The Taylor Hawks have finally ended their 24-game losing streak with an 81-63 win over the Mike Pero Nelson Giants.
Hawks captain Everard Bartlett led the way with 19 points, forward Joshua Fox added 15 and seven rebounds, and Greg Fiorentinos had 15 off the bench.
June 21, 2015 was the last time the Hawks had a win, but today hopefully a winning streak will begin for them who showed a great deal of hustle to finally get on the board. One person who will be relieved to remove the monkey off her back is Hawks coach Kirsten Daly who will be impressed with her sides defensive effort which restricted the Giants to 63 points on 37% shooting.
The Hawks also welcomed American centre Amir Williams who although didn’t produce much of a stat line brought presence on the inside.
It was another disappointing effort from the Giants who today only got good production from Dion Prewster who had 25 points. Lack of depth in the forwards came to the fore today when their centre Curtis Washington battled with foul trouble, playing only 17 minutes.
Finn Delany and Kyle Adnan were the only other Giant players to reach over double-digit points, but Delany struggled from the field shooting 4/16 while Adnan struggled to find a rhythm with taller opponent Jarrod Kenny making it difficult.
Off the bat, you could feel this was a different Hawks team when they opened the game with four straight points from Fox including an emphatic dunk, followed by a three from Tony Tolovae and then a bucket from Johnson which gave the home side a 9-2 lead to begin the game and a 20-13 lead after the first quarter. The Hawks were not going to let the game slip from them winning each of the next three quarters.
The Hawks will try to bring this momentum in when they play at home game again against the SIT Zerofees Sharks who will be coming off a game the night before against the Wellington Saints.
Nelson now slump to 0-5 and have a lot to ponder as the schedule won’t be easier when they travel on the road next week to play against the James Blond Supercity Rangers and Taranaki Mountainairs on Saturday night then Sunday afternoon.
A special mention to Referee Dallas Pickering who officiated his 400th NBL game today. Pickering began his career in 1994 and currently holds the most ever finals officiated (15) and is one of only two referees to have officiated over 400 games joining Stan Battock who 1982-2004 officiated 460 games.
Sunday, April 9
At Pettigrew Green Arena, Taradale
Taylor Hawks 81 (Everard Bartlett 19, Joshua Fox 15, Greg Fiorentinos 15)
Mike Pero Nelson Giants 63 (Dion Prewster 25, Kyle Adnan 11, Finn Delany 10)