Hawks seek payback over Taipans

BASKETBALL

Last Friday's nail-biting final-minute win over Adelaide has Wollongong guard Tyson Demos confident the Hawks' close-game woes are behind them.

After leading by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, a pair of threes from star import Rotnei Clarke guided the Hawks to a 91-89 victory and dispelled fears of a repeat of the Hawks' loss to Cairns in January.

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The Taipans erased a 16-point half-time deficit in round 14 before a Demetri McCamey clutch buzzer-beater handed Cairns the win.

They will return to WIN Entertainment Centre this Saturday in pursuit of a repeat result, but Demos hopes the display against the 36ers will give the Hawks renewed confidence if the rematch gets tight down the stretch.

"It has been good because we have been having trouble winning those close games," Demos said.

"In the last year and the year before, we were having trouble. When we have been up, we have been up by a fair bit and hopefully we don't do that this week.

"They came here last time and beat us on the buzzer, which was pretty disappointing because we feel it was a game we should have won and another lead that we had which we let slip so we're looking forward to getting it up on them this weekend."

Despite losing the home clash with Cairns, Wollongong beat the Taipans in both of their visits to the Sunshine State this season.

Saturday's fourth match will give the South Coast men a chance to wrap up the series.

"It is what we aim to do against every team, is to win the series. We have a chance to do it," Demos said.

"They are a very physical team, they push the ball up the floor and they have some good scoring power with both their imports and also their bigs inside."

The Hawks come into the clash on the back of some scintillating form, claiming five straight NBL scalps.

"Everyone is pumped. We have won five games in a row so the confidence is definitely high and everyone is feeling really good," Demos said.

"We just have to keep the wins rolling and ticking over and hopefully we win the last four games. Three out of the four will get us in a top-four spot."

Of those four, two will be at WIN Entertainment Centre and Demos hopes for more big home crowds.

"It makes it easier having all the supporters come out and helping us get the win," Demos said.

"It makes a big difference. It is like having a sixth man out on the floor, so hopefully they come this weekend and help us get another win over Cairns and keep the streak going."

Hawks management confirmed this week it would keep tickets at a reduced price for the remaining two home fixtures.

Kids tickets will be $10, adults at $20 and families (two adults, two kids) for $50 on all stadium section seating.

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