AGGS Scoop Premier title plus wins for Massey, Westlake and MAGS

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The finals of the major Girls competitions in Auckland were settled on Thursday at North Shore Events Centre.

In the Premier Grade Auckland Girls Grammar School proved too strong for traditional rivals Mt Albert Grammar School winning 61-52.

A low scoring first quarter ended with Mt Albert marginally ahead 12-11.

Both teams struggled for offensive fluency in the early stages of the second period although three consecutive baskets from MAGS guard Jodeci Joseph trimmed the AGGS advantage (20-18). That advantage had been built around the efforts of Karma Skilton-Roberts and Rionne Papa.

Consecutive threes from the sister pairing of Elianna and Laetitia Tuaiti helped Auckland to a 27-21 half-time lead.

Skilton-Roberts led all scorers with 9 points at the break.

A couple of quick baskets from Trinity Paeu and one from Joseph tied the scores at 27-27 but critically for MAGS Sharne Robati picked up her fourth foul and was forced to the bench.

It took Auckland six minutes to find the hoop in the third but MAGS were unable to capitalise on their opponents scoring drought.

A pair of treys from each team in the final ninety seconds of the period (two from Tyla Tuala for Auckland and one each from Rhyannon Poto and Jade Manase for MAGS) kept the game beautifully poised, 40-36, in favour of the minor premiers with 10 minutes to play.

Another three from Skilton-Roberts plus five points from Papa pushed AGGS out to a 49-38 early in the final period.

Robati and Paeu reduced the deficit to 49-42 with five minutes to play.

Tuala and Elianna Tuaiti pushed the lead out to 53-42 and MAGS required a timeout with just over three minutes to play.

Paeu and Joseph scored after the break but AGGS had little trouble maintaining their lead and recorded a 61-52 victory. The title was claimed on the back of a 14-2 season and it will be interesting to see if AGGS can continue their run of success at the Secondary Schools Nationals Qualifiers next week.

Final Score: Auckland Grammar 61 – Skilton-Roberts 14, Tuala 13, Papa 13, E Tuaiti 10 Mt Albert 52 – Paeu 15, Joseph 13, Robati 11, Poto 7

 

Under 15 Girls Final:

Following 21 points in the semi-final last week Harmony Rangi-Brown was able to continue her good scoring touch with 23 points to lead Massey High School to a convincing win against Mt Albert Grammar School.

Monica Kelly scored 13 first half points for MAGS but they still found themselves 33-25 in arrears at the break.

Alayna Kamuhemu scored five points for MAGS in the third period but that was all they could muster as Rangi-Brown, Kiara Taimai and Rose Maeli dominated proceedings to give Massey a game winning 47-30 lead at three-quarter time.

Kelly scored six straight points for MAGS in the fourth but Massey’s neat passing game ensured the trophy would be heading west.

Final Score:

Mt Albert Grammar 40 –, Monica Kelly 19, Alayna Kamuhemu 8, Anna Teu 6

Massey High 63 – Harmony Rangi-Brown 21, Rose Maeli 22, Kiara Taimai 8

 

Under 17 Girls Final:

 Mount Albert turned the tables on Massey High in the Under 17 final with Sharne Pupuke-Robati leading all scorers with 17 points.

Defence was dominating proceedings as MAGS edged to a 20-18 half-time lead.

Pupuke-Robati and Va’ai Moanekah extended the MAGS advantage in the third before seven straight points from Laticia Jost kept Massey’s hopes alive, 30-28 behind with a quarter to play.

The impressive Shauna Povey tied the game at the beginning of the final period but Jade Manase landed a three to restore the MAGS advantage.

Pupuke-Robati and Rikki Fiatau shared ten points as Massey, despite three point successes from Povey and Ramona Fuaivaa, were held at bay in the closing minutes.

Final Score:

Mt Albert Grammar 39 – Sharne Pupuke-Robati 17, Rikki Fiatau 7, Tessa Talo-Tomokino 7

Massey High 35 – Shauna Povey 13, Laticia Jost 8, Ramona Fuaivaa 6

 

Open Grade Girls Final:

 The North Shore local derby was in the balance at half-time before a dominant third period from Westlake Girls High put paid to the title aspirations of Birkenhead College.

Seven first quarter points from Rashaan Smith helped Birkenhead keep pace with Westlake in the early stages.

Christine Ling landed a three in the second period for Westlake and her eight first half points helped Lake to a narrow 27-23 lead at the break.

Despite baskets from Beth Marshall and Smith it was all Westlake in the third as they piled on 19 points in the period. Kaia Pola, , Jessica Moors, and Emme Shearer each scored a brace of baskets as Lake stretched out to an unassailable 46-27 lead at the end of the quarter.

A low scoring final period ensued with Westlake running out comfortable winners.

Final score:

Westlake Girls 54 – Emme Shearer 13, Jessica Moors 10, Christine Ling 10, Kristin Talma 7

Birkenhead College 32 – Rashaan Smith 14, Beth Marshall 10

Premier title won by Rosmini. St Peter’s, Kelston & Westlake also winners

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Rosmini College staged an exciting fourth quarter fight back to wrestle the Auckland Premier Grade trophy from the grasp of defending champions Rangitoto College at the NSEC on Thursday night.

The game, a great advertisement for college basketball, looked as if it would be going the way of the boys from the Bays when Rangi led 82-76 after Sam Waardenburg scored in traffic with just 2:18 to play.

However, spurred on by the travelling ‘Faithful’, Rosmini mounted a late 12-2 run to squeeze home 88-84 and in the process record a twelfth straight win.

In the early stages Rosmini coach Matt Lacey, deputising for the absent Dave Mackay was forced into an early timeout after his team gave up the first seven points of the game.

Brayden Inger picked up a second foul as Kruz Perrott-Hunt put Rosmini on the board but it was a minor inconvenience as Rangi forged a 9-2 lead.

Rozza made some headway although an emphatic dunk from Dan Fotu put paid to that.

Another dunk, this time from Waardenburg stymied another Rozza run but there was little in it at quarter time, 23-20 Rangitoto ahead.

The lead changed hands on a number of occasions in the second stanza as opposition guards Fotu (11 points in the half) and Perrott-Hunt (10 points) demonstrated their scoring prowess.

Harry Payne helped Rangitoto close the half with a 7-2 run to lead 42-38 at the interval.

A Brayden Inger three took Rangitoto to a 51-45 lead necessitating a Rosmini timeout midway through the third.

Perrott-Hunt landed a three in reply but a Waardenburg back door play and a Cam Stone baseline jumper kept the defending champs ahead.

Rosmini guards Ben Turpin and Taine Wattie exchanged triples with Fotu and Inger withRangi still ahead at three-quarter time 68-60.

Zack Te-Puni broke a 6-0 Rozza start to the last quarter but Will Heather reduced the Rangi lead to two points 70-68.

Cam Stone landed a triple, Mitch Dance replied in kind only for Fotu to knock down a banked version of the same.

Payne caressed a floater home it was 80-74 and Rosmini needed a timeout with 3:25 to play.

Wattie nailed a jumper on the resumption and although Waardenburg made that tough basket in traffic the Rosmini comeback was activated.

Two neat Heather hook shots either side of a Marvin Williams-Dunn And 1 play propelled Rosmini into an 83-82 lead with little over a minute to play.

Rangi committed a 24 seconds violation on their next possession, Perrott-Hunt capitalised on the error with a left-handed drive 85-82.

Fotu scored inside to claw the Rozza lead back to one but Williams-Dunn calmly converted a pair of free throws with 21 seconds to play to give his team a three point buffer which Rangi were unable to dent.

Perrott-Hunt iced the game from the charity stripe and the final buzzer, that sounded a few seconds later, was a signal for a court invasion as a couple of hundred young Rosmini supporters swarmed onto the NSEC playing area to embrace their victorious team.

Both sets of supporters are to be commended for a creating a fitting Grand Final atmosphere.

Final Score: Rosmini 88– Perrott-Hunt 18/8, Heather 14, Wattie 14, Jenkins 11/7, Dance 9, Curran 7/9

Rangitoto 84 –Waardenburg 26/15, Fotu 19, Inger 10/7, Harry Clarke 9, Stone 7

 

Under 15 Boys Final

 Marshall Cairns-Hita got Westlake Boys High School off to a good start against St Peter’s College although Antonio Luetich helped peg things back with St Kent’s trailing narrowly, 26-23 at half-time.

Isaiah Franklin and Phoenix Leupolu were active for St Peter’s in the third but with forward Campbell Atkinson scoring inside and the guards sharing the workload Lake kept their noses in front 41-36 at the three-quarter mark.

Leupolu really went to work in the final quarter scoring nine points to help close the margin. Max Dallow cut the deficit to 51-49 and Franklin set up a one point game, 53-52 when he landed a free throw with a minute to play.

However Westlake held their nerve down the stretch with Matt Malingin, Atkinsion and Cairns-Hita making important plays.

Final Score:

St Peter’s College 52 – Phoenix Leupolu 17, Antonio Luetich 15, Isiah Franklin 12

Westlake 55 – Marshall Cairns-Hita 20, Campbell Atkinson 16, Matt Malingin 9

 

Under 17 Boys Final

 A powerful display by Kale Lawson, who scored 25 points and secured countless rebounds, proved to be the major difference between the two teams as Kelston Boys High School overcame Rosmini College in the Boys Under 17 Final.

Marvin Williams-Dunn opened proceedings with a brace of threes for Rosmini after which the speedsters Reimar Cruz for Rosmini and Matangi Prescott for Kelston delivered some eye catching moments as Rozza forged a 29-25 half-time advantage.

Thomas Morgan and Cian Emery connected with triples for Rozza in the third but they didn’t offer a great deal more on the scoring front as Sam Brooking, Prescott and Lawson took Kelston to a 42-40 three-quarter time lead.

Ryan Stanyer and Brooking increased the Kelston advantage before Terence Abdon landed a three to make it 50-47. It became even tighter when Cruz made a difficult shot look comfortable – 54-53 in favour of Kelston with 54 seconds to play.

Kelston had been forced to work hard to gain the lead and they were in no mood to relinquish the advantage scoring the final points of the game courtesy of Terepo King-Masters and fittingly, their captain, Kale Lawson.

 Final Score:

Rosmini College 53 – Marvin Williams-Dunn 13, Reimar Cruz 10, Terence Abdon 10, Tyler Martin 7

Kelston Boys 58 – Kale Lawson 25, Matangi Prescott 12, Sam Brooking 7, Terepo King-Masters 6,

 

Open Grade Boys Final:

 A tight, nervous opening half finished with St Peter’s ahead 21-17 thanks largely to 8 points from Christian Fromont.

Fromont landed a triple early in the third but Manurewa High School prospered to the tune of 15 points in the third as Sakiasi Faaui Tavita, Alan Alani-Taiao and Siaosi Siafa made plays to give Manurewa a 32-29 three-quarter time lead.

Back to back threes from Gerard Boersen gave St Peter’s fresh impetus and along with an improved defensive effort they regained the lead, 37-32.

Espinosa Toffer extended the advantage further, as did Finlay Morris, as St Peter’s controlled the final quarter to record a hard fought but deserved win.

 Final Score:

Manurewa High 37 –Sakiasi Faaui Tavita 12, Alan Alani-Taiao 10, Pafe Momoisea 6

St Peter’s College 43– Gerard Boersen 13, Christian Fromont 11, Finlay Morris 10

Breakers announce D Squad

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Derone Raukawa

The SKYCITY Breakers today confirmed three players signed to development player positions for the new season with Ethan Rusbatch (Canterbury), Derone Raukawa (Southland) and Sam Waardenburg (Harbour) all committing to the club for the new season, just as the club commits to them and their ongoing development on and off court.

 Rusbatch and Raukawa have impressed at domestic and national team level this year, with both selected for the Tall Blacks recent Olympic qualifying campaign on the back of strong NBL campaigns with Canterbury and Southland respectively, while 17 year old Waardenburg has had a busy year of international commitments that he hopes will culminate in selection for the Junior Tall Blacks and their Oceania Championship in Fiji this coming December.

SKYCITY Breakers head coach Paul Henare says selecting development players is never easy, such is the talent available in New Zealand.

“This year’s D-Unit have come from differing pathways. Derone was an Academy player and has since been playing well in the New Zealand NBL. Ethan was born and raised in Christchurch and has spent the majority of his time plying his trade in Canterbury while Sam has taken the more traditional route of coming straight from our Academy into a development spot.

“All three guys bring their own style and flare to the team but they have some tough work ahead. Last year’s D-Unit are now rostered players and they’ve set a new standard in terms of what it means to be part of the D-Unit. I look forward to seeing this year’s group take on that challenge.”

Rusbatch and Raukawa are on fulltime development player contracts and are available for selection to the roster throughout the season, while Rangitoto College student Waardenburg has clear restrictions around his availability in order to protect his amateur status before pursuing scholarship opportunities in the United States next year.

The opportunity for the players to further their careers is highlighted from within the current fulltime roster, with no less than seven players currently signed to the club having come through the development pathway. Notably all three of last season’s development players have graduated to the fulltime roster, with Finn Delany, Shea Ili and Jordan Ngatai all progressing to the point where a fulltime opportunity was offered and accepted.

“We love winning Championships and want to win more, but we see ourselves also as a development club,” says General Manager Dillon Boucher. “We are in the business of developing players, coaches and administrators to become better at their jobs and in their careers. For some that means a progression on to our fulltime roster and potentially a long career as a Breaker, as we see with so many of our current team.

“For others though we are proud to have played a role in nurturing and developing their basketball and life skills to set them up for a shot at the pro ranks overseas. We are delighted to present that opportunity to Ethan, Derone and Sam for the coming season.”

21 year old Raukawa has to pinch himself as he considers a year of doors opening in his career, first with the Tall Blacks, and now with the Breakers.

“I am stoked to have this opportunity. It feels like it has been snowballing with the chances I am getting and I am thankful to be getting them. I know most of the guys in the team pretty well and know it is a great environment, I can’t wait to get in there and work hard.”

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Ethan Rusbatch

Rusbatch is equally enthused about the opportunity.

“I am looking forward to the next six months, not only to be training at a higher level but to have coaches and trainers around me all the time, helping me to push my game to new levels. I have worked with Pauli with the Tall Blacks and enjoyed that so know what I will be going into and can’t wait to pick his brains and those of the other coaches.

“Having so many talented and established players in my position is going to be great for me to learn from them and to compete with them on a daily basis is going to be super good for me. I am looking forward to all the challenges ahead.”

All that remains now is for the Breakers to confirm their final import spot in the 11 man fulltime roster, with news on this front expected early next week at the club’s North Shore headquarters.

The trio will join the team for pre-season training from September 1st and be involved to varying degrees in the club’s pre-season tour against the Brisbane Bullets, with games in Tauranga (September 13), Napier (15th) and Invercargill (17th)

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Sam Waardenburg

SKYCITY Breakers 2016/17 Roster (one to be added)

Ben Woodside, USA, Point Guard, 1.80m (5ft 11in) 84kg

Shea Ili, Point Guard, NZL, 1.82m (6ft) 85kg

Corey Webster, Guard, NZL, 1.87m (6ft 2in) 86kg

Kirk Penney, Guard, NZL, 1.95m (6ft 5in) 99kg

Tom Abercrombie, NZL, Swingman, 1.98m (6ft 6in) 94 kg

Jordan Ngatai, NZL, Swingman, 1.95m (6ft 5in) 105kg

Mika Vukona, NZL, Forward, 1.98m (6ft 6in) 105kg

Finn Delany, NZL, Forward, 2.0m (6ft 7in) 102 kg

Rob Loe, NZL, Forward, 2.10m (6ft 11in) 111kg

Alex Pledger, NZL, Centre, 2.13 m (7ft) 111kg

Development players

Ethan Rusbatch, Canterbury Rams (NBL), Guard, NZL, 196cm, 23 years; 

Derone Raukawa, Southland Sharks (NBL), Guard, NZL, 181cm, 21 years;

Samuel Waardenburg, North Harbour Basketball/Rangitoto College, Forward, NZL, 208cm, 17 years;

Coaches

Paul Henare, NZL, Head Coach

Judd Flavell, NZL, Assistant Coach

Michael Fitchett, NZL, Assistant Coach

Bygate and Kereama advance to Grand Final

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It has been a good week for Tall Fern Jess Bygate.

Fresh from signing on with the Melbourne Boomers for the upcoming Australian WNBL season Bygate played a major role for the Sunbury Jets as they moved through to the Big V Division 1 Grand Final series beginning next weekend.

The Kennedy Kereama coached Jets had no problems disposing of Mildura Heat at home in ‘The Hangar’ on Saturday. The Jets won 86-57 in game two of the best of three semi-final series having won game one by a similar margin the previous weekend.

Bygate led all scorers with 21 points (10/17FG) and also snared 7 rebounds

It is going to be an uphill struggle for Toni Edmondson and the Perry Lakes Hawks to advance beyond the semi-final stage in the Western Australian State League.

Facing the top ranked Joondalup Wolves the Hawks were outclassed 80-50 in a one sided affair.

Edmondson led the Hawks scoring with 19 points but her team fell behind 21-5 in the opening quarter and trailed 51-14 at half-time – game over!

The Hawks will enjoy home advantage in game two next weekend but it will take a monumental effort to take the series to a decisive third game.

The CJ Bruton coached Brisbane Spartans came unstuck at Bendigo Braves in the SEABL Eastern Conference major semi-final on Saturday convincingly beaten 83-60.

After a season high 22 points last weekend Duane Bailey was unable to repeat that form contributing just 2 points and 4 rebounds to the Spartans effort.

Brisbane will now face Nunawading Spectres in the Eastern Conference Preliminary Final next weekend. A win would set them up for a rematch against Bendigo in the Conference Final.

AGGS and MAGS win Prem semi-finals

The final of the Girls Premier Grade competition will feature Mt Albert Grammar School and traditional rivals Auckland Girls Grammar School after both beat off the challenges of their North Shore rivals at the NSEC on Friday.

The Premier games were preceded by the Greater Auckland Under 15, Under 17 and Open Grade competitions – see results at foot of story.

Mt Albert Grammar had much the better of the first half against Westlake Girls High School leading 40-33 despite a late three point flourish from Zara Jillings, Chanel Brodeur-Muir and Tiarna Clarke (five triples between them in the second quarter). Sharne Pupuke-Robati and Trinity Paeu spearheaded a strong opening half from MAGS.

Jillings and Jordyn Maddix cut into the MAGS lead in the third, 55-50, at three-quarter time.

Back to back baskets from Mareta Davidson trimmed the MAGS advantage to a single point (57-56) in the middle of the fourth although Rhyannon Poto restored a three point advantage on the next play.

MAGS wrestled back momentum in the closing minutes as Pupuke-Robati and Jodea Joseph took the lead out to 66-59 with two minutes to play.

Paeu scored to extend the advantage and although Jillings landed a late three MAGS emerged deserved winners.

Final Score: Mt Albert 72 – Trinity Peau 26, Sharne Robati 22

 

Westlake 62 – Jillings 20, Clarke 11

 

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Rangitoto College struggled early on against Auckland Girls Grammar School but with Riana Rangi-Brown converting down the lane on the final play of the half they had almost gained parity trailing 29-28 at the break. Mele Latu had 8 points for Grammar at the interval, Rangi-Brown the same number for Rangitoto.

Bella Elgar gave Rangi the lead for the first time in the game (35-33) but a long three from Karma Skilton-Roberts prompted a 10-0 AGS run and when Elianna Tuaiti landed another three they led 52-40 at the last break.

The tireless Tabitha Jenkins along with Robyn Blackstock and Gracie Hasler-Ewin kept Rangi in contention, the Grammar lead 54-44 with 5 minutes to play.

Grammar put their foot down with a closing 13-2 burst, Tyla Tuala landing a late trey, to help secure a berth in next week’s final for the regular season champions.

Final Score: AGGS 67 – Latu 16, Skilton-Roberts 12, Elianna Tuaiti 12, Papa 11 Rangitoto 47 – Rangi-Brown 10, Jenkins 10, Elgar 7, Hasler-Ewin 7

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Under 15 Girls semi-finals:

Mt Albert Grammar 29 – Anna Teu 14, Monica Kelly 7 St Kentigern College 22 – Zara Smith 10, Aimee Johnson 6

Avondale College 36 – MacLani Michael 14, NgatikaPaton-Young 14 Massey High 52 – Harmony Rangi-Brown 21, Rose Maeli 11

 

Under 17 Girls semi-finals:

Mt Albert Grammar 35 – Sharne Pupuke-Robati 16, Jada Manase 7 St Mary’s College 25 – Jazzmyne Fulu 10, Safenunuivao Williams 8

Avondale College 31 – Mariah Ropati 12, Tessa Nikolaison 8, Teneva Ropati 7 Massey High 47 – Shauna Povey 19, Terrina Aratangi 13, Laticia Jost 9

 

Open Grade Girls semi-finals:

Westlake Girls 73 – Jessica Moors 18, Emme Shearer 15, Christine Ling 10 Rutherford College 35 – Odessa Lawson 15, Nikita Murray 9

Birkenhead College 38 – Rashaan Smith 24, Beth Marshall 6 Epsom Girls 34 – Sarah Scouler 9, Charlotte Armstrong 9, Aira Benitez 8

The finals of all four competitions will be held at NSEC on Thursday August 25th.

Wins for Rangitoto and Rosmini in Prems semi-finals

 

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 Letoa 29 points v Rosmini 

The final of the Boys Premier Grade competition in Auckland will be an all North shore affair after both Rangitoto College and Rosmini College came through tough examinations.

The two semi-finals came after three other grades had completed their games on a busy night of basketball action at the NSEC on Friday. The Greater Auckland Under 15, Under 17 and Open Grade competitions preceded the Prem games – see results at foot of story.

In the first Premier semi-final Rangitoto College, were forced to fend off a fast finishing Auckland Grammar School winning 77-72.

Rangitoto made light of having just six players on the night breezing to a 26-10 opening quarter lead with Sam Waardenburg and Kaycee Anibueze sharing 20 of the points on offer.

Grammar made a much better fist of it in the second period and with seven players making scoring contributions in the period the Rangitoto advantage was kept in check, 42-31 at half-time.

Grammar continued their improved showing in the third as Taki Fahrensohn and Elijah Andrews found their scoring touch and it was just 58-54 in favour of Rangi at three-quarter time.

Baskets from Hyrum Shin, Brayden Inger and Logan McIntosh stretched the Rangitoto lead to what appeared to be an unassailable 69-56 advantage with time the enemy of Grammar.

However Samson Aruwa and Andrews prompted a Grammar revival and when Conor Flanagan finished in transition with an emphatic dunk it was just 69-67 to Rangi with three minutes to play.

Guards Logan McIntosh and Shin scored four quick points for Rangi before Flanagan scored again; 71-69.

A Sam Waardenburg basket eased the Rangi nerves and although Tom Whyte landed a three for Grammar Inger was able to secure the win for the defending champions from the foul line.

Final Score: Rangitoto 77 – Waardenburg 28, Anibueze 19, McIntosh 12, Inger 10 AGS 72 – Fahrensohn 18, Andrews 17, Whyte 13, Aruwa 10

Despite a combined 57 points from Isaac Letoa and James Moors Westlake Boys High School were beaten 81-78 by Rosmini College in the second semi-final.

Both sets of supporters were in good voice as Letoa claimed 5 quick points to give his team a 20-12 opening quarter lead.

A Moors drive extended the Westlake advantage to ten points and with Rozza struggling to locate the basket coach Dave Mackay called a timeout.A Luke Day baseline jumper increased the lead, Moors inflicted further damage with a trey and with pressure defence stifling the Rosmini attack Westlake were in control.

Peter Jenkins and Will Heather scored a couple of baskets for Rozza and it was Phil Campbell’s turn to call a timeout.

A steal and points from Letoa and a banked left handed finger roll layup from Greg Vukets kept Lake ahead 37-23 but their good work was partially undone as extended Rosmini defensive pressure provided a 6-0 spurt in the last 30 seconds of the half.

Westlake captain Letoa registered an impressive 18 points in the opening half – his team ahead 37-29.

Rosmini carried the late first half momentum into the opening stages of the third stanza. A Taine Wattie triple dragged Rosmini to within three followed by a Marvin Williams-Dunne replica effort that tied the scores.

Letoa steadied the Westlake ship with a brace of baskets – scores tied 41 apiece midway through the third.

The teams went basket for basket before Kruz Perrott-Hunt created a steal and assist for Wattie giving Rosmini the lead for the first time since the opening minute of the game. Another Wattie basket (a three) gave Rosmini a 55-52 lead at the three-quarter mark.

Nathan Curran gave Rosmini a two possession lead for the first time and then Mitchell Dance brought ‘The Faithfull’ to life once more. With the Rosmini lead extended to 65-58 Lake needed a timeout.

The ploy worked a treat with Moors making a basket and a pair of free throws.

Wattie came up with yet another offensive rebound and score but that man Letoa kept his team in the game; 67-64 with four minutes to play.

Free throws on three consecutive Rozza offences extended their lead to 72-64 with 3:30 to play.

A pulsating finish ensued.

Reuben Fitzgerald made a three (74-69) and although Curran scored in the paint under intense defensive pressure Moors inspired a Westlake comeback with a right handed hook shot trailed by a long three

Rosmini still led 76-74 with 68 seconds to play but needed a timeout.

Their possession on the subsequent play came to nothing and when Fitzgerald was fouled he stroked home a pair of freebies to tie the scores with 36 seconds to play only for Wattie to nail a triple with 17 seconds remaining.

Moors was then fouled in attempting a triple and he sunk two of three free throws to make it a one point ball game.

Curran sank both free throws after being fouled and although Lake had the final possession they were unable to force the game into overtime.

The game was a terrific advert for school basketball with both teams receiving excellent, vociferous support from their respective followers.

Final score: Rosmini 81 – Wattie 18, Dance 15, Curran 10, Hylton 8, Jenkins 8 Westlake 78 – Letoa 29, Moors 28, Telfer 7, Fitzgerald 7

Under 15 Boys semi-finals:

St Peter’s College 46 – Antonio Luetich 18, Samuel Glover 7

Sacred Heart College 26 – Max Burggraf 12

 

Westlake 63 – Campbell Atkinson 17, Marshall Cairns-Hita 16, Zane Chang 10

Massey High 47 – RonanLethbridge 14, Ben Lethbridge 9, Nathan Costales 9

 

Under 17 Boys semi-finals:

Rosmini College 52 – Marvin Williams-Dunn 25, Reimar Cruz 8

Westlake Boys 51 – Taylor Yang 15, Mark Wellacott 12, Patrick Morada 7

 

Avondale College 55 – Jaga Mete 23, Aman Donaldson 10, Caleb Finau 8

Kelston Boys 66 – Kale Lawson 18, Terepo King-Masters 17, Shaun Falefa 13

 

Open Grade Boys semi-finals:

St Kentigern College 52 – Max Shorter 18, Spencer Johnstone 13, Joel Vianga 10 Manurewa High 53 – Pafe Momoisea 22, Sakiasi Faaui Tavita 18

 

Selwyn College 35 – Miles Pinono 18

St Peter’s College 50 – Rontel Russo 10, Gerard Boersen 10, D’Angelo Niupopo 9

 

The finals of all four competitions will be held at NSEC on Thursday August 25th.

Season Best for Duane Bailey plus play-off news involving Tall Ferns

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It was a weekend of mixed results for the Australian based New Zealand internationals.

In the Queensland Basketball League Chevannah Paalvast and the Townsville Flames travelled down to Mackay to face the Meteorettes in a quarter-final tie.

The Meteorettes had beaten the Flames twice in regular season action and once again they rose to the occasion winning 82-67 after leading 50-33 at half-time.

Paalvast made 16 points and added 7 rebounds for Townsville but it wasn’t enough to upset Mackay.

The Tall Ferns guard will now focus on preparing for her second season with Townsville Fire in the Australian WNBL. The defending champions open their season in early October.

The season also came to an end at the quarter-final stage for Lisa Wallbutton in the Western Australian State League.

The Perth Redbacks had been defeated 90-66 by Rockingham Flames in game one of the series last weekend. It was tough going again for the Redbacks on Friday going down 77-56 to be eliminated in two straight games.

Wallbutton came up with her customary double figure rebounding Haul, a nice round 10 on this occasion. She also scored 6 points but the Redbacks were beaten comfortably.

Also in the State League it was better news for Toni Edmondson as Perry Lakes Hawks outlasted Mundurah Magic although it took a third game to separate the two teams.

The Hawks were defeated 73-65 at Mundurah on Friday but they protected their home floor on Saturday with a 71-59 win to progress to the semi-finals.

Edmondson contributed 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the decisive game after being restricted to 9 points in the second encounter.

In Melbourne the Sunbury Jets were too hot for Mildura Heat. The Kennedy Kereama coached Jets powered to a 21-9 first quarter lead before easing to an 82-59 victory.

The Jets, for whom Jess Bygate supplied 15 points and 6 rebounds, look likely to progress to the the Big V Division 1 grand final in two straight games when the best of three semi-final series resumes next weekend.

Duane Bailey was in good form for Brisbane Spartans as they rounded out their SEABL regular season with a 93-86 victory against Frankston Blues

Bailey, in just his tenth game for the Spartans, produced a season best 22 points and also snared 8 rebounds.

The CJ Bruton coached Spartans will now face top placed Bendigo Braves in the major semi-final next weekend. The winners advance to the Eastern Conference Final, the losers face the minor semi-final winners.

Waikato win Women’s Under 23 Championship

Dominating performances from Kelcy Ballantyne and Kendell Heremaia, both forwards recording double doubles, carried Waikato to a 64-50 victory over Otago in the Women’s Under 23 Championship game in Tauranga on Saturday.

Threes on consecutive offences from Brittany Richards and Aleisha Ruske gave Otago an early 6 points advantage.

A Chelsea Savage triple plus a Heremaia reverse layup cut into the advantage but Otago led 14-12 at quarter time.

Eight points from Stirling Walker-Pitman and a brace of put backs from Ballantyne propelled Waikato to a 24-20 lead – Otago coach Natalie Visger deciding a timeout was prudent.

Richards made a deep two on the resumption but Walker-Pitman sunk her second triple of the game to keep Waikato ahead. Jeanie Pattison penetrated for a basket and Nicole Ruske made a triple as a free flowing half ended with Waikato 31-29 to the good.

The hard working Heremaia began to exert domination on the boards at both ends taking her rebound tally into double figures. Her efforts set up Ballantyne for an easy basket to take Waikato to a double digit lead.

Ballantyne made it three straight baskets to extend the lead to 45-33 and when Heremaia demonstrated her all round ability with a three Waikato were in total control.

Pattison broke an 8-0 Waikato run with a trey but the Heremaia /Ballantyne combination worked again as Waikato led 54-39 at the conclusion of the third period.

Otago needed early points in the final quarter and Aleisha Ruske obliged with a three but points were becoming hard to come by for the Blue and Gold’s. Krystal Leger-Walker, departing for the University of Northern Colorado on Monday, showed her qualities with a basket, block and assist on consecutive plays to extend the Waikato lead to 60-41 with 4:37 to play.

Otago never gave up trying, despite being without injured forward Zoe Richards, and Nicole Ruske and Brittany Richards made long shots count but the strong Waikato perimeter defence limited Otago’s opportunities and played a major part in carrying them to a deserved victory.

Waikato coach Anthony Corban was pleased with his team’s defensive effort.

“It’s the focal point of our rep programme and you saw today that we really just wore them down. It took us three-quarters of the game but eventually we just ran them off the court.”

Corban also complimented the performance of his captain Krystal Leger-Walker who claimed her fourth national title in the past 18 months.

“I have always thought she was Tall Ferns material from the first time I saw her play. Today it wasn’t so much the scoring it was the assists, the defensive rebounds and we know Northern Colorado are getting a very good player,” he said.

Leger-Walker modestly pointed out that Kendell Heremaia was a huge influence in the game.

“She was awesome, she always comes out to play, she is a beast, you can’t stop her. We’ve played together for the last two years and we work well together. She knows where I will be and I know exactly where she will be – she’s just so nice to play with and she was probably the difference that got us over the line today.”

Final Score: Otago 50 – Nicole Ruske 20, Richards 11, Aleisha Ruske 8, Pattison 9 Waikato 64 – Ballantyne 17/10, Heremaia 12/15, Walker-Pitman 10, Leger-Walker 8/14

In the Women’s 3rd/4th play-off game North Harbour defeated Tauranga City 91-55.

Referees – Apai Apai (Hawkes Bay), Rhys Hamilton (Auckland), Tayla Ammunson (Auckland)

Harbour clinch U23 Men’s championship

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Fuelled by 20 points performances from Liam Thornton and Ana Haku North Harbour were able to defeat Canterbury in the Men’s Final at the 2016 Under 23 National Championships in Tauranga on Saturday.

James Cawthorn opened the scoring for Canterbury but Liam Thornton and Ana Haku drives gave Harbour an early 13-10 lead. A brace of Jordy Jamieson threes were matched by Nathan Campbell but Harbour led 25-17 at quarter-time.

Nathan Curran and Nick Brophy took Harbour into a double figure lead but Canterbury responded through Taylor Britt, sensational in the semi-final against Waikato, and James Levings.

Sam Smith scored in transition and Derek Albertsen landed a corner three to cancel out an identical effort from Thornton.

A fast paced opening half ended with Harbour ahead 45-35, Smith leading all scorers with 15 points.

A brace of Britt jump shots were followed by a couple of Thornton drives as the Harbour lead remained at 10 points. A Thornton put back dunk increased the Harbour advantage although back to back Nathan Campbell baskets excited the sizeable Canterbury supporters club.

Albertsen made a banked jumper but Harbour led 68-55 at the three-quarter mark.

Albertsen then made 9 straight points to open the final quarter proceedings before Haku scored twice for Harbour.

Impressive Junior Tall Black squad member Thornton was sent hobbling to the sideline with an ankle injury but Brophy helped the Harbour effort with a triple, 75-66, with 5:30 to play.

Daniel Mulder countered a Brophy transition basket as Harbour maintained a ten point lead with 3:30 to play and a Haku drive made it 81-69.

Free throws from Smith reduced the advantage to 8 points but the influential Matt Lacey landed a trey that took Harbour to 84-73 with less than two to play.

Levings made it 84-75 but a foul sent Haku to the foul line on consecutive offenses.

Taylor made a basket but with time running out Canterbury were forced to foul and Tournament MVP Haku completed the victory with a series of free throws.

Harbour coach Mitch Richmond stepped in at short notice for original coach Tony Webster (unavailable due to work commitments) and he was delighted with his team’s performance.

“It was a complete team effort from our veterans Jordy Jamieson, Matt Lacey and Ana

Haku, who were hugely influential, through to our younger players like Nathan Curran and Liam Thornton,” said the Harbour coach.

Richmond won the U23 title as a player in 2013 but he found coaching to be a lot more intense. “It is definitely more pressure but I felt with the experience I have gained as a player and coach and the back up of Jaylen (assistant coach Jaylen Gerrand) and the senior players held me in good stead,” he said.

Final Score: Harbour 93 – Thornton 21, Haku 20/12, Jamieson 12, Brophy 11, Curran 7/8, Lacey 7  Canterbury 81 – Smith 21/10, Albertsen 16, Britt 15, Campbell 11, Levings 7

Hutt Valley defeated Waikato 82-67 in the 3rd/4th play-off game.

Referees – Leon Demetriades (Canterbury), Oceen Reed (North Harbour), Sam Pan (Wellington)

Canterbury to face Harbour in Men’s final

The second Men’s semi-final at the 2016 Under 23 National Championships in Tauranga featured Waikato and defending champions Canterbury A.

Canterbury connected with five three in the opening quarter as Sam Smith and Ollie Davies and Nathan Campbell (twice each) helped Canterbury to a 21-18 lead.

Nick Fee kept Waikato in contention with 11 early points.

Centre Alex Schipper and Josh Mckee made baskets early in the second as did Philip Borota-Angelich as Waikato edged ahead 30-29.

Fee and James Cawthorn exchanged triples before Waikato coach Alby Ellis called a timeout with his charges 39-36 to the good.

Derek Albertsen became the fifth Cantab to land a three as Waikato held a narrow 45-42 half-time advantage. Fee led all scorers with 19 points at the break, a more rounded Canterbury effort led by Davies and Campbell with 9 points each.

Taylor Britt made the opening basket of the second half for Canterbury although a banked three from Connor Johnston more than cancelled that out.

Britt then made a triple to edge Canterbury ahead- the shooting guard had 14 straight points for his team before Cawthorn broke the sequence.

Fee and Hamish Sheridan helped Waikato claw back into the lead but it was short lived the two teams constantly exchanging the lead.

A Schipper dunk excited the Waikato bench – a long Cawthorn three doing likewise for the Cantab followers.

Canterbury coach Dave Langrell was hit with a tech foul but his team were going blow for blow or more accurately basket for basket with their opponents in an exciting encounter. 73-72 to Waikato at the end of the third.

A 12-6 Canterbury run triggered the final quarter and a pair of Britt freebies gave Canterbury an 87-81 lead. Albertsen converted a neat banked shot and suddenly, with 3:30 to play Waikato were 92-81 in arrears and needing a timeout.

A three from Borota –Angelich helped as did a Fee drive but Canterbury were still 96-89 ahead with 2 minutes to play.

Albertsen was bossing the final minutes and his three maintained a double figure Canterbury advantage.

Nick Erwood sealed the deal for Canterbury with a deep three to take his team into the final.

Final Score: Canterbury 108 – Britt35, Campbell 18, Levings 13, Albertsen 11, Davies 10 Waikato 92 – Fee 28, Schipper 14, Borota-Angelich 14, Johnston 13, Sheridan 10

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