The Taylor Hawks have ended their two game losing streak with a 91-76 win over the Wheeler Motor Rams.
The Hawks were led by Ethan Rusbatch who in his first game against his former team had 22 points and nine assists. Rusbatch came to life in the third quarter, hitting three three’s to give his team a double-digit lead.
Canterbury did make a mini fight back in the later stages of the third and early part of the fourth, closing to within two points after a three from Xavier Thames. But an 8-0 run from the Hawks pushed their lead back up to 10 and from then on they never let the Rams come within striking distance.
Jarrod Kenny had another strong game with 18 points, which included 4-for-4 from three, and Angus Brandt added 20 for the Hawks who move to 5-3.
Julian Williams-Washburn was the standout tonight for the Rams with 24 points, converting 5-for-six three’s. Winston Shepard III tallied 18 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals, and Maxwell Darling added 11 which included a highlight reel two handed reverse dunk in the fourth quarter.
The loss puts the Rams to 5-2, and are now sitting at fourth, just ahead of the fifth placed Hawks, who have a chance to knock them out of the four if they beat the Mike Pero Nelson Giants tomorrow night.
In Invercargill, the SIT Zerofees Sharks have had another comfortable victory at home beating the Augusta Mountainairs 92-71.
The Sharks got off to a quick start taking a 27-16 lead at quarter time. After holding a nine point lead at halftime, the home side would outscore the visitors 29-13, pushing their lead to as many as 31 points to secure their fourth straight win.
Conor Morgan scored a team high 20 points, and off the bench forward Tom Vodanovich added 17 for the Sharks who move up to third with a 6-2 record.
So far this season Taranaki have been plagued with injuries and tonight they were without starters Xavier Smith and Alonzo Burton. Javonte Douglas carried the Airs with 27 points, Dane Brooks added 13 off the bench and point guard Houston O’Riley had 12.
After missing the Airs last two games, American forward, Roger Woods, returned but was held to eight points on 4-for-11 shooting. The loss now puts the Airs to 2-6 and are currently on a three game losing streak.
Week 6: Friday, June 1
At Cowles Stadium, Christchurch
The Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams 76 (Julian Williams-Washburn 24, Winston Shepard III 18, Maxwell Darling 11)
Taylor Hawks 91 (Ethan Rusbatch 22, Angus Brandt 20, Jarrod Kenny 18)
At ILT Stadium, Invercargill
SIT Zerofees Sharks 92 (Conor Morgan 20, Tom Vodanovich 17, Orlando Coleman 14)
Augusta Mountainairs 71 (Javonte Douglas 27, Dane Brooks 13, Houston O’Riley 12)