The Southland Sharks have soundly defeated the Canterbury Rams on Friday night, 108-95.
Orlando Coleman turned in a dominant performance to lead the Sharks, posting 24 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and one steal on 9-of-14 shooting from the field in 31 minutes.
Alex Pledger also posted a double-double for Southland, recording 14 points and 12 rebounds in just 19 minutes of work. Australian guard Jarrad Weeks canned 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting (2-of-4 from three), adding three rebounds and six assists.
Conor Morgan was solid in his Sharks debut, compiling 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 23 minutes, while Reuben Te Rangi (11 points) and James Hunter (10 points and eight rebounds) were also viable contributors.
Despite the loss, Winston Shepard led the way yet again for Canterbury, dropping 26 points, nine rebounds, three assists, four steals and one block on 8-of-16 shooting from the field.
Fellow Americans Xavier Thames (23 points, four rebounds, eight assists and four steals) and Julian Washburn (19 points, seven rebounds and three assists) also put forth some solid stat-lines, but it just wasn’t enough to get past a strong Sharks squad.
All three of the Rams’ imports played over 35 minutes, pointing towards the heavy emphasis that coach Mark Dickel places on those three guys each night. You can expect that trend to continue throughout the season for Canterbury.
The Rams shot just 40 per cent from the field and 28 per cent from three tonight. They were also out-rebounded 38-54 by the Sharks.
The Sharks move to 2-1 with tonight’s victory, while the Rams now sit at 1-1 on the season.