DESPITE adding Shoalhaven product Kyle Leslie into the mix on Saturday, the Illawarra Hawks slumped to their third straight Waratah League defeat by going down 93-77 to Bankstown.
At the Bankstown Basketball Stadium, the undefeated competition front-runners traded baskets with the Hawks in the opening term - before the hosts held a four-point lead (22-18) at quarter-time.
With only eight players at his disposal, Balsar's youth league men's division one side struggled to stay with the Bruins in the second term, being outscored 24-17 - to go into the main break down by nine points.
The Hawks then fell behind by as many as 14 in the third term, before a late flurry pulled the deficit back to single digits at three-quarter-term.
A Patrick Gilmour shot at the start of the final period reduce the margin to just five.
But that proved to be as close the as Hawks got, as the Bruins ran away with it in the final period to win by 16 points.
In the defeat, Leslie, after just arriving back from the United States, top-scored with 22, while Mason Scott (16), Brandon Freire (14) and Zachary Ottosson (12) all reached double-figures.
The Hawks, who sit in eighth with a 2-3 record, have the bye this weekend before hosting Maitland on Saturday, May 15 from 2pm at the Snakepit.
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