The Mike Pero Nelson Giants exacted some revenge on the Hawke's Bay Taylor Hawks on Saturday night with a nail-biting 112-109 victory at the Trafalgar Centre.
Hunter hale exploded for 41 points in a game with as many lead changes as people in the sold out home of the Giants (a lot). Sam Dempster lead the way in the first half, draining 16 points as the Hawks defence was concentrated on imports Hale and Donte Ingram. At the other end it was Hyrum Harris who did the damage for the men in white, driving strongly to the hoop with virtually no one able to stop him. In fact, no one could really stop anyone in a night where the offense was as potent as the defence was ineffective. The Giants were 9-14 from beyond the arc in the first half, with the Hawks 7-15.
With a 6 point lead entering the third quarter, the Giants couldn't put the Hawks to bed as Devondrick Walker and Harris kept punishing the defence. Hale got his in the second half, and when Ethan Rusbatch started to heat up for the Hawks, the signs could have been perceived as worrying for the Giants. However, the Giants were cool from the free throw line after the Hawks put them in the bonus with 5 minutes to go, and some big shots from Hale, Nic Trathen, and Donte Ingram down the stretch kept the Hawks just far enough away to seal a win in front of a rapturous Trafalgar Centre crowd.
The Hawks head to Canterbury on Sunday, while the Giants stay at home for a Thursday night game against the Jets
Nelson Giants (112) defeated Hawke's Bay Hawks (109) - BOXSCORE
Giants: Hunter Hale (41pts, 7ast), Sam Dempster (19pts, 5rbs, 7-10fg), Tom Ingham (17pts, 6-9fg)
Hawks: Hyrum Harris (25pts, 11-13fg, 8rbs), Devondrick Walker (25pts, 5ast, 8-15fg), Ethan Rusbatch (23pts, 8-13fg, 6rbs)
Stuff MVP Votes
Hunter Hale 10pts
Hyrum Harris 7pts
Ethan Rusbatch 6pts
Sam Dempster 5pts
Tom Ingham 1pt
Devondrick Walker 1pt