Southland Sharks hope to keep up home form

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 20/06/2013
The Southland Times/Fairfax NZ

Season highlight clip of the Sharks in action.

Brian Conklin
Photosport
STAND OUT: Brian Conklin has been one of the best playing at home this season.

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Tomorrow night the Southland Sharks will play at home for the eighth and final time this year when they host the top-of-the-table Otago Nuggets. Logan Savory looks back at each of the Sharks games in the Invercargill Velodrome this season. 

v SUPER CITY

(Round One)

The Result: Sharks win 93-74

Best Sharks player: Reuben Te Rangi

What happened: The Sharks cut the ribbon on the 2013 season and also kicked-started Paul Henare's time at the helm of the Southland franchise with a pleasing 93-74 win.

After easing their way into the game in the first quarter they made their move winning the third quarter 28-19.

The round one game also gave the Southland Sharks faithful a glimpse of the talents that Reuben Te Rangi possesses when he racked up 22 points, seven rebounds and was generally impressive in his 22 minutes on the court.

v WELLINGTON

(Round Two)

The Result: Sharks lose 83-75

Best Sharks player: Brian Conklin

What happened: It was a bizarre buildup for the Sharks with new recruit Leon Henry joining his team on the morning of the game. Despite the muddled buildup, and despite the loss, this was a game that showed the Sharks could be a force in 2013.

Wellington, at the time, were regarded as the benchmark in the competition and, after trailing by six, Southland matched them for the remainder of the game where they lost by eight.

American import Brian Conklin showcased his skills with his best game in the orange singlet at that point.

v NELSON

(Round Three)

The Result: Sharks win 89-82

Best Sharks player: Leon Henry

What happened: A blistering 30-16 second quarter set up this Sharks victory. The win created history, the first by Southland over Nelson since joining the league in 2010.

Probably the best on the night was Leon Henry, who showed plenty of spirit by turning in such a key performance, just days after he was told by the New Zealand Breakers he wouldn't be required any more.

v WAIKATO

(Round Four)

The Result: Sharks win 98-79

Best Sharks player: Kevin Braswell

What happened: Kevin Braswell turned in an impressive shooting display, particularly early in the game, to help get Southland the expected win over Waikato.

Braswell was ruthless from the three-point line, racking up seven threes in total, three of them in the first quarter as he put on 13 points to push the home team out to a 24-18 lead after the first period.

The Sharks won every quarter of the game.

v TARANAKI

(Round Five)

The Result: Sharks win 105-83

Best Sharks player: Brian Conklin

What happened: It was one of their best performances of the 2013 season, with only a blip in the third quarter putting a black mark on an otherwise impressive showing.

It was outstanding American import Brian Conklin who again led the way for Southland.

The St Louis University product racked up 31 points, with 22 of those coming in the first half. He shot 86 per cent from the field and 78 per cent from the free throw line. On top of that he grabbed eight rebounds.

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v HAWKE'S BAY

(Round Six)

The Result: Sharks win 94-73

Best Sharks player: Brian Conklin

What happened: The Sharks produced one heck of a turnaround after losing to Hawke's Bay 89-56 away from home. In the return match in Invercargill they produced a 94-73 win.

The Sharks raced out to a 30-16 lead and continued that trend in the second quarter to lead 52-20 at halftime.

Conklin shot 83 per cent from the field in a 23-point haul, while fellow American import Braswell picked up 25 points and grabbed seven defensive rebounds.

v MANAWATU

(Round Eight)

The Result: Sharks win 110-81

Best Sharks player: Kevin Braswell

What happened: In probably their most important win to date, the Sharks knocked over fellow top four contender Manawatu by 29 points. It was Braswell who led the way with his 31-point haul which saw him named the NBL player of the week.

The performance of Leon Henry wasn't all that far behind, his shooting radar well and truly on target, notching up a season-high 27 points.

- The Southland Times

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