Illawarra win again up north

The Illawarra Hawks completed a two-game preseason sweep of Cairns Taipans with a comfortable 92-85 victory on Sunday in North Queensland.

Illawarra led at every change and held a double digit advantage at various stages of the contest before marching out seven point winners.

Last season’s rookie of the year Nick Kay led the Hawks with 18 points while Rhys Martin (15 points), Cody Ellis (11 points) and AJ Ogivy (10 points) all put up double digits.

Taipans import Fuquan Edwin showed a glimpse of what he could be capable of this NBL campaign with a game-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds and three steals.

Alex Loughton also had 22 points for the hosts and shot a perfect 11 from 11 at the free throw line.

Their efforts didn’t prevent the Hawks from asserting their dominance on the contest from the outset.

It was 33-29 to Illawarra at quarter time and that margin was extended to 56-46 at the half.

Cairns fought back to be 67-62 behind in the third but Illawarra were able to keep them at bay.

It rounded out a perfect two from two result in the series for the Hawks.

On Friday they notched up a win in game one 78-73 thanks mainly to the efforts of import Rotnei Clarke.

The former NBL MVP poured in a game-high 23 points.

Ogilvy was also prominent, chalking up a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds while American swingman Marvelle Harris added 11 points.

SHOOTER: Illawarra guard Rotnei Clarke was in good form in the Hawks' game one victory over Cairns Taipans last Friday. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

SHOOTER: Illawarra guard Rotnei Clarke was in good form in the Hawks' game one victory over Cairns Taipans last Friday. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

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