Prem Grade – Girls Roundup

 

Coola

Coola Baudry had a strong defensive game for Rangitoto

Westlake Girls were without Zara Jillings for their visit to Rangitoto College in the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade Girls competition on Friday. Jillings, who is now in Kazakhstan with the New Zealand U18 Girls at the FIBA 3×3 World Championships, was receiving text updates on her teams encounter with Rangitoto whilst ‘enjoying’ a 10 hours stop over in Amsterdam.

The early news reaching Jillings would not have been terribly encouraging.

Despite welcoming back Tiarna Clarke for her first game since damaging ankle ligaments whilst in China with the Junior Tall Ferns Westlake fell behind 12-4 in the early stages. Things improved later in the period, Rangi just ahead 15-14 at quarter time.

A terrific assist from Sophie Bond for an Annelina Crosby basket plus a Riana Rangi-Brown triple helped take Rangi to a 31-25 half-time lead. Keeley Tini and Jordyn Maddix performed strongly for Westlake but missing the composure of both Jillings and the absent Rosie Davidson they had plenty contemplate at half-time.

Coola Baudry moved the Rangi scoring on in the second half and a defensive block, one of a number on the night from the Junior Tall Fern, kept her team in the ascendancy. Rangi-Brown knocked down a pair of three’s but a couple of scores from Mareta Davidson kept Westlake in the hunt, down 43-32 at three-quarter time.

Jordyn Maddix converted a long three for Westlake and when she fed Clarke for an and one play the lead was down to single figures. Sophie Bond quickly addressed that from the free throw line – Clarke replied in kind. Then Clarke with a lovely no look assist for Jessica Moors and it was Westlake threatening a late comeback.

The composed Bond and Rangi-Brown snuffed that out as they scored the last 12 points for Rangitoto, the majority from the foul line, to ease their team to a deserved 60-50 win.

Final Score:

Rangitoto 60 – Rangi-Brown 17, Bond 12, Tabatha Jenkins 10, Baudry 8

Westlake 50 – Clarke 12, Maddix 10, Talafoa 10,

Auckland Girls Grammar School is the only unbeaten team in the Girls Premier Grade following a comfortable 81-40 victory over Massey High. Led by Mele Latu AGGS raced to a 26-7 quarter time lead and were never threatened after that winning every quarter.

Final Score:

Massey 40 – Terrina Aratangi 18, Shauna Povey 10

AGGS 81 – Mele Latu 24, Rionne Papa 16, Karma Skilton-R 14

Orewa College secured there first win of the season with a 65-55 at home victory against Avondale College and Mt Albert Grammar recorded a 74-54 win against St Kentigern College.

Girls Standings after 4 rounds;

4-0 Auckland Girls GS

3-1 Rangitoto College, Westlake GHS

2-2 Massey HS, Mt Albert GS

1-3 Avondale College, Orewa College

0-4 St Kentigern College

 

Westlake Boys beat Rangitoto to remain unbeaten

 

New Zealand U17 National Basketball Squad Headshots, 13 July 2015

Thabo Manyere

A large vociferous crowd was in attendance for the game of the week in the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade Boys competition as the unbeaten pair of Westlake Boys High School and Rangitoto College went head to head.

Neither side was at full strength as Westlake’s Isaac Letoa and Rangitoto’s Sam Waardenburg are both representing New Zealand at the FIBA 3X3 Under 18 World Championships in Kazakhstan.

Cam Stone opened the scoring for Rangitoto and Dan Fotu glided to the basket for a couple of baskets prompting Westlake coach Phil Campbell to call an early timeout with his team 11-1 down.

A pair of Josh Hidalgo jumpers sparked a Westlake revival but Rangi were in control 23-15 at quarter time.

A Thabo Manyere block excited the visiting fans and when he converted a put back Lake were within five points. He and James Moors continued the Westlake second quarter resurgance but Stone converted three triples in as many minutes as Rangi edged the half 43-39.

A Logan Anderson baseline three followed by a Fotu break away dunk took the Rangi lead out to 57-44 but thereafter Westlake held most of the attacking cards.

A Moors block and fast break drive cut the lead to 62-56 then good work from Reuben Fitzgerald and Luke Day dragged it back to 63-61.

Manyere tied the scores then made the go ahead free throws, 67-65 Westlake in the lead at the third interval.

Point guard Marc Malingin was busy for Westlake as he; Manyere, Moors and Greg Vukets stretched the advantage to 78-71 with 2:10 remaining.

Rangitoto coach Kenny Stone took his growing frustration out on referee Gareth Teahan and was hit with a technical in the closing moments. Moors scored from the subsequent free throws and despite scores from Stone and Zac Te Puni Westlake were able to preserve their unbeaten start to the season as Malingin, Manyere and Moors again, calmly slotted home free throws.

For the second successive year Westlake stole the early season win on Rangitoto’s home court.

Final score;

Rangitoto 80 – Fotu 27, Stone 16, Anderson 9, Te Puni 8

Westlake 89 – Manyere 24/11, Moors 23/9, Fitzgerald 12, Vukets 8

Kelston Boys recovered from an early 11 points deficit to beat Rosmini College 92-89. Rosmini led 22-14 at quarter time and 51-45 at the interval but they were outscored 26-13 in the third period before slipping to their third defeat of the season despite 32 points from Mitchell Dance.

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Linus Jakzst

Linus Jakzst paced the Kelston effort with 32 points including 13 in the decisive third quarter.

Final Score;

Rosmini 89 – Dance 32, Taine Wattie 22, Nathan Curran 13pts/16rebs, Will Heather 8pts/8rebs

Kelston 92 – Jakzst 32, Matangi Prescott 15, Liam Milne 13, Kale Lawson 10

Auckland Grammar accounted for Liston College 99-79 and Mt Albert Grammar recorded a second win of the season beating Onehunga HS 98-69.

Boys Standings after 4 rounds;

4-0 Westlake Boys HS

3-1 Rangitoto College, Auckland Boys GS, Kelston Boys HS

2-2 Mt Albert GS

1-3 Rosmini College,

0-4 Onehunga HS, Liston College

Harmon and Cocks shine for Tall Ferns

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Jillian Harmon 22 points for Tall Ferns v Latvia

 

The Tall Ferns have got the European leg of their Olympic Qualifying Tournament build up off to a perfect start with a 70-64 overtime victory against Latvia in Riga on Friday.

It was a tight contest throughout with no more than four points separating the two teams at the end of each period. The Tall Ferns led 28-24 at half-time and despite moving out to a 37-26 advantage were pegged back in the later stages of the third and trailed 42-41 at the three-quarter mark. A tight final period saw the scores locked at 56 apiece before the Kiwis bossed the additional five minutes (14-8) to take the game.

Despite only being with the team 48 hours coach Kereama gave a start to Jillian Harmon and the move paid off in stunning fashion as the power forward produced a game high 22 points. Harmon is coming off an outstanding season in the Italian League where she averaged 19 points a game for regular season champions Le Mura Lucca and her performance delighted the coach.

“I was really happy with how both Jillian and Josie Stockill (2pts/4rebounds) have slotted into the group and for Jill to score 22 in her first game back adds some much needed scoring punch for us,” said Kereama.

“It is also worth mentioning how big Micaela Cocks (19 points) was down the stretch, nailing some big perimeter shots for us. Her team mates did a very good job of finding her and part of that was because we hurt them in the paint with our Penina (Davidson) and Jillian combo”

Davidson amassed 14 points and 10 rebounds whilst guard Toni Edmondson chipped in with 10 points, her fifth consecutive double-digit contribution of the tour.

The Tall Ferns edged the rebounding contest 45-40 and despite shooting only 36% (24/66) from the field recorded a significant win against the 17th ranked nation in the world (NZ ranked 22nd).

It was a victory that understandably pleased Kereama.

“Defence set the tone for us today as we kept them under 65 points in overtime. That is very good for us and if we want to be a contender at our major event we need to be able to lock teams down and generate easy scores from our defence.

“Again this is a step in the right direction for us and we need to continue to build on this. We play them again tomorrow and I am sure they will be ready for some of the defensive things we throw at them.”

Final score:

Latvia 64

Tall Ferns 70 – Harmon 22, Cocks 19pts/6rebs, Davidson 14pts/10rebs, Edmondson 10, Purcell 3, Stockill 2

Blair and Noyer return from China

 

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Brooke Blair debuted for the Tall Ferns alongside Katelin Noyer in China

 

The Tall Ferns basketball squad has been reduced to 14 players ahead of the European leg of their current tour.

Understandably head Coach Kennedy Kereama has opted for experience as the team builds towards the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in France next month.

As such the players that made their international debuts in China, Brooke Blair and Katelin Noyer, have been released from the squad.

“It was tough having to make selections and leaving both Katelin and Brooke behind as we move on to the next part of our journey, said Kereama.

“They have both been great and it’s always tough to leave someone out when they haven’t put a foot wrong,” he added.

18 year old Noyer graduated from Westlake Girls High School in 2015 and will be heading for Fresno State University on a four year basketball scholarship next month. Noyer departs at the end of June, to begin her studies at summer school and also embark on training with the Bulldogs.

The 6’4’’ centre has played the majority of her representative basketball for Waitakere and during the past two years has played for the Waitakere Lady Rangers in the national Women’s Basketball Championships (WBC).

Brooke Blair is towards the other end of her collegiate career.

Blair attended Rangitoto College, played representative basketball for North Harbour age group teams and Harbour Breeze, and has spent the last 3 years in the States. She spent two years at Northeastern Junior College, Colorado before moving on to Idaho State University. The 21 year old guard started in all 33 games for the Bengals averaging 12 points per game in the 2015-16 season.

Blair will spend a little time with her family on the North Shore before returning to the States. Beyond that professional basketball in Australia is a possibility.

Blair is seen as a point guard at international level, a position she occupies for Idaho State, but currently she sits behind the experienced trio of Micaela Cocks, Erin Rooney and Jordan Hunter in the Tall Ferns pecking order.

At 6’4” Noyer is one of the taller players on the Tall Ferns radar but her lack of experience counts against her at present with the likes of Penina Davidson, Jillian Harmon, Lisa Wallbutton, Jess Bygate, and Josie Stockill all preferred options. In addition Cantabrian Tessa Boagni, unavailable for the current campaign, will likely come back into the reckoning in future seasons.

Both players will feature in the New Zealand Select team to play China B in Auckland over Queens Birthday Weekend.

The remaining 14 players in the Tall Ferns squad are:

  • Micaela Cocks, aged 30, from North Harbour, plays for Townsville Fire
  • Antonia Edmondson, 28, Canterbury – Perth Lynx
  • Kalani Purcell, 21, Counties Manukau – Brigham Young University-Provo
  • Erin Rooney, 25, Canterbury – Cote D’Opale Basket Calais, France
  • Lisa Wallbutton, 30, North Harbour – Perth Redbacks
  • Jessica Bygate, 24, Nelson – Adelaide Lightning/Sunbury Jets
  • Chevannah Paalvast, 24, Waitakere – Townsville Fire
  • Jordan Hunter, 25, Counties Manukau – Lady Hawks
  • Deena Franklin, 21, North Harbour – Waitakere Lady Rangers
  • Krystal Leger-Walker, 18, Waikato – Waikato Wizards
  • Josie Stockill, 22, Hawkes Bay – Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
  • Jillian Harmon, 29, New York – Le Mura Lucca, Italy
  • Stella Beck, 20, Hutt Valley – Saint Mary’s College, California
  • Penina Davidson, 20, Waitakere, University of California, Berkley

Fotu’s Zaragoza win in bizarre circumstances

 

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Isaac Fotu

On Sunday Rob Loe, Tom Abercrombie and Isaac Fotu were each involved in European fixtures for there respective clubs . For Fotu and Abercrombie it proved to be their last outing before linking up with the Tall Blacks.

Fotu’s Zaragoza club played its thirty fourth and final regular season game of the Spanish League season, finishing on a positive note by winning 73-72 in Bilbao in unlikely circumstances.

With time almost up Zaragoza’s Joan Sastre launched a desperate heave from inside his own half at the basket with his team two points down. As his shot reached it’s apex the full time hooter sounded, a fraction of a second later the ball entered the hoop via the backboard. Not only had Zaragoza snatched a one point win but they had also denied the hosts a play-off spot.

He will return to his club Zaragoza next season for the third term of his three-year contract but for now he heads back to Auckland for a few days before linking with the Tall Blacks.

Tom Abercrombie is also Auckland bound after he and his club Pinar Karsiyaka were eliminated in the Turkish league play-offs.

It was looking good for Karsiyaka after it won the opening game of the quarter-final series in Istanbul with a 74-67 victory against Galatasaray last Wednesday.

The victory appeared to have set Karsiyaka up for an upset win in the best of three series. Unfortunately they missed a golden opportunity to progress by losing at home 65-62 in game two fourty eight hours later.

Galatasaray won the deciding game on Sunday decisively. They took the opening period 22-17 going on to win every quarter to take the game 77-62 and the tie 2-1.

Tom Abercrombie scored double figures in the first two fixtures (11 points followed by 12) and ended with 7 points in the third and decisive game.

In Belgium Rob Loe is keeping the Kiwi flag flying in Europe but only just.

Following Limburg United’s 78-64 loss against Oostende on Sunday the best of five Scooore League semi- final series stands 2-1 in favour of Oostende.

Limburg took game two 89-83 after being thrashed 91-62 in the opening exchange.

Loe nailed 10 points, 4 rebounds and three blocks in game two after a more subdued 3 points and 3 rebounds in the first game. His contribution in game three was limited to 4 points and 3 rebounds after getting into foul trouble, pinged four times in just 12 minutes.

The fourth game is on Wednesday with a fifth, if required, scheduled for next Saturday.

Fotu has fond memories of his visits to Bilbao as it is the city where he came of age as an international player displaying outstanding form for the Tall Blacks at the 2014 FIBA World Cup averaging 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

He will return to his club Zaragoza next season for the third term of his three-year contract but for now he heads back to Auckland for a few days before linking with the Tall Blacks.

Tom Abercrombie is also Auckland bound after he and his club Pinar Karsiyaka were eliminated in the Turkish league play-offs.

It was looking good for Karsiyaka after it won the opening game of the quarter-final series in Istanbul with a 74-67 victory against Galatasaray last Wednesday.

The victory appeared to have set Karsiyaka up for an upset win in the best of three series. Unfortunately they missed a golden opportunity to progress by losing at home 65-62 in game two fourty eight hours later.

Galatasaray won the deciding game on Sunday decisively. They took the opening period 22-17 going on to win every quarter to take the game 77-62 and the tie 2-1.

Tom Abercrombie scored double figures in the first two fixtures (11 points followed by 12) and ended with 7 points in the third and decisive game.

In Belgium Rob Loe is keeping the Kiwi flag flying in Europe but only just.

Following Limburg United’s 78-64 loss against Oostende on Sunday the best of five Scooore League semi- final series stands 2-1 in favour of Oostende.

Limburg took game two 89-83 after being thrashed 91-62 in the opening exchange.

Loe nailed 10 points, 4 rebounds and three blocks in game two after a more subdued 3 points and 3 rebounds in the first game. His contribution in game three was limited to 4 points and 3 rebounds after getting into foul trouble, pinged four times in just 12 minutes.

The fourth game is on Wednesday with a fifth, if required, scheduled for next Saturday.

Auckland Prem Grade reports and roundup

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In round three of the Auckland Schools Premier Grade Basketball competition on Friday Liston College and Rosmini College, both teams without a win, went head to head.

Taine Wattie opened the scoring after a Will Heather block but an Emmanuel Maagdenberg three and an even longer triple from Leo (sorry about lack of details and spellings on Liston names but scoresheet was incomplete)

A number of turnovers didn’t help the Liston cause as Rosmini sprang to a 27-14 opening quarter lead.

Liston were settling for predominantly three point attempts as they struggled to breach the Nathan Curran led Rosmini interior defence. In contrast Rozza were taking the ball inside at every opportunity quickly stretching out to a 54-24 advantage at the second quarter mid point.

A Sam Bowden baseline drive and dunk and a couple of Ben Turpin jumpers sprang ‘The Faithful’ into voice, their team ahead 60-29 at the break. Mitchell Dance led all scorers with 18 points at the break.

Guards Blessing Matambanzo and Mao-Kim Estonactor gave Liston a straight half dozen points to open the second half, the run 15-3, before a Marvin Williams-Dunn triple steadied the home effort. Liston took the honours in the third winning the period 21-10 as they frequently scored in transition.

The final quarter was a little stop start as both coaches gave extended court time to their bench players.

Final Score;

Rosmini 94 – Dance 19, Turpin 14, Jenkins 13, Curran 7/11rebs.

Liston College 69 – Matambanzo 18, Leo 15, Maagdenberg 13, John Fabian 9

Westlake Boys travelled to Mt Albert Grammar and found themselves under early pressure trailing 31-27 at half-time. The hosts struggled against the Lake defence in the third period managing just 8 points in the quarter to trail 49-39 at the end of the period. MAGS enjoyed plenty of home support in the fourth quarter but it was Westlake that had the final say winning 69-53.

In a game between two unbeaten teams Auckland Grammar entertained Rangitoto College and in a close encounter AGS were defeated 70-59 by the defending champs.

In the final game of the round Kelston Boys had an easy 102-34 win against Onehunga High.

Boys Standings;

3-0 Westlake Boys HS, Rangitoto College

2-1 Auckland Boys GS, Kelston Boys HS

1-2 Rosmini College, Mt Albert GS

0-3 Onehunga HS, Liston College

In the Girls Premier competition Orewa College, for the second week running, were without the inside presence of Junior Tall Ferns forward Kate Diakhaby. Despite that they gained their fair share of rebounds but failed to convert numerous open shots and fell behind 19-10 at quarter time against Massey High.

For their part Massey, anchored in defence by Ashley Tyacke and led at the offensive end by penetrating guard Shauna Povey were able to find the basket with regularity.

A triple from the industrious Hannah Wentworth and a couple ofAlex Still baskets kept the Massey lead within manageable proportions, 33-18 at half-time.

13 year old Ramona Fuaivaa demonstrated some fine passing skills and Harmony-Rangi Brown an eye for the basket as Massey increased their lead to 54-28 at three-quarter time.

Captain Ariana Henare and Wentworth kept the score ticking over for Orewa but a 27 points final quarter blitz carried Massey to a second successive win.

Full Time;

Orewa 38 – Wentworth 13, Still 7, Henare 6, Shevaun Green 6

Massey 80 – Povey 20, Fuaivaa 10, Rangi-Brown 10, Tyacke 10, Terrina Aratangi 10

In something of an upset, certainly in terms of the points differential, Auckland Girls Grammar defeated Rangitoto College 77-57.

Mt Albert GS were beaten 66-45 by Westlake Girls HS and Avondale College beat St Kentigern College 73-59.

Girls Standings;

3-0 Auckland Girls GS, Westlake Girls HS

2-1 Rangitoto College, Massey HS

1-2 Mt Albert GS, Avondale College

0-3 Orewa College, St Kentigern College

Good win for Tall Ferns v Montenegro

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Penina Davidson top scored for Tall Ferns

After a ten points defeat to Montenegro earlier in the week at the Four Nations Tournament in Xilinhot, China, the Tall Ferns were able to turn the tables on their European opponents winning 79-76 on Friday night.

The Tall Ferns trailed 39-31 at half time and were still in arrears 54-50 with ten minutes to play. However a strong closing quarter (29-22) took the Kiwis to their second victory at the tournament.

The forward duo of Penina Davidson and Kalani Purcell were outstanding for the Ferns. Davidson led the scoring effort with 17 points (6/10 FG) and also snared 8 rebounds. Purcell continued her strong form with a double double of 16 points and 13 rebounds as well as dishing 5 assists.

Guards Micaela Cocks (16 points) and Toni Edmondson (11 points) were also prominent in a fine team effort that pleased coach Kennedy Kereama.

“Tonight was a game of runs and we made a number of them. What was pleasing was our resilience and poise down the stretch. We were defensively good and smart enough to go at the right players in the final quarter. Our penetration in the half court and fast break basketball was as good as it has ever been and we have to build on this.”

The Tall Ferns won the rebounding count 42-26 but still gave up 21 turnovers, an area that worries Kereama, “There are still concerns with our turnover rate but we did improve on our last game.”

Collectively the team was solid at the free throw line converting 23 from 29 attempts and had multiple scorers. “We had a spread of contributors at both ends of the court and have built a solid platform for our game against the Czech Republic. A win would give us a chance of second place at the tournament,” said Kereama.Final Score;

Montenegro 76

Tall Ferns 79 – Davidson 17, Purcell 16, Cocks 16, Edmondson 11, Beck 7, Paalvast 5, Hunter 4, Bygate 2, Wallbutton 1

The Tall Ferns final game in China is on Saturday against Czech Republic (7.30pm local time/11.30pm NZ time).

Harmon’s outstanding season ends in disappointment

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Jillian Harmon averaged 18.9 ppg for Le Mura Lucca

Tall Fern Jillian Harmon was at her consistent best for Le Mura Lucca against Familia Schio in the SerieA Italian League Championship Final series.

Having won the regular season title Lucca were optimistic they could add the Championship to their trophy cabinet but disappointingly found themselves swept by the defending champions.

Schio won the best of five series 3-0 to claim a fourth consecutive Italian title.

In game one on Monday Lucca mounted an extraordinary fight back only to fall to defeat in the final seconds of the game.

The home supporters were silenced as Familia Schio built what appeared to be an unassailable 51-37 three-quarter time advantage. However what unfolded was a remarkable comeback as Lucca, in front of a virtual full house at PalaTagliate, embarked on a remarkable 19-4 run to lead 56-55 inside the final minute.

Unfortunately the fairytale ending did not materialise as veteran forward Lara Macchi made the important final score in the closing seconds to carry Schio to a crucial first up victory.

Harmon made 12 points and snared 7 rebounds in the opener.

Familia Schio bossed the second encounter from start to finish winning 78-54. Tall Fern Jillian Harmon was tireless with 11 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists but could do little to stem the tide in favour of the home team.

On Sunday the third game followed a similar pattern to game two with Scio bossing the boards (42-30) and easing to a 76-55 win. Once again Harmon was prominent with a double double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Harmon has had a terrific season amassing 624 points during the 33 game season and leading Lucca in scoring averaging 18.9 points per game. Shooting the ball at 51.4% from the field the former Stanford University standout has also averaged 6.4 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game.

Harmon will now get a few days rest before linking up with the Tall Ferns later this month for their Olympic Qualifying campaign.

Some lop sided results in Auck Sec Schools Prem Grade

Coola

Coola Baudry missed Rangitoto’s demolition of Orewa College

Round two of the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Basketball Competition unfortunately featured one or two lopsided scorelines.

Westlake Boys High School (2-0) ran up a cricket score against Onehunga High School (0-2) winning 162-28. Hopefully we won’t see this type of margin again this season.

Auckland Boys Grammar also moved to 2-0 but in a much more competitive game against Mt Albert Grammar (1-1) winning 54-43.

Defending champions Rangitoto College are also unbeaten after holding off Rosmini College (0-2) 91-76. My spies tell me Rozza were pretty good for three-quarters of the game.

Liston are still looking for a win after going down to Kelston (1-1) 95-53.

Your roving reporter was down in Porirua at the weekend watching the Women’s Basketball Championships. A number of our top high school players were on duty at the tournament and therefore unavailable for their college’s last Friday.

Mt Albert’s Sharne Robati was playing for Auckland Counties Manukau Lady Hawks and Zara Jillings (WGHS), Coola Baudry (Rangitoto) and Katie Diakhaby (Orewa Coll) were on duty for the Junior Tall Ferns.

Sounds like Orewa could have done with Katie as they were thrashed 112-8  by Rangitoto College. Westlake were too good for St Kentigern College winning 74-40 and Massey High School won a thriller against Avondale College edging home 59-58.

Shout out to Katelin Noyer who made her Tall Ferns debut in China against the hosts on Saturday. A member of the Westlake Girls High School team last year the 18 year old stepped on court against the number 8 ranked team in the world – now that’s a bit different to playing prem basketball!

More detailed reporting to resume next week.

Thoughts from coaches Green and Braswell after Saints beat Rangers

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Kevin Braswell playing for the Southland Sharks last year

By Murray McKinnon

The Wellington Saints clinced an NBL  play-off spot with a 108-91 win over the James Blond Supercity Rangers at AUT, North Shore on Saturday evening.
Wellington were able to set the tone at the beginning, winning the first quarter by nine after a run of eight unanswered points and then winning both the second and third periods increasing their lead to 17. The Saints continued to pound the Rangers and three quarters through the final 10 minutes were out to 102-80.

It was the third win for the Saints over the Rangers this season and they were led by their leading scorer Torrey Craig who had a game high 30 to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists. Benny Anthony Jr had a big game with a season high 26 points which included 4/5 three pointers. Point guard Shea Ili also got in on the action with 19 points and seven assists for the Saints who have won six in a row with an 11-3 record.

The Rangers were led by their league leading scorer Eric Devendorf who scored 25. Lindsay Tait tallied 18 points, five rebounds and five assists against his former side, and Mika Vukona added 12. It was a relatively quiet night for former Saint Corey Webster who had 15 points on 4/14 shooting.
The loss puts the Rangers at 9-6, but they will have a chance to inch closer to the final four with their next game being in Whangarei on Friday 20 May against the Taranaki Mountainairs (5-9).

Kevin Braswell, 2010 Breakers player, who is coach of the Saints said despite the win his team has yet to show its best.
“We still have things to work on. We haven’t played our best basketball yet but we’re getting there. We don’t want to be playing our best basketball till the last two weeks. So hopefully next week we’ll play a better game,” he said.
As well as having an excellent shooting percentage during the game Braswell said that defence was also important.
“What I’ve been focussing on with these guys, not just playing one end, we don’t just score we actually play defence and we defend well. My whole aim coming into this game as the one number one scoring team in the League they have some great players on their team so for me it was just making sure that we come in here with a defensive mind sense instead of offence and the guys did a hell of a job tonight,” he added.
“They’re a good team and what I have been watching and witnessing since Corey came they haven’t lost a game so for me it was just making sure we took away the strengths to their team and try and hold them into a half court and we did a good job.”

Jeff Green, coach of the Ranges, lamented the Saints impressive shooting percentage in the first half and the standard of the refereeing.
“They shot the ball 72 per cent in the first half, and that’s where we lost it. I didn’t think we played bad defence in that first half, but they shot the ball 72 per cent. The last time we got an arse kicking like this was when Canterbury (April 23, 112-102) shot the ball 70 per cent in the second half. You can’t give a team like the Saints that much of a head start,” said Green.

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