Saints top Hawks to advance to NBL final

The Wellington Saints have successfully defeated the Bay Hawks 99-73 on Saturday night to secure their spot in the Sal’s NBL final tomorrow evening.

The Saints jumped out to a 22-14 advantage early on, and while the Hawks tried to keep them close during the second and third quarters, Wellington proved too good and managed to pull away in the fourth for the victory.

American import L.J. Peak was superb for the Saints, posting 31 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block on 13-of-19 shooting and 2-of-5 from three.

Leon Henry also surpassed the 20-point mark, totaling 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from distance.

Shea Ili and Majok Majok were also productive in the win. Ili finished with 18 points, six rebounds, nine assists and four steals on 6-of-16 shooting, while Majok had 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal on 5-of-10.

Dion Prewster had a solid outing overall for the Hawks but it just wasn’t enough. He recorded 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks in 32 minutes of work. Prewster shot 6-of-13 from the field and 1-of-2 from three.

Australian big man Angus Brandt dropped 16 points, five rebounds and one assist on 7-of-12 shooting, while Jarrod Kenny had 13 points and Ethan Rusbatch scored 11.

It was a solid season for the Hawks, managing to outlast the Rams for the fourth seed, but their inconsistency came back to haunt them when it mattered most. They have some solid young players to build around moving forward and should be competitive again next season.

The Saints, however, will be looking to reign supreme yet again on Sunday. The other semi-final is between the Nelson Giants and the Southland Sharks so the Saints will be eagerly awaiting the winner of that contest.

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