Giants Win Thriller Over Hawks

The Mike Pero Nelson Giants exacted some revenge on the Hawke's Bay Taylor Hawks on Saturday night with a nail-biting 112-109 victory at the Trafalgar Centre. 

Hunter hale exploded for 41 points in a game with as many lead changes as people in the sold out home of the Giants (a lot). Sam Dempster lead the way in the first half, draining 16 points as the Hawks defence was concentrated on imports Hale and Donte Ingram. At the other end it was Hyrum Harris who did the damage for the men in white, driving strongly to the hoop with virtually no one able to stop him. In fact, no one could really stop anyone in a night where the offense was as potent as the defence was ineffective. The Giants were 9-14 from beyond the arc in the first half, with the Hawks 7-15.

With a 6 point lead entering the third quarter, the Giants couldn't put the Hawks to bed as Devondrick Walker and Harris kept punishing the defence. Hale got his in the second half, and when Ethan Rusbatch started to heat up for the Hawks, the signs could have been perceived as worrying for the Giants. However, the Giants were cool from the free throw line after the Hawks put them in the bonus with 5 minutes to go, and some big shots from Hale, Nic Trathen, and Donte Ingram down the stretch kept the Hawks just far enough away to seal a win in front of a rapturous Trafalgar Centre crowd. 

The Hawks head to Canterbury on Sunday, while the Giants stay at home for a Thursday night game against the Jets


Nelson Giants (112) defeated Hawke's Bay Hawks (109) - BOXSCORE

Giants: Hunter Hale (41pts, 7ast), Sam Dempster (19pts, 5rbs, 7-10fg), Tom Ingham (17pts, 6-9fg)

Hawks: Hyrum Harris (25pts, 11-13fg, 8rbs), Devondrick Walker (25pts, 5ast, 8-15fg), Ethan Rusbatch (23pts, 8-13fg, 6rbs)


Game Highlights

  • Some unreal percentages on display at the Trafalgar Centre tonight. The Giants shot 60% from the floor, and 58% from beyond the arc. The Hawks went off for 63% from the floor, and 45% from downtown.
  • Sweet sweet revenge. The Giants, after losing on the buzzer in Napier earlier in the season, will relish the closeness of the victory tonight. 
  • Ethan Rusbatch is back. After a quiet start to the season and few injuries nursed, the Tall Blacks sharpshooter is starting to look like himself again. He kept the Hawks in this one in the the second half, and long may that sweet sweet shooting stroke continue.


Stuff MVP Votes

Hunter Hale 10pts

Hyrum Harris 7pts

Ethan Rusbatch 6pts

Sam Dempster 5pts

Tom Ingham 1pt

Devondrick Walker 1pt 


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