American point guard Hunter Hale has turned in a stunning performance to help his Mike Pero Nelson Giants sink the Jack Salt-less Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams with a 91-79 win to start a gruelling weekend for the Mike Fitchett led team.
Coming off a tough couple of weeks on the road, where they grabbed one win from four games on the North Island, the Giants finally returned to the Trafalgar Centre and didn't disappoint a vocal Thursday night crowd.
Hale was the master, landing 34 points across the first three quarters, before finishing with 37 points , 6 rebounds and a game-high 6 steals. His ability to constantly create and deliver was impressive, and was backed by a very efficient 19 points at 80% from Donte Ingram.
No doubt pleasing for Coach Fitchett would have been the form of Tom Ingham (15 points) and the constant defensive efforts of captain Sam Dempster.
Off the back of some hot shooting through the middle stages, the Giants led by as much as 24 points at one stage, leaving Rams duo EJ Singler (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Deshon Taylor (19 points) to try and find a way to get their team back into the contest.
Though they mounted a number of challenges in the second half, the margin never returned to single digits with the Giants celebrating a much-needed victory.
The Rams now return home for a Staurday night clash with the EnviroNZ Franklin Bulls, who likewise find themselves coming off a loss, while teh Giants venture further south to battle with teh Go Media Otago Nuggets and SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks.
Nelson Giants (91) defeated Canterbury Rams (79) - BOXSCORE
Giants: Hunter Hale 37pts & 6stls, Donte Ingram 19pts, Tom Ingham 15pts
Rams: Deshon Taylor 19pts, EJ Singler 18pts, Alex Talma 14pts
Stuff MVP Votes
Hunter Hale (Giants) 10
Donte Ingram (Giants) 8
EJ Singler (Rams) 6
Tom Ingham (Giants) 4
Deshon Taylor (Rams) 1
Alex Talma (Rams) 1
(Photo Credit: PhotosportNZ)