The James Blond Supercity Rangers have overcome a 22-point deficit to defeat the Taranaki Mountainairs 65-62.
It was evident that both teams were coming off games on Friday night as each team shot in the low thirties.
Mitch McCarron had a double-double of 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Lindsay Tait tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Rangers who will pleased to be 3-1 to start the season without key personnel to join their roster.
Taranaki should feel gutted not to have got the win this afternoon and showed a lot of fight after they lost their American centre, Daniel Gomis with a suspected fractured hand only playing seven minutes. The Rangers took advantage in the second quarter when Taranaki’s leading scorer Tylor Ongwae had to be benched after committing his third foul to cut the 22-point lead to only seven at halftime.
The second half was not pretty as both teams were sloppy offensively and in the end the difference was possibly three throw shooting. The Rangers making key ones down the stretch, ending the game shooting 14/19, whilst the Airs were poor at 10/20.
Ongwae scored a team high 14 points and Houston O’Riley had 12 for Taranaki who drop to 3-2 and also lose the all-important tiebreaker against the Rangers.
Taranaki will hopefully have a positive prognosis on the injury status of Daniel Gomis, but it will be a short turnaround for the franchise as they will host the 4-0 Wellington Saints on Thursday night.
Meanwhile the Rangers should have Guam small forward Earnest Ross to make his first appearance against the SIT Zerofees Sharks next Saturday in Invercargill.
Sunday, April 2
At Trusts Arena, Waitakere
James Blond Supercity Rangers 65 (Mitch McCarron 24, Lindsay Tait 15)
Taranaki Mountainairs 62 (Tylor Ongwae 14, Houston O’Riley 12, Alonzo Burton 10)