News on Kiwi’s abroad last week

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Double double for Chevannah Paalvast

Overall it was a good weekend for the New Zealand international players based in Australia.

Duane Bailey, obviously making progress from the calf tear he recently suffered, logged 25 minutes for Brisbane Spartans in his fifth game since joining the club at the conclusion of the Southland Sharks season.

The Spartans won a high scoring affair 112-101 against Ballarat Miners in a SEABL Eastern Division tie. Bailey scored 11 points (5/7FG) and added 4 rebounds as the Spartans consolidated second place with a 12-7 record.

Tall Fern Chevannah Paalvast is also based in Queensland playing for Townsville Flames in the Queensland Basketball League.

The Flames split a double-header road trip beating Gladstone Power 88-78 on Friday but then got blown away by Rockhampton Cyclones, 106-91, on Saturday.

The Flames are fourth on the ladder with a 10-4 record.

Ironically Paalvast was relatively quiet in the win on Friday (4pts, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) but close to her best against the Cyclones breezing to a double double of 23 points (10/16FG) and 10 rebounds.

Former Tall Fern Charmian Mellars (nee Purcell) is still getting it done for Gladstone. She produced a team high 20 points plus 11 rebounds.

Lisa Wallbutton was also in good scoring touch for Perth Redbacks as they hammered South West Slammers 100-59 in the Western Australian State League on Saturday.

Wallbutton accumulated 16 points (6/11FG) and gathered 9 rebounds as the Redbacks squeezed back into the top eight with the win.

Sunbury Jets were without Jess Bygate for their visit to Latrobe City but the Kennedy Kereama coached outfit just rolled out another win to remain top of the Big V First Division. The Jets beat Latrobe 78-53 and have now won 17 straight and are yet to be beaten in the current campaign.

Tournament teams from U17 Nationals

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MVP James Moors (No 35)

Below are the Boy’ and Girl’s Tournament Teams from the 2016 Under 17 National Championships played at NSEC last week.

Boys

Harrison Clarke (Harbour)

Will Harrison (Canterbury)

Tom Higgins (Central Country)

Peter Jenkins (Harbour)

Kale Lawson (Waitakere)

Connor McLaughlin (Canterbury)

James Moors –MVP (Harbour)

Jack Morrison (Auckland Counties)

Oscar Oswald (Palmerston North)

Lachlan Scott (Palmerston North)

Girls

Amiee Book (Tasman)

Chanel Brodeur-Muir (Harbour)

Zhanay Hettig (Waikato)

Grace Hunter (Wellington)

Mele Latu (Waitakere)

Charlisse Leger-Walker MVP (Waikato)

Tsubasa Nisbett (Canterbury)

Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Auckland Counties)

Elianna Tuaiti (Waitakere)

Charlotte Whittaker (North Canterbury)

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Charlisse Leger-Walker in action for Junior Tall Ferns

 

Harbour Boys and Waikato Girls retain National U17 titles

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The 2016 Boys and Girls Under 17 National Championship titles were retained in convincing fashion at North Shore Events Centre on Saturday evening.

North Harbour beat Palmerston North 94-63 to win the boys title and Waikato defeated Waitakere West 64-46 in the Girls Final.

Tournament MVP Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 25 points for Waikato who never looked back after opening an early 9-0 lead.

The Waikato opening burst was ended by an Elianna Tuaiti free throw but a pair of Leger-Walker triples pushed the Waikato advantage out to 19-7 at quarter time.

A long three from Mele Latu briefly reduced the arrears but Ella Bradley and Leger-Walker (again) reinstated a double digit Waikato lead.

The Waikato defence was stifling the Waitakere offence although baskets late in the half from Abigail Roache, Shauna Povey and Mele hinted at better things for Waitakere.

That was somewhat nullified when Riva Walker-Pitman scored a couple of neat jumpers to give Waikato a 34-17 half time advantage.

Leger-Walker led all scorers with 19 points at the interval.

A Latu three plus a Sylvia Wieczorek deuce spurred the Waitakere support but a couple of nice Zhanay Hettig scores kept the Waikato advantage close to twenty points.

A couple of long threes from Waitakere West guard Priscilla Tuala kept Waitakere in the contest trailing 47-34 at three-quarter time.

Harriet Berry buried a three to extend the Waikato lead to 53-37 with six minutes to play. Riva Walker-Pitman extended the Waikato advantage and Zhanay Hettig capped a fine performance with a banked two to see off the Waikato resistance.

Final score: Waikato 64 – Charlisse Leger-Walker 24, Riva Walker-Pitman 10, Zhanay Zettig 9, Koha Lewis 9 Waitakere 46 – Mele Latu 15, Priscilla Tuala 11, Elianna Tuaiti 9, Abigail Roache 6

Waikato coach Anthony Corbin was understandably pleased with the win.

“We have built towards this performance and I think our fitness levels really shone from the start of the game. Leanne (Walker) has done a great job with our defence up the floor and I’ve focused on our offensive sets and it has really flowed from there.

“The young coaches had done a fine job with the Waitakere team but we felt they were predominantly a two player team. From the start we focused on the point guard (Tuaiti). She’s a very talented player but I thought Harriet Berry, Koha (Lewis) and Riva (Walker-Pitman) did a great job of annoying her.

“Our strength is our half court defence which is probably due to my involvement in the 3×3 programme where there is a heavy emphasis on shell D.

“And then of course we have Charlisse (Leger-Walker) who is very talented and a good leader of our group,” he added.

Leger-Walker was quick to point out that the win was a team effort.

“We had great support from throughout the whole team, everyone stepped up today. Our bench was really hyped and we feed off all the energy they generate.

“I think the girls came together really well today,” she added.

Perhaps that was a slight understatement!

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The Boys Final also went the way of the defending champions.

Harry Clarke scored three early baskets for Harbour but scores from Tama Faamausili and Oscar Oswald kept Palmerston North on the heels of the hosts.

Peter Jenkins had the final say in the stanza – Harbour ahead 26-10 at quarter time.

A Faamausili And 1 play opened the scoring in the second and a Lachlan Scott triple helped build the Palmerston confidence.

Harbour were struggling to make a basket in the middle of the period until Mitchell Dance and Kruz Perrott-Hunt found a way to the hoop on consecutive plays.

Tournament MVP James Moors capped a fine first half with a neat jumper to help his team to a 43-28 interval advantage.

A Perrott-Hunt floater took the Harbour advantage into the twenties and it became 56-35 when Clarke scored in transition from a sweet Logan McIntosh pass.

Oswald and Clarke exchanged jump shots before a pair of Harbour steals presented McIntosh with consecutive transition buckets.

Kahurangi Devonshire landed from deep for Palmerston but Harbour had a hand on the trophy at three-quarter time with a 65-44 lead.

There was no way back for Palmerston as Harbour bossed the final quarter in the same fashion that they had dominated the tournament.

Final score; Harbour 94– Harry Clarke 21, James Moors 18, Mitchell Dance 16, Peter Jenkins 13 Palmerston North 63 – Oscar Oswald 18, Tama Faamausili 13, Lachlan Scott 9, Cooper Boyce-Towler 8

Harbour coach Morgan Maskell has known many of his players since they were 12 years old and was delighted with their success.

“We really wanted it. Two years ago we had nine of this group when we lost in the U15 Final to Palmerston North so to get this win is satisfying. To get the first title together with this group that is so tight, to get it with such a dominant team (an average 40+ winning margin) it is real special.”

Harbour captain Kruz Perrott-Hunt was almost lost for words, “It’s an amazing feeling just being together with my team, I’m just really happy.

“We have a 12 man bench and everyone contributes in different ways, it fees so good,” he said.

Most of these players now return to their High School programmes with a view to qualifying for the Secondary Schools National Championships in October.

Harbour and Waikato on track at U17’s

Waikato Girls and Harbour Boys are on track to defend their respective titles at the 2016 Under 17 National Championships at North Shore Events Centre.

On Friday the first Girls semi-final was a match up between defending champions Waikato and Wellington.

Waikato took a 16-9 lead into the quarter time break but then conceded a 12-0 run to trail 21-16 in the middle of the second.

The lead narrowed to two points, 29-27, in favour of Wellington at half-time. Waikato guard Charlisse Leger-Walker led all scorers with 16 points; Renee Savaiinaea had 7 points for Wellington.

The two teams exchanged scores in the third quarter before three consecutive baskets from Grace Hunter took Wellington to a 40-34 lead at the last break.

Zhanay Hettig scored on consecutive plays for Waikato as they moved within a single point 43-42 with 6 minutes to play.

Hettig then made the go ahead play with 4 minutes to play and Wellington were unable to find a scoring response. Managing just three points in the final quarter the girls from the capital fell 49-43.

Leger-Walker was immense contributing over half of her team’s points with 25.

Final Score: Waikato 49 – Leger-Walker 25, Hettig 7 Wellington 43 – Hunter 10, Mafua 7, Savaiinaea 7

The second semi-final was a local derby between North Harbour 1 and Waitakere West. Mele Latu scored 14 points as Waitakere West forged a 37-24 half time advantage.

The Waitakere transition offence continued to reap dividends their lead extending to twenty points in the middle of the third.

Chanel Brodeue-Muir landed a three for Harbour but the free scoring Latu responded with a triple of her own.

Elianna Tuaiti found he way to the basket a couple of times and the Waitakere advantage was 58-38 at three-quarter time.

Parehuia Delamere made a couple of baskets but Harbour were unable to make any inroads into the Waitakere lead, the girls from the West advancing to play Waikato in the Grand Final.

Final Score: Waitakere West 74 – Mele Latu 26pts/18rebs, Elianna Tuaiti 21/11, Abigail Roache 10, Shauna Povey 7 Harbour A 56 – Chanel Brodeur-Muir 11, Parehuia Delamere 10/9, Keeley Tini 9/7 Rashaan Smith 8

The first Boys semi final featured traditional rivals Canterbury and North Harbour. It was the boys in black and maroon that started the strongest quickly getting out to a ten point lead courtesy of a couple of eye catching James Moors and Kruz Perrrott-Hunt baskets.

The first quarter closed with Harbour 28-12 in the lead.

A better second quarter showing from Canterbury, with Connor McLaughlin making an impression, improved the mood of the Cantab supporters but their team were still 48-27 in arrears at half-time.

The third quarter was largely one-way traffic as Harbour piled on 43 points to finish the period 81-39 ahead.

McLaughlin kept the score rolling over for Canterbury but the result was never in doubt as Harbour moved comfortably into the final with a 97-63 victory.

Final Score: Harbour 97 – Harry Clarke 21, Mitchell Dance 17, Peter Jenkins 17/11, James Moors 16/9, Kruz Perrott-Hunt 12/11 Canterbury 63 – Connor McLaughlin 22, Will Harrison 9, Isaiah Morris 7

The second semi-final began with Palmerston North in the ascendancy taking the opening period 21-12 against Waitakere West.

The inside presence of Kale Lawson started to trouble Palmerston in the second quarter but the scoring efficiency of Oscar Oswald and Lachlan Scott kept Palmerston ahead. Palmy centre Cooper Boyce-Towler put down a dunk to put an exclamation mark on a 45-28 opening half in their favour.

Dru Leusogi Ape sank a three for Waitakere in the middle of the third but the response from Shaka Riddell was emphatic – three three’s in three minutes and Palmerston were 66-43 to the good with ten to play.

Waitakere didn’t give up trying but they looked weary in the fourth, as the exertions of their come from behind quarter-final win appeared to take its toll.

Coaches Jason Seumanu and Kent Mori gave deserved game time to their bench players in the closing minutes as Palmerston North eased to an 88-59 win.

Final Score: Palmerston North 88 – Shaka Riddell 24, Lachlan Scott 22, Oscar Oswald 14/7, Nikau Tangaroa 8 Waitakere West 59 – Kale Lawson 26/20, Kennedy Nikolaison 7/8, John Fabian 7, Dru Leusogi-Ape 7

The Grand Finals will be played at NSEC on Saturday

3.30pm Girls Final – Waikato v Waitakere West

5.15pm Boys Final – Harbour A v Palmerston North

Earlier in the day in girls quarter-final action Wellington easily disposed of Rotorua 95-43 and Waikato, in a much tighter game, beat Auckland Counties 1 51-40. Waitakere West continued their good run overcoming Taranaki 80-52 and North Harbour defeated Tasman 80-52.

In the Boys quarter finals Harbour A accounted for Auckland Counties 1 89-51 and Canterbury ditched Porirua Capital 116-68.

Central Country lost to Palmerston North and Waitakere West beat Waikato

 

Reflection on NZ Under 16 Men & Women Tour

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The New Zealand Under 16 Men’s and Women’s teams returned from the Australian Under 16 State Championships on Sunday. The teams finished 5th and 7th respectively at the eight-day tournament held in Melbourne.

The Under 16 Men won seven of their nine games losing only to the two finalists Victoria Metro and Victoria Country.

The Kiwis led Vic Metro, the eventual winners, by 19 points at half-time on the opening day of competition before eventually losing 83-76 after giving up the lead for the first time in the game in the final 90 seconds.

Lessons were learnt and the boys in black then won their remaining five pool games.

Unfortunately an unconvincing quarterfinal performance against Vic Country meant the Kiwis missed out on playing for medals on the final two days of competition.

Men’s Coach Dave Mackay was left to ponder what might have been.

“My overall feeling is really positive. For most of the tournament we played at the level we prepared for and expected but unfortunately in the quarter-final we just didn’t play our best. We certainly didn’t rise to the occasion unfortunately.

“Except for that performance and the last quarter of the first game we played some very good basketball.

“A positive for us was the comments that we received from some of the Australian people that we were one of the best prepared New Zealand teams they had ever seen at a State Championships, We were certainly taken notice of.

In the past we have usually been well beaten in a couple of pool games and won a couple but not really been in a position to win the tournament. This year we were in the mix to win it which was positive.”

The two games won on the final two days of competition by an average margin of 27 points only served to show how much depth the team had and how much potential they possess.

Southland guard Tom Cowie, Tauranga forward Shalom Broughton and North Harbour guard Mitchell Dance caught the eye with some outstanding individual performances but all ten players had spells of excellence.

Cowie finished in 2nd place on the three-point shooting percentage list in the tournament statistics with a highly creditable 46% (18/39). He was also 3rd on the assists list dishing an average 4.4 per game.

Dance led the Kiwi points scoring finish 6th on the tournament list with 16.3ppg.

In addition to averaging 10 points per game Broughton was ranked 7th for rebounding with 8.6 per game.

Under 16 Men – Jared Thornton, Mitchell Dance, Joseph Hylton, Logan McIntosh (North Harbour), Marvin Williams-Dunn (Waitakere), Tom Cowie (Southland), Ezrah Vaigafa (Wellington), Kainoa Lepou (Waikato), Morgan Trott (Taranaki), Shalom Broughton (Tauranga City)

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The Women finished seventh with a 5-4 record a position that probably reflected their standing in the competition, the tier just

outside the top two or three teams at the tournament.

Like the Men all the players had their moments in the sun but two players shone brightly when looking at the overall effort.

Auckland Counties Manukau forward Sharne Pupuke-Robati and Waikato guard Charlisse Leger-Walker were simply outstanding.

Shooting the ball a 3rd best 53% (48/91) in the tournament Pupuke-Robati averaged 12.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per outing.

Her 9.2 rebounds were identical to Leger-Walker and placed them equal 5th in the competition rankings.

Leger-Walker excelled in other areas leading the assists category (5.7apg), 3rd in steals (3.3spg) and third in scoring (16.2ppg).

A mention also for North Harbour guard Jordyn Maddix and Waikato’s Ella Bradley.  Maddix topped the three-point shooting list at the tournament, converting 12 from 27, at 43%. Bradley helped fill the void left by Pupuke-Robati in the final two games scoring  27 points across the two games.

Under 16 Women – Charlisse Leger-Walker, Ella Bradley (Waikato), Gracie Hasler-Ewin, Jordyn Maddix, Rashaan Smith (North Harbour), Caitlin O’Connell, Isabelle Cook (Taranaki), Briarley Rogers (Tauranga City), Rosalia Samia (Hawkes Bay), Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Auckland Counties Manukau),

The tournament formed part of the path towards qualifying for the FIBA U17 World Championships.

Mackay explained, “This tournament along with the NZ A tour to Melbourne last month helped showcase the abilities of twenty male and female players.

“All the players, both Men and Women, will have to come back and re trial for a spot in next year’s Under 17 teams that will participate in the World Championship Qualifying Tournament likely to be held in July.”

For the players and coaching staff the World Championship campaign has only just begun.

 

 

 

Kiwis performing well in Australian State Leagues

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Duane Bailey struggling with a calf injuy

Over in Australia the State Leagues are in full swing and a number of New Zealand internationals are featuring strongly.

Duane Bailey participated in something of a SKYCITY Breakers reunion on Saturday in Melbourne.

The Brisbane Spartans duo of Bailey and coach CJ Bruton visited the Melbourne Tigers in a SEABL Eastern Division tie. Melbourne have former Breakers Rhys Carter and Darryl Corletto in their lineup.

The former Tall Black, playing just his fourth game for the Spartans only played the first 85 seconds as his team disposed of the Tigers 87-69 to remain second on the ladder with an 11-7 record. Bailey, recovering from a calf tear (ouch!), left the court early, only started in order to log enough appearances to be eligible for play-off action later in the season.

For the record Corletto (9 points) and Carter (7 points) shot a collective 6 from 24 from the field as the Tigers continue to struggle.

Tall Fern Chevannah Paalvast is playing in the Queensland Basketball League for Townsville Flames.

The Flames had a successful double header road trip at the weekend beating Gold Coast Rollers 105-80 on Friday and South West Metro Pirates 92-72 on Saturday.

Paalvast was in sparkling form on Saturday scoring a game high 29 points (10/20FG) to add to 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.

On Friday she had scored 16 points as the Flames improved to 9-3 for the season.

Further south the Kennedy Kereama coached Sunbury Jets improved their record to 16-0 at the top of the Victorian Big V First Division.

Sunbury soared away from Chelsea Gulls winning 93-47 with Tall Fern forward Jess Bygate notching a double double of 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Over in the State League in Western Australia Lisa Wallbutton is suiting for Perth Redbacks. The Redbacks are currently seventh, just inside the top eight play-off bracket but slipped to a disappointing 88-79 loss to eleventh placed Lakeside Lightning on Saturday.

Wallbutton had 5points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3steals and 2blocks as the Redbacks slip to a 9 win-9 loss record.

After a double header last weekend Toni Edmondson and her Perry Lakes Hawks side were without a fixture at the weekend. Edmonson is averaging 16 points per game for the Hawks who are sitting fourth on the SBL ladder with a 12-7 record.

Orewa, AGGS, MAGS and AGS get wins

 

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There were just four games in the latest round of Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Basketball on Friday, two in the Girls League and two in the Boys.

Played on the last day prior to the school holidays the other four fixtures had been rescheduled.

Orewa College Girls crossed the Harbour Bridge to take on Avondale College and came away with a 61-52 win.

Once again Katie Diakhaby was in dominating form. The Junior Tall Ferns forward amassed 21 points, 25 rebounds and 10 blocks to lead Orewa to a second successive win.

Avondale started the stronger of the two teams and forged a 15-9 opening quarter advantage.

The middle stages, with Diakhaby dominating the boards, were all Orewa as they won quarters two and three by a collective 39-15. Diakhaby made 10 points in each of the middle quarters and received good support from Arianna Henare who contributed six points and a number of assists during that period.

Avondale finished the stronger taking out the fourth (22-12) but a 19 point deficit at three-quarter time was too great to claw back, – Orewa recording their fourth win of the season.

Final Score – Avondale 52 Orewa 61– Diakhaby 31/25/10 blocks, Henare 15/5 assists, Hannah Wentworth 8

Auckland Girls Grammar School beat Massey High School 73-36 to remain at the top of the table.

Eight straight points from Mele Latu propelled Auckland to a 15-9 first quarter lead. She had 16 points by the break, Imogene Noble and Elianna Tuaiti had half a dozen apiece, and the lead had stretched to 36-17 at half-time.

Rose Maele and Terrina Aratangi both made triples for an under strength Massey in the third but it was largely one-way traffic in favour of AGGS who moved out to a thirty points advantage.

Rionne Pappa helped herself to a couple of baskets but the scoring largely cooled in the final period. However AGGS had done more than enough to earn a ninth win of the season.

Final score Auckland 73 – Latu 18, Papa 14, E Tuaiti 11, Imogene Noble 10, Laetitia Tuaiti 8 Massey 36 – Maele 9, Aratangi 8, Shauna Povey 7, Laticia Jost 4

Girls Standings

9-1 Auckland GGS

9-2 Westlake GGS

7-3 Mt Albert GS

7-4 Rangitoto College

4-7 Orewa College

2-8 Avondale Colleges

2-9 Massey High school

1-7 St Kentigern College

In Prem Boys action Luke Fitzpatrick got Mt Albert Grammar School off to the best possible start landing an early triple against Onehunga High School. Michael Gardner added 10 points for the visitors and MAGS were off to a flyer leading 22-8 at quarter time.

Zarne Hughes led something of an Onehunga revival in the second. He had 11 points by half-time but a more balanced MAGS scoring effort saw them ahead 47-30 at the interval.

Onehunga edged the third stanza 16-15 with Marvin Brown and Setuesi Tu’uetiafi (apologies if this is miss spelt) doing most the scoring but they still trailed 62-44 at the end of the period.

MAGS sealed the win with 24 points in the final quarter as seven players got on the score sheet led by Gardner who added another half dozen points and XJana Luamanuvae-Su’a and Manu Dorcil who landed a couple of buckets each.

Final Score: Onehunga 57 – Hughes 16, Brown 14, Tu’uetiafi 10, Jordan Upu 7

Mt Albert 86 – Gardner 23, Luamanuvae-Su’a 13, Jack Morrison 10, Trent Kimiangatau 9, Dorcil 8, John-Afi Stowers 8

In the other boys fixture Auckland Grammar consolidated their place in the top four with a resounding 120-55 victory over cellar dwellers Liston College. Unfortunately I do not have stats or scorers from that game.

Boys Standings

9-2 Westlake Boys HS, Rangitoto Coll

7-3 Rosmini Coll

7-4 Auckland GS

5-6 Mt Albert GS

4-6 Kelston Boys HS

2-9 Onehunga HS

0-10 Liston Coll

NZ U16 Men demolish SA Country

 

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The New Zealand Men completely dominated South Australia Country in the 4th/5th place decider on the final day of the Australian State Championships in Melbourne on Saturday, winning 84-45.

Winning every quarter the Kiwis dominated in every facet of the game. The South Australians were out rebounded 48-24, steals went 16-5 against them and the assists count was 21-10 in favour of New Zealand.

The Kiwis were 18-5 ahead at quarter time courtesy of 8 straight points from guard Tom Cowie that included a couple of threes.

Shalom Broughton took the lead into double figures early in the second and New Zealand met little resistance thereafter.

Cowie (4/6 3PG) made another couple of threes and Marvin Williams-Dunn netted 4 points in the second as the advantage was expanded to 35-16 at half-time.

The Kiwis enjoyed a free scoring second half nailing 49 points in a very comfortable win.

Cowie led all scorers with 24 points, his second 20 plus points haul of the week. Mitchell Dance with 16 points (4/93PG) and Shalom Broughton (12points) also nabbed double figures as all ten Kiwis found the net.

Joseph Hylton (11) and Taranaki’s Morgan Trott (10) led the New Zealand rebounding effort.

New Zealand coach Dave Mackay was pleased with the performance.

“It was a great finish for us with everyone contributing.”

A fifth place finish was satisfactory but safe to say the coaching staff had loftier goals.

“We had a sound tournament but 20 bad minutes across eight games ultimately cost us,” said Mackay, referring to the quarter-final loss to Victoria Country.

NZ Scorers: Tom Cowie 24/5 assists, Mitchell Dance 16, Shalom Broughton 12/7, Kainoa Lepou 8, Joseph Hylton 7/11, Logan McIntosh 5, Morgan Trott 4/10/4steals, Marvin Williams-Dunn 4, Ezrah Vaigafa 2, Jared Thornton 2/6

NZ U16 Women finish with a Win

 

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The New Zealand Under 16 Women met Queensland North on the final day of the Australian State Championships in Melbourne on Saturday in a 7th/8th classification game.

The two teams had met on the opening day of the Championships, New Zealand winning on that occasion 79-63. It was a tighter finish this time but the scoreline was still in favour of the Kiwis 61-53.

The Waikato pair of Charlisse Leger-Walker and Ella Bradley paced the New Zealand effort, both contributing 16 points.

Once again forward Sharne Pupuke-Robati was ruled out of the contest due to injury but the New Zealand team coped sufficiently without their leading rebounder tying the count on the boards 41-41.

Bradley scored the first 6 points for the Kiwis and Rosalia Samia a triple as the Kiwis were edged 17-16 in the first quarter.

New Zealand kept Queensland North to just 7 points in a decisive second period won 16-7. A Briarley Rogers three and a pair of Caitlin O’Connell baskets helped give the Kiwis some breathing space at half-time – 32-24 ahead.

Taranaki’s Isabelle Cook and Bradley scored 10 points between them in the third but Queensland were only six points behind with three minutes left in period. A seven points scoring burtst from the experienced Leger-Walker rebuffed the Queensland effort and gave New Zealand a 51-39 three-quarter time advantage.

When Bradley and Leger-Walker stretched the advantage further it appeared New Zealand would cruise to victory but they went scoreless for four minutes allowing Queensland to close to within 5 points, 55-50, with 3:19 to play.

Up stepped Bradley, having her most productive game of the tournament, to score and push the advantage back to 7 points. Jordyn Maddix and Leger-Walker, who played the whole fourty minutes, ensured a New Zealand victory would not slip from their grasp.

The win gave New Zealand a 5-4 record and a seventh place finish in the tournament.

NZ Scorers: Charlisse Leger-Walker 16/13/6, Ella Bradley 16/7, Isabelle Cook 8/6 Jordyn Maddix 5, Rosalia Samia 5, Caitlin O’Connell 4, Briarley Rogers 3, Gracie Hasler-Ewin 3, Rashaan Smith 1

Leger-Walker lands 20 points but U16 Women defeated

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The NZ team were dealt a major blow before the start of their classification game at the Australian State Championships in Melbourne on Friday. Forward Sharne Pupuke-Robati was ruled out of the contest against Victoria Country Women with an ankle injury.

Despite being without the tournament’s leading rebounder New Zealand made a solid start to lead 22-13 at quarter time.

Jordyn Maddix made a couple of threes as she and Charlisse Leger-Walker accumulated 8 points each.

Forward Rashaan Smith made 6 quick points but the Kiwis found their lead wiped out in the second period and entered the half time interval behind 35-34.

Ella Bradley and Gracie Hasler-Ewin restored the New Zealand advantage as both teams grappled for the lead. Rosalia Samia landed a three for the Kiwis but that sparked a decisive 10-2 run from Victoria Country who closed the third 57-48 ahead.

Leger-Walker nailed a three to keep the Vic lead to manageable proportions but a series of missed free throws undermined the Kiwis attempt to make a comeback. Briarley Rogers made a three and Leger-Walker converted her fourth trey of the game but Vic still led 68-57 with just under four minutes to play.

Bradley got it back to 9 points but that was as close as New Zealand got, Victoria Country recording an 81-68 win.

Despite Pupuke-Robati’s absence the Kiwis only trailed the rebounding count 43-39. However making just 4 from 12 free throws and being on the receiving end of a 10-0 blocked shots stat helped consign New Zealand to a loss. The result means the Kiwis will play for seventh and eighth on Saturday, the final day of competition.

NZ Scorers: Charlisse Leger-Walker 20/7, Ella Bradley 11, Jordyn Maddix 8, Rosalia Samia 7/5, Rashaan Smith 6, Briarley Rogers 6, Gracie Hasler-Ewin 4/11, Isabelle Cook 4, Caitlin O’Connell 2

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