Taranaki Mountain Airs 76 Bay Hawks 75

An inexcusable wide open missed layup has extended the Bay Hawks' losing streak.

Make it 23 straight losses for the Napier-based franchise, a streak that will surely end soon but should have ended today.

Down 74-72 against the Taranaki Mountain Airs with nine seconds remaining, forward Josh Fox was given an open layup to tie the game, but unbelievably missed it as the Hawks blew their biggest chance to snap their losing streak.

The Airs snared the rebound and were fouled, with Tylor Ongwae sinking two free-throws which sealed the eventual 76-75 victory.

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It completed a horror final quarter from the Hawks, who could only muster two points in the first nine minutes of the period as the Airs came back to claim victory.

The Airs move to 2-1 on the season, while the Hawks fall to 0-3.

Foul trouble to Airs guard Houston O'Riley gave the Hawks an early avenue to exploit. O'Riley picked up his third foul early in the second quarter after collecting Everard Bartlett on a three-point attempt and the Airs struggled in his absence, unable to get into their sets with their usual accuracy.

Bartlett's deadly stroke was an important weapon for the Hawks, with back-to-back triples closing out the third quarter to put the home side up six.

After missing two potential go-ahead jumpers in the final ten seconds against Supercity, Airs import swingman Ongwae clearly heard coach Trent Adam's calls for him to stop settling, going 5-6 on attempts at the rim on his way to a game-high 21 points.

Fellow Airs import Daniel Gomis had 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Alonzo Burton had 13 points against his former side.

Bartlett had 21 points on 17 shots for the Hawks, adding six rebounds and five assists. Jarrod Kenny had six points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while import Grant Fiorentinos had 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Fiorentinos may keep his place when import Amir Williams arrives on April 3, with current import swingman Lamar Roberson failing to flatter with just seven points in 13 minutes.

Fox was impressive off the bench with 10 points, three boards, three assists and three steals, but the missed layup will go down as the game's deciding moment.