Perth Wildcats fans have been spoilt when it comes to buzzer-beating plays to win games of late.
Bryce Cotton’s last-second stunner last night marked the latest in a series of clutch plays that will long live in the memory of fans.
Here’s our pick of the best five since the turn of the century.
1999-2000: Anthony Stewart
The Wildcats outfit that would go on to win the 2000 title got a shot in the arm with Anthony Stewart’s dagger late in the season against Adelaide. With Perth down by a point and time ticking down, Ricky Grace was somehow allowed to drive toward his favoured left side before kicking out a pass to Stewart. The Tasmanian coolly faked to send Brett Maher flying before stepping to his right, draining the three, and sending the Perth Entertainment Centre crowd crazy.
2009-10: Kevin Lisch
What a way to burst into Wildcats folklore. Kevin Lisch had made a circumspect start to life as a Perth import early in the 2009-10 season, but one night in Townsville, he found his groove. On a scrambled play with seconds remaining, Lisch caught a pass from fellow first-year Wildcat Jesse Wagstaff and knocked down a triple over Michael Cedar for the win. Lisch would go on to win Grand Final MVP honours in a championship campaign.
2011-12: Shawn Redhage
The signature moment of a storied career. This time, it was Perth with a one-point lead of their own, but New Zealand’s CJ Bruton had the ball with time ticking down. The Breakers great was looking for a match-winning basket to seal a title win, but Redhage would have none of it. After Bruton got past a switching Matt Knight, Redhage swatted away the attempt and swatted the hands of delirious fans in the last-ever game at then-Challenge Stadium.
2017-18: Bryce Cotton
Yeah, Cotton has done this before. Last season in Brisbane, it looked like Perth were going to let one slip before the man who would go on to be MVP stepped up. Cotton rolled to his right and rose over the sharp defence of Adam Gibson to nail the dagger. A series of ‘What’s up?’ shouts soon followed as the star guard celebrated.
2018-19: Bryce Cotton… again
Missing three starters, the Wildcats needed a hero, and Cotton of course obliged. After getting the switch off Gibson and onto Cam Bairstow, Cotton’s crossover shook the defender and gave him the room to fire an uncontested three. The result? Nothing but net, a crucial home victory, and chants of ‘MVP! MVP!’ from the crowd.