Bulls charge on with win over Jets

The EnviroNZ Franklin Bulls made it four wins on the bounce with an 83-72 win against Property Brokers See Me Media Manawatu Jets on Saturday evening at The Trusts Arena.

It was a victory that delighted the enthusiastic home supporters, who surely will return in big numbers for the remaining Bulls fixtures.

It was a balanced performance from the Bulls with five players in double figures. Sam Timmins posted 17 points and eight rebounds, Dom Kelman-Poto corralled seven rebounds to go with 15 points and veteran Everard Bartlett scored 13.

For the Jets, Jayden Bezzant led all scorers with 20 points (7/13FG), Taane Samuels had 17 points and Ashton McQueen 13. Tom Vodanovich pulled down 12 rebounds but registered only eight points.

Manawatu was dealt a blow before tip-off with the scratching of Hyrum Harris, who sustained a hip injury against the Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams on Wednesday.

Haize Walker replaced Harris in the Jets starting line-up, but it was the Bulls in the ascendancy at the first break leading 25-17 – six points apiece for Nikau McCullough (11 points) and Timmins.

The Jets were struggling to make baskets and Jets Head Coach Tim McTamney showed his frustration by picking up a technical foul. McQueen made back-to-back threes to improve his coach’s mood, but his team were still six adrift at the mid-point of the period.

It was the Bulls shooting that then turned cool before Isaac Davidson (10 points) and Timmins made scores. Samuels was enjoying a good half, a couple of baskets just before the break meant he led all scorers at halftime (15 points) and the Jets deficit was only four points (41-37).

Ill-discipline was threatening to disrupt Manawatu's progress, after an unsportsmanlike foul was followed with Bartlett scoring five straight points to give the Bulls a 61-49 lead.

Kelman-Poto and Bezzant exchanged threes at the end of the third – the Bulls 70-55 ahead at the end of the quarter.

A Timmins put-back dunk early in the fourth had the large Bulls following on their feet, but they went quiet when Nick Fee scored a pair of threes and Bezzant added another.

The Jets deficit was down to eight points (76-68) with five minutes to play but soon after their chances were dealt a major blow as Vodanovich was ejected after picking up his second technical foul.

It was one set-back too many for the Jets.


 Final score:

  • Jets 72 – Bezzant (20pts), Samuels (17pts/8rbs), Vodanovich (8pts/12rbs)
  • Bulls 83 – (Timmins 17pts/8r), Kelman-Poto (15pts/7rbs), McCullough (11pts, 6rbs & 3ast)


Talking Points

  1. Centre Sam Timmins has improved with every outing for the Bulls. The big man had a huge influence on proceedings (17 points and 8 rebounds) but wasn’t quite at his best shooting 7 from 20 (35%) from the field.
  2. The Manawatu wins have been built around the scoring prowess of Vodanovich, Samuels, Bezzant and Harris. Could the Bulls do anything to stop the quartet? They did a pretty good containment job on all three which contributed hugely to the victory.
  3. How would the Jets manage without Hyrum Harris - the small forward was averaging 14 points, 13 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. You can’t replace those numbers easily but McQueen (13 points), Walker (9 rebounds and 5 assists) along with Bezzant and Samuels tried manfully to fill the void.

Sky City MVP Votes: 

Jayden Bezzant (Jets-8), Nikau McCullough (Bulls-7), Dom Kelman-Poto (Bulls-5), Sam Timmins (Bulls-5), Taane Samuel (Jets-3), Ashton McQueen (Jets-1), Connor Woodbridge (Bulls-1).


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