Hawks cruise past Jets to move into top four

THE Hawke’s Bay Hawks have furthered their championship hopes in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) season, advancing into fourth spot after taking down the Manawatu Jets to the tune of 37 points at Pettigrew Green Arena on Sunday evening.

HAWKE’S BAY HAWKS 23 | 21 | 28 | 34 (106)
MANAWATU JETS 14 | 17 | 18 | 20 (69)

With the season coming to a close in the next week, ladder position is proving crucial in the dying stages of the season, and the Hawks were given an opportunity to improve theirs with a matchup against a struggling Jets side. They took full advantage of this and produced one of their most dominant showings of the 2022 season. Both sides had a similar number of attempts from the field, but it was the home side that was able to find the bottom of the net more frequently. The Hawks were more efficient from both inside and outside the arc, and it helped them gain an unassailable lead.

Perhaps Hawkes Bay’s biggest strength came in the form of a balanced scoring sheet, with a whopping seven players registering 10 or more points over the course of the game. There was no one player that they had to rely on, which resulted in plenty of easy looks as the Hawks moved the ball across a number of outlets. Ethan Rusbatch and Jordan Hunt led the way with 17 points each, but it was a plethora of Hawks that got involved in the end, and that has often proved to be a winning formula.

John Bohannon was the pick of the bunch for the Jets, recording a double-double (the only player to do so for the match). He dropped an equal team-high 18 points to go with 14 rebounds in a valiant display despite his side trailing on the scoreboard for much of the game. He formed a strong partnership with Shane Temara, who also poured in 18 points and looked dangerous whenever the ball made its way into his hands. He was able to produce buckets from all across the court, even nailing a trio of shots from behind the three-point line.

With a record of nine wins and eight losses, the Hawks now sit inside the top four based solely on percentage. There are just a handful of games left in the season, so the win and subsequent move up on the ladder may prove extremely crucial come season’s end. On the other hand, the Jets remain on the bottom of the table with just five wins coming from 18 outings, and will now be looking towards next season.

Up next, the Hawks will be looking to cement fourth place when they take on the Rams on Saturday afternoon, while the Jets’ 2022 fixture is done and dusted for the year.

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