The Taylor Hawks end their seven game losing with a 85-73 win over the Taranaki Mountainairs.
Amir Williams led all scorers with 23 points, Jarrod Kenny added 17 points/seven assists, and Everard Bartlett had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks who move to 4-13.
The visitors got off to a hot start, hitting 15 of their first 21 field goals, building a 41-22 lead in the second quarter. A 10-0 run by the Airs, put them within seven at halftime.
After the break, Taranaki closed to within four, but the Hawks extended their buffer to double-digits heading into the fourth. A strong start to the fourth quarter, pushed the Hawks lead up to 21 points with four minutes remaining, a late run by the home side managed to make the score line semi-respectable.
It was the final game of the season for the Airs, who finish with a 4-14 record, four wins below their record last season. Tylor Ongwae had 17 points, and Alonzo Burton was the only other notable scorer with 10.
Taranaki are likely to finish at the bottom of the table, but will avoid this if the Giants win and the Hawks lose their last games because then they will finish with the same record as the Hawks, and because they beat them twice out of three they will hold the tiebreaker.
If all three teams finish the season at 4-14 then it will go to points differential between them because all three have the same amount of wins when the games played between them. The Hawks will finish fifth (+37), the Giants sixth (-15) and the Airs last (-20).
The last scenario is if the Hawks and the Giants both end the season with wins, then the Hawks will finish fifth because they hold the tiebreak over the Giants.
Tomorrow, the James Blond Supercity Rangers will host the Canterbury Rams, the winner will claim third spot. Nelson will try to play spoilers tomorrow when they host the 17-0 Saints.
Friday, June 9
At TSB Stadium, New Plymouth
Taranaki Mountainairs 73 (Tylor Ongwae 17, Alonzo Burton 10)
Taylor Hawks 85 (Amir Williams 23, Jarrod Kenny 17, Everard Bartlett 16)