Heart but No Wins for Fighting Airs

19068447649_d2c86a8067The Airs’ season ends winless but with huge heart.

As the season ends for the Augusta Taranaki MountainAirs the records are mounting even though  win eluded them.

On Sunday night the Airs came out fighting and gave their home crowd an awesome end to the season.  Aaron Fuller played an outstanding game breaking the NBL record scoring 54 points in a game and pulling in 19 rebounds.

“It feels good to take the record but it would have been a lot sweeter to finish the season with a win.  Individually it is kind of good but I would have rather got a win with the team to be honest,” said Fuller.

“Tonight’s game felt pretty good until we made a mistake and didn’t go into overtime.  It would have been better to have a win but I mean we had some injuries.  We just kept fighting and I’m proud of our guys in how we finished the season.  We just didn’t lay down and give up but we kept fighting.”

The Airs challenged the Super City Rangers the entire game with the lead changing 12 times.  The Rangers jumped ahead 14 points with the Airs’ determination pulling them back in to the game.

With import Chris Hagan out with injury Houston O’Riley stepped in to help adding 11 points, five turnovers, one steal and three assists.

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Airs Suffer Heavy Defeat

IMG_2739A win still evades the Augusta Taranaki MountainAirs as they went down heavily to the Canterbury Rams in New Plymouth last night 106 – 68.

Coach Daryn Shaw said it is a constant struggle to keep the team motivated.

“We just had no energy tonight.  We were just flat.  We found it hard to get into a rhythm.  We just couldn’t combat their size and their zones.”

The highlight of the game was an outstanding performance by Xavier Shaw with the game high of 18 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal and three turnovers.

“It felt good.  I just tried to bring some energy off the bench.  I tried to lift the intensity on the court.  It was good that my shots were able to fall and it got my confidence up which was good.

“Stats wise it was probably my best game yet.  I just go out there and play as hard as I can.  That is all I can do.”

Quintin Bailey also made the most of his 13 minutes of game time adding six points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one turnover.

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Airs come off second in scrappy battle with Rangers

IMG_7592The Augusta Taranaki Mountainairs attacked the James Blond Supercity Rangers head on in front of a home crowd last night at the TSB Stadium in New Plymouth.

In a battle that resembled a rugby game more than a basketball game, bodies were sent flying and at one stage were even stacked up as Rangers’ Reuben Te Rangi flattened Airs’ Derek Albertson.

“On the score sheet we don’t have the biggest line ups and don’t have the biggest names.  You look at that team.  Anyone of their players can be in the starting five in the country really.  We always look to come out and take everybody by surprise and work our arses off.  I think we did a pretty good job,” said Albertson.

“We have to take positives out of everything.  We only lost to them by 2 last time.  We are a young inexperienced team and we are still growing.”

During most of the first quarter the Airs were matching the Rangers.  Airs’ Brad Anderson was shooting well from deep while both Aaron Fuller and Dyson King-Hawea had a strong game on defence as well as attack. 

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Jets leave Airs still searching for their first win

Photo by Ken Davies
Photo by Ken Davies

The Augusta Taranaki Mountain Airs’ typical hard-grinding game play rattled the Manawatu Jets in New Plymouth on Saturday night.

Unfortunately for the Airs the 108 – 96 loss means they remain without a win so far this season leaving Coach Daryn Shaw to head back to the drawing board.

“The effort is certainly there but it is just being consistent as a team.  We have our defensive principals.  We don’t want to be beaten to the middle.  Some people drive to the middle.  We want to force them to the side line or the base line.  I know they are trying to do it but it’s just the lapses.  We just need to be more consistent.  We have to find a way to be more consistent and not patchy.”

Assistant Coach Willie Banks added “We have to have the energy on defence that we have on offence.”

The Airs took 33 rebounds with the Jets 35 and the Airs had 22 points off the bench whereas the Jets had 33.

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Nelson Giants blast Augusta Mountainairs

Lachie Fenwick shoots over Ali Granger Photo - Ken Davies
Lachie Fenwick shoots over Ali Granger
Photo – Ken Davies

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.

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Hawks win battle over the Airs

Photo by Ken Davies
Photo by Ken Davies

The Augusta Taranaki Mountain Airs battled hard against the Hawkes Bay Hawks at the TSB stadium in New Plymouth last night.

Airs Aaron Bailey-Nowell and Brad Anderson both showed great leadership and commitment as each team battled for the lead.

The lead changed 13 times and was tied a further seven in the tightly contested game.  The Hawks came out the victor 118 – 90 in the final minutes of the game.

Captain Aaron Bailey-Nowell said he found the loss frustrating.

“It is the same things that have been haunting us over these 5 loses that we have had.  It’s the execution down the stretch and playing defence.

“I thought Sulieman showed why he’s the all star 5 in the MVP.  He really took over the game but we could have stepped up as a team defensively.  Another one down and we just have to go back to the drawing board.”

“It felt like a really tight game.  I thought it could have got away on us a couple of times.  They pulled out to a double digital lead at one stage.  So showing true fight we know how to fight back but it’s just getting over the hump and getting the win.

“I always try and lead by example and hope that it rubs off on the guys.  It’s a game of 40 minutes.  We showed that we are right there but we can’t get over the hump.”

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