Jets too strong for winless Waikato Pistons

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 20:59 25/05/2013
Jeremiah Trueman
Photosport
WILLING CONTEST: Manawatu Jets' Jeremiah Trueman goes up against Waikato Pistons' Zach Atkinson.

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The Waikato Pistons are still seeking their breakthrough victory of the 2013 National Basketball League season.

The hosts went down 89-75 to the Manawatu Jets in Hamilton, their seventh consecutive defeat since rejoining the competition this year after sitting out the previous campaign.

The Pistons suffered a 97-71 hammering the previous night against the Taranaki Mountain Airs in New Plymouth.

The hosts have struggled from the outset this season but stayed with the Jets early until the visitors began to knock down their outside shots. 

That coincided with a swag of offensive attempts from the Pistons not finding the target as they shot just five of 24 from the field to trail 21-11 at the end of the first quarter.

Manawatu extended that lead early in the second quarter until a couple of baskets from point guard Tai Webster driving to the hoop saw the deficit reduced to 10 at halftime at 40-30.

That was reduced further to just six within the first minute of the second half but Jets import guard Chris Hagan struck back with a lay-up and free throw, and shortly after knocked down back-to-back threes to help his team regain ascendancy.

Small forward Marcel Jones then revealed his class in the latter stages of the third quarter, both close to the hoop and from deep, to give the Jets an insurmountable 74-49 lead with 10 minutes left.

The Pistons showed spirit in the final quarter but were never a chance to break their duck.

The Jets' big three of Jones (23 points and 12 rebounds), Hagan (26 points and nine assists) and centre Nick Horvath (17 rebounds and 15 points) proved dominant figures for the victors.

Webster and imported centre Zack Atkinson each had 21 points while Atkinson added 16 ball-boards while imported small forward Garrius Holloman contributed 15 points.

Manawatu Jets 89 (Chris Hagan 26, Marcel Jones 23, Nick Horvath 15) Waikato Pistons 75 (Tai Webster 21, Zack Atkinson 21, Garrius Holloman 15). 1Q: 21-11, HT: 40-30, 3Q: 74-49

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