Grab a pen and write down the name Jake McKinlay - the 20-year old local Palmerston North Boys High School product turned on a show to lift the Property Brokers Manawatu Jets to their first win of the Sal's NBL season, taking down the Steelformers Taranaki Mountainairs 85-77.
McKinlay delivered a treat, especially when his team needed him the most, finishing the game with 15 points, 7 rebounds and a staggering 7 steals. His match-up in the second half with Marcel Jones was filled with highlights, tension and gripping excitement.[caption id="attachment_8807" align="alignnone" width="665"] Jake McKinlay, Property Brokers Manawatu Jets.
In a high-scoring first half, the Airs led 54-48 at the long break, and for the most part through the third period did enough to hold the Jets at arm's length.
Between Marcel Jones and Tai Wynyard, the Airs had the answers, while at the other end teh Jets were keen to get Jayden Bezzant and DeAndre Daniels into the thick of the action.
While all of that was happening the spotlight started to turn on McKinlay, the active swingman kept coming up with steals at one end and being actively involved at the offensive end just as much.
With the game up for grabs the Airs kept turning the ball over, a frustration for the coaching staff as they watched the Jets drop 21 points off the 21 turnovers.
With McKinlay doing his thing, Knight kept pushing the tempo and by the time the Jets finally got their noses in front the momentum had fully swung their way.
A 19-7 last quarter to the advantage of the Jets was telling, the end result something the locals had been waiting a few weeks for.
Manawatu Jets (85) defeated Taranaki Airs (77) - BOXSCORE
Jets: Daishon Knight (20pts), DeAndre Daniels (16pts), Jake McKinlay (15pts, 7stls), Shane Temara (14pts).
Airs: Marcel Jones (23pts, 15rbs), Haize Walker (16pts), Tai Wynyard (14pts, 10rbs).
Jake McKinlay (Jets) 10
Daishon Knight (Jets) 8
Marcel Jones (Airs) 4
DeAndre Daniels (Jets) 4
Haize Walker (Airs) 4
(Photo Credit: PhotosportNZ)