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Hawks end pre-season with a win

With an exhausting 33 games of pre-season action now complete, teams can now fully prepare their focus towards the highly-anticipated NBL season which begins next week, with the Adelaide 36ers hosting the New Zealand Breakers at Titanium Arena. The final lead-in game was played in Burdekin, Queensland on Tuesday night with the Illawarra Hawks 95 defeating the Townsville Crocodiles 87. Townsville led the game at each of the first three breaks, but the more experienced Hawks stormed home to outscore the home side 28-13. The victory came from accurate shooting from Illawarra forward Tim Coenraad, who scored 17 points himself in the final term, completing an outstanding personal pre-season campaign on 8-from-10 shooting, including 3-from-5 from downtown. The Hawks had Kevin Lisch returning from injury for 14 points and he joined Kirk Penney (eight points) for just the second time this season. Centre AJ Ogilvy contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds for his team who played without point guard Rhys Martin. Townsville’s League MVP Brian Conklin was the most dominant player on court with a game high 27 points, Clint Steindl added a handy 17 points and rookie Nick Kay scored 10 points and picked up seven rebounds. The young Crocs were competing without import Jordair Jett, forward Mitch Young and starting centre Luke Schenscher. Conklin did make it a memorable night for the locals with a slam dunk resulting in the game having to be stopped at one point to readjust the basketball ring. Despite the loss, head coach Shawn Dennis was proud of the way the boys played particularly after their defeat to the Perth Wildcats three days earlier. “We can take heaps out of this game, it was a terrific bounce back from the other night against Perth and we just need to work on not breaking our rules," he said. Townsville return to the Swamp in Townsville to open their season with a home match against Melbourne United on Friday 9 October. Illawarra have already played six pre-season games in North Queensland in preparation for their away game in Cairns on Thursday 8 October. Click HERE for the 2015/16 NBL season fixtures. Illawarra Hawks 95 (Coenraad 19, Ogilvy 17, Lisch 14) Townsville Crocodiles 87 (Conklin 27, Steindl 17, Kay 10)
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