The SIT Zerofees Sharks have moved to the top of the table knocking off the Taylor Hawks with a comprehensive 104-74 win.
Southland Sharks came out firing from the start with a 28-15 first quarter and then going up 18 by half time. The home side would push their lead to as many as 35 points, giving the Hawks their worst loss of the season.
It was another collective performance from the Sharks with four of the starters reaching double-digit points or more, and getting quality production off the bench from James Hunter (16 points on six-for-10 shooting), and Luke Aston (15 points on four-for-seven).
Alex Pledger scored a team high 17 point in 18 minutes, and after missing last weeks win versus the Jets, Orlando Coleman, returned to the line-up with 10 points and seven rebounds for the Sharks who move to four wins and two losses.
The Hawks struggled tonight with 28 turnovers and only a combined seven points from key scorers, Dion Prewster, Ethan Rusbatch, and American, Jamie Skeen. Point guard, Jarrod Kenny, who previously was playing more of a facilitative role had a game high 18 points, Angus Brandt scored 15, and Everard Bartlett added 11 for the Hawks who drop to 4-2.
In Nelson, the Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams have upset the Mike Pero Nelson Giants 104-90 for their second straight road win after beating Taranaki in overtime last week. Point guard, Xavier Thames, scored 24 points which included 11-for-12 from the free throw line. Winston Sheppard tallied 19 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and Tony Tolovae continued his recent good form, scoring over twenty for the second straight game with 21.
The visitors quickly shot off to a 17-8 lead, but by the end of the first the Giants were able to tie the ball game. The hosts then would go into half time with a three point lead and then hold a slight lead for the majority of third quarter.
But during the latter part of the third, Rams would hit four three’s, which included back to back treys from young bench guard Maxwell de Geest to finish the quarter up seven. de Geest would follow up with another three in the fourth to give the Rams an 11 point buffer. The momentum heavily in favour of the Rams, they would go on to score 33 points in the quarter, securing the win and now moving into the top four at the expense of the Giants.
Nelson did have forward, Finn Delany, back in the line-up after missing their last two. Delany had 16 points, and fellow forward Jerry Evans Jr scored a team high 21. Kyle Adnam added 20 points and seven assists, but his fellow Australian back court partner, Damon Heuir, was relatively quiet with only 10.
Nelson were outmatched on the boards today, the Rams outrebounding them 45-28.
Both the Giants and Rams will travel up north for Sunday games, the Rams will face a desperate 0-5 Rangers tomorrow at 3pm, and the Giants will play at 7pm against the Go Media Jets (1-4), both live streamed.
Week 4: Saturday, May 19
At ILT Stadium, Invercargill
SIT Zerofees Sharks 104 (Alex Pledger 17, James Hunter 16, Luke Aston 15)
Taylor Hawks 74 (Jarrod Kenny 18, Angus Brandt 15, Everard Bartlett 11)