The top of the NBL table Nelson Giants gave the Taranaki Mountain Airs home crowd a very impressive game on Friday night in New Plymouth.
The Giants controlled the game from start to finish with super defence and impressive shooting to reach a final score 109 – 80. The Airs home crowd was left in no doubt why they have six wins while the Airs struggle to claim their first.
The Augusta Taranaki Mountainairs import Chris Hagan was out with an injury and this left Coach Daryn Shaw struggling the entire game.
“We got a good whipping. Unlike previous games we have always been in them. This game was always going to be difficult and without Chris it just got harder as we rely quite heavily on our import. We had guys trying to initiate our offence who aren’t used to doing it.
“They (Giants) capitalised on the turnovers and got an easy bucket. That doesn’t look good. They are a big athletic team with great defence.”
Nelson’s McKenzie Moore had a super game with fast breaks and slam dunks and was quite often found unmarked. His speed and agility was amazing to watch as he added 33 impressive points to the scoreboard.
He was also responsible for six steals, four rebounds and 12 assists.
Team mates Josh Duinker and DeRonn Scott formed a formidable team with Moore as they scored 29 and 21 points and then there was the veteran Phil Jones who got four steals, five assists and three rebounds while adding 14 points.
The Giants finished the first quarter ahead by 10 which stretched with every quarter to finish ahead by 29. They scored 52 points in the paint, 17 fast break points and had a 35 point biggest lead during the game.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Airs as the young members of the team stepped off the bench.
“Once the game was out of reach I got the bench on and gave them some game time,” said Coach Shaw.
“Lachlan Fenwick certainly can shoot. He is probably our best shooter. Dyson (King-Hawea) is doing well. Aunty (Aaron Bailey-Nowell) is a grinder as always. Xavier (Shaw) did well tonight and now we have to work on getting the right combinations together on the court at the right time.”
King-Hawea had a solid game with 16 points, seven rebounds, one steal and one1 assist. Team mate Lachlan Fenwick only played 7:34 minutes and scored eight points of which two were three pointers.
Shaw was a standout for the Airs showing confidence and determination he tallied 12 points and took four rebounds. Bailey-Nowell played his normal aggressive game scoring 14 points. Aaron Fuller had15 while Brad Anderson had a wobbly game adding 10.
The Airs showed blasts of their usual determined grind it out game we have come to expect with a six point run, but the Giants answered with a timeout and came back fired up even more.
Augusta Taranaki Mountainairs : 80 : Dyson King-Hawea : 16, Aaron Fuller : 15, Aaron Bailey-Nowell : 14, Xavier Shaw : 12
Mike Pero Nelson Giants : 109 : McKenzie Moore : 33, Josh Duinker : 29, DeRonn Scott : 21, Phil Jones : 14