Boy’s Senior A – Round 3 Wrap

The third round review of the Auckland Schools Boys Senior A games, brought to you by Dynamic Sport New Zealand, features wins for Mt Roskill Grammar, St Peter’s College, Northcote College and Manurewa High School.

The Mount Roskill Grammar versus Dilworth School encounter witnessed Ivan Kerr (Dilworth) playing against younger brother Alfred Kerr (Mt Roskill) for the first time in a high school game.

Many will remember older brother Levic Kerr was a standout performer for Saint Kentigern College in their 2019 Secondary Schools National Championship success.

A couple of baskets from Zach Kemen helped Roskill forge an early 12-10 lead but the platform for their win came in the second period when they held Dilworth to 11 points while the home team poured in 24.

A decisive 17-4 run featured three successive threes – a pair from Ryan Aramoana and another from Mitchell Greenaway. 

Alfred Kerr and Owen Pattison were the main threats for Dilworth – Pattison ending the third with a spectacular fade away three, falling into the crowd as he landed, despite having two defenders in his face.

Down by 19 points at three-quarter time displayed plenty of spirit in the fourth but a dagger three from captain Ngawaka Rakete sealed the deal for Roskill.

Roskill with their first win of the season and Alfred with the bigger smile, although you would never guess it from the photo below!

Mt Roskill 72 – Greenaway 22, Kemen 13, Aramoana 12, A Kerr 8

Dilworth 56 – Pattison 13, I Kerr 15, Gene King 5

Scoring 30 points or more in each quarter and with five players in double figures Northcote College proved too good for Macleans College winning 129-68.

Northcote and Aaron Sievert in particular set the tone in the opening frame. The shooting guard accumulated 16 points as the hosts opened up a 34-14 lead.

Led by Christian Mutti and Declan Puffy, Macleans gave a much improved showing in the second but still trailed 67-41 at the break.

In addition to Sievert, Northcote enjoyed major contributions from Dontaye Sowman-Faaee, Tane Cook (three triples in his 20 points), Tom Bates and Ethan Ring.

Levi Smyth led the way for Macleans with 15 points but it was a night that belonged to Northcote as they moved into the top-four with a 2-1 record.

Northcote 129 – Sievert 38, Sowman-Faaee 21, Cook 20, Bates 13, Ring 11 Rico MacPherson 9 

Macleans 68 – Levi Smyth 15, Christian Mutti 14, Declan Puffy 12, Teegan La Grange 8

Manurewa High maintained its unbeaten start to the season with an 84-65 away win at Avondale College.

Connor Gleeson and Ryan Ancha exchanged a brace of threes apiece as Manurewa edged the opening 10 minutes 19-16.

Nine points from Richard Campbell, headed for a game high 24 and 8 from Jarell Tuhega, extended the Manurewa lead to 46-32 at half-time.

Avondale relied almost exclusively on threes in the third, Gleeson and Jimi Iosia-Sipeli with a pair each.  In contrast Manurewa opted for the more orthodox route, mainly via William Passi and Tuhega, to extend out to a 69-50 advantage at the three-quarter mark – their offensive rebounding earning them extra possessions.

The two teams tied the fourth splitting 30 points. 

Avondale 65 – Iosia-Sipeli 21, Gleeson 21, Kabir Bhargava 6

Manurewa 84 – Campbell 24, Passi 16, Ancha 15, Tuhega 14, Brian Tapu 10

Also unbeaten are St Peter’s College after a comfortable 99-47 victory against Aorere College.

Toby Cox, destined for a game high 22 points, scored eight in the opening period as St Peter’s stormed out to a 26-9 lead.

Aorere found a response through Franklyne and Chris Gordon but 8 points from Andrei Manio in the second helped the Saints to a 53-26 half-time lead.

Cobain David and Scott Errey joined Cox and Manio in double figures on a night St Peter’s enjoyed scoring contributions from eleven players.

Aorere 47 – F Gordon 12 C Gordon 9, TJ Taito 6, Moroki Tauhara 5

St Peter’s 99 – Toby Cox 22, Errey 14, Manio 12, David 11, Gus Dallow 8, Dorian Sula 8


Standings:

3-0 St Peter’s, Manurewa

2-1 Avondale, Northcote

1-2 Dilworth, Mt Roskill

0-3 Macleans, Aorere

Girl’s Senior A – Round 3 Wrap

The third round review of the Auckland Secondary Schools Girls Senior A games, brought to you in conjunction with Northern Kāhu, features wins for Northcote College, Takapuna Grammar and Massey High.

Northcote College, led by Lily Morgan’s 24 points and DJ Hannah’s 21, eased to a comprehensive 91-22 home win against One Tree Hill College.

Morgan, on her way to a season high, and Hannah were in double figures by half-time as the hosts eased to a 47-8 lead.

Kizyra Thompson and Jesse-Lee Upu posted points for OTH but Northcote skipper Nikki Gear (18 points) and Co were untroubled ahead of a match-up with Mt Roskill next week.

Northcote 91 – Morgan 24, DJ Hannah 21, N Gear 18, Grace Lai 14, Misha Aitchison 6

One Tree Hill 22 – Thompson 8, Upu 6, Rosetta Kivalu 4

Northcote huddle.

25 points from Allyah Leusogi-Ape propelled Massey High to a 63-47 victory against Auckland Girls Grammar.

The scores were locked at 11 points apiece after a low scoring opening period but 7 first half points from Kortni Waikiki and a dozen from Leusogi-Ape propelled Massey to a 31-16 lead at the main break.

Grammar responded through Faith Hurt and Grady Nikoia but still had a lot of ground to make up at three-quarter time trailing 45-26.

Leusogi-Ape continued her merry way in the final period, the win capped off by a Cyntalia Schuster 3-pointer.

Massey 63 – Leusogi-Ape 27, Schuster 13, K Waikiki 12, Zhoey Tilby-Woods 8

AGGS 47 – Hurt 14, Nikoia 10, Zara Leavasa 9

Takapuna Grammar School made it three wins from three outings with an 85-38 victory at Mt Roskill Grammar.

Adra Kaufusi opened the Roskill scoring with a triple but Qaizden Stephano, on her way to a game high 23 points, and Amy McKenzie got Takapuna off to a flyer – ahead 25-7 at quarter time.

Roskill found a higher gear in the second period, 9 points from Bree Ioane helping them stay with the free scoring Takapuna outfit that led 43-20 at half-time.

Kaufusi knocked down another three for Roskill in the third but Taka were in full flight scoring 25 points in the period – McKenzie, Manaia Watson and Bailey Flavell joining Stephano in double figures.

Anna Dyachenko and Arabella Neville made scoring contributions in the fourth as Takapuna cantered to victory.

Mt Roskill 38 – B Ioane 20, Kaufusi 9, Nellie Ioane 7

Takapuna 85 – Stephano 23, Flavell 18, McKenzie 15, Watson 10

Avondale College 31 – Hayley Dale 14, Ava Prescott 6, Shiloh Caffery 4

Manurewa High School 124 – Sela Uluheua 25, Shirley Tuilimu 20, Mariana Monga 18, Lavinia Uluheua 18, Waimihi Hetaraka-Brown 12

Standings:

3-0 Takapuna, Northcote, Manurewa

2-1 Massey

1-2 Mt Roskill

0-3 AGGS, One Tree Hill, Avondale

Girl’s Prems – Round 3 Wrap

The third round review of the Auckland Schools Girls Premier Grade games, brought to you by Northern Kāhu, features wins for unbeaten teams Baradene and Westlake plus a first-up victory for St Mary’s.

In a contest between two of the unbeaten teams Westlake Girls were pushed all the way before eventually prevailing 66-58 at Mount Albert Grammar School.

On the back of a strong third quarter MAGS led 47-44 with ten minutes to play but they were outscored 22-11 in the final stanza – 8 points from skipper Mackenzie Chatfield and four each from Amy Pateman and Rebecca Moors turning the tide in favour of Westlake.

Earlier, Waimanu Clarken, on her way to a game high 27 points, and Danae Tait both made long range triples for MAGS in the opening half but Westlake held a 31-27 half-time lead thanks to 8 points from Jaelah Clayton and 7 points from Rebecca Moors.

The third frame belonged to MAGS – 6 points from Sienna-Rose Tawera and another triple from Tait steering the hosts to a three-point lead with ten minutes to play.

Westlake’s fourth quarter rally means they move to 3-0, ahead of the short trip to Rangitoto College next week.

MAGS 58 – Waimanu Clarken 27, Tait 11, Tawera 10, Valana Pupuke-Robati 6

Westlake 66 – Chatfield 16, R Moors 13, Pateman 11, Clayton 10, Sarah Moors 8

Baradene College also made it three wins from three outings with a 79-44 victory against St Kentigern College although a number of observers felt it was a scoreline that didn’t truly reflect the St Kent’s performance.

Harriett Burrell’s three straight baskets propelled Baradene to a 22-11 opening quarter lead but the second quarter was a basket-for basket affair as the two teams split fourty-two points.

Summer Faleafa and Ritorya Tamilo were again in good form for Baradene while Sharmaine Tapling and Anamia Rangihaeata were prominent for St Kent’s that trailed 43-32 at half-time.

The St Kent’s effort faltered in the third – only Ashleigh Tuumaialu could get on the scoresheet. In contrast Poppy Cavanagh-Briggs scored 11 points of her own as the hosts stretched the advantage out to 64-36 at three-quarter-time. 

Baradene eased through the final quarter as they look forward to another home encounter next Friday when they take on Epsom Girls Grammar, while St Kentigern will entertain St Mary’s in the clash of ‘The Saints’.

Baradene 79 – Faleafa 19, Tamilo 19, Cavanagh-Briggs 14, Amelia Nathan 11, Burrell 10

St Kentigern 44 – Tuumaialu 11, Rangihaeata 10, Tapling 9

St Mary’s College gained their first win of the season with a 59-45 road win against Carmel College.

Both teams started slowly with only 17 points scored in the opening period. The pace quickened in the second but there was nothing to pick between the two sides at the main break, St Mary’s shading it 24-22.

Carmel captain Jemma Cammell led all scorers at that stage with 12 points.

The third quarter was telling, St Mary’s outscoring the home team 17-5 to grab control, with Faith Ualika, Christiana Setu and Kodee Williams-Sefo doing the damage.

Hannah Bellett and Zharan Tibbotts gave Carmel a lift at the start of the final frame but any thoughts of a sustained comeback were quickly snuffed out by Trinity Atiga and Sefo-Williams. 

Carmel 45 – Cammell 21, Bellett 8, Lily Farman 6, Tibbotts 6

St Mary’s 59 – Williams-Sefo 18, Ualika 13, Atiga 9, Setu 9, Tamzin Jakeman 7

Water on the court, brought about by Friday’s stormy weather, caused an early end to the Rangitoto College v Epsom Girls Grammar tie. Epsom had established a healthy 25-8 lead when the game had to be called off at quarter time.

Standings:

3-0 Westlake, Baradene 

2-1 MAGS

1-1 Epsom

1-2 St Kentigern, St Mary’s

0-2 Rangitoto

0-3 Carmel

Boy’s Prems – Round 3 Wrap

Just two games were played in the third round of the Auckland Secondary Schools Boys Premier competition on Friday. Brought to you in conjunction with Dynamic Sport New Zealand we review the two games that were completed. 

Saint Kentigern made a hot start at Sacred Heart, or perhaps more accurately, Dontae Russo-Nance and Merrick Rillstone were the sharpest out of the blocks. The pair shared all but five of St Kent’s opening 29-points salvo.

Rillstone, making a welcome return to the St Kent’s ranks after recovering from injury, knocked down three triples in the opening spell and would go on to amass a career high 39 points while Russo-Nance followed up his 50-point haul against Rosmini last week with 40 in this one as St Kent’s went on to win a points-fest 110-93.

Adam Davies scored 14 first half points and Jerome Jakeman 11 points but the hosts had a mountain to climb at half-time trailing 64-38.

Undeterred by the size of the deficit Josh Stewart led a spirited third quarter effort as Heart brought the margin back to 11 points.

Rillstone and DRN re-established control and with George Turner and Max Johnson chipping in with points St Kent’s eased to a welcome first win of the season.

Sacred Heart 93 – Stewart 31, Jakeman 18, Davies 18, Casssius Reynolds 7

St Kentigern 110 – Dontae-Nance 40, Rilllstone 39, Johnson 13, Turner 9

Dhon Lao and Rasheed Ieremia scored early points for Liston College but Rosmini College were out to a 19-10 quarter time lead.

Julius Halaifonua tallied 10 points in the second period, and Tom Beattie 9 as Rosmini stretched out to a 51-18 half-time lead.

Lao and Marvellous Michael battled away gamely for Liston as triples from Kane Murphy, Josh Batty and Kian Durney increased the Rosmini advantage. Zion Anderson and Anton Seuseu made athletic plays in the closing stages, to the delight of the home support, as the hosts closed out an emphatic win. 

Rosmini 93 – Beattie 24, Halaifonua 19, Charlie Dalton 10, Anderson 10, Seuseu 7, Murphy 7

Liston 39 – Lao 10, Ieremia 7, Michael 7

The Mount Albert Grammar v Westlake Boys High fixture has been postponed until Monday May 30 (tip-off 6.00pm) due to a bout of illness in the MAGS camp.

Water on the court, brought about by Friday’s stormy weather, forced the postponement of the Rangitoto College v Auckland Grammar tie.

Standings:

3-0 Rosmini

2-0 Westlake, Rangitoto

1-1 MAGS, AGS

1-2 St Kentigern

0-3 Liston, Sacred Heart

Boy’s Senior A – Round 2 Review

The second round review of the Auckland Schools Boys Senior A games, brought to you in conjunction with Dynamic Sport New Zealand, features wins for Avondale College, St Peter’s College, Dilworth School and Manurewa High School.  

The Manurewa High contest against Mount Roskill Grammar was the game of the round.

In a defense dominated encounter Manurewa High School edged Mount Roskill Grammar by the narrowest of margins 56-55 at Pulman Arena.

For Mount Roskill, Mitchell Greenaway, on his way to a game high 23 points for the second game running, dropped three triples in a close first half that ended with Manurewa 27-25 ahead.

Ryan Ancha and Ngawaka Rakete exchanged threes in the opening minutes of the third period, Greenaway and Haisem Osman giving the visitors a narrow 44-41 three-quarter time advantage.

It was nip and tuck throughout the fourth with the game not decided until the final twenty seconds of the contest.

William Passi made 8 points in the final quarter, including a tough And-1 in traffic, before a frantic final couple of minutes ensued. 

Ryan Aramoana had given Roskill the lead (55-54) before Ancha launched a final assault for Manurewa. His pass found Alex Hughes in the lane, the go-ahead layup converted with 5.5 seconds on the clock. 

Roskill advanced the ball from a timeout but a desperate last play came to nothing and Manurewa could celebrate a second straight win. In contrast Mt Roskill will reflect on two close losses.

Manurewa 56 – Passi 20, Hughes 15, Brian Tapu 10

Mt Roskill 55 – Greenaway 23, Osman 11, Rakete 11

A career high 39 points from Owen Pattison propelled newly promoted Dilworth School to a 90-78 win against Macleans College.

He had 15 points in the opening quarter as Dilworth jumped out to a 30-18 lead.

Levi Smyth, on his way to a team high 25 points, kept Macleans in the hunt but with Ivan Kerr also in double figures Dilworth were in the box seat at the interval with a 53-32 advantage.

Macleans, with six players scoring between six and eight points enjoyed the better of the third frame, Teegan La Grange and Quinn Hakaraia helping Smyth reduce the deficit.

Ahead by 12 points at three-quarter time Dilworth pushed on in the fourth with Isaac Rameka and Kerr (23 points) steering the team to victory.

Dilworth 90 – Pattison 39, Kerr 23, Gene King 6, Tamati Schaumkel 6, Finlay Edwards 6

Macleans 78 – Smyth 25, Jamie Carville 9, Declan Puffy 8, Louis Nelson 8, Christian Mutti 7, 

Avondale College enjoyed double figure scoring contributions from five players in their 93-70 road win at Aorere College, a result that was only decided in the final quarter.

Avondale had increased their half-time advantage (39-34) to 61-52 at the three-quarter mark but with Chris Gordon (22 points) in good form the result was still in the balance.

Eight different players contributed to Aorere’s final quarter scoring effort but Kabir Bhargava, Connor Gleeson and Andrew Murphy made the difference as Avondale made it two wins on the trot.

Aorere 70 –C Gordon 22, Moroki Tauhara 10,  Franklyne Gordon 6, Addison Nielsen 6, Eletise 6

Avondale 93 – Bhargava 16, Gleeson 16, Murphy 15, Jimi Iosia-Sipeli 12, Xavier Tinielu 8, #10 Kaliomiha Talamahina 14 (apologies if this is the wrong player but the scoresheet is unclear).

St Peter’s College also made it two wins on the bounce with an emphatic 101-61 home win against Northcote College.

Andrei Manio chalked up 13 points in the opening quarter won 25-16 by the hosts.

Northcote were struggling to put the ball in the hoop, Scott Errey and Gus Dallow capitalising to push the Saints advantage out to 47-28 at the interval.

Aaron Sievert and Tane Cook helped Northcote’s improved third quarter showing but St Peter’s powered on, enjoying plenty of contributors to accompany Errey’s game high 26 points.

St Peter’s 101 – Errey 26, Manio 19, Dallow 8, Bailey Smith 7, Milan Tolich 7, Owain Leigh 7

Northcote 61 – Sievert 15, Shinzaki 14, Ethan Ring 9, Tane Cook 8, Tom Bates 8

Standings:

2-0 St Peter’s, Avondale, Manurewa

1-1 Northcote, Dilworth

0-2 Macleans, Mt Roskill, Aorere

Girl’s Senior A – Round 2 Wrap

The second round review of the Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Senior A games is brought to you by Northern Kāhu.

The round saw victories for Manurewa High, Takapuna Grammar, Northcote College and Massey High.

At Pulman Arena, a dominant display by Manurewa carried them to a 73-25 victory against a young Mount Roskill Grammar side.

Following on from her 30 points haul last week Sela Uluheua again top scored with 25 points, 12 of those in the first half as Manurewa built a 40-14 lead.

Mariona Monga (13 points) and Shirly Tuilimu (12 points) were also in double figures for ‘Rewa.

Bree Ioane battled bravely in a losing cause for Roskill scoring 12 points.

Manurewa 73 – S Uluheua 25, Monga 13, Shirly Tuilimu 12, A Uluheua 9, 

Mt Roskill 25 – Bree Ioane 12, Nelly Ioane 3

Qaizden Stephano and Bailey Flavell, making her senior debut, dominated the early proceedings. The pair combined for the opening 10 points of the game and the first 17 points for Takapuna Grammar as the home team established a 27-10 first quarter lead over One Tree Hill.

Resistance from OTH came in the shape of a couple of threes from Harriate Heta and transition baskets from Angelica Vahai but with Manaia Watson picking holes in the OTH defence Taka were flying at half-time, ahead 52-22.

The third period was much more of an even contest as OTH gained scoring contributions from Jesse-Lee Upu, Melaia Tuisuua and Milla Eckford – losing the quarter by a single basket.

Amy McKenzie scored half a dozen fourth quarter points as Taka eased to a second straight win ahead of a trip to Mt Roskill Grammar next week.

Takapuna 92 – Stephano 30, Watson 20, Flavell 19, McKenzie 16

One Tree Hill 51 – Vahai 22, Heta 10, Tuisuua 6

A dominant opening quarter set the tone for Northcote College as they recorded a 69-52 road win against Auckland Girls Grammar.

DJ Hannah and Nikki Gear knocked down early threes as Northcote established an 18-7 lead – both players were in double figures by half-time with the lead extended to 42-22.

Harmony Hurt and Grady Nikoia led an AGGS revival in the third but further triples from Liz May and Misha Aitchison helped Northcote increase their lead.

Grady Nikoia took her tally into double figures in the fourth but a Northcote victory was never in doubt.

AGGS 52 – G Nikoia 14, Hurt 6, Zara Leavasa-Avauli 6, Tatyana Ioelu 6, 

Northcote 69 – N Gear 21, Hannah 15, L Gear 10, Lily Morgan 9, Liz May 6

With six players scoring nine points or more Massey High  proved far too good for Avondale College winning 118-24.

Having been unable to play last week Massey made up for lost time running up 39 points in the opening quarter with Kortni Waikiki and Allyah Leusogi-Ape to the fore – six players on the scoresheet in the early stages.

Cyntalia Schuster, Zhoey Tilby-Woods and Tahlya Waikiki would also go on to register double digits in a rather one sided contest.

Shiloh Caffery and Maya Loomes were bright lights for Avondale in a losing cause.

Massey 118 – Kortni Waikiki 30, Cyntalia Schuster 22, Allyah Leusogi-Ape 16, Zhoey Tilby-Woods 15 Tahlya Waikiki 13, Faith Williams 9

Avondale 24 – Caffery 15, Loomes 8

Standings:

2-0 Takapuna, Northcote, Manurewa

  1. Mt Roskill, Massey

0-2 AGGS, Avondale, One Tree Hill

Girl’s Prems – Second Round Review

The second round review of the Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Premier Grade, brought to you by Northern Kāhu, saw Westlake Girls High, Baradene College and Mt Albert Grammar School move to 2-0. There was also a win for newly promoted St Kentigern College.

Waimanu Clarken, with 30 points, powered Mt Albert Grammar School to a convincing 83-42 home win against Epsom Girls Grammar.

Clarken had 11 points in the opening period as MAGS opened up a 26-9 lead. 

Maya Fowler led the Epsom response in the second but triples from Valana Pupuke-Robati and Danae Tait helped MAGS to a 53-18 half-time advantage.

Talia Vea and Kiki Reti kept the score ticking over for the visitors but a fine all-round team performance gave MAGS a second straight victory ahead of a sterner test against Westlake next week.

MAGS 85 – Clarken 30, Pupuke-Robati 14, Tait 11, Tiger-Lily Cocker-Lemalie 6, Shekinah Kuresa 6, Sienna-Rose Tawera 6

Epsom 42 – Fowler 15, Talia Vea 9, Draun Forbes 8, Kiki Reti 7

In the closest game of the round newly promoted Saint Kentigern College collected their first victory of the season, a 54-42 road win at Carmel College.

Mania Rogers led the way for St Kent’s scoring 19 points, while Jemma Cammell tallied 16 points for Carmel.

Nerisa Vavau helped the visitors establish a 13-9 quarter time lead which stretched to 24-17 at the interval, Rogers scoring all 11 of St Kent’s second quarter points.

Hannah Bellett’s seven third quarter points kept Carmel in the hunt, although Sharmaine Tapling was instrumental in pushing the St Kent’s advantage out to 41-31 at the three-quarter mark.

Carmel plugged away in the fourth but every basket by the home side was met with a counter punch from St Kent’s – Carmel unable to reduce the deficit below eight points at any stage during the closing minutes.

Carmel 42 – Cammell 16, Bellett 8, Lily Forman 7

St Kentigern 54 – Rogers 19, Tapling 15, Maia Bennett 10, Vavau 5

For the second week running dominant performances from Summer Faleafa and Ritorya Tamilo propelled Baradene College to a convincing victory, defeating Rangitoto College 86-36.

A couple of threes from Aroha Riley gave Rangitoto a good start but Faleafa was already in double figures with Baradene ahead 22-11 after one period.

Maddy Skelton and Zaara Sain made a couple of scores for Rangi but Faleafa and Tamilo combined for 23 second quarter points to stretch the advantage to 49-20.

The second half continued in a similar vein, Baradene building a substantial lead – Emily Burrows dropping  couple of threes along the way.

Faleafa finished with a game high and round high 35 points.

Baradene 86 – Faleafa 35, Tamilo 28, Harriett Burrell 8, Poppy Cavanagh-Briggs 8, Burrows 6

Rangitoto 36 – Riley 12, Skelton 9, Sain 8

Westlake Girls High completed a comfortable 91-37 home victory over St Mary’s.

Westlake had 28 points on the board by quarter time – Mackenzie Chatfield and Amy Pateman doing most the damage.

Kodee Williams-Sefo, Tamzin Jakeman and Trinity Atiga all worked hard for St Mary’s but they were swimming against a red and green tide that showed no signs of relenting.

Rebecca Moors and Amiya Fotu joined the Westlake double digit contributors for the second week running ahead of a clash with another unbeaten team – Mt Albert Grammar School.

Westlake 91 – Chatfield 22, Pateman 19, Rebecca Moors 15, Amiya Fotu 13

St Mary’s 37 – Williams-Sefo 11, Tamzin Jakeman 6, Trinity Atiga 6

Standings:

2-0 Westlake, Baradene, MAGS

1-1 Epsom, St Kentigern

0-2 Carmel, St Mary’s, Rangitoto

MAGS win a thriller and Russo-Nance scores 50!

The second round review of the Auckland Secondary Schools Boys Premier Grade games, brought to you by Dynamic Sport New Zealand, features wins for Mt Albert Grammar and the three North Shore teams.

The individual performance of the week undoubtedly belongs to Dontae Russo-Nance who scored 50 points in St Kentigern’s 95-71 loss to Rosmini College.

Named 2021 Young Player of the Year at the BBNZ Awards Dinner last weekend Russo-Nance exhibited his range of scoring options, from inside and out, in a performance that oozed class.

St Kent’s, again without the services of starters Merrick Rillstone and Frankie Groves, made an encouraging start as they trailed by just three points at quarter time (22-19).

Russo-Nance had reached a lazy 28 points by half-time but the triple threat of Charlie Dalton, Tom Beattie and Julius Halaifonua carried Rosmini to a 46-35 lead.

Max Johnson made a couple of scores either side of the interval but his next best (6 points) for St Kent’s emphasised the scoring load Russo-Nance was carrying.

That load began to creak in the third as Dalton, playing a strong hand at both ends of the court, scored 11 point in the period to extend the Rozza advantage to 70-54.

The lead was never threatened in the final stanza – Lucas Schnuriger’s corner three the cherry on the victory cake for the hosts.  

Rosmini 95 – Dalton 31, Beattie 25, Julius Halaifonua 22

St Kentigern 71 – Russo-Nance 50, Max Johnson 6

The game of the round was at Mt Albert Grammar where Dante Matakatea held his nerve at the foul line to carry the home team to a 62-61 victory against local rivals Auckland Grammar.

With the scores level at 61 apiece and only 0.3 seconds left on the clock Matakatea was awarded two free-throws – his first attempt hit the back of the iron but he calmly knocked down the second. AGS advanced the ball from the ensuing timeout but an inbounds pass aimed for Will Shortt was picked off and MAGS fans, of which there were many, could celebrate a notable win.

It didn’t have the makings of a thriller in the opening quarter when Mt Albert led by 11 points after Auckland had scored just 2 points!

Naturally things improved for AGS in the second as Josh Muggleston got the scoreboard moving. Will Leger scored six points for the hosts who led a low scoring first half 24-22.

Both teams more than doubled their scores in the third frame. Kade Cartwright and Leger were prominent for MAGS, Cody Brown and Ryan Hunt in the thick of the action for the visitors who trailed 49-45 at the last break.

A big three from Brown appeared to have secured an Auckland win but it was Dante Matakatea that would have the final say to the delight of the home fans.

MAGS 62 – Leger 16/10r, Matakatea 15, Cartwright 10, Harri Coker-Grey 9
AGS 61 – Brown 21, Shortt 13, Muggleston 9, Ryan Hunt 8

Westlake, with six players in double figures, ran out comfortable winners against Liston College (111-55).

Things looked good for the visitors early on as Sebastian Alan dropped a triple, Rasheed Ieremia earned visits to the charity stripe, Dhon Lao scored half a dozen, and after a promising opening ten minutes Liston trailed by just a single points (24-23).

However from there Westlake moved through the gears – Daniel Ottenhoff scored 10 of his 22 points in the second, Luke Don and Jonty Strawbridge added threes and the advantage was 56-35 in favour of the hosts at half-time.

The scoring tailed off slightly in the third but another 32-point outburst in the fourth – Hamza Zahran with 10 of those – means Westlake have rattled up 229 points and a pair of W’s in the opening two rounds.

Westlake 111 – Ottenhoff 22, Zahran 20, Strawbridge 19, Ned Shearer 14, Don 10, Rocco Chang 10

Liston 55 – Ieremia 14, Lao 11, Alan 9, Oliver Mclihinney 6

Rangitoto College won 102-77 at Sacred Heart with Tautoko Wynyard and Jacob Fotu again prominent.

Heart, outmatched in the paint, battled manfully but the Rangi front court were simply too big and too good. The revitalised Wynyard finished with 29 points and 14 rebounds while Fotu grabbed 10 boards to accompany 16 points.

Wynyard was into double figures in the opening period which was won 24-17 by the visitors.

Preston Tuaputa nailed a triple early in the second and Adam Davies converted on three occasions from the land of plenty but the hosts were making hay from distance also – a pair of treys apiece from  Jimmy Kim and Joel Brown meant Rangi led 54-41 at the break.

Matt Fautuaalii scored 10 points for Heart in the third but more damage from Fotu eased Rangi out to a 76-55 lead, with a second straight win comfortably confirmed in the closing minutes.

Sacred Heart 77 – Davies 15, Josh Stewart 15, Fautuaalii 12, Jerome Jakeman 11, Tuaputa 8

Rangitoto 102 – Wynyard 29, Fotu 16, Arnold Nam 12, Michael Ropotini 10 

Standings:

2-0 Rangitoto, Westlake, Rosmini

1-1 MAGS, AGS

0-2 Sacred Heart, Liston, St Kentigern

Lacey Lowdown partners with Northern Kāhu

The Lacey Lowdown is delighted to announce that the Northern Kāhu have agreed to support our growing coverage of Girls High School basketball for the remainder of the 2022 season.

Northern Kāhu will support the weekly roundups of the Auckland Premier and Senior A Girl’s games. 

The Kāhu will be competing in the inaugural Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa season that commences at the end on June.

Kāhu Director Stephen Dil is convinced aligning with the Lacey Lowdown is perfect timing for the fledgling organisation.

“Mike has done a tremendous job over the years of giving profile to our game through the Lacey Lowdown.

“It is important to the Kāhu that the girls game continues to be reported on and our up and coming players are showcased.

Lowdown editor Mike Lacey believes that there is already great synergy between the Lowdown and Northern Kāhu.

“Three of the four player signings announced by the Kāhu began their playing careers at Auckland high schools. Ash Kelman-Poto played at Mt Albert Grammar School, Akiene-Tera Reed at Westlake Girls and Micaela Cocks at Takapuna Grammar School.

“More local players will be announced in the coming weeks which is extremely exciting.

“Northern Kāhu and Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa are creating a pathway many of our current high school players will aspire to follow.

We look forward to reporting on the next round of girl’s games coming up on Friday. In the meantime you can follow the Northern Kāhu here: 

Facebook.com/kahubasketball

Instagram.com/kahubasketball

Twitter.com/kahubasketball

http://www.kahu.basketball

Lacey Lowdown partners with Dynamic Sport New Zealand

The Lacey Lowdown is delighted to announce that Dynamic Sport New Zealand has agreed to support our growing coverage of Boy’s High School basketball for the remainder of the 2022 season.

Nigel Morgan, and the team at Dynamic Sport New Zealand will not only aid game coverage of Auckland Premier Boy’s games but have generously agreed to provide weekly Player of the Round prizes. 

Dynamic Sport is a major supplier of sporting goods and apparel in New Zealand. Managing Director Nigel Morgan believes the Lowdown is a perfect partner for a community focused family business.  

“Dynamic Sport is delighted to partner with Mike and the Lacey Lowdown.  

“Mike is hugely respected in the Basketball community and the Lacey Lowdown has become the ‘go to’ for the review of all things basketball – in particular Secondary School Boys and Girls basketball.  

“As a category, the sport of Basketball is very important to Dynamic Sport, our core business is selling sports equipment to schools and clubs – aligning with an organisation like The Lacey Lowdown is an ideal fit for our expanding business.  

“We are really looking forward to seeing how the 2022 Secondary School season pans out, with two years of the National Secondary Schools Tournament not being able to proceed due to Covid, we feel this season will be incredibly competitive!

“We wish all teams the very best for the 2022 season and would like to thank Mike for all the work he does in the Basketball community.”

We look forward to reporting on the next round of games coming up on Friday. In the meantime browse through the range of quality products Dynamic Sport New Zealand has to offer. https://dynamicsport.co.nz/

Senior A Girl’s – Round 1 Wrap

The 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Senior A Grade competition began last Friday.

The game of the round was played at Dilworth where promoted side Takapuna Grammar School edged Auckland Girls Grammar by the closest of margins, 52-51.

It was AGGS that made the better start as Zara Leavasa-Avauli’s early points helped forge a 15-7 lead.

The tables were turned in the second, a late three in the spell by Amy McKenzie on her way to a game high 19 points, helped Takapuna to a 26-23 lead at the interval.

AGGS regained the initiative after the break, Leavasa-Avauli scored three straight baskets to give them a narrow 39-38 lead at the three-quarter mark.

In a gripping finish, Qaizden Stephano and Maania Watson made key plays for Takapuna before both fouled out. Faith Hurt and Grady Nikoia drew AGGS into a match winning situation but it was Mariah Parker making the deciding play.

Having earlier scored what turned out to be the game winning basket she secured the all-important defensive rebound off an AGGS missed free-throw to seal the win. 

Takapuna Grammar 52 – McKenzie 19, Stephano 16, Watson 8, Parker 5

Auckland Girls Grammar 51 – Leavasa-Avauli 15, F Hurt 12, Grady Nikoia 9

The other promoted side Manurewa College also notched a win with a 66-50 defeat of One Tree Hill College.

The two dominant figures in the game were Manurewa’s Sela Uluheua who scored 30 points and One Tree Hill’s Angelica Vahai who almost matched that with 26 points.

OTH led at quarter time by a point (17-16) but Uluheua amassed 16 points in the second to give Manurewa a 36-30 lead.

The third period was pivotal – Mariona Monga knocked down a three and Lavinia Liufau chipped in with a bucket but more decisively OTH were restricted to five points – the Manurewa lead 49-35 with ten minutes to play.

Vahai, Meadow Thompson, and Milla Eckford attempted some salvage work but the damage was done – Manurewa comfortable victors.

One Tree Hill 50 – Vahai 26, Thompson 10, Harriate Heteg 6

Manurewa College 66 – Uluheua 30, Monga 11, Shirly Tuilimu 10, Bella Manu-Moore 6

Mt Roskill Grammar commanded the game and the scoreline from the start. The bulk of the damage done by halftime with MRG up 40-18.

Bree Ioane scoring 14 of her 17 points in the first half. Sister Nelly capped a good team display scoring 19 of her 29 in the second half.

For Avondale Maya Loomes scored a game high 21 points with Shiloh Caffery posting a valuable 13 points.

Avondale College 43 – Maya Loomes 21, Shiloh Caffery 13

Mount Roskill 76 – Nelly Ioane 29, Bree Ioane 17

Northcote College v Massey High at Northcote

Unfortunately, this game wasn’t played as transport difficulties meant Massey High were unable to fulfil the fixture

Senior A Boys Wrap – Aaron Sievert scores 51 points!

Aaron Sievert signaled he will be a player to watch in the 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A Grade competition that commenced on Friday.

The Northcote guard posted a small matter of 51 points on Friday night!

Sievert put on a shooting clinic as Northcote College defeated Aorere College 112-62. 

The shooting guard scored 51 points – presumably a career high – knocking down eight (8) threes in the process.

With skipper Dontaye Sowman-Faaee and young guard Shunta Shinzaki chiming in with significant contributions Northcote were in complete control.

Moroni Tauhara and the Gordon brothers Franklyne and Christopher battled bravely for Aorere.

*Sievert’s points breakdown by quarters:

Q1 15pts, Q2 7pts, Q3 15pts, Q4 14pts. Pity he went cold in the second quarter!!

Northcote College 112  Sievert 51, Shinzaki 23, Sowman-Faaee 14

Aorere College 62 – Tauhara 15, Chris Gordon 14, Franklyne Gordon 13, Tamely Taito 7

Avondale College got their season underway with a narrow 79-73 win against Mount Roskill Grammar,

MRG got out to an early lead establishing  22-13 advantage at the end of first quarter – 12 points from Mitchell Greenaway. 

Roskill were still in control at the half with a 10 point lead. 

Avondale came storming back in the second half with multiple contributors, most notably from Jimi Iosia-Sipeli who scored 12 of his 28 points in the final frame.

Avondale College 79 – Jimi Iosia-Sipeli 28, Andrew M 18

Mount Roskill 73 – Mitchell Greenaway 23, Haisem Osman 16

Newly promoted Dilworth School were given a reminder of what a step up in divisions means, with St Peter’s College winning the encounter 86-52.

Scott Errey led the way for St Peter’s with an industrious 26 points – three triples in that effort. In a good team performance, where six players score 7 points or more, Andrew Manio was next best with 19 points.

Dilworth received double figure contributions from Finlay Edwards, Ivan Kerr and Owen Pattison.

Dilworth School 52 – Edwards 15, Kerr 12, Pattison 10

St Peter’s College 86 – Errey 26, Manio 19, Gus Dallow 8, Bailey Smith 7, Milan Tolich 7, Owain Leigh 7

The other new boys on the block Manurewa got their campaign off to a winning start courtesy of strong performances from Richard Campbell and William Passi who tallied 27 and 20 points respectively.

In front of a large enthusiastic crowd Manurewa did the damage in the first half racking up 53 points – Campbell had 19 points at the break.

Macleans were well served by Christian Mutti (18 points) and Dale Babaran (13 points).

Outsized but not out-fought Macleans coach Keith Langley was delighted with the spirit of his team.

“The scoreline doesn’t look great but against a bigger team we bounced back after a struggle in the second quarter and actually outscored Manurewa in the second half.”

Macleans College 56 – Mutti 18, Babaran 13, Levi Smyth 6, Rohin Bacharam 6

Manurewa College 88 – Campbell 27Passi 20, Alex Hughes 14, Ryan Ancha 10, Brian Tapu 8

Girl’s Prems Wrap – Round 1

Photo courtesy of Jo Cammell

The opening round of the Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Premier Grade saw comfortable wins for Epsom Girls Grammar, Mount Albert Grammar, Baradene College and Westlake Girls High.

Epsom Girls Grammar v St Mary’s College at Auckland Grammar School

Drawn Forbes scored a game high 20 points to propel Epsom Girls Grammar to a 79-44 victory against St Mary’s.

It was the Saints that made the better start, Kodee Williams-Sefo scoring 10 points as they forged a 19-13 lead. Unfortunately for St Mary’s that was the end of the night for the New Zealand U15 squad member who had to sit out the remainder of the game with a knee injury.

Trinity Atiga scored 8 second quarter points but Andrea Ape-Paia and Maya Fowler trimmed the St Mary’s advantage to a single point at half-time (32-31).

With the St Mary’s scoring drying up in the third, Epsom drove home the advantage outscoring their opponents 25-4 in the period – triples from Forbes, Maya Fowler and Ivy Tino aided the run.

With EGGS in complete control the lead ballooned out in the fourth. 

EGGS 79 – Forbes 20, Ape-Paia 16, Talia Vea 12, Fowler 12, Keilah Pati 6

St Mary’s 44 – Atiga 17, Williams-Sefo 10, Tamsin Jakeman 6, Faith Ualika 6

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto

Mount Albert Grammar enjoyed their first trip across ‘The Bridge’ this season as they claimed the spoils at Rangitoto College with a convincing 89-62 win.

Waimanu Clarken ,with a Round 1 high 37 points, and Danae Tait with 19 points were the architects of the win. The duo shared 18 points as MAGS raced to a 26-14 first quarter lead.

Tamsin McAsey scored 7 second quarter points for the hosts who trailed 46-30 at half-time.

Zaara Sain and Aroha Rogers (26 points) continued to find the nylon for Rangi but Tait knocked down her fifth triple of the game, Clarken continued her merry way, and Tiger-Lily Cocker-Lemanie chipped in with points as MAGS made a winning start to the season.

Rangitoto 62 – Rogers 26, Sain 11, Tamsin McKasey 9, Maddison Skelton 8

MAGS 89 – Clarken 37, Tait 19, Cocker-Lemanie 16, Jorjia Fiu 6, Sienna-Rose Tawera 6

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Girls High School at Saint Kentigern

Newly promoted Saint Kentigern College found the going a little tough against Westlake Girls High – outscored 80-40.

Mackenzie Chatfield led the Westlake scoring with 31 points, the other major contributors being Lily Fotu and the Moors sisters Rebecca and Sarah.

St Kent’s actually made the better start to the contest as they held a 16-6 lead on the back of 11 points from Sharmaine Tapling.

Three’s from Ash Tuumaialu and Tapling kept the scoreboard moving but Chatfield and Fotu were moving through the gears as Westlake edged ahead (33-29) at the interval.

The St Kent’s scoring slowed to a crawl in the second half and with the marauding Moors’ controlling the paint – they corralled a combined 25 rebounds – the second half was largely one way traffic.

Westlake 80 – Chatfield 31, Rebecca Moors 18, Sarah Moors 16, Fotu 13

Saint Kentigern 40 – Tapling 16, Tuumaialu 8, Maia Bennett 6, Mania Rogers 6

Carmel College v Baradene College at Rosmini College

Summer Faliafa (25 points) and Ritorya Tamilo (26 points) dominated proceedings as Baradene College bossed the contest at Carmel College to run out 86-35 winners.

The omens were not good for Carmel at quarter time when they trailed 31-2.

However the experienced Jemma Cammell settled her young charges with 11 first half points – at that stage Tamilo threatening a triple double, with deft footwork for inside points, rebounds at both ends and multiple shots swatted away.

Tamilo and Faliafa continued to punish the Carmel defence in the second half – Poppy Cavanagh Briggs and Amelia Nathan adding to the damage.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Carmel as Zahara Tibbotts, Leighton Esera and Cammell led a spirited second half display.

Carmel 35 – Cammell 20, Esera 5, Annie Garland 4 

Baradene 86 – Tamilo 26, Faliafa 25, Cavanagh-Briggs 13, Nathan 8, Emily Burrows 6

Boy’s Prems – Round 1 Wrap

The opening round of the Auckland Secondary Schools Boys Premier Grade games saw big wins for Auckland Grammar, Rosmini College and Westlake Boys while Rangitoto College won the game of the round against Mt Albert Grammar

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto.

The good news for Rangitoto College fans, but less welcoming news for opponents, is that Tautoko Wynyard is back! The Rangi centre has endured two years of injury setbacks but on Friday night announced his return with a double-double of  25 points and 13 rebounds.

It is as well that he was in top form as Mt Albert Grammar pushed the hosts all the way before going down 73-69.

MAGS won the opening quarter by 4, lost the second by 5, the third by I and tied the fourth to emphasise what a close, enthralling contest it was.

The early scoring was dominated by Zeke Priest and Wynyard for the home side and Victor Keil and Luke Matthews for MAGS as the two teams went basket for basket.

Dante Matakatea scored 8 points in the second quarter for the visitors but scores from Jacob Fotu and Soane Abraham edged Rangi ahead 38-35 at the break. 

Matakatea, Keil and Harri Coker-Grey found ways to puncture the Rangi defence while at the other end a Jimmy Kim three and buckets from Michael Ropatini and Fotu gave Rangi a 58-54 three-quarter time advantage. 

A three from Priest was answered with a brace of triples from Keil, however it was the front court pairing of Fotu and Wynyard that stood tall and held MAGS at bay for a hard fought win.

Rangitoto 73 – Wynyard 25/13r, Priest 17, Fotu 10

MAGS 69 – Victor Keil 21, Dante Matakatea 19, Coker-Gray 18, Matthews 6

Rosmini College v Sacred Heart College at Rosmini.

Matt Fautuaalii had the distinction of scoring the first Premier League points for Sacred Heart College since 2011 – their last season in the top flight. The fleet footed guard couldn’t afford to dwell on the moment too long as a quick glance at the scoreboard showed Rosmini College had rattled off 12 unanswered points to open proceedings.

Tom Beattie had welcomed the new boys on the block with a baseline drive and dunk on the opening play and with Lucas Schnuriger, Kane Murphy and Charlie Dalton knocking down threes the hosts had a 29-12 advantage after 10 minutes.

Sacred Heart skipper Josh Stewart scored eight of his game high 21 points in the second quarter but threes in the shadows of half-time from Bart Jackowski and Josh Batty, plus inside points from Julius Halaifonua, meant Rozza had a 48-20 lead at half time.  

Adam Davies and Stewart scored the opening points of the second half as Heart began to work their way into the contest. They split 28 points with the hosts in the third period and put up 16 points in the fourth to head back east with heads held high and lessons learnt.

Sacred Heart 50 – Stewart 21, Fautuaalii 7, Preston Tuaputa 6

Rosmini 84 – Beattie 17, Halaifonua 14, Dalton 12, Zion Anderson 10, Jameer Reed 9

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Boys High at St Kentigern.

Westlake Boys High have hit the ground running, or more accurately sprinting, as they rattled up a ton in putting an under strength Saint Kent’s away 118-64.

George Turner knocked down the first 7 points for St Kent’s although 8 points apiece from Rocco Chang and Hamza Zahran gave Westlake a 27-21 quarter time lead.

Down three starters, Saint Kent’s were swimming against the Westlake tide – Jonty Strawbridge and Malachi Book helped the visitors dominate the period to gain a 57-32 half-time lead.

Zahran would go on to garner 24 points and with Ned Shearer matching that tally Lake were in cruise control in the second half.

Turner top scored for the Saints with 19 points, Max Johnson totaled 14 while Luka Ljubisavljevic (10 points) was the other home player in double figures.

On a night when older brother Kainoa was making his NBL debut for Auckland Tuatara young St Kent’s guard Cooper Lepou scored a promising 8 points in his first Prems game.

St Kentigern 64 – Turner 19, Johnson 14, Ljubisavljevic 10, Lepou 8

Westlake 118 – Zahran 24, Shearer 24, Chang 18, Strawbridge 18, Book 13

Auckland Grammar v Liston College at Auckland Grammar.

Two former Tall Blacks BJ Anthony and Lindsay Tait go head to head in the coaching boxes in this one and it will be BJ that will be left most to ponder after Liston College were beaten 117-51 by a rampant Auckland Grammar side. 

Cody Brown led the way for Grammar with 28 points and he was well supported by Josh Howes (18 points), Jackson Kiss (14 points) and Josh Muggleston’s 13 points.

Dhon Lao played a fine hand for Liston with 20 points but the next best was Sebastian Alan with 7 points.

The writing was on the wall at quarter time as AGS raced to a 29-3 lead – Muggleston and Brown doing most the damage.

Lao, Deon Helu and Sebastian Alan led a mini Liston revival in the second quarter but Kiss scored the last 8 points of the half for AGS who cantered to a comfortable win.

AGS 107 – Brown 28, Howes 19, Kiss 14,  Mugglestone 13, Theo Brothers 8, Ryan Hunt 8 

Liston 51 – Lao 20, Alan 7, Marvellous Michael 6 

Boy’s and Girl’s Senior A Preview

The 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A Grade season begins on Friday May 7th. Below we preview the opening round match-ups, of both the Girls and Boy’s competition, and include a few names that may be influential over the coming months.

BOYS – all games tip-off at 7.30pm on May 6

Avondale College v Mount Roskill at Avondale

Mount Roskill are in a rebuilding phase this year with just one Year 13 player in the squad. “Senior A is looking very strong this year so it will be a real challenge for us,” said Roskill coach Martin Windsor who will look to captain Ngawaka Rakete to set the defensive tone for his team.

Avondale finished just outside the top four last season – a play-off berth will be a goal for 2022.

Dilworth School v St Peter’s College at Dilworth

Newly promoted Dilworth entertain St Peter’s in the Epsom derby. Coach Josiah Maama will be looking to captain Owen Pattison to orchestrate proceedings with Ikahui Mahe, Damon Kitchen and Ivan Kerr hopefully tuned in for success.

St Peter’s, still smarting from their Prems relegation, will be looking for skipper Scott Errey to lead the charge to be championship contenders. Andrei Manio, Dorian Sula and New Zealand U15 trialist Gus Dallow will be major contributors also. 

Northcote College v Aorere College at Northcote

Northcote College, with Aik Ho at the helm, will look to the scoring potential of Aaron Sievert. With Dontaye Sowman-Faaee and Tom Bates to lock down the middle look out for young guard Shunta Shinzaki to also make an impact.

Aorere will be tough opponents, the visitors looking for Moroni Tauhara and the Gordon brothers Franklyne and Christopher to provide early season impetus.

Macleans College v Manurewa College at Macleans

The other new boys on the block Manurewa, still fizzing from their promotion play-off win against Massey, will likely start with William Passi, Alex Hughes, Ryan Ancha, Brian Tapu and Richard Campbell.

Macleans new coach Keith Langley inherits a very young squad. Initial success may well be dependent on the form of seniors Levi Smyth and Dale Babaran. 

SENIOR A GIRLS – all games tip-off at 5.00pm on May 6

Avondale College v Mount Roskill at Avondale

Sisters Nellie and Bree Ioane will be two of the more accomplished members of a young Mt Roskill outfit.

Avondale finished fifth last year and would like to move at least one step up the standings this season.

Northcote College v Massey High at Northcote

Lizzie May and Nikki Gear will lead the Northcote challenge for another top four finish..  Lily Morgan has joined ‘Cote from Takapuna Grammar.

Massey Head Coach Tim Ryan will lean heavily on the scoring prowess of the Waikiki sisters Tahlya and Kortni along with Allyah Leusogi-Ape. Look out also for young Cyntalia Schuster.

One Tree Hill v Manurewa College at Macleans College

Savannah Cook has made an immediate transition from player to coach in order to guide 2012 regular season champions One Tree Hill. Angelica Vahai, Syriah Muipu and forward Talei Bogidua will serve her well. 

Promoted side Manurewa will be aiming to make an impact in the early season.

Takapuna Grammar v Auckland Girls Grammar at Dilworth

Forward Qaizden Stephano will anchor the Takapuna defence with Amy Mckenzie providing front court stability.

Bailey Flavell has returned to the North Shore after her family’s three-year spell in Melbourne. Her presence is a boost for Takapuna’s back court options.

AGGS will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2021 campaign.

The 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A Grade season begins on Friday May 7th. Below we preview the opening round match-ups, of both the Girls and Boy’s competition, and include a few names that may be influential over the coming months.

BOYS – all games tip-off at 7.30pm on May 6

Avondale College v Mount Roskill at Avondale

Mount Roskill are in a rebuilding phase this year with just one Year 13 player in the squad. “Senior A is looking very strong this year so it will be a real challenge for us,” said Roskill coach Martin Windsor who will look to captain Ngawaka Rakete to set the defensive tone for his team.

Avondale finished just outside the top four last season – a play-off berth will be a goal for 2022.

Dilworth School v St Peter’s College at Dilworth

Newly promoted Dilworth entertain St Peter’s in the Epsom derby. Coach Josiah Maama will be looking to captain Owen Pattison to orchestrate proceedings with Ikahui Mahe, Damon Kitchen and Ivan Kerr hopefully tuned in for success.

St Peter’s, still smarting from their Prems relegation, will be looking for skipper Scott Errey to lead the charge to be championship contenders. Andrei Manio, Dorian Sula and New Zealand U15 trialist Gus Dallow will be major contributors also. 

Northcote College v Aorere College at Northcote

Northcote College, with Aik Ho at the helm, will look to the scoring potential of Aaron Sievert. With Dontaye Sowman-Faaee and Tom Bates to lock down the middle look out for young guard Shunta Shinzaki to also make an impact.

Aorere will be tough opponents, the visitors looking for Moroni Tauhara and the Gordon brothers Franklyne and Christopher to provide early season impetus.

Macleans College v Manurewa College at Macleans

The other new boys on the block Manurewa, still fizzing from their promotion play-off win against Massey, will likely start with William Passi, Alex Hughes, Ryan Ancha, Brian Tapu and Richard Campbell.

Macleans new coach Keith Langley inherits a very young squad. Initial success may well be dependent on the form of seniors Levi Smyth and Dale Babaran. 

SENIOR A GIRLS – all games tip-off at 5.00pm on May 6

Avondale College v Mount Roskill at Avondale

Sisters Nellie and Bree Ioane will be two of the more accomplished members of a young Mt Roskill outfit.

Avondale finished fifth last year and would like to move at least one step up the standings this season.

Northcote College v Massey High at Northcote

Lizzie May and Nikki Gear will lead the Northcote challenge for another top four finish..  Lily Morgan has joined ‘Cote from Takapuna Grammar.

Massey Head Coach Tim Ryan will lean heavily on the scoring prowess of the Waikiki sisters Tahlya and Kortni along with Allyah Leusogi-Ape. Look out also for young Cyntalia Schuster.

One Tree Hill v Manurewa College at Macleans College

Savannah Cook has made an immediate transition from player to coach in order to guide 2012 regular season champions One Tree Hill. Angelica Vahai, Syriah Muipu and forward Talei Bogidua will serve her well. 

Promoted side Manurewa will be aiming to make an impact in the early season.

Takapuna Grammar v Auckland Girls Grammar at Dilworth

Forward Qaizden Stephano will anchor the Takapuna defence with Amy Mckenzie providing front court stability.

Bailey Flavell has returned to the North Shore after her family’s three-year spell in Melbourne. Her presence is a boost for Takapuna’s back court options.

AGGS will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2021 campaign. Look to Fuschia Traill, Zara Leavasa-Avauli plus Ryn and Grady Nikoia to lead the Grammar revival.

Boy’s & Girl’s Prems Preview

The 2022 High School Premier Grade season begins on Friday May 7th. Below we preview the opening round match-ups, of both the Girls and Boy’s competition, and also include a few names that may be influential over the coming months.

BOYS PREMS – all games tip-off at 7.30pm.

Auckland Grammar v Liston College at Auckland Grammar.

Two former Tall Blacks BJ Anthony and Lindsay Tait go head to head in the coaching boxes in this one.

Liston College remained in the Premier Grade by the skin of their teeth, winning a promotion/relegation contest against Mount Roskill Grammar 77-76 last month. Anthony will be looking for productivity from Dhon Lao, Landon Smith, Rasheed Tahiru, and the man with the coolest name in Premier basketball, Marvellous Michael.

AGS will be led by Josh Mugglestone, Cody Brown and New Zealand U17 national team members Will Shortt and Kalid Petzer.

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto.

The Rangitoto front court of Jacob Fotu and Tautoko Wynyard will be handful for all teams and with Zeke Priest adding scoring punch expect the ‘Boys from the Bays’ to be top four material.

Under coach Daryl Cartwright MAGS are always a well organised, team-first outfit. The Year 13 core of Victor Keil, Will Leger, Dante Matakatea and Denvor Elia will no doubt continue this trait.

Rosmini College v Sacred Heart College at Rosmini.

New boys on the block Sacred Heart College have a tough opening assignment at Rosmini.

Josh Stewart scored 33 points for Sacred Heart in the promotion play-off against St Peter’s. He and Matt Fautuaalii will need to fire if SHC are to cause an opening round upset.

Rosmini return a strong Year 13 core that includes Kane Murphy, Zion Anderson, Charlie Dalton and Tom Beattie.

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Boys High at St Kentigern.

The reigning National Champions Saint Kentigern College (yes I know we haven’t had Nationals for two years but St Kent’s were the last winners in 2019) take on Westlake.

Wing George Turner was recently named to the New Zealand team to compete at the FIBA U16 Asia Cup in June in Doha. With Donte Russo-Nance a major piece for Auckland Tuatara in the Sal’s NBL St Kent’s coach Aaron Young could find his resources stretched if these two key players are missing for any length of time.

Merrick Rillstone and Frankie Groves could be called on to take additional responsibilities.

Westlake return forward Hamza Zahran, guard Rocco Chang and Daniel Ottenhoff to lead their bid for success. New Zealand U15 trialist Troy Wentworth will also be eager to make his mark.

GIRLS PREMS – all games tip-off at 5pm.

Carmel College v Baradene College at Rosmini College

Carmel College have a difficult first up assignment against the talented Baradene outfit.

Jemma Cammell, Imogen O’Rourke, Lily Farman and Zaraha Tibbotts were all prominent when Carmel won the crucial promotion/relegation tie against One Tree Hill College. We can expect the same against Baradene.

With only two players lost from last season Baradene will be very much in the hunt for honours in 2022. With Denya Topia running the point and Ritorya Tamilo patrolling the paint they will be a tough proposition for all-comers.

Epsom Girls Grammar v St Mary’s College at Auckland Grammar School

Both teams were beaten semi-finalists in 2021 and will be keen to get their quest for another top four finish off to a positive start.

St Mary’s will look to Kodee Williams-Sefo and Alex Moore to lead that pursuit. 

Epsom relied heavily on Sarah Joy Aruwa and Flo Dallow for the bulk of their points last year. With the two having graduated EGGS will need Te Aroha Kukutai-Wairau, Maya Fowler and Draun Forbes to fill the void.

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto

Rangitoto College return four of last year’s starters with Tamsin McAsey  and sharp shooter Aroha Riley their likely go-to players.

MAGS will look to leadership from Waimanu Clarken and Danae Tait. April Liu has arrived from AGGS but in accordance with College Sport rules will sit out the first half of the regular season.

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Girls High School at Saint Kentigern

Back in Premier Grade Saint Kentigern have a tough assignment against perennial  contenders Westlake. Saint Kent’s will be looking to co-captains Sharmaine Tapling and Maia Mealamu, along with and Nerisa Vavau, for strong performances.

New Zealand U15 trialist Ashleigh Tuumaialu will likely be given more responsibility also.

Another NZ U15 trialist Lily Fotu will be in the Westlake ranks for whom Izzy Pugh and Mackenzie Chatfield are sure fire starters. Lake will also anticipate good production from up-and-comers Amy-Lee Pateman, recently named to the New Zealand U17 team, and Rebecca Moors.

The 2022 High School Premier Grade season begins on Friday May 7th. Below we preview the opening round match-ups, of both the Girls and Boy’s competition, and include a few names that may be influential over the coming months.

BOYS PREMS – all games tip-off at 7.30pm.

Auckland Grammar v Liston College at Auckland Grammar.

Two former Tall Blacks BJ Anthony and Lindsay Tait go head to head in the coaching boxes in this one.

Liston College remained in the Premier Grade by the skin of their teeth, winning a promotion/relegation contest against Mount Roskill Grammar 77-76 last month. Anthony will be looking for productivity from Dhon Lao, Landon Smith, Rasheed Tahiru, and the man with the coolest name in Premier basketball, Marvellous Michael.

AGS will be led by Josh Mugglestone, Cody Brown and New Zealand U17 national team members Will Shortt and Kalid Petzer.

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto.

The Rangitoto front court of Jacob Fotu and Tautoko Wynyard will be handful for all teams and with Zeke Priest adding scoring punch expect the ‘Boys from the Bays’ to be top four material.

Under coach Daryl Cartwright MAGS are always a well organised, team-first outfit. The Year 13 core of Victor Keil, Will Leger, Dante Matakatea and Denvor Elia will no doubt continue this trait.

Rosmini College v Sacred Heart College at Rosmini.

New boys on the block Sacred Heart College have a tough opening assignment at Rosmini.

Josh Stewart scored 33 points for Sacred Heart in the promotion play-off against St Peter’s. He and Matt Fautuaalii will need to fire if SHC are to cause an opening round upset.

Rosmini return a strong Year 13 core that includes Kane Murphy, Zion Anderson, Charlie Dalton and Tom Beattie.

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Boys High at St Kentigern.

The reigning National Champions Saint Kentigern College (yes I know we haven’t had Nationals for two years but St Kent’s were the last winners in 2019) take on Westlake.

Wing George Turner was recently named to the New Zealand team to compete at the FIBA U16 Asia Cup in June in Doha. With Donte Russo-Nance a major piece for Auckland Tuatara in the Sal’s NBL St Kent’s coach Aaron Young could find his resources stretched if these two key players are missing for any length of time.

Merrick Rillstone and Frankie Groves could be called on to take additional responsibilities.

Westlake return forward Hamza Zahran, guard Rocco Chang and Daniel Ottenhoff to lead their bid for success. New Zealand U15 trialist Troy Wentworth will also be eager to make his mark.

GIRLS PREMS – all games tip-off at 5pm.

Carmel College v Baradene College at Rosmini College

Carmel College have a difficult first up assignment against the talented Baradene outfit.

Jemma Cammell, Imogen O’Rourke, Lily Farman and Zaraha Tibbotts were all prominent when Carmel won the crucial promotion/relegation tie against One Tree Hill College. We can expect the same against Baradene.

With only two players lost from last season Baradene will be very much in the hunt for honours in 2022. With Denya Topia running the point and Ritorya Tamilo patrolling the paint they will be a tough proposition for all-comers.

Epsom Girls Grammar v St Mary’s College at Auckland Grammar School

Both teams were beaten semi-finalists in 2021 and will be keen to get their quest for another top four finish off to a positive start.

St Mary’s will look to Kodee Williams-Sefo and Alex Moore to lead that pursuit. 

Epsom relied heavily on Sarah Joy Aruwa and Flo Dallow for the bulk of their points last year. With the two having graduated EGGS will need Te Aroha Kukutai-Wairau, Maya Fowler and Draun Forbes to fill the void.

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto

Rangitoto College return four of last year’s starters with Tamsin McAsey  and sharp shooter Aroha Riley their likely go-to players.

MAGS will look to leadership from Waimanu Clarken and Danae Tait. April Liu has arrived from AGGS but in accordance with College Sport rules will sit out the first half of the regular season.

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Girls High School at Saint Kentigern

Back in Premier Grade Saint Kentigern have a tough assignment against perennial  contenders Westlake. Saint Kent’s will be looking to co-captains Sharmaine Tapling and Maia Mealamu, along with and Nerisa Vavau, for strong performances.

New Zealand U15 trialist Ashleigh Tuumaialu will likely be given more responsibility also.

Another NZ U15 trialist Lily Fotu will be in the Westlake ranks for whom Izzy Pugh and Mackenzie Chatfield are sure fire starters. Lake will also anticipate good production from up-and-comers Amy-Lee Pateman, recently named to the New Zealand U17 team, and Rebecca Moors.

Partner with the Lacey Lowdown

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The website was founded, and is run by, basketball enthusiast Mike Lacey. Having posted 1,600 news stories and attracted half a million website views, the Lacey Lowdown has become a central hub of information, as well as advocating for equal promotion of the men’s and women’s game.

The 2022 High School season begins on May 7 and the Lowdown will begin its 2022 coverage that weekend. The 2022/23 Collegiate season begins in September.

The Lowdown is seeking sponsorship partners for the 2022 Boys High School Season, 2022 Girls High School Season and the 2022/23 US Collegiate Season.

If your business or someone you know is interested in supporting basketball and the coverage of the rising stars in our sport, by entering a partnership with the Lacey Lowdown, please contact Matt Lacey – math3wlacey@gmail.com.

Sacred Heart promoted to Prems

The country may have moved into the Covid orange setting at midnight Wednesday but three hours earlier it was green-for-go as Sacred Heart College defeated St Peter’s College 91-78 to earn promotion to the Auckland Secondary School’s Premier League.

Played at a frenetic pace, in front of a vibrant crowd, Sacred Heart were out the starting gate the quickest piling on 34 first quarter points to lead by 14 after ten minutes.

Andrei Manio scored St Peter’s first dozen points but Matt Fautuaalii and Josh Stewart combined for twenty to the delight of the away support.

The second period was equally furious but far more even – Sacred Heart 58-42 ahead at half-time.

A triple from Stewart and a transition score from Dalton Dennis stretched the visitors lead to beyond twenty and a runaway victory was on the cards. But a momentum shift changed all that.

The cellophane went over the Sacred Heart bucket while at the other end skipper Scott Erey, Toby Cox and Manio consistently found a route to basket.

St Peter’s finished the period with a 14-3 run to trail 69-60 – the home fans in full voice during the three-quarter time break.

Preston Tuaputa opened the final quarter scoring but a triple from Milan Tolich and another bucket from Dorian Sula kept St Peter’s in touch – 75-67 down with six minutes to play. 

Owain Leigh knocked down another three for St Peter’s but Tuaputa, Stewart and Adam Davies steadied the ship for Sacred Heart.

Players were exiting the game left right and centre in the dying minutes, with bouts of cramp or through fouling out, as the physical effort from both sets of players took its toll. 

Stewart, the leading scorer in the game with 33 points, ensured Sacred Heart managed the clock in the dying seconds to close out a deserved victory and with it promotion to the upper echelons of Auckland Schools basketball. 

St Peter’s 78 – Manio 22, Errey 17, Sula 8, Cox 7, Leigh 7, Bailey Smith 7

Sacred Heart 91 – Stewart 33, Fautuaalii 17, Davies 14, Tuaputa 12, Dennis 9

In the other promotion/relegation battle Liston College edged Mt Roskill Grammar 77-76 to retain their place in the Premier League.

Carmel retain Prems place while St Kentigern earn promotion

The Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Premier League play-off ties were decided on Friday night. In winner takes-all contests Carmel College retained their Premier status with a comfortable 63-44 win against One Tree Hill College while St Kentigern College won promotion from Senior A with a stirring 61-59 victory at Massey High School. 

At Carmel there was just a point between the two teams after ten minutes (12-11 in favour of Carmel) but the nerves of the home supporters were eased a little in the second period as Carmel moved out to a 33-20 advantage at the interval. 

Three-point plays from Zaraha Tibbotts and Leighton Esera opened up a double digit lead for Carmel while OTH had Angelica Vahai to thank for keeping them in the contest – the skipper had 10 points at the break.

Suriah Muipu scored the first two buckets of the second half but Carmel responded through Lily Farman and Jemma Cammell. Vahai followed an athletic block with a coast-to-coast basket before Cammell and Imogen O’Rourke stretched the Carmel advantage to twenty points (52-32) at the three-quarter mark.

Talei Bogidua was a powerful presence under the boards and her battling effort typified the OTH spirit but it was Carmel that prevailed – a coveted spot in the Premier League retained. 

Carmel 63 – Jemma Cammell 18, Imogen O’Rourke 10, Lily Farman 9, Zaraha Tibbotts 8

One Tree Hill 44 – Angelica Vahai 17, Talei Bogidua 10, Syriah Muipu 9

Out west, fans from both sides treated to a thriller as St Kentigern prevailed by a single point. The game couldn’t have been any tighter – Massey led by a point at quarter time, it was all square after the second and third periods before St Kent’s edged the final stanza by a single score.

Sharmaine Tapling for St Kent’s and Tahlya Waikiki for Massey shared the honours in the opening half as both posted 12 points for their respective teams with the score tied at 31 apiece.

It was nip and tuck again in the third. Kortni Waikiki had half a dozen points in the period for the hosts, Ashleigh Tuumaialu the same number for the Saints. 

Allyah Leusogi-Ape, named earlier in the week, to the New Zealand U18 Selection Camp had the final say of the period – 48 all with ten minutes to play.

A three from Zhoey Tilby-Woods helped the Massey cause as did a couple of scores from Tahlya Waikiki.  Inside the last two minutes, with Massey ahead 59-57, Sophie Jones scored a go-ahead three for the Saints.

Manania Rogers then made an important free-throw as St Kent’s managed the clock through the closing seconds to claim the win and promotion. 

“It was a tough game but it was defence that won it. Holding Allyah (Leusogi-Ape) was critical,” said St Kent’s coach Darci Finnigan.

Massey 59 – Kortni Waikiki 15, Tahlya Waikiki 15, Cynthia Schuster 11, Allyah Leusogi-Ape 11

St Kentigern 61 – Sharmaine Tapling 16, Ashleigh Tuumaialu 10, Nerisa Vavau 9, Sophie Jones 8, Manania Rogers 6, Maia Mealamu 6

2022 Regular season begins May 6th.

Waardenburg and Miami still Dancing

Sam Waardenburg produced an outstanding performance as Miami University Hurricanes defeated Iowa State 70-56 in an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 match-up in Chicago.

The former Junior Tall Black finished with 13 points (5/9FG), a team high 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 35 minutes of high quality basketball.

The result means10th seeded Miami advance to the Elite 8, at the ‘Big Dance’, for the first time in programme history where they will face a number one seed Kansas for a spot in the semi-finals. 

“Iowa State’s a great team we knew they were going to come out and pressure us. We had the most turnovers we’ve had this tournament but we kept our identity and forced 18 turnovers as well. We did a great job executing the game plan,” said Waardenburg.

“It’s the energy from the bench and the energy from these guys that really swings you,” Waardenburg said of his teammates.

“They’ve been amazing and they’ve been like this all season long.”

Miami’s run in the play-offs means that we have Kiwi representation in the quarter-finals of the Men’s NCAA Division I Championship for the first time since Jack Salt and the University of Virginia Cavaliers won the title in 2019.

The one-time Rangitoto College and Harbour standout eclipsed 700 points and reached 500 rebounds at Miami, scoring in double figures for the 13th time this season and the 25th time in his four-year collegiate career.

Waardenburg now has 706 career points and keen to add more in the quarter-final tie against Kansas tomorrow.

Madness latest

Men’s NCAA Division I National Championship, Second Round

Dan Fotu and St Mary’s College Gaels were defeated 72-56 by UCLA Bruins. The West Coast Conference runners-up had few answers for the superior Bruins in the second half, outscored 36-27. In his 120th and final collegiate game Fotu had a single rebound.

Also bundled out in the second round were Yuat Alok and New Mexico State Aggies edged by Arkansas 53-48. The former Rangitoto College forward claimed a rebound and a free throw for the Aggies.

Miami (Sam Waardenburg) and Texas Christian (Harrison Young) play their second round ties tomorrow. 

Women’s NCAA Division I National Championship, First Round

New Zealand’s interest in the Women’s NCAA Tournament ended abruptly with first round defeats for both Washington State and Brigham Young (BYU) despite the best efforts of their Kiwi connections.

Tegan Graham had 11 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists, while Kaylee Smiler scored with her only shot as BYU were pipped 61-57 by Villanova. Tegan’s final tally of 153 games is a New Zealand record for the number of NCAA Division I appearances.

Krystal and Charlisse Leger-Walker carried a heavy load for Washington State University (WSU) as the Cougars went down 50-40 against Kansas State – the Waikato duo scoring all but eleven of the Cougars points. 

Krystal finished with 9 points and 5 rebounds whilst Charlisse scored a game high 20 points, setting a WSU record for the most points in an NCAA Tournament game in the process.

In what turned out to be her final collegiate game Krystal, in a rarity for her, had zero assists. That meant her amazing sequence of making an assist in every game she had played since January 2018 came to an end – the streak finishing at 94 games!  

Women’s NAIA National Championship

The quest of Rocky Mountain College to secure a semi-final berth at the NAIA National Championships came up agonisingly short as they were edged 60-58 by Thomas More University. Former Waikato and St Peter’s School, Cambridge forward Dominique Stephens scored 9 points and added 4 rebounds. 

Freshman Stephens played her part in the historic run of Rocky Mountain. They have won their first NAIA Tournament games, won their first share of the Frontier Conference regular season title and their first Frontier Conference Tournament Championship, since 1988. 

Women’s Basketball Invitational

St Mary’s College Gaels reached the final of the Women’s Basketball Invitational after defeating Bowling Green University 76-67 in the semi-finals.

Tayla Dalton added 2 assists and a block to 10 points (4/6FG) while Amy West snared a season high 11 rebounds to go with a couple of points.

NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships Second Round

Izzy Cook, Rashaan Smith and Western Nebraska College are through to the Final Four of the Junior College National Championships after Western Nebraska claimed a 63-51 quarter-final victory over South Plains.

Western Nebraska will meet Tyler College in the Championship semi-final tomorrow.

March Madness latest – Waardenburg and Miami advance

Men’s NCAA Division I National Championship, First Round

Miami University Hurricanes scraped past USC Trojans 68-66. Sam Waardenburg added 4 points and 3 rebounds to a career high 4 blocks. It needed two free-throws, with three seconds left on the clock, for the Hurricanes to seal the win and book themselves a second round match-up against second seed Auburn.

Sam Mennenga made 3 from 5 from beyond the arc in totalling 15 points but Davidson Wildcats came up just short against Michigan State downed 74-73. Mennenga also tallied 5 rebounds, an assist and a block for the Atlantic-10 regular season champions.

Harrison Young and TCU are through to the second round after the Horned Frogs comfortably beat Seton Hall 69-42.

Women’s NCAA Division I National Championship, First Round

Charlotte Whittaker and Colorado University bowed out in the first round after an 84-74 defeat at the hands of Creighton. 

Women’s National Invitational Tournament, First Round

The curtain has come down on the fabulous collegiate career of Kendell Heremaia after Fordham University were defeated 71-64 by Bucknell in the first round of the WNIT. Heremaia had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in the defeat. The former Waikato and St Peter’s School, Cambridge standout finishes her time at Fordham with 1,291 points and 796 rebounds in 145 appearances – 117 of those as a starter.

Emme Shearer and Portland Pilots got the better of Jess Moors and Colorado State in the battle between two former Harbour and Westlake teammates. Shearer had a game high 3 steals along with 2 points, 4 rebounds and a block.

UCLA were too good for UC Irvine winning 61-48. Olivia Williams tallied 4 points, 2 rebounds an assist and a steal for Irvine.

Houston Baptist 51 (Lauryn Mapusua 2 rebounds)  Toledo 61

Women’s Basketball Invitational

St Mary’s Gaels defeated Austin Peay 77-69 in the quarter-final of the Women’s Basketball Invitational. Tayla Dalton had 7 points and a brace each of rebounds and assists while Amy West contributed 4 points and a pair of rebounds. 

In the semi-finals tomorrow St Mary’s will take on Bowling Green University.

NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships Second Round

Izzy Cook, Rashaan Smith and Western Nebraska College eased through to the quarter-finals of the Championships with a 70-59 victory over Wabash Valley. Western Nebraska sealed the win with a dominant 20-11 fourth quarter.

It wasn’t such good news for Southern Idaho as they were defeated 75-49 by Trinity Valley.

Kyra Paniora had deuces in points, rebounds and assists with Ashlee Strawbridge severely hampered by foul trouble finishing with a rebound and an assist.

Strawbridge will now prepare for her imminent move to Division I school, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

March Madness moves into full swing

The former Rangitoto College duo of Dan Fotu and Yuat Alok have advanced to the second round of the Men’s NCAA Division I Championship on the first full day proper of the tournament.

All the news is right here:

In addition Dominique Stephens and Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears are through to the quarter-finals of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Women’s Basketball National Championship. Rocky beat Wayland Baptist 66-53 with the former Waikato forward leading the rebounding count with 8 boards to accompany 8 points, 2 assists and a block.

The Battlin Bears will face Thomas Moore in the last 8 on March 19.

March Madness – latest news and upcoming games

Taine Murray had a couple of points and a pair of rebounds as Virginia University Cavaliers beat Mississippi State 60-57 in the opening round of the NIT (National Invitation Tournament). Virginia will play North Texas in the second round.

In Canada Cantabrian guard Sofia Kennedy tallied 3 rebounds and 2 points as Windsor University Lancers were defeated 77-67 by Guelph University Gryphons in the quarter-finals of the Ontario University Athletics Conference Tournament.

Izzy Cook, Rashaan Smith and Western Nebraska Cougars are through to the Second Round of the Women’s s NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships after the Cougars beat Murray State 71-59. Smith claimed 3 rebounds, 2 blocks and a made free throw.

The Cougars will next play Wabash Valley in the Second Round.

Yesterday Nate Wilson and South Georgia Tech Jets were eliminated 88-80 by #14 South Plains in the First Round of the Men’s NJCAA (Junior College) National Championships. Nate had 3 rebounds and an assist in the loss.

Upcoming Games:

NCAA Division I National Championships First Round

March 17

St Mary’s Gaels (Dan Fotu and Quinn Clinton) v Wyoming/Indiana

Colorado State (James Moors) v Michigan

New Mexico State (Yuat Alok) v UConn

March 18

Davidson (Sam Mennenga) v Michigan State

TCU (Harrison Young) v Seton Hall

Miami (Sam Waardenburg) v USC

Colorado (Charlotte Whittaker) v Creighton

March 19 

Washington State (Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker) v Kansas State

BYU (Tegan Graham, Kaylee Smiler and Arielle Mackey- Williams) v Villanova

NIT (National Invitation Tournament) Second Round

March 19 or 20 

Virginia (Taine Murray) v North Texas

WNIT (Women’s National Invitation Tournament) First Round

March 17

Wofford (Helen Matthews) at Middle Tennessee

March 18

Houston Baptist (Lauryn Mapusua) at Toledo

UC Irvine (Olivia Williams) at UCLA

Fordham (Kendell Heremaia) v Bucknell

Portland (Emme Shearer) v Colorado State (Jess Moors).

Women’s Basketball Invitational

March 18

St Mary’s Gaels (Tayla Dalton and Amy West) v Austin Peay

Men’s Basketball Invitational

March 20

Abilene Christian (Tobias Cameron) v Troy

NAIA Round of 16

March 17

Rocky Mountain (Dominique Stephens) v Wayland Baptist  

Junior College National Championships First Round

March 17

Casper College (Dejaan Schuler) v Hutchinson 

Junior College National Championships Second Round

March 18

Southern Idaho (Kyra Paniora, Ashlee Strawbridge) v Trinity Valley or Walters State

Western Nebraska( Izzy Cook, Rashaan Smith) v Wabash Valley

Alok locked for NCAA Tournament

New Mexico State University Aggies are the Western Athletic Conference Champions after defeating Abilene Christian 66-52 in the Championship game.

The result means that Yuat Alok is the first Kiwi to be declared a starter at next week’s NCAA Tournament. The former Rangitoto College standout scored 2 points for the Aggies while Tobias Cameron had 4 points and a team high 5 rebounds for Abilene. 

The other Kiwi that could join Alok with an automatic berth is Sam Mennenga. After a team high 15 points in the quarters Mennenga produced a more sedate 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists performance as Davidson College eased into the Atlantic 10 Conference Final with an 84-69 win against St Louis – a win in the final would clip Davidson’s ticket for the Big Dance.

In Women’s NCAA Division I action #2 seed UC Irvine had to settle for runners-up spot at the Big West Conference Tournament after being defeated  59-48 in the Grand Final by top seed Hawaii. Freshman guard  Olivia Williams had a couple of rebounds in that one.

Selection Sunday takes place tomorrow when we will learn which other Kiwis will be headed to the NCAA Tournament.

Following a first round win against Teinhardt University Rocky Mountain College pulled away from Dakota State to win their second round tie 89-73 at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Women’s National Championship. Waikato’s Dominique Stephens finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds, all at the offensive end, a block and a steal as Rocky advance to the Round of 16.

Dallas Baptist University returned to the NCAA Division II National Championships for the fifth straight year but had to take on Black Hills State without centre Will Heather. The former Rosmini College National Championship winner has had to undergo surgery for a  lingering back injury. DBU struggled without their influential big man and were defeated 76-68.

Former Harbour guard Hannah Wentworth was New Zealand’s sole representative at the Women’s NCAA Division II National Championships but she and her Eckerd College teammates couldn’t repeat the heroics of their first round victory against Florida Southern. Wentworth made 4 from 5 from deep on her way to 15 points in that one but came up short in the 73-48 second round loss to Union University making 9 points plus pairs of rebounds, assists and steals.

Yuat Alok and Tobias Cameron meet in conference final

Former Rangitoto College big man Yuat Alok had 6 points (3/6FG) as top seed New Mexico State squeezed past Grand Canyon 75-70 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) semi-finals. 

On the other side of the WAC draw 18 points (4/8FG, 10/11FT) from Tobias Cameron helped Abilene Christian edge Seattle 78-76 The result means either Cameron or Alok will be headed to the NCAA Tournament depending on the outcome of the Grand Final between their respective teams.

In the Atlantic 10 Conference quarter-final, Sam Mennenga’s Davidson College proved too good for Zach Riley’sFordham University Rams winning 74-56. Mennenga led the Davidson effort with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists while Riley scored 5 points and added 4 rebounds for Fordham.

Top seed Davidson take on St Louis in semi-final action.

Miami University caused one of the upsets of the season when they defeated Number 1 ranked Duke in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular season play. Miami couldn’t quite repeat the feat at the ACC semi-finals beaten  80-76 by the Blue Devils. Sam Waardenburg had 8 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds and a couple of blocks in the defeat.

James Moors and second seeded Colorado State University Rams  were beaten 63-58 by third seed San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference semi-finals.

Harrison Young and Texas Christian University were defeated 75-62 the semi-final of the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

Wentworth, Stephens and Williams with the W’s

It has been a successful day for the three Kiwi women in action today at March Madness – three competitions three winners!

Hannah Wentworth is New Zealand’s sole representative at the Women’s NCAA Division II National Championships and she played a strong hand as Eckerd College dominated the second half to defeat Florida Southern 69-64. Wentworth, shooting over 40% this season from beyond the arc, exceeded that mark by knocking down 4 from 5 from deep on her way to 15 points.

Also flying a lone flag for New Zealand is Dominique Stephens at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Women’s Basketball National Championship. Rocky Mountain College hosted Teinhardt University in the opening round of the 64 team Championship and with Stephens grabbing 4 rebounds and making a couple of blocks came away 63-44 winners. 

In NCAA Division I Women’s play UC Irvine needed overtime to overcome UC Davis before prevailing 84-75 in the semi-final of the Big West Conference Tournament. Olivia Williams, recently named to the Big West All-Freshman Team, scored 4 points with her team now just one win away from an automatic berth at the NCAA Tournament. 

When were the Breakers last able to put a full team on court?

If, as indicated on the Breakers social media posts, they field a full compliment of rostered players against Adelaide 36ers later today it will be the first time they have been able to do so in 18 games this season.

In fact it will be the first time a full contingent of players have hit the floor since May 1st 2021 when the Breakers beat Perth Wildcats 86-84, in Tasmania – 29 games ago! 

Off the back of three consecutive double-doubles, while way with the Tall Blacks at the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, Rob Loe was given a start against the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers. Significantly his 12 points more than doubled his scoring output for the season – in his previous 8 games (albeit with limited playing time) he had scored 11 points.

Perhaps more significantly Tom Abercrombie made a welcome return to the playing roster against Brisbane Bullets. Abercrombie only had 3 rebounds and a point but he did get a valuable 12 minutes game time under his belt.

In the same game Rasmus Bach played his 50th game for the club.

The Breakers leading scorers this season are:

Yanni Wetzell – 220 points @ 16.9ppg

Hugo Besson – 216 points @ 14.4ppg

Finn Delany 179 points @ 10.5ppg

Peyton Siva 151 points @12.6ppg

Finn Delany has moved up a place on a couple of the Breakers all-time records categories recently.

Delany is now up to 10th spot on the Breakers scoring list moving past Gary Wilkinson’s 1,423 points. With 1,437 career points Delany will soon move to ninth, the place currently occupied by Ben Pepper (1,451 points).

Currently with 681 rebounds Delany is also closing in on 700 career rebounds. Only Vukona (2356), Abercrombie (1,638), Pledger (1,293), Boucher (939), Pepper (935) and Jackson (749) have bettered that mark for the club.

Wins and losses from another big day of college hoops

Miami University Hurricanes edged Boston College 71-69 in overtime in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) quarter-finals. Sam Waardenburg had a valuable double of 9 points and 9 rebounds, including the defensive board with five seconds remaining to help set up the winning play, particularly important.

Not joining Miami in the ACC semis are Taine Murray and Virginia after the Cavaliers were comfortably beaten 63-43 by North Carolina.

Tobias Cameron grabbed a team high 7 rebounds to accompany 6 points and 4 assists as Abilene Christian University upset Stephen F Austin University 76-62in the quarter-finals of the Western Athletic Conference.

It wasn’t such good news for brother Flynn Cameron as UC Riverside fell agonisingly short against Hawaii pipped 68-67 in the Big West Conference quarters.

Cameron scored 17 points making 5 from 9 three-pointers while Callum McRae tallied 6 points, 6 rebounds and a couple of blocks.

Zach Riley scored 6 points as Fordham Rams defeated George Mason in the Atlantic 10 play-offs. The win sets up a meeting with Sam Mennenga’s Davidson College in the semi-finals tomorrow.

Second seeded Colorado State University Rams were made to fight all the way before overcoming #7 Utah State 53-51 in a Mountain West Conference Quarter-Final. James Moors had 4 points, 3 rebounds and a block for the Rams.

Harrison Young and Texas Christian upset #22 Texas 65-60 to progress to the semi-final of the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

Not such good news for Texas Christian Women. They fell in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament defeated 68-48 by West Virginia. Junior guard Tara Manumaleuga grabbed 3 rebounds and a couple of steals in the defeat.

Latest news from Tournament Week

Tobias Cameron was in good scoring touch as Abilene Christian University overcame Utah Valley 82-74 in the second round of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Las Vegas. The former junior Tall Black guard finished with 17 points making 6 from 10 from the field including 3 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Tom Webley scored a couple of points as Hartford Hawks exited the America East Conference Tournament at the semi-final stage beaten 80-60 by UMBC.

Louisville University, with former Tall Blacks assistant Ross McMains in their coaching group, pushed Taine Murray’s Virginia all the way before losing a low scoring game 50-51 at the Atlantic Coast Tournament.

Tom Webley scored a couple of points as Hartford Hawks exited the America East Conference Tournament at the semi-final stage beaten 80-60 by UMBC.

Florida International University Panthers bowed out 78-60 to Southern Mississippi in the quarter-finals of the Conference USA Tournament. 

Grace Hunter dished a team high 4 assists to accompany 7 points, 3 rebounds and a block in the defeat.

Jessica Moors and Colorado State had to be satisfied with runners-up place at the Mountain West Conference Tournament after losing 75-65 to UNLV in the Grand Final.

Olivia Williams, recently named to the Big West Conference All-Freshman Team scored 2 points as second seeded UC Irvine beat Cal State Fullerton 80-68 in quarter-final play.

Have Graham and Fotu played their last collegiate games?

For the second successive year Brigham Young University (BYU) have been defeated by Gonzaga in the Grand Final of the West Coast Conference Tournament, this year defeated 71-59.

Tegan Graham had a game high 6 assists but couldn’t get her shooting game going finishing on 5 points. Kaylee Smilerscored 2 points.

Also for the second successive year BYU have been denied direct entry into the NCAA Tournament that a conference championship provides. Instead they will hope to hear their name called out as an at-large bid come the Selection Sunday Show this weekend.

With an overall 26-3 record this season and a national ranking of 15 selection would appear to be a formality but it will still be a nervous wait for Graham, Smiler and the third Kiwi on the BYU roster, Arielle Mackey-Williams.

On the Men’s side of the West Coast Conference Tournament Saint Mary’s College Men suffered the same fate as BYU Women – defeated by Gonzaga in the semi-finals. Downed 82-69, with Dan Fotu scoring 6 points, St Mary’s will have to wait to see if they participate in the National Championships.

Again, the omens are good for Kiwi involvement with St Mary’s putting together a 25-7 record and holding a national ranking of 17.

I was playing devil’s advocate with the headline, I’m sure both players will be suiting up at the National Championships next week.

The Kiwis headed to the Junior College National Championships

We can look forward to following four teams at the Junior College National Championships later this month.

Western Nebraska College Cougars are headed to the National Tournament after receiving an at-large selection meaning three women’s teams with a Kiwi connection will be headed to the Women’s Junior College National Champs (March 16-21).

Cougars Rashaan Smith and Izzy Cook are joined by Dejaan Schuler (Casper College T-Birds) and the Southern Idaho Golden Eagles duo Ashlee Strawbridge and Kyra Paniora – the Eagles and T Birds having won Regional Tournaments to clip their qualifying tickets.

Schuler, the ex Te Aroha and Waikato standout scored a team high 15 points (6/10FG) as Casper defeated Eastern Wyoming 71-57 in the Region 9 Tournament Grand Final victory. 

College of Southern Idaho beat Snow College 63-57 to win the Region 18 Championship –

Strawbridge finished with a team high 7 rebounds to accompany 4 points and 2 steals while Paniora contributed 2 points and 2 rebounds for the Golden Eagles.

Nate Wilson will be the sole New Zealandi representative at the Men’s National Championship (March 14-19)  In the Grand-Final of the Region 17 Tournament the South Georgia Tech Jets won an overtime thriller 87-84 to book their ticket. The former Mt Albert Grammar forward scored 7 points on a perfect three-from-three from the floor, corralled 4 rebounds, a steal and a block.

Congratulations to Molly Cockburn, who after a successful two years at Miles Community College, will further her academic and basketball career at Chadron State University. Chadron State Eagles play NCAA Division II basketball in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

College wrap – Nate Wilson and Dejaan Schuler headed to National Championships.

Nate Wilson and South Georgia Tech Jets are bound for the Junior College (NJCCA) National Championships. In the Grand-Final of the Region 17 Tournament the Jets won an overtime thriller 87-84 to book their ticket. The former Mt Albert Grammar forward scored 7 points on a perfect three-from-three from the floor, corralled 4 rebounds, a steal and a block.

Dejaan Schuler and Casper College are also National Championship bound. Schuler scored 11 points as Casper defeated Laramie County 69-52 in the semi-final of the Region 9 Tournament. Casper followed that with a 71-57 success against Eastern Wyoming in the Grand Final (scorers from that game were not published at the time of posting this story).

The NJCAA Championship Selection Show will be held tomorrow. With Southern Idaho (featuring Ashlee Strawbridge and Kyra Paniora) having booked a spot earlier in the week Western Nebraska (featuring Izzy Cook and Rashaan Smith) will be hoping the Selection Committee looks favourably on their strong regular season performances.

Men’s NCAA Division I 

Callum McRae scored 14 points (5/7FG, 4/4FT) and Flynn Cameron 7 points as UC Riverside were pipped 73-72 at Long Beach State. McRae pulled down 10 rebounds to give him his 8th double-double of the season and 4th in the last 5 games ahead of the Big West Tournament.

Sam Mennenga also notched 14 points as Davidson University Wildcats dropped their final Atlantic 10 Conference game to Dayton 82-76. Mennenga also came up with 3 rebounds and a block at the defensive end. Davidson, with a 15-3 record are guaranteed at least a share of the A-10 regular season title.

Yuat Alok had 7 points (3/4FG) as New Mexico State ensured at least a share of the Western Athletic Conference regular season title with a 62-46 win at Utah State.

Sam Waardeburg and Miami University Hurricanes finished off the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season in style beating Syracuse 75-72. Ahead of the ACC Tournament Waaardenburg had 6 points, 5 rebounds, a block and a steal.

Colorado State 71 (James Moors 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal) Boise State 68

Abilene Christian 61 (Tobias Cameron 5 points, 2 rebounds 2 assists) Tarleton State 56 

Fordham 70 (Zach Riley 2 points) Goeorge Washington 66

In women’s Division I action Lauryn Mapusua had 6 points (2/3 3PG) and 3 rebounds as Houston Baptist defeated McNeese to finish a lofty 12-2 in Southland Conference play.

The win gives the Huskies its first ever Southland Conference regular season title. Queensland educated Mapusua played for New Zealand at the 2017 FIBA U18 Oceania Championship in Guam.

Emme Shearer and Portland University Pilots overwhelmed Loyola Marymount 69-44 in quarter-final action at the West Coast Conference Championship. Portland will now take on top-ranked BYU, boasting Kiwis Tegan Graham, Kaylee Miler and Arielle Mackey-Williams, in the semi-final.

Florida International 72 (Grace Hunter 1reb, 2 assists) Florida Atlantic 56

St Peter’s,New Jersey 43 (Victoria Ikenasio 4 points, 6 rebounds) Fairfield 56

UC Irvine 67 (Olivia Williams 2 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist) CSU Bakersfield 52

NCAA Division II 

In the East Coast Conference semi-final St Thomas Aquinas were well beaten by Molloy 71-49. Chanel Brodeur-Muirhad 4 rebounds, 3 assists, a block and 2 points in the loss.

Eva Langton and Texas A&M International were beaten 75-56 by top seeded West Texas A&M in the Lone Star Conference quarters. The Taranaki wing dealt in triples with threes in points, rebounds and assists in the defeat.

Not such a good day for Kiwi ballers in the States

Kendell Heremaia couldn’t repeat her scoring heroics of the day before (top scored with 22 points against George Mason) as sixth seeded Fordham Rams exited the Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament after a narrow 66-63 loss to Massachusetts. Heremaia still managed to fill the stats line with 6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block.

Wofford lost the semi-final of Southern Conference Championship to Furman 64-59 – Helen Matthews, in her 50thappearance for Wofford Terriers, had a couple of rebounds and a block in the defeat.

St Mary’s California checked out of West Coast Conference play-offs after a 71-64 defeat at the hands of Loyola Marymount. Tayla Dalton had singles in assists, steals and blocks plus 8 points and 6 rebounds. Amy West came up with 5 rebounds and a dime.

Number 7 seeded Georgia Southern lost 85-76 to UT Arlington in the Sun Belt Conference quarter-finals. Cantabrian forward Tsubasa Nisbett had 3 points, 3 rebounds and a steal for Georgia Southern.  

Colorado, Colorado Springs were defeated 86-77 by top-seeded Black Hills State in the NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Conference Tournament. Invercargill native Mac Stodart nabbed a couple of rebounds for Springs.

In Junior College action Nate Wilson and South Georgia Tech are into the Grand-Final of the Region 17 Tournament after defeating South Georgia State 78-70.

Kendell Heremaia chalks up another record as Fordham advance

Kendell Heremaia top scored with 22 points as sixth seeded Fordham Rams beat George Mason 66-50 at the  Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament to advance to the semi-finals. That takes Heremaia’s career points tally to 1,275 moving her past Rhaiah Spooner-Knight (1,262 points at Monmouth 2017-18 and Utah Valley 2013-16) and up to 5th all-time for New Zealand points scorers in Women’s NCAA Division I basketball.

#2 Wofford advanced at the Southern Conference Championship with a 66-54 victory against East Tennessee State. Helen Matthews had 4 points and 7 rebounds for Wofford who face a semi-final clash with Furman tomorrow.

It wasn’t such good news for Washington State as they were knocked out in the quarter-finals at the Pac-12 Conference Tournament defeated 70-59 by Utah. It was a night when the shots wouldn’t drop for Washington State. Krystal Leger-Walker finished with 4 points, 4 steals, 3 assists and 2 rebounds while Charlisse L-W had 6 points, 7 assists and 2 rebounds.

UC Irvine 67 (Olivia Williams, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal) Cal Poly

In NCAA Division II play Hannah Wentworth was one of three Eckerd College players to score in double figures as the Tritons were defeated 58-46 by Florida Southern in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament semi-final. Wentworth scored 11 points making 3 from 6 from beyond the 3-point arc.

In Men’s Division I action Tom Webley had 4 points, 3 rebounds and 3 blocks as Hartford Hawks were defeated 83-73 by UMass Lowell.

Hartford will line up against Albany in the America East Conference Tournament beginning Sunday.

Flynn Cameron knocked down 4 of 8 three-pointers on his way to 14 points, with 6 rebounds, as UC Riverside won its penultimate regular season game against Cal State Fullerton (75-72). Callum McRae chipped in with 8 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists for the victors.

Abilene Christian 80 (Tobias Cameron 3 points,2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal) Dixie State 64.

March Madness #2: Tait-Jones honoured, Brodeur-Muir advances, Reed and USC lose

NCAA Division II

Hawaii at Hilo small forward Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones was named to the All-PacWest First Team ahead of the Hawaii at Hilo (#7) Conference Tournament clash with #2 Azusa Pacific.

Impressively, this season Tait-Jones has led Hilo in points (17.4ppg), rebounds (8.1rpg), steals (1.6spg) and blocked shots, his achievements also earning him PacWest Freshman of the Year honours.

Unfortunately the former St Pat’s Town standout couldn’t get going against Azusa finishing with 5 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

“Very special for our programme to be here. We are going to get back to it and we will be here again, commented Tait-Jones on Hilo’s very first appearance at PacWest Tournament.

In Women’s Division II play-off action Chanel Brodeur-Muir had a tidy double of 6 points and 6 rebounds as St Thomas Aquinas College pulled away from District Columbia to win their East Coast Conference Tournament First Round tie 63-49. 

NCAA Division I

Miami University strengthened its hold on an Atlantic Coast Conference top-4 spot with an 81-70 win at Boston College. Sam Waardenburg was in fine form with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 pair of steals. The former Rangitoto College standout went 3 from 5 from beyond the arc and 3 from 3 from the charity stripe.

Zach Riley, playing just his tenth game for the Fordham University Rams since joining them mid-season, scored a season high 8 points (3/4FG) as the Rams were tipped 81-73 by Massachusetts in Atlantic-10 play.

Also in the Atlantic-10 Sam Mennenga tallied 9 points and 6 rebounds as Davidson maintained top spot on the conference ladder with a 73-62 win against George Mason – Davidson with a 15-2 record.

The outstanding Division I career of Tera Reed has come to an end after the University of Southern California were bundled out of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament in the first round by UCLA (73-60). Reed finishes her outstanding collegiate career with 1,623 points from 135 games and a remarkable 131 starts.

Number 14 ranked Virginia University Cavaliers fell at the first hurdle at the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament beaten 61-53 by #11 Wake Forest. McKenna Dale had a strong game for Virginia, the former Junior Tall Fern filled the stats line with 7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

At the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Tsubasa Nisbett and Georgia Southern booked a spot in the next round with an 88-79 victory.

The games below are regular season results.

Grace Hunter scored in double figures for the 11th time in the last 14 games as Florida International beat Florida Atlantic 73-55 in a Conference-USA local derby. The Wellingtonian finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Amiee Book and Fresno State rounded out Mountain West Conference regular season play with a 96-90 overtime loss at Utah State. Book finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds and a steal in the loss.

Houston Baptist 56 (Lauryn Mapusua 5 points) New Orleans 47

Houston remain top of the Southland Conference with an 11-2 record.

March Madness Day 1 – Dominique Stephens headed for NAIA National Champs

Review of games played on March 1 in the States:

NAIA Division I 

Dominique Stephens and Rocky Mountain College Battlin Bears are the Frontier Conference champions after a nail-biting 59-56 win against Carroll. The former St Peter’s School, Cambridge standout scored 3 points in the win, a victory that sees Rocky Mountain progress to the NAIA National Championships in Stephens’ first season at Rocky.

Jackson Smythe and Southern Oregon University were comfortably beaten by College of Idaho in the Cascade Conference Final. Smythe, a freshman who played for the Auckland  Huskies in 2021 has featured regularly for Southern Oregon

NCAA Division I

Mason Whittaker and 10th seeded American University defeated #7 Holy Cross in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament. American are in action again on Friday.

NCAA Division II

Cantabrian Josh Lowe and #3 ranked Lee University ousted #6 West Florida 72-67 in the quarter-finals of the Gulf South Conference Championship.

Former Auckland Grammar forward Conor Flanagan had 7 points (3/4FG), 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists for West Florida.

Another Cantabrian, Mac Stodart contributed 9 points (4/7FG) and 5 rebounds as Colorado Springs edged Colorado School of Mines 74-71 in the quarter-final of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament.

Hannah Wentworth converted all three of her 3-point attempts as her 9 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists helped Eckerd College defeat Nova Southeastern in the quarter-finals of the Sunshine State Conference Championship. 

Wentworth sits third on the conference 3-point shooting list having made 44 from 103 at 42.7%.

Next up for number 3 ranked Eckerd is a semi-final clash with #2 Florida Southern on Friday.

Junior College

Jenna-Rose Mafua posted 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal and an assist but Dodge City were beaten 72-52 by Hutchinson in the Region 6 quarter-finals.

Nate Wilson and South Georgia Tech are through to the semi-finals of the Region 17 play-offs after an 89-76 victory over Southern Crescent Tech.

Kiani Saxon and Louisiana State Eunice won an overtime thriller against East Mississippi 76-63 at the Region 23 Tournament.

NB The box scores for the two men’s games were unavailable at the time of posting this story.

Tall Blacks takeaways

Tall Blacks Mission accomplished.

The Tall Blacks return home with three valuable FIBA World Cup Qualifying victories safely secured from the Philippines.

As expected the passage in the two games against India was reasonably serene (101-46 and 95-60 victories) but the contest against the hosts in Manila had the look of a potential ‘banana skin’ given the youth and inexperience of the New Zealand squad. Even the name of the home stadium, the Araneta Coliseum, sounded rather foreboding.

The Filipinos were well in the contest early in the third quarter trailing 40-33 but the Kiwis dominated the remainder of the game to run out comfortable 88-63 victors – Prewster, Loe, Samuel and Vodanovich were outstanding.

The Philippine’s connection.

For Taane Samuel and Richie Rodger, making their Tall Blacks debut in the Philippines added an extra dimension to the thrill of the occasion given both players had two-year stints on basketball scholarships in the Philippines not that long ago.

Rodger, recently signed with the Taranaki Airs, played at the  University of the East in 2019 and 2020.

Samuel, currently a Development Payer with the Brisbane Bullets attended De La Salle University.

“I just wanted to showcase what I can do because people didn’t really have faith in me when I was here and especially playing for La Salle, one of the biggest schools in the Philippines,” said Samuel post game.

“This game was big for me, It’s so exhilarating for me to play here again,” he added.

Loe and behold.

Unloved by the Breakers coaching staff Rob Loe demonstrated he still has game, compiling back-to-back-to back double doubles.

Having not featured in the last five Breakers games, with Dan Shamir appearing to have put his 101 game veteran out to pasture, the 30 year-old demonstrated his value in no uncertain terms.

He averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds and a couple of assists across the three games shooting the three-ball at a healthy 35% (6/17) and now has 530 points in 89 games for the Tall Blacks.

Debutants.

In addition to the afore mentioned Samuel and Rodger, Auckland Tuatara wing Taki Fahrensohn played all three games in Manila as did Bay Hawks forward Hyrum Harris. New Franklin Bulls signing Jayden Bezzant and Canterbury Rams guard Joe Cook-Green had two outings while Brayden Inger played the final game against India.

The Southland Sharks wing marked his debut by knocking down his only shot – a corner three!

Potency at point guard.

The accomplished performances of Canterbury Rams point guard Taylor Britt raises the question, has the men’s national team ever been blessed with such depth in this position?

Tai Webster, Shea Ili and Jarrod Kenny are all proven performers on the international stage and Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa, who appears to be the next cab off the rank, is in sparkling form for South East Melbourne Phoenix.

Britt will probably have to bide his time before regular opportunities occur – perhaps trips away with the New Zealand 3×3 team to the Asia Cup and Commonwealth Games may be the 25 year-old’s next international assignments.

Rising stocks

Not too many of the squad that went to the Philippines would make a full strength Tall Blacks 12 if named tomorrow but Tom Vodanovich and Dion Prewster, in particular, certainly enhanced their reputations.

Over the three games Vodanovich scored the most points (61) and was second highest in rebounds (24), assists (10) and steals (5). He also demonstrated his improved accuracy from the three-point line making a team high 9 from 17 at 53%.

Prewster, who captained the team in Manila, was reliability and composure personified playing a team high 89 minutes, averaging 5 assists per outing and rock solid on defence.

The fate of Korea?

South Korea failed to arrive in Manila citing a Covid case(s) in their camp prior to departure. Given they were the only team not to show up in the World Cup Qualifying window, that involved 79 national teams playing across four continents the chances are FIBA will come down harshly on them.

Although no official word has come from FIBA the fact that on their website the Asia Qualifiers Group A table shows Korea as disqualified is not a good omen for the South Korean administration in Seoul.

We’ll meet again…..

The Tall Blacks won’t have to wait long before locking horns again with India and the Philippines.

The draw for the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup pits New Zealand in Group D alongside Lebanon, India and the Philippines.

Postponed from last year the stand-alone Asia Cup will be held in Indonesia from July 12-24 with another World Cup qualifying window earlier that month.

Roll on July.

Kiwi championship winners already as Junior College play-offs begin

College of Southern Idaho beat Snow 63-57 to win the Region 18 Championship on Saturday and advance to the NJCAA (Junior College) National Tournament.

Ashlee Strawbridge finished with a team high 7 rebounds to accompany 4 points and 2 steals while Kyra Panioracontributed 2 points and 2 rebounds.

In Friday’s semi-final no fewer than five Kiwis were in action with Utah State Eastern’s trio of Ella Bradley, Maclani Michael and Brooklyn Pouwhare facing Strawbridge and Paniora.

It was top seed Southern Idaho that prevailed 67-53 with Strawbridge contributing 9 points and 4 rebounds backed up by 6 points and a couple of assists from Paniora.

For Utah State Eastern Bradley had 7 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists with Michael adding a couple of points and Pouwhare a rebound. 

Central Maine Community College Mustangs point guard Safena Te Nana-Williams, named to the Yankee Small College All-Conference team earlier in the week, had 8 points, 4 steals and 3 rebounds as her team beat Southern Maine 57-50 to win the Conference Final. Sister Leata Te Nana-Williams finished with 10 points and deuces in rebounds and steals. Taranaki’s Harata Coleman was also a member of the championship winning Mustangs.

In Junior College Region XIII quarter-finals Molly Cockburn scored 12 points, to go with 5 rebounds and 3 steals, but couldn’t prevent Miles being eliminated 71-48 by Dawson. Samantha Jenkins tallied 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a couple of points for Dawson.

Jenkins scored 3 points as Dawson were beaten 76-60 by North Dakota State College of Science in the regional semi-finals.

In another Region XIII quarter-final Keeley Tini was prominent as Williston State advanced with a comfortable 73-46 victory against Lake Region State. Tini finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.

The former Harbour Breeze forward was even more influential in the 64-61 semi-final win over Bismarck. Tini posted a massive double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Jenna Rose Mafua had 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists as Dodge City defeated Cloudy County 70-62 in the opening round of the Region 6 play-offs – another contest with plenty of New Zealand involvement.

Cloud County boast three Kiwis – Kay-Hauata Phillips and Te Araroa Sopoaga both scored 12 points, with Phillips adding 7 rebounds and 2 assists while Sopoaga had 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Te Oriwa Tuipolotu is the third Kiwi on the Cloud team.

Yzabelle Tevao captured 6 points and rebounds as McCook gained a 55-43 victory at Lamar in the first round of the Region 9 play-offs. Next up for Tevao and McCook are highly fancied Casper College with Dejaan Schuler in their lineup.

Western Texas wrapped up their season with a 53-42 defeat of Cisco. Jordyn Maddix finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists while Parehuia Delamere climbed into 10 rebounds, 3 steals, 6 points and a couple of assists.

Marshalltown completed their season on a high defeating Ellsworth 74-56. Waiaaria Rogers starred in the win with 16 points (5/10FG, 5/6FT), 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals.

In Men’s Junior College action Dallas Clayton scored 10 points (4/5FG) as fourth seeded Missouri State-West Plains were defeated 96-53 by State Fair in the Junior College Region 16 play-offs.

Nate Wilson dropped 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in 15 minutes as South Georgia Tech beat Andrew College 88-59.

Ollie Hayward had 6 points and 3 rebounds as Midland College brought down the curtain on their season with a 94-62 loss to South Plains.

Ezrah Vaigafa had 6 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists as Neosho County won an exciting encounter with Labette 85-83

Career games for McRae and Dalton on huge day of college hoops

In Men’s NCAA Division I play an And-1 play from Calum McRae carried UC Riverside to overtime after they trailed UC Santa Barbara 71-68 with under 30 seconds to play. Despite Riverside eventually losing 97-90 in double OT McRae went on to post a career high 32 points to accompany 11 rebounds. Flynn Cameron finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds.

Sam Mennenga top scored with 17 points as Davidson proved too good for Fordham winning 66-45. In a strong all-round performance Mennenga grabbed 5 offensive rebounds in an overall tally of 9 and made 9 from 10 free-throws.

Zach Riley had 3 points and an assist for Fordham.

Tobias Cameron had 10 points and 6 rebounds as Abilene Christian came up just short against Stephen F Austin losing 73-71.

Sam Waardenburg had 10 points and a trio of rebounds and assists but Miami were pipped at the post by Virginia Tech 71-70 to fall to 12-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. 

Kruz Perrott-Hunt tucked away a pair of free-throws in the closing seconds of the game to ice a 92-87 South Dakota win against Oral Roberts in Summit League play. Perrott-Hunt finished with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.

In Women’s NCAA Division I action BYU wrapped up the West Coast Conference (WCC) regular season title with an 82-52 thumping of Pacific. Playing her 149th NCAA Division I game Tegan Graham finished with 12 points and 5 assists, Arielle Mackey-Williams scored seven and Kaylee Smiler 4 points for the champions.

Also in the WCC Tayla Dalton improved her career mark for the second time in three days. After 20 points against Pacific, she scored to 22 points as St Mary’s won 92-88 in overtime at San Francisco. Dalton, who had 5 of her points in the overtime period, also totaled 6 rebounds and a couple of steals.  Amy West secured 7 rebounds to accompany 3 assists and 2 points in the win.

Washington State led by 21 points with under five minutes to play but had to withstand a late run by California before prevailing 73-67.

Charlisse Leger-Walker led the scoring with 21 points, passing 900 career points in the process, and also notched 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists and a pair of blocks.

Krystal Leger-Walker only had the one point but did dish a season high 9 assists.

Kendell Heremaia’s 9 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists helped Fordham get past Davidson 68-57 to improve to 8-6 in the Atlantic-10 Conference.

Emme Shearer handed 5 assists, scored 4 points and added 3 steals as Portland enjoyed a comfortable 85-49 win to finish the West Coast Conference regular season 12-4.

Amiee Book made 4 from 5 from deep as Fresno State flew past Air Force 75-67. Book finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds. 

Having missed the last couple of games Helen Matthews returned to the Wofford lineup and registered 6 points and a brace of steals and rebounds in the 84-75 defeat of Tennessee Chattanooga. The win gives Wofford an 11-3 Southern Conference record and number two seeding at the upcoming championship tournament.

Pare Pene and Chattanooga finish the regular season with a 5-9 record.

Tera Reed had a team high 7 rebounds to go with 6 points and 4 assists as Southern California were defeated 68-59 by Arizona.

UC Irvine 70 (Olivia Williams, 2 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) Long Beach State 47

Houston Baptist 58 (Lauryn Mapusua 8 points, 2 rebounds) A&M Corpus Christi 54

Florida International 69 (Grace Hunter 4 points, 3 rebounds) Old Dominion 81

Texas Christian 42 (Tara Manumaleuga 7 points, 3 steals) Texas 77

In other news Central Maine Community College Mustangs point guard Safena Te Nana-Williams, named to the Yankee Small College All-Conference team earlier in the week, had 8 points, 4 steals and 3 rebounds as her team beat Southern Maine 57-50 to win the Conference Final. Sister Leata Te Nana-Williams finished with 10 points and deuces in rebounds and steals.

In NAIA action former St Peter’s School, Cambridge forward Dominique Stephens posted 13 points and 4 rebounds in the semi-final of the Frontier Conference Tournament. Her contribution helped Rocky Mountain overcome Montana Tech 71-39.

Tall Blacks crush India with five debutants, face Philippines next

The Tall Blacks will face the Philippines in their second FIBA World Cup Qualifying fixture in Manila on Sunday (tip-off at midnight NZ time).

The Tall Blacks overpowered India in the opening game on Thursday winning 101-46 to record New Zealand’s largest ever margin of victory in the four games ever-played against India.

The win was expected, the margin of victory not so, given the Tall Blacks had only had two full training sessions together before the fixture.

“It’s just nice to get back on court again, as this is our first international in two years,” said Tall Blacks assistant coach Daryl Cartwright.

“We are happy despite the limited practice time we had. Our players were hungry and were keen to represent the country, so we are happy with the win overall.”

Tom Vodanovich led the way with 21 points while Ethan Rusbatch (18 points), Rob Loe (15) and Taylor Britt (11) were the other players in double figures. The double digit outings by Vodanovich, Rusbatch and Britt were all international career highs.

International debuts were handed to Taki Fahrensohn, Joe Cook-Green, Taane Samuel, Hyrum Harris and Jayden Bezzant while Ben Gold and Taylor Britt were making just their second appearances.

The Tall Blacks (#27 on the FIBA world rankings) have faced the Philippines (ranked 33rd) on seven previous occasions winning four of those contests. The most recent match-up was in 2016 in Manila when the Tall Blacks won an Olympic Qualifying tie 89-80.

The leading scorers on that occasion were Tai Webster (25 points), Corey Webster (23pts), Isaac Fotu (17pts) and Tom Abercrombie (13pts).

The experienced Rob Loe, with 87 appearances (82 Tests), has played more games for the Tall Blacks than the rest of the current squad added together.

The Breakers centre made his senior international debut in 2009 while still at Westlake Boys High School and now needs to score just three points to tally 500 points for the Tall Blacks. 

Ethan Rusbatch is next best with 235 points in 36 appearances.

The largest margin of victory against the Philippines came in 1975 when the Tall Blacks won a home test 128-73 when the likes of Stan Hill, John MacDonald and Stu Ferguson were terrorising Filipino defenders. 

The two members of the 14-man squad in Manila that didn’t feature against India were Richie Rodger and Brayden Inger. It will be interesting to see if coach Pero Cameron gives these two players their international initiations on Sunday. I suspect the pair will have to wait until the second outing against India, on Monday, to don the black singlet. 

*Stats provided by Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns statistician Tony O’Connor.

Wellingtonians get NAIA recognition in a big day of college action

Despite a massive double-double from Corey Le’aupepe Menlo College were defeated 84-78 by William Jessup University in NAIA play-off action. Le’aupepe produced a game high 21 points (7/11FG, 7/7FT) and a team high 10 rebounds in the loss.

Earlier in the week the former St Pat’s Town forward was named to the Golden State Athletic All-Conference Team after averaging 13.5 points per game, shooting 60.3% from the field in the process, during the regular season.

The Milligan University Buffaloes also fell at the first hurdle of NAIA play-off action, defeated 81-73 by Truett McConnell despite a team high 20 points from Finn McClure (4/9 3PG). 

He didn’t appear in the above contest but Piripi Korent was named to the Appalachian Conference All-Freshman Team after averaging 8.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in his first season with Milligan.

In the NCAA Division I UC Riverside (UCR) centre Callum McRae was named Big West Conference Player of the Week after averaging 15 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists across a pair of games. To celebrate McRae posted a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead UCR to a 79-57 win against CSU Northridge. Flynn Cameron was also busy with 13 points and 4 assists.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt’s run of games scoring double figure points came to an end at fourteen consecutive as South Dakota were defeated 72-63 by Kansas City. It was a close thing however as the former Rosmini College standout posted 9 points to go with 5 rebounds and a couple of assists.

Tobias Cameron was another former Junior Tall Black with 9 points as Abilene Christian dominated Lamar 77-42. Cameron also snared 3 steals and 4 rebounds.

St Mary’s 60 (Dan Fotu 6 points, 2 rebounds) San Diego 47

Grace Hunter and Tayla Dalton were in career best form in women’s NCAA Division I play.

Hunter  scored a career high 23 points, topping 200 points for the season, as Florida International fell 65-55 to Charlotte.

Dalton ran up 20 points (4/7 3PG) as St Mary’s California accounted for Pacific 83-67. Amy West had a couple of blocks to go with 4 points and 4 rebounds in the West Coast Conference (WCC) win.

Tegan Graham equalled her career high in assists with 8 as BYU thumped Santa Clara 103-66. Graham scored 9 points and Kaylee Smiler chipped in with seven as BYU remained top of the WCC standings at 14-1.

Washington State gave it a decent nudge at #2 Stanford before going down 61-54. Charlisse Leger-Walker scored a game high 17 points plus 4 rebounds and a couple of steals while Krystal L-W had an industrious 9 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

Tera Reed also scored 17 points, including three baskets in the final two minutes, as University of Southern California scored a triple on the buzzer to beat Arizona State 60-58. Reed was a highly efficient 7 from 9 from the field including 2 from 2 from beyond the arc.

The Tall Fern wing now has 1,611 Division I career points and closing in on Erin Rooney’s 1,647 all-time record.

Portland 53 (Emme Shearer 8 points, 3 steals, 4 rebounds) San Diego 61 

UC Irvine 54 (Olivia Williams 7pts, 2 rebs, 2 assists, 1 steal) California State Fullerton 51

Virginia 57 (McKenna Dale 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assists) North Carolina 68

Georgia Southern 83 (Tsubasa Nisbett 3 points, 5 rebounds) Louisiana Monroe 68

Season high from Amiee Book plus some Junior College play-off results

Amiee Book scored a season high 20 points as Fresno State squeezed past New Mexico 71-70 to improve to 6-9 in Mountain West Conference play. The Nelsonian wing was 6 from 11 from 3-point range.

Fordham University trailed Richmond by 30 points midway through the third period fighting back before going down 79-69 with Kendell Heremaia scoring 10 points to accompany 3 steals, 2 blocks, an assists and 2 rebounds as she once again filled the stats line.

Heremaia, now with 304 career assists (11th-most all-time for Fordham), is one of just two Rams to reach 1,000 career points, 700 career rebounds, 300 dimes, and 100 steals – she also has 143 steals over 141 career appearances and 113 starts, the latter two numbers ranking solo 2nd and T-3rd all-time.

Texas Christian 57 (Tara Manumaleuga 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal) Oklahoma 92

Davidson College remain top of the Atlantic-10 Conference table after a 74-50 win at Duquesne. Sam Mennengatabled 12 points (5/6FG), 2 blocks and 5 rebounds. 

Colorado State 61 (James Moors 2pts, 3rebs, 1 assist, 1 block) Wyoming 55

Hartford 85 (Tom Webley 2 points, 3 rebounds) UMBC 92

Central Maine point guard Safena Te Nana-Williams was named to the Yankee Small College All-Conference Second Team after averaging 10 points, 5.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 steals per game in the regular season. Safena sat out the one-sided 93-39 win against Paul Smith’s College although sister Leata was on show making 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in the conference semi-final.

The Grand Final will take place this coming weekend.

In Junior College Region XIII quarter-finals Molly Cockburn scored 12 points, to go with 5 rebounds and 3 steals, but couldn’t prevent Miles being eliminated 71-48 by Dawson. Samantha Jenkins tallied 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a couple of points for Dawson.

In another Region XIII quarter-final Keeley Tini was prominent as Williston State advanced with a comfortable 73-46 victory against Lake Region State. Tini finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.

Utah State Eastern defeated Southern Nevada 67-61 in the Region 18 quarters. For Utah State Eastern Maclani Michaelscored 5 points and claimed 5 boards, Ella Bradley 4 and 3 plus 2 assists and Brooklyn Pouwhare grabbed 4 rebounds.

There will be plenty of interest in Friday’s semi-final with Utah State Eastern facing Ashlee Strawbridge, Kyra Paniora and Southern Idaho.

Latest American college wrap

Miami moved up to third spot on the Atlantic Coast Conference ladder with a resounding 85-64 win against Pittsburgh. All the Miami starters scored in double figures with Sam Waardenburg making 3 from 5 from beyond the arc as he accumulated 12 points, 3 rebounds an assists and a steal.

Hartford 74 (Thomas Webley 1 points, 1 rebound, 2 blocks) Stony Brook 70

Portland University Pilots (7-6) snapped a three game losing streak with an 89-84 win at St Mary’s (7-9) and in the process moved up to 4th spot on the West Coast Conference ladder.

In a game that featured 22 lead changes Emme Shearer, in her 50th game for Portland, had 4 points, 4 rebounds and a game high 4 steals. Tall Ferns forward Amy West scored 8 points for St Mary’s, all in the fourth quarter, while Tayla Dalton mustered 12 points plus a pair of rebounds and assists.

St Mary’s guard Jade Kirisome will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Grace Hunter scored 8 points and snared 3 rebounds as Florida International slipped to 4-10 in Conference-USA play after being beaten 53-39 by Charlotte.

Kael Robinson finished with 2 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds as Rocky Mountain went down 74-67 to MSU-Northern Northern in the NAIA Frontier Conference quarter-final.

Dallas Clayton scored 10 points (4/5FG) as fourth seeded Missouri State-West Plains were defeated 96-53 by State Fair in the Junior College Region 16 play-offs.

Junior College wrap as regular season nears completion

Waiaaria Rogers led Marshalltown to an exciting 65-64 defeat of Southeastern. The former Rangitoto College guard top scored in the game with a season high 18 points (7/15FG).

Keeley Tini had a good week scoring 19 points in Williston State’s win against United Tribes and 12 points in the loss to North Dakota SCS.

Te Araroa Sopoaga scored 15 points and Kay-Hauata Phillips 11 points as Cloud breezed past Cowley 77-63. Sopoaga secured 10 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season while Phillips had a couple of blocks to go with 5 rebounds.

Ashlee Strawbridge peppered Salt Lake for 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists as Southern Idaho won 66-60. Southern Idaho will head to the Region 18 Tournament as top seeds with a 17-1 conference record.

That single loss came against Utah State Eastern that ended the regular season with a 3-12 record after demolishing Colorado Northwestern 63-31.

Ella Bradley top scored with 14 points, Brooklyn Pouwhare scored 7 points and Maclani Michael 5 points for the victors.

Jenna Rose Mafua scored 14 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished 4 assists as Dodge City beat Independence, the top team in the Jayhawk Conference, 60-55.

Ella Paleaae-Cook scored 14 points and Molly Cockburn 11 points, plus a team high 7 rebounds, as Miles came up just short against Dawson going down 78-76. Samantha Jenkins had 6 rebounds and 2 points for Dawson.

Dejaan Schuler was equal top scorer with 13 points (4/7FG) as Casper College completed an 81-61 defeat of Western Wyoming to win the Region North regular season championship with a 10-0 record.

Yzabelle Tevao had 9 points and 3 rebounds to help McCook secure a nail-biting 65-64 win against Otero.

Fourth ranked Western Nebraska have won 20 games straight. Izzy Cook grabbed a team high 7 rebounds to go with 3 assists and 2 points in the comfortable 85-51 victory against Northeastern. Rashaan Smith scored 8 points and secured 5 rebounds in the win.

Jordyn Maddix scored 8 points as Western Texas lost 57-51 to South Plains. Parehuia Delamere dished a game high 6 assists to accompany 5 rebounds and 3 points.

Weatherford went down 69-58 to Grayson with Briarley Rogers scoring 5 points.

Central Maine featuring Harata Coleman, Safena Te Nana-Williams and Leata Te Nana-Williams are seeded number one heading into the Yankee Conference Tournament. 

In men’s Junior college action Daniel Christensen scored 19 points, making 6 from 9 threes, as Barstow were defeated 107-72 at San Bernardino Valley.

Oliver Hayward had a team high 18 points as well as 7 rebounds and 2 steals as Midland College secured a 66-62 home win against New Mexico Military Institute 66-62.

Missouri State – West Plains secured 4th seed in the upcoming regional play-offs after a high scoring 105-99 victory over State Fair. Dallas Clayton, in his first start of the season, tallied 4 points, 2 rebounds and a steal.

Nate Wilson scored 8 points as South Georgia Tech beat Georgia Highlands 102-87.

Ezrah Vaigafa came up with 6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals as Neosho County were trumped 74-61 by Johnson County.

Milestone time for Reed, Dale and Leger-Walker’s

Double figure outings from both Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker ensured Washington State University (WSU secured a notable 72-67 win against Arizona ranked #8 in the nation.

Krystal finished with 12 points (4/8FG), 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal while Charlisse amassed 15 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and a block.

In the process Krystal brought up 1,000 career points – the 15th Kiwi to reach this milestone in NCAA Division I women’s basketball.

Charlisse also registered a milestone playing her 50th game for Washington State – each one of them as a starter.

The win improves the WSU Pac-12 record to 10-4 which ties the record for most Pac-12 wins in programme history.

Another Tall Fern Tera Reed dished 3 assists and also scored 9 points, including 5 from 5 from the free-throw-line, as Southern California slipped to a 67-54 Pac-12 home loss to Colorado. Reed is now just 6 points shy of 1,600 career points and 53 behind Erin Rooney’s New Zealand all-time collegiate record of 1,647 points.

McKenna Dale produced a season best performance to help Virginia to a 74-65 victory over Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The former Junior Tall Fern finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 blocks in a highly productive 30 minutes. The 4 blocks and 8 rebounds (3 on the offensive glass) were both season highs for Dale who needs just a single point to bring up 500 career points – 432 of those points scored at Brown University before she transferred to Virginia at the beginning of this season.

A busy day of Div I hoops

In addition to a double-double (his fifth of the season) of 15 points (6/11 FG) and 10 rebounds Callum McCrae also had 7 assists as UC Riverside defeated Cal Poly 78-58. Flynn Cameron tabled 10 points bringing up 500 career points.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt rang-up 18 points as South Dakota defeated Western Illinois 78-65 to move to 10-6 in the Summit League with two regular season games remaining. That’s 400 points this season for the former Rosmini standout and 14-straight games in double figures.

Sam Waardenburg finished with 6 points and a team high 7 rebounds but Miami lost at home (74-71) to Virginia – both teams now have 11 wins in the Atlantic Coast Conference and are amongst four teams tied for third spot on the ladder.

Davidson 79 (Sam Mennenga 1 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist) Saint Louis 58

New Mexico State 82 (Yuat Alok 2 points, 1 rebound) Grand Canyon 66

Grace Hunter scored a game high, and season best, 19 points (8/15FG) but Florida International came up just short against Rice losing 73-67. The Porirua guard added 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals for good measure.

In front of a record crowd of 6,300 BYU all but wrapped up the West Coast Conference regular season title with an emphatic  63-39 win against second placed Gonzaga. Tegan Graham had 6 points, 5 assists and 3 steals in the game while Kaylee Smiler had a rebound and an assist.

Fordham almost beat Atlantic-10 Conference leaders Dayton but a fourth quarter revival fell just short at 47-48. Kendell Heremaia had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals in the loss.

St Mary’s 79 (Tayla Dalton 7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) San Diego 67

Fresno State 69 (Amiee Book 5 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound) San Diego State 77

St Peter’s 44 (Victotia Ikenasio 4 points, 4 rebounds) Iona 63

Georgia Southern 70 (Tsubasa Nisbett 1 point, 2 rebounds) Troy 82

UC Irvine 57 (Olivia Williams 2 points) Hawaii 67

Div I wrap – milestone night for Perrott-Hunt

Kruz Perrott-Hunt ran up 19 points, making 3 from 6 from beyond the arc, as South Dakota earned an 81-60 win against St Thomas. Perrott-Hunt is averaging 17 points a game at home during Summit League play and went two better in this one, moving past 600 career points in the process. South Dakota 9-6 in league play with three regular season games remaining. 

Also in double figures was Callum McRae as UC Riverside beat CSU Bakersfield 79-69. The former Palmerston North Boys High standout finished with an outstanding stat line of 16 points (7/11FG), 7 assists and 7 rebounds.

Sam Waardenburg was the cornerstone of Miami’s defence as the Hurricanes moved to 11-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 70-63 win at Louisville. Waardenburg had team high’s in rebounds (9) and blocks (3) along with 8 points.

Tobias Cameron had a productive 12 points, 7 rebounds and a pair of assists as Abilene Christian lost 75-71 in overtime to Sam Houston. 

St Mary’s 69 (Dan Fotu 6 points, 1 rebound, 1 block) San Francisco 64

Colorado State 83 (James Moors 4 points, 5 rebounds) New Mexico 68

New Mexico State 75 (Yuat Alok 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 block) Dixie State 64

After 14 straight losses Virginia Cavaliers gained their first Atlantic Coast Conference win beating Duke 67-54. McKenna Dale had 5 points, and one each in blocks, steals, rebounds and assists in the win.

BYU 77 (Tegan Graham 5pts, 4rebs, 2a, 1stl, Kaylee Smiler 3a, 2rebs, 1stl, Arielle Mackey-Williams 2pts, 1a, 1stl)Loyola Marymount 54

Florida International 49 (Grace Hunter 5 points, 2 assists) Middle Tennessee 63

Portland 72 (Emme Shearer 7 points, 2 assists) San Francisco 80

Georgia Southern 68 (Tsubasa Nisbett 6 points, 2 rebounds) South Alabama 56

Fresno State 59 (Amiee Book 3 points, 2 steals) Nevada, Las Vegas 69

Record breaking 35 points from Kendell Heremaia

Kendell Heremaia has produced one of the finest individual scoring performances by a Kiwi in NCAA Division I women’s basketball this season – possibly ever.

The former Waikato and St Peter’s School, Cambridge forward scored 35 points but couldn’t prevent Fordham University going down 60-57 at Massachusetts to slip to 7-4 in the Atlantic-10 Conference. 

Those 35 points included 11 made threes from 19 attempts (58%) – a new programme record for 3-pointers made in a single game in Fordham Rams women’s basketball. The previous record of 9 made threes was set back in 1994.

She finished the contest with 11 rebounds, her third double-double of the season (13th of her career), and 3 steals, playing 37 minutes.

Heremaia now has 1,224 career points moving ahead of Micaela Cocks (1,195 points for Oregon Ducks, 2006-10) and up to 6th spot on the all-time list of Kiwi points scorers in NCAA Division I women’s basketball.

She now has impressive career numbers of 766 rebounds, 303 assists and 137 steals in 139 games (with 111 starts) to add to her points haul. 

Short, sharp Div I wrap

Just a few games to report from the early part of the week:

Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 20 points as Washington State edged USC 57-54 on Sunday – her 9th 20-point game of the season. In the process she passed Brooke Blair (837 points for Idaho State University, 2015-18) to move up to 18th on the NZ all-time list of scorers in women’s NCAA Division I basketball.

Charlisse also tallied 6 rebounds and deuces in assists and steals. Krystal L-W had just a single point but did post a game high 5 assists, 3 rebounds and a steal.

For USC Tera Reed tallied 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

UC Irvine (10-3) moved up to second on the Big West Conference league table after a 67-50 victory against UC San Diego. Freshman guard Olivia Williams finished with 9 points, 6 rebounds and an assist.

Fresno State 68 (Amiee Book 3 points) Nevada 72

Fordham 43 (Kendell Heremaia 5pts, 4rebs, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block) Rhode Island 58

James Moors was a perfect 9 from 9 from the field as Colorado State moved to 10-3 in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) after defeating Fresno State 65-50. Moors finished with 11 points in 18 minutes of action bringing up 100 points for the season in the 65-50 win against Fresno State and 8 points in the 77-74 success against Boise State.

The win against Boise (10-2) was significant as Colorado are only one win behind the second placed team in the MWC.

Sam Mennenga and Davidson College returned to winning ways with a 71-62 victory over Duquesne. The former Westlake Boys big man finished with 7 points, passing 300 career points in the process, 7 rebounds and a brace of assists. Davidson 11-2 in the Atlantic-10 Conference and two games clear at the top of the table.

Zach Riley enjoyed a significant amount of playing time in Fordham’s 66-61 loss to Victoria Commonwealth. The freshman guard who only joined the Rams shortly before Xmas played 20 minutes accumulating 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 points in only his fifth collegiate game.