The Southland Sharks have beaten the Bay Hawks for the second straight week at Pettigrew Green Arena, 101-87.
After losing to the Rangers last night, the Sharks were coming into the game without their leading scorer Jordair Jett, but the Hawks were also missing their top scorer Chris Porter. Australian Nick Kay seems to relish the opportunity to play the Hawks, scoring 29 to go along his 32 the week before. In his first start Derone Raukawa had 24 points and centre Alex Pledger added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Former Hawk Everard Bartlett had been struggling to start the season shooting 23% from the field, but tonight he was back to old ways with 20 points (8/13 FG, 4/7 3pt) and seven assists.
The Hawks got off to a slow start, trailing Southland 25-14 after the opening quarter, but managed to peg it back to trail by seven at halftime. 12 points in the third by Kay, guided the Sharks to a 30-18 quarter which gave them a comfortable 19 point lead heading into the fourth.
The Bay did fight back to close the deficit to eight points with plenty of time to steal the game, but that would be the closest they would get to the Sharks who comfortably held a double-digit buffer from there on. Veteran centre, Kareem Johnson, scored a team high 21 points, Arthur Trousdell had 18, and off the bench Matt Te Huna added 14. Rebounding the big issue for the Hawks tonight, outrebounded 44-28.
2016 has not been the ideal start for the Hawks who have now dropped all five games at home and now will go on the road to play a tough double-header against the Wellington Saints and Mike Pero Nelson Giants next week. Head coach Judd Flavell will be relatively pleased that his Sharks side went 2-1 this week and will return home where they will play the Canterbury Rams in five days' time.