, as Casey looked to extend its lead even further. She continued to push her points total, driving to the hoop and finding the bottom of the net once again. Gilliam quietened up to finish the game, but still managed to close the contest out with another trip to the free throw line, as the Cavaliers finished the matchup 14-point victors.