The Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams have held off a valiant Augusta Mountainairs with a 104-97 overtime win.
Winston Shepard III tallied 23 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists for the Rams who move to 2-1. Julian Williams-Washburn also grabbed a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, Xavier Thames scored 25 and Tony Tolovae added 23 against his former team.
Taranaki were coming into the game without starting point guard Houston O’Riley, and then to further exacerbate their problems they lost Alonzo Burton in the first half.
Roger Woods would carry the offensive slack with game high 30 points and Javonte Douglas added 20.
In his first start in place of, O’Riley, rookie, Richard Rodger had an excellent game with 14 points, which included the game tying layup which put the game to over-time.
The Rams still had a chance for the potential game winner in regulation, but a tough contested three point attempt by Thames would never threaten the hoop.
After trailing two in the early part of overtime, the Airs took the lead thanks to a Woods three pointer. Canterbury would reply with a 9-0 run to seal the tough victory.
It is the third straight defeat at home for the Airs, who have lost each by 4 points or under. They will now have only four days to recover before they host the Go Media Jets who are coming off their first win of the season over the Rangers yesterday.
The Rams will have a difficult road double-header next week when they play the Mike Pero Nelson Giants and then the 2 Cheap Cars Supercity Rangers.
Week 3: Sunday, May 13
At TSB Stadium, New Plymouth
Augusta Airs 97 (Roger Woods 30, Javonte Douglas 20, Xavier Smith 14, Richard Rodger 14)
The Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams 104 (Xavier Thames 25, Winston Shepard III 23, Tony Tolovae 23)