Day: March 21, 2016

Basketball: Hawks still chasing first victory

Basketball: Hawks still chasing first victory

Hawks guard Matt Te Huna drives as Giants captain Sam Dempster (left) and teammate Finn Delany try to crowd him out at the PG Arena, Taradale, in Napier, today. PHOTO/Duncan Brown
Hawks guard Matt Te Huna drives as Giants captain Sam Dempster (left) and teammate Finn Delany try to crowd him out at the PG Arena, Taradale, in Napier, today. PHOTO/Duncan Brown

By Anendra Singh

A remarkable third-quarter fightback wasn’t enough as the Hawks went down to the Nelson Giants in Napier today.

The Indigo-sponsored Hawke’s Bay franchise sluggish start in the scoring department and lack of intensity on defence against the Mike Pero Giants in the first half of their Bartercard National Basketball League (NBL) match made the difference in the 91-80 loss.

The Hawks are win-less after two matches but Nelson were delighted to claim two from two on the road.

Nelson’s US import, Ray Cowells III, had his radar switched on, scoring a game-high 27 points with Ben Strong adding 19 points and four assists and veteran Phill Jones 18 points and five assists.

Giants skipper Sam Dempster claimed 12 rebounds and six assists while Finn Delany chimed in with 15 points and five rebounds to reflect the side’s versatility.

For the Hawks, US import Kareem Johnson scored a team-high 16 points while veteran forward Arthur Trousdell added 15 points and colleceted seven rebounds.

Guards Luke Aston, Matt Te Huna and William Stinnett contributed 12 points each while US import and co-skipper Chris Porter scored seven points and collected six rebounds.

Te Huna also led the assists department for the hosts with six.

1st quarter:

At the half way mark of the first 10 minutes, the visitors were up 13-5 at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale, as the hosts again found the rim spurning their advances.

On the other hand, the Giants, fresh from a 102-98 victory over the James Blond Supercity Rangers in Auckland on Saturday, were dropping bombs regularly through Delany, Jones and Cowells III.

The Kirstin Daly-Taylor coached-Hawks seemed to find some fluidity when Guam pair Stinnett and Joe Blas came on as guards off the bench.

2nd quarter:

About five minutes into the next quarter Nelson increased the pressure on the Hawks, widening the gulf to 40-24 as their bench were on their feet applauding the effort of their teammates on the floor.

Daly-Taylor rolled on her bench players, including Wilfred Dickson for a 3:19 stint.

The spell ended 54-32 (31-16) in favour of the Tim Fanning-coached Giants.

Cowells III and Jones spearheaded the attack for the Giants with 14 points each while Delany chimed in with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Import Strong added eight and Ali Granger six.

 

Dempster led the rebound department with seven, four defensively.

For the Hawks, Johnson came off the bench to score 10 points while Porter contributed six points and three off the board.

Stinnett added five and so did guard Te Huna.

3rd quarter:

Whatever Daly-Taylor said in the locker room at halftime must have worked as the Hawks led 17-15 in the third spell.

Hawks guard Aston dropped one early from downtown to spur on the boys as well as the half-full arena who were making the most of the gold-coin entry for the entire season on home games.

That quarter went to the hosts, 29-22 (76-61), with Stinnett leading the charge on 12 points after 11 minutes of floor time and a three-pointer to boot.

Te Huna came to the party with 10 points and four assists while Blas had two assists.

Johnson scored 10 points but made his presence felt with some solid screens for others to have a good look at the rims.

Aston joined Porter on seven points each although the import forward doubled his rebounding to six.

For the Giants, Cowells III cantered to 23 points with Jones adding 18.

Delany was on 13 and five rebounds while Dempster had nine rebounds and four assists.

Strong added 13 to the collective.

4th quarter:

Down 89-75, the Hawks kept the pressure on Nelson, who fell foul of the shot clock twice in the final quarter.

Aston was fouled out with 25 seconds remaining on the clock to epitomise the body-on-the-line attitude to defence as the Hawks still lagged 91-80.

The score stood when Cowells III counted down the last three seconds as lethargic players froze to watch the electronic clock.

The Hawks won that spell 19-15 but lost the game.

Basketball: It all boils down to big D

Basketball: It all boils down to big D

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Hawks guard Luke Aston lunges for a lay up as teammate Kareem Johnson shields against Giants import Ben Strong (left) and Ray Cowells III in Napier yesterday. Photo / Duncan Brown

By Anendra Singh

Dissect a game any way you want but, it seems, in basketball it’s almost impossible to go past the “D”.

That post mortem from the Indigo Hawks’ 91-80 defeat to the Mike Pero Nelson Giants in Napier yesterday is a classic example.

“It’s just a matter of taking ownership of the defence and just playing defence so it’s just our guys needing to work together,” said Hawks guard Luke Aston, who exemplified a collective steely resolve from the hosts at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale, in their second Bartercard National Basketball League match.

“We just have to do it all the time. It can’t just be a sometimes thing so it’s got to be every play,” Aston stressed, after the Hawks had a laboured start that saw them trail 23-16 in the first quarter before that gulf ballooned to a 22-point one at halftime, 54-32 (31-16).

The pep talk from coach Kirstin Daly-Taylor appeared to have struck a chord with co-captains Aidan Daly and Chris Porter and their troops who delivered a resounding third spell of 29-22 (76-61) and nutted it out for 19-15 returns in the final quarter.

“I think it’s all about putting four quarters together so that’s all we need to work on,” said Aston, reflecting on two games where they didn’t start with the desired sense of urgency.

The Hawks remain winless in their NBL while the Tim Fanning-coached Nelson claimed two victories on the road, beating the James Blond Supercity Rangers 102-98 in Auckland the night before.

Offensively, Aston put the Hawks’ start down to “just a basketball thing”.

“We scored 80 points so I don’t think our offence is the problem but it’s our defence so once we can do that we’ll be okay,” he said, also of the belief that if the shots dropped then that would negate any suggestions the ball needed to be moved around the court a bit more.

Nelson’s import, Ray Cowells III, scored a game-high 27 points with Ben Strong adding 19 points and four assists while veteran Phill Jones chimed in with 18 points and five assists.

Giants skipper Sam Dempster claimed 12 rebounds and six assists while Finn Delany injected 15 points and five rebounds to reflect the side’s versatility.

For the Hawks, US import Kareem Johnson scored a team-high 16 points while veteran forward Arthur Trousdell added 15 points and collected seven rebounds.

Aston, Matt Te Huna and William Stinnett (14:29 off the bench) contributed 12 points each while Porter delivered seven points and collected six rebounds.

Te Huna also led the assists department for the hosts with six but had the most of court time (33:34 minutes) with Trousdell next on 32:01.

Forward Darryl Jones, guard Alonzo Burton and point guard Mataeus Marsh didn’t play for the Hawks because of niggly injuries but he said they should be back for the next game on Thursday when the Hawks host SIT Zerofees Southland Sharks at the PG Arena in a 7pm tip off.

Dempster was delighted to have nailed two victories on the road.

“We’ve got a good team. We like to pride ourselves as a team that plays together so we know what our role is and what we like to do,” he said, adding they were lucky to have the services of former Tall Black Jones.

“The Hawks had a slow start but we always knew they were going to come back at us so they fought hard but we were lucky enough to hold them off.”

Dempster said they didn’t intend to drop their intensity in the second half but the combination of lethargy and the Hawks’ resurgence had caught them on the hop.

“We have no excuses. They came out hard at us in the second half and caught us off guard in the third [quarter] so we’ll try to learn from that and clean it up,” he said.