The SIT Sharks have ended the Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams slim playoff hopes with a 88-79 win.
Orlando Coleman had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and Jarrad Weeks has dished out 12 assists for the Sharks who move to 12-4.
After trailing by ten at halftime, the Rams would score 12 unanswered points to take the lead in the third quarter. The Sharks managed to regroup to hold a four point lead heading into the fourth.
Canterbury would start the fourth quarter off with a 6-0 run, but after struggling against the Rams zone for the majority of the second half, two three’s from Reuben Te Rangi would help the Sharks get back the lead.
Coleman would go on attack mode in the final stretch of the fourth, as the Rams would falter with a couple of careless turnovers which included a five second inbound violation after a time out. The loss now the fifth of their last five as they drop to 8-9.
Winston Shepard III tallied 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Tony Tolovae added 16 points. Rams Head Coach, Mark Dickel, inserted guard Taylor Britt into the starting line-up tonight and he responded with seven early points in the first quarter, and would end the game with 11.
The Rams also welcomed back import Xavier Thames who would come off the bench to score 10, but had a poor shooting night with 3-17 from the field.
In New Plymouth, Clay Wilson has bounced back from his quiet game against the Hawks last night to score 34 points for the 2 Cheap Cars Supercity Rangers as they beat the Augusta Mountainairs 97-85.
The win ended a four game losing streak for the Rangers who go to 3-14, all three wins at the expense of the Airs who drop to 3-13 and their fifth in a row.
The visitors got off to a quick start thanks to 14 first quarter points from Wilson as they outscored the Airs 28-14. Taranaki were without key starters Javonte Douglas and Houston O’Riley, but after their slow start they were able to peg back the deficit in the third quarter, and with under four minutes left in the fourth they would only trail by four.
A 10-2 reply from the Rangers would be enough to secure the win. Marcel Jones backed up his strong game the night before with another double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds. Lindsay Tait would have 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Taranaki centre Xavier Smith had 19 points and five blocks, and Alonzo Burton tallied 17 points, eight steals, six assists, and six rebounds.
The Taylor Hawks join the Sharks, Mike Pero Nelson Giants and the Cigna Saints for a semi-final spot. Tomorrow, the second placed Giants will host the league leading Saints who are one win away from clinching the regular season title. Giants will finish their regular season with two games against the Saints and a road game versus the Sharks.
Week 13: Friday, July 20
At ILT Stadium, Invercargill
SIT Zerofees Sharks 88 (Orlando Coleman 25, Reuben Te Rangi 13, Alex Pledger 10)
The Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams 79 (Tony Tolovae 16, Winston Shepard 16, Taylor Britt 11)
At TSB Stadium, New Plymouth
Augusta Mountainairs 85 (Roger Woods 19, Xavier Smith 19, Dane Brooks 18)
2 Cheap Cars Supercity Ramgers 97 (Clay Wilson 34, Marcel Jones 25, Lindsay Tait 11)