A bruised Southland Sharks unit impressed in Invercargill on Saturday, now the challenge is to do it on the road as well.
The Southland Sharks blitzed the Super City Rangers 100-73 in the National Basketball League game played at Invercargill's ILT Stadium Southland
The Rangers went into the game with a three win-one loss record, while Southland were two and two.
What made the 27-point victory that bit more encouraging is the Sharks were missing Derone Raukawa and James Hunter.
Both were suited up but have hip and back niggles respectively and took no part in the game.
Captain Duane Bailey also carried a calf injury into the game.
Southland now eye a showdown with the unbeaten Wellington Saints on Thursday before taking on Hawke's Bay in Napier on Good Friday.
Hawke's Bay won their first game in 24 attempts on Sunday when they toppled Nelson and will provide Southland with a tricky assignment.
Southland coach Judd Flavell is looking forward to seeing what they produce on the road this week.
"Can we replicate that and get more out of those defensive possessions that we had in that first quarter?
"On the road it is one of those things where you try replicate it, [but] it is always tougher because you are away and you have the travel factor.
"But that is just part of professional sport."
After a challenging road trip where the Sharks beat a struggling Nelson outfit in overtime, and then lost to Taranaki in New Plymouth, the Sharks quickly made a statement in the opening quarter against the Rangers on Saturday night.
They raced out to a 12-2 lead before the Rangers pegged it back to 14-7.
But by the end of the first quarter, Southland were up by 13 with a 30-17 lead with the Sharks shooting at 62 per cent from the field compared to the Rangers' 29 per cent.
It was much of the same in the second quarter as the Sharks onslaught didn't let up and by halftime they had posted 58 points to lead 58-42.
After a limited play over the past three games because of concussion, Alex Pledger found his groove against the Rangers. By halftime he led the scoring with 16 points, while Luke Aston banged three important first half three-pointers.
At the end of the third quarter it had blown out to a 31 lead with Aston adding two further third quarter three pointers with the Sharks going into the final quarter with an 86-55 lead.
To the Rangers credit they did win a low-scoring final quarter 18-14 as Sharks coach Judd Flavell went deep into his bench.
Much to the delight of the Invercargill crowd it was hometown hero Andrew Wheeler who scored on the buzzer to bring up the 100 points for the Sharks as finished 100-73 winners.
Southland Sharks 100 (Alex Pledger 20, Nick Kay 20, Luke Aston 19, Reuben Te Rangi 11, Hayden Allen 11), Super City Rangers 73 (Nnanna Egwu 24, Earnest Ross 16, Mitchell McCarron 11).
1st Q: 30-13, HT: 58-42, 3rdQ: 86-55
Article and image courtesy of The Southland Times