The Mike Person Nelson Giants have continued their impressive start to the season with a 101-78 win over the Taylor Hawks.
Nelson were again led by the back court of Kyle Adam (23 points) and Damon Heuir (18 points) to seal their seventh win for the season and move to the top spot two points clear of the Cigna Saints.
It was clearly evident that the Hawks were fatigued having played a tough game in Christchurch the night before, and the Giants took full advantage, outscoring the them 21-10 in the opening quarter.
Things didn’t go better for the Hawks in the second quarter when centre Angus Brandt got called for a technical foul, sitting for the remainder of the quarter. The Giants took advantage of this, in particular Heuir who would end the first half with 18 points on 4/5 from three, the home side taking a 22 point lead at halftime.
The second half would be purely academic as the Hawks would have no answer for the Giants offense, in particular from beyond the arc where they ended the game shooting 17-for-34.
Finn Delany continued his recent run of good form with 17 points, eight rebounds and four steals, Jerry Evans Jr chipped in with 15 points.
Tonight saw the return of Tall Black Mika Vukona, who played his first game for his home town since 2015. Vukona only played five minutes tonight as he will be easing in to his joint role as player and assistant coach.
Brandt was the Hawks leading scorer with 20 points, Ethan Rusbatch had 16, and off the bench Hyrum Harris had an eventful game with 14 points. Jarrod Kenny dished out 11 assists to go with his 11 points. The Hawks trio of Everard Bartlett, Jamie Skeen and Dion Prewster were quiet tonight, combining for only six points.
The loss puts the Hawks to 5-4 and will have an important home game next Sunday when they play the Saints who have won the two previous meetings.
Nelson can further solidify their top spot when they host the Go Media Jets and then the Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams in the next two weeks.
Week 6: Saturday, June 2
At Trafalgar Centre, Nelson
Mike Pero Nelson Giants 101 (Kyle Adnam 23, Damon Heuir 18, Finn Delany 17)
Taylor Hawks 78 (Angus Brandt 20, Ethan Rusbatch 16, Hyrum Harris 14)