The Taylor Hawks have suffered a heart breaking 76-75 loss to the Taranaki Moutainairs extending their losing streak to 23
The Hawks looked like they were going to get their first win since June 21, 2015 when Tony Tolovae hit a three in the corner to give his side a 72-71 lead with under a minute to go, but Taranaki point guard Houston O’Riley would be fouled by Tolovae and would convert one from two to tie the scores.
Tolovae would quickly go from hero to zero on the next possession as he tried to break his defender down one on one at the top of the key which then led to a turnover and a break away basket from Brad Anderson to put the visitors up two.
Unfortunately, on the ensuing possession the Hawks made a good play which gave forward Joshua Fox an easy lay in, but it would roll out, forcing them to foul Airs forward Tylor Ongwae who would make it a two-possession ball game with both made free throws.
A bank three-pointer by Everard Bartlett would close the game to within one but it would be not enough as the Airs move back up to .500 with their second win of the season.
It would be an ugly fourth quarter from the Hawks, managing only eight points to the Airs 15. Ongwae led Taranaki again with 21 points, centre Daniel Gomis added a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds, and former Hawk Alonzo Burton added 13.
Everard Bartlett scored a team high 21 points, but struggled from the field shooting 6/17. Forward, Greg Fiorentinos added 12 points and 13 rebounds, and both Foz and Darryl Jones each added 10 off the bench.
Jarrod Kenny joined the Hawks for the first time this season and gave his side much needed stability at the point guard position dishing out seven assists and grabbing seven rebounds. Kenny ended up playing 37 minutes but struggled from the field with six points on 1/7 shooting.
The Hawks will have another chance to end their losing streak at home to the Wellington Saints next Saturday night. Taranaki will try to win their first home game of the season when they play the SIT Zerofees Sharks next Friday night.
Sunday, March 26
At Pettigrew Green Arena, Taradale
Taylor Hawks 75 (Everard Bartlett 21, Greg Fiorentinos 12, Darryl Jones 10, Joshua Fox 10)
Taranaki Mountainairs 76 (Tylor Ongwae 21, Alonzo Burton 13, Daniel Gomis 13)