The Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams have slipped 91 -76 to the Hawkes Bay Hawks after a bruising encounter at Cowles Stadium in Christchurch.
From the tip, the home side was put under the pump by a hot out of towners side, not helped by a slow start on both ends of the court, the Rams succumbing to an early 10-2 run.
The Rams also found themselves in foul trouble early with youngster Max Darling the main culprit, and offering the Hawks free looks from the charity stripe early in the first quarter.
Taylor Britt provided some much-needed hustle from the bench to bring the team within three points despite shooting only 33%.
Rams forward Julian Williams-Washburn came out in the second quarter firing, scoring early in the quarter to tie up the ball game.
Williams-Washburn said after the game, the visitors just had a bit more hustle.
“I feel like they beat us to the fifty-fifty balls. If we were to have put in a little bit more effort to get those fifty-fifty balls, and running guys off the three point line we could of won this game for sure.”
He also added it’s not something the team will think about too much.
“It’s a learning experience. We’ll play these guys again, and we’ll be ready.”
Hawke’s Bay ever consistent kept the pace of the game fast, were able to blow the lead out to 11 points.
The end of a physical quarter saw the boys down 35-43 at the half.
The second half brought an electric start, with both teams putting up quick points, with the Rams eventually tying the game up midway through the quarter.
Rams re-jigged their defensive effort and opened with two big block from Winston Shepard.
The real damage done though when former Rams guard Ethan Rusbatch knocked down three 3’s for the visitors as they managed to turn the momentum the way of the Bay boys and stretch their lead.
The Hawke’s Bay Hawks kept their momentum throughout the fourth to push of their lead to thirteen at one stage, before claiming the away victory 91-76.
Full stats run-down here: http://www.fibalivestats.com/u/NZN/843323/index.html
Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams 76 (Williams-Washburn 24, Shepard 18) Taylor Hawke’s Bay Hawks 91 (Rusbatch 22, Brandt 20)
Photo credit: Photo Sport