In their final home game of the NBL season the Waikato Pistons have gone down to the playoff-bound Southland Sharks 85-96 in Hamilton.
The Pistons were competitive and were in with a shot through three quarters before the visitors pulled away in the final quarter on the back on an impressive performance by import Brian Conklin.
The home side got off to a fast start as Marco Alexander dropped a pair of three pointers, while the starting lineup for the Pistons all posted points to give the hosts a six-point lead midway through the first quarter.
Down 22-19 heading into the second quarter the Sharks quickly regained the lead with small forward Reuben Te Rangi and Leon Henry chiming in with 10 points a piece in the first half.
However Alexander's third three sparked the Pistons back into action and with support from point guard Tai Webster were able to go into the break with a 41-38 advantage.
Both squads came out firing as they traded buckets but it was the Sharks forward Conklin who stamped his mark on the contest with 15 of his 32 points coming in the third quarter while displaying his range of skills.
The Pistons continued to share the scoring load throughout the team as Webster and Garrius Holloman kept their side in the game.
But heading into the last quarter tied at 67 the Sharks answered with the eight points and never looked back, while their shooting from outside arc picked up as they stretched their lead going on to claim the victory.
Southland Sharks 96 (Brian Conklin 32, Reuben Te Rangi 20, Kevin Braswell 19) Waikato Pistons 85 (Tai Webster 20, Garrius Holloman 18, Marco Alexander 14)
- Fairfax Media
What did you make of the Tall Blacks' World Cup campaign?