The Southland Sharks will be hard to beat for the rest of the season if they keep this up.
The Sharks flogged the woeful Manawatū Jets 122-79 at the Arena in Palmerston North on Thursday night, dominating on attack and defence in the 43-point win.
The defending champion Sharks were in fourth place going into this weekend of the NBL, but shouldn't be counted out considering the way they pummelled the under-strength Jets.
The Jets have played above their weight against the Sharks in the past two seasons, including a win in round four this year, but on Thursday that luck ran out.
Southland's smothering defence shut down Manawatu's other two imports, Wally Ellenson and Daishon Knight, and there was little else from the rest of the team.
With Knight and Ellenson under pressure from Southland, the rest of the Jets' lineup needed to shoulder the load, but they didn't offer much in the first quarter.
Southland were doing it easy at the other end and led 25-13 at quartertime. They led by 20 mid way through the second stanza.
Few shots were falling the Jets' way and they scored just four points in seven minutes of the second quarter.
Southland had a massive 37-14 second quarter to lead 62-27.
Young Jets forward Taane Samuel was one of their best and stood tall against giant Tall Black Alex Pledger.
Jackson Stubbins hit consecutive threes during the third quarter as the Jets attempted a fight back of sorts, but they were in too big a hole.
Both sides scored 25 points in the third quarter, but still the Jets trailed by 35 with a quarter to go.
Sharks guard Todd Blanchfield had 25 points after three quarters and was a major threat.
The Sharks continued in the fourth quarter and led by a whopping 50 points mid way through the quarter.
The Sharks had scoring options everywhere, with eight players scoring in double figures. They let the throttle off in the fourth quarter, but the job was well and truly done by that stage.
Tai Wynard had a strong second half for the Sharks, finishing with 19 points, and Hyrum Harris was impressive with 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Pledger scored 16 points.
Five players scored in double figures for the Jets – a rarity – with Shane Temara top scoring with 19. Ellenson scored 13 points, while Samuel, Knight and Stubbins all had 12.
Southland Sharks 122 (Todd Blanchfield 25, Hyrum Harris 10, Brandon Lucas 13, Alex Pledger 16, Thomas Vodanovich 12, Dominique Kelman-Poto 12, Tinashe Matambanadzo 13, Tai Wynyard 19) Manawatū Jets 79 (Shane Temara , Daishon Knight , Jackson Stubbins ) Q1: 25-13, HT: 62-27, Q3: 87-52.