AFTER suffering defeat at the hands of Franklin Bulls over the weekend, Southland Sharks bounced back in comprehensive fashion, taking care of the Manawatu Jets by 19 points. The Sharks dominated the first term to race out to a 17-goal lead, and whilst at times the Jets put up some resistance, ultimately they were never in the hunt, as the visitors took care of business on the road at Fly Palmy Central Energy Trust Arena to come away with the 97-78 victory.
MANAWATU JETS 14 | 19 | 18 | 27 (78)
SOUTHLAND SHARKS 31 | 17 | 28 | 21 (97)
At one stage the Jets lead 5-4 after Pafe Momoisea converted the And-One to give the home side the lead. An immediate response two seconds later from Dom Kelman-Poto was symbolic of the game as the Sharks just had the answers. They would go on to score 19 of the next 21 points, as Mojave King, Alonzo Burton and Romaro Gill went to work. Despite a couple of late baskets from Nathaniel Salmon and a triple from Isaac Faamausili, the Jets still trailed by 17 at the first break.
The Jets put up more of a fight in the second term as they would get the deficit back to as little as 11 points at one stage, but the strength and depth of talent on the Sharks’ roster proved too much. A third term of 28 points to 18 put a full stop on the result, with the margin blowing out to 25. That lead would continue to grow beyond 30 points, until the likes of Petelo Leaupepe and Tukaha Cooper stepped up and did their best to aid in the Jets scoring 13 of the last 15 points and finishing the match 19 points behind their opponents.
Southland Sharks largely dominated the stats sheet, with more assists (22-15), steals (11-6), points in teh paint (46-36) and less turnovers (11-17). The latter ensured they also capitalised off those Jets mistakes, scoring 15-8. The Sharks only had the one more rebound than the Jets, but shot at a higher clip, with 45 per cent from the field compared to the Jets’ 41 per cent, with 50 and 38 per cent efficiencies from the two and three-point ranges. The Jets did have more success at the charity stripe (77 to 76 per cent) though the marginal advantage mattered little when the Sharks got to the line for eight more chances.
King would have another big game coming off the bench. The NBA hopeful scored 16 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals in 23 minutes of action, pairing well with Burton (20 points, six rebounds) and Gill (14 points, nine rebounds). Kelman-Poto only had the nine points, but still managed the five rebounds and four assists in the Sharks’ win. For the Jets, the two highest scorers came off the bench, with Cooper (15 points, five rebounds) playing 20 minutes, whilst Faamausili (12 points, six rebounds) spent just 17 minutes on court. Jake Collis came close to a double-double of eight points and 11 rebounds, with the bench contribution 53 of the team’s 78 points.
Both these sides have a relative quick turnaround, with Southland Sharks hosting Hawke’s Bay Hawks at ILT Stadium on Thursday night, whilst the Manawatu Jets tackle Canterbury Rams at Fly Palmy Arena again, this time on Friday.