Derone Raukawa sent Pettigrew Green Arena into raptures with a buzzer-beating floater to claim a win for the Taylor Hawks over the Mike Pero Nelson Giants. A Donte Ingram three had tied the game up with two seconds to go before Raukawa went the length of the court and banked a shot in off the glass to seal a thrilling 82-20 win.
The game looked like it would never get that close after a first quarter that saw the Giants unable to hit anything, and the Hawks leading 27-10. But the Giants, on the second night of the Doomsday Double having gone down to the Saints in Wellington the night before, clawed their way back into the game on the back of the shooting of Tom Ingham and Bronson Beri, and a fine second half from import Hunter Hale.
Hyrum Harris and Jono Janssen led the way for the Hawks who were without their lone import Devondrick Walker (back tightness), and the fatigue of the shortened Hawks bench was apparent in the fourth quarter.
Ingram, who had a poor shooting night by his standards, stepped up to hit the shot that looked like it would force overtime, only for Raukawa to send the Hawks faithful home happy, and in need of a rest.
The Hawks keep their unbeaten start to the season going, while the Giants will be buoyed by a three good quarters against one of the league’s leading teams.
Hawke’s Bay Hawks (92) beat Nelson Giants (80) - BOXSCORE
Hawks: Hyrum Harris 23pts 10rbs, Jono Janssen 23pts 8rbs, Derone Raukawa 13pts 8ast 5rbs
Giants: Hunter Hale 24pts 5ast 5rbs, Tom Ingham 16pts, Donte Ingram 16pts 6rbs
Stuff MVP Votes
Hyrum Harris (Hawks) 10pts
Jono Janssen (Hawks) 8pts
Hunter Hale (Giants) 5pts
Tom Ingham (Giants) 3pts
Derone Raukawa (Hawks) 3pts
Donte Ingram (Giants) 1pts