Dominant Hawks Warm Up For Final Four

The Taylor Hawke’s Bay Hawks warmed up for the Final Four with a convincing 100-74 win in the penultimate round of the SalsNBL against the Taranaki Steelformers Mountainairs at Pettigrew Green Arena.

It was one-way traffic after a close opening five minutes as the Hawks showed off all their skills to dominate an Airs outfit that has little left to play for.

The home side had contributions from a number of players – Devondrick Walker led scoring with 20 points while Hyrum Harris, Jordan Hunt, Ethan Rusbatch and Jarrod Kenny all hit double figures.

After a competitive opening five minutes, mid-way through the first quarter the Airs lost their shot and they couldn’t buy a basket as the Hawks opened up a 16-point lead after the first 10 minutes of the game.

It was more of the same in the second quarter as the home side brought up 50 points with more than a minute and a half of the first half remaining.

They carried a 50-32 advantage into the second half.

The Airs weren’t much better after halftime while the Hawks ran an open scrimmage as they worked on things ahead of the games that really count in the coming fortnight.

Coach Jacob Chance went to his bench with just over five minutes remaining and took some key starters out.

Captain Rusbatch hit a long-range three on the buzzer to rack up 100 points on the night.


Hawke’s Bay Hawks 100 defeated Taranaki Mountainairs 75 - BOXSCORE

Hawks: Devondrick Walker 20 points, 7 rebounds & 5 assists, Jordan Hunt 14pts & 8 rebounds, Jarrod Kenny 14 pts & 6 assists.

Airs: Marcel Jones 24 points & 7 rebounds, Tai Wynyard 17 points & 5 rebounds, Haize Walker 12 points & 3 assists


Game Highlights

  1. The Hawks looked after Airs big man Tai Wynyard pretty well in an encouraging sign ahead of the business end of the season. There has been a question mark over their ability to contain a dominant inside threat but they kept the Tall Blacks star in check.
  2. Otago Nuggets fans will be hoping the Airs bounce back quickly and put up a better showing at on Sunday when they head to Auckland to play the Huskies. The Nuggets are battling the Huskies for the last Final Four spot.
  3. Marcel Jones led all scorers with 24 points but the veteran SalsNBL player didn’t have as much of an impact on the game as one would expect. He finished with -25 on +/- minutes.


Stuff MVP Votes

Devondrick Walker (Hawks) - 10

Marcel Jones (Airs) - 6

Jarrod Kenny (Hawks) - 6

Hyrum Harris (Hawks) - 4

Jordan Hunt (Hawks) - 2

Tai Wynyard (Airs) - 2


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