Jets down Sharks to continue strong form

THE Manuwatu Jets have kept on their roll in the New Zealand National Basketball League, downing the Southland Sharks to the tune of nine points at ILT Stadium Southland on Sunday evening.

The Sharks put in a reasonable performance, given they were not expected to win this game by any means as they currently sit at the bottom of the standings. However, the Jets proved slightly better when the game was there to be won, moving to eighth spot, just one win away from fifth.

As he has done plenty of times throughout the season, Robert Crawford led the way for the Jets on the offensive end, delivering a game-high 23 points. While he might not have nailed all of his shots, Crawford was the most damaging player with ball in hand. Shane Temara and Zane Najdawi poured in 14 points of their own, while John Bohannon was a monster on the boards with 23 rebounds to go with 12 points and seven assists.

The Sharks still performed quite admirably, delivering one of their best showings of season 2022 despite the result. Alonzo Burton, Mojave King and Winston Shepard III all recorded 15 points each, in a promising and balanced display of offence.

Southland stamped its intentions from the first term, jumping out to an early lead and sending a message to the opposition. However, the Jets fought back as expected, and their work inside the paint was what really sparked this. At the first change of play, proceedings were tied as the game looked to be shaping up as an arm-wrestle.

The Sharks looked to retake the lead at the start of the second term, with some baskets from inside and outside the paint helping do so. Manuwatu was able to keep up, and ensured the opposition never got more than five points ahead. The Jets rallied behind its starters to close out the half, and led by two points at the main break.

Quarter number three was where the Jets really began to put the foot down, as they jumped out to a strong lead on the scoreboard. Crawford, Bohannon and Najdawi all found their rhythm, and the lead ballooned out to double-digits. Southland could not keep up offensively, and trailed by a whopping 15 heading into the fourth.

The last quarter saw the Jets jump out to an even bigger lead, up 21 a few minutes into the term. The result was just about sealed at this point, and while the Sharks managed to rally in the closing stages, it was all too late. Manuwatu claimed a nice nine-point triumph in the end, as it looks to push into the top portion of the ladder over the coming weeks.

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