Conger strikes out for one

RUBBED OUT: Hawks import Demetrius Conger will miss one game after taking an early guilty plea for a striking charge on Sydney's Brad Newley. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER
RUBBED OUT: Hawks import Demetrius Conger will miss one game after taking an early guilty plea for a striking charge on Sydney's Brad Newley. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Hawks import Demetrius Conger will miss Illawarra’s away trip to Melbourne next month after the club accepted a one-match striking ban handed down by the NBL on Monday night.

The NBL’s Game Review Panel (GRP) charged Conger following an altercation with Sydney Kings veteran Brad Newley in Illawarra's dramatic 97-93 overtime win over their rivals last Thursday night.

The GRP deemed that Conger made intentional high contact ‘above the shoulders and medium impact’ with Newley in the final seconds of the rivalry showdown. 

Illawarra were after a downgrade in the charges when new footage emerged to the club which they felt showed initial contact didn’t occur above the shoulders.

After reviewing the footage last night, the GRP stuck to their original ruling for the incident. 

Upon receiving that ruling, the Hawks opted to take the early guilty plea rather than risk Conger being rubbed out for two matches.

“As the footage was only made available to both the Hawks and GRP last night the option of an early plea was still available [on Tuesday] morning which the club has accepted,” a club statement said.

The star American import will now miss Illawarra’s trip to face Melbourne United on December 4, but will return for the club’s crucial home stand against Perth Wildcats the following week. 

In his first season at Illawarra, Conger is averaging 17.6 points, 6 rebounds and and 2.3 assists through the opening 11 matches of the NBL campaign.