Basketball: Saints go top with win over Airs

Saints' Leon Henry on the burst with Moutainairs' Brad Anderson during the NBL. Photo / Photosport
Saints' Leon Henry on the burst with Moutainairs' Brad Anderson during the NBL. Photo / Photosport

The Wellington Saints remain at the top of the table with an 88-74 win over the Taranaki Mountainairs.

Torrey Craig tallied 26 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three blocks for the Saints who move to 9-3 in their second to last home game of the season. Tai Wesley scored 22 and Leon Henry added 20 point on four of seven threes'.

Wellington got off to a good start winning the first quarter 27-21, but the second period was ugly offensive as both teams struggled to score. Taranaki winning the period 13-12 to stay within striking distance.

After the break Wellington started with a 13-3 run and pushed the lead to 16. As Taranaki have shown all year they fought back to within 10 at the end of the third. Wellington again pushed the lead back up to 14 and when imports Marcus Johnson and Daniel Miller fouled out it would be too tough for the visitors.

It was always going to be a tough ask for the visitors after they hard fought loss to the Giants the night before. The Airs welcomed back point guard Houston O'Riley who showed that he was an integral part, scoring a team high 19. Aaron Bailey-Nowell added an efficient 17 points (7-11 FG) and Jordan Ngatai added 12 against his former team.

The loss puts the Airs at five wins, eight losses and will now need to win the remainder of their games to have a chance at making the playoffs.

NZ NBL Ladder
Wellington Saints 18
Super City Rangers 16
Canterbury Rams 16
Nelson Giants 16
Southland Sharks 14
Taranaki Mountainairs 10
Bay Hawks 0

- NZ Herald

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