Latest NCAA news including Thanksgiving weekend wrap

November 29

One appearance after playing NCAA game number 100 Amiee Book, with her second triple in Fresno State’s 68-49 loss to Penn State, completed the unique double of 1,000 points and 100 appearances in Women’s NCAA Division I basketball. The Graduate Senior, daughter of former Tall Black Ed Book, is just the 17th New Zealand player to complete the double. 

Kaylee Smiler continued her good form as BYU were edged 61-56 by Ball State. The Waikato guard scored 17 points (7/12FG) to go with 3 assists and 2 rebounds. Arielle Mackey-Williams scored a couple of points in the defeat.

Charlisse Leger-Walker scored in double figures for the 53rd time in her collegiate career as Washington State defeated South Dakota State 61-41. Playing all 40 minutes Leger-Walker finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal

Ashlee Strawbridge scored 11 points (5/10FG), grabbed 6 rebounds and blocked 2 shots in New Mexico State’s 60-51 loss to Denver.

McKenna Dale had a highly productive 10 points (3/3 3PG), 8 rebounds plus an assist, block and steal as Virginia eased to a 72—50 win against East Carolina.

Helen Matthews pulled down 9 boards (6 offensive) to equal her career best haul of rebounds and added 7 points as Wofford cruised past Southern Wesleyan 70-51.

Emme Shearer scored 8 points and snared a game high 3 steals as Portland had a comfortable 67-41 win against Northeastern. Melika Samia scored 2 points in the win.

Dani Bayes scored 7 points as Boise State were pipped 55-54 in overtime by Milwaukee. 

All three Kiwis playing at St Mary’s got on the scoresheet but it didn’t prevent the Gaels going down 73-53 to Kansas. Jade Kirisone scored 5 points, Amy West 4 and Tayla Dalton 3

Other Women’s Scores 

Cal State Northridge 89 (Rochelle Fourie 3 points, 1 rebound) Antelope Valley 59

In Men’s NCAA Division I play Kruz Perrott-Hunt made 4 from 7 threes on his way to a team high 17 points in South Dakota’s 66-59 loss to Coastal Carolina. KP-H also posted 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the loss. He followed that with 10 points as South Dakota “Kruzed” past Mount Marty 97-58.

Sacramento State were defeated 91-87 by Southern Utah in double overtime. Kiwi centre Callum McRae, in career game number 99,  had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks – he has posted double figures in points or rebounds in every game bar one this season.

Abilene Christian University snapped a three game losing streak to beat Northern Arizona 92-82. It was a 99th win in ACU colours for Tobias Cameron who posted 13 points, 5 rebounds and a couple of assists. 

James Moors added 4 rebounds and a brace of steals to 7 points (3/4FG) as Colorado State comfortably beat Mississippi Valley State 88-45.

Other Men’s Scores

Hartford 50 (Tom Webley 4 points) Delaware 78

Marquette 82 (Ben Gold 4 points) Chicago State 68

Breakers at the double

The Sky Sport Breakers have continued their winning ways with another impressive pair of victories in Round 8 of the Australian NBL.

The 116-79 home win against Brisbane takes the Breakers to 10-3 overall while the 82-71 victory in Cairns on Friday night was a sixth straight road win. That’s a record that has only been bettered on two occasions in the Breakers history.

The 116 points against Brisbane was the highest score posted by the Breakers since they put a colossal 130 on Illawarra Hawks back in February 2019. It was the highest score posted by any team in the NBL this season and also produced the largest winning margin. 

Their shooting percentages were the best of the season across all three major categories – 60% (44/73) from the field, 51% (17/33) from 3-point land and 84% (11/13) from the charity stripe.

It mattered little on the night but in a tighter contest the Breakers might have been a little bemused by the foul count. The home team were pinged on 29 occasions, the Bullets incurring the wrath of the officials just 14 times. Certainly Tom Abercrombie was not a happy chappie picking up four fouls in under ten minutes to spend almost the entire second half cheering on from the bench. 

There were no such issues in Cairns as the Breakers extended their run of away wins to six on the bounce. The current run of 6 consecutive away victories has only been bettered twice:

In 2008-09 the club enjoyed a 7 game winning streak on the road while the team of 2012-13 put together a run of 8 straight road wins – that was the championship winning season when they only lost 4 games all season.

Here are the key numbers from the two games:

Beat Cairns Taipans 82-71 (away) on Friday

Tom Abercrombie secured 8 rebounds – the most the Breakers swingman has pulled down in a single game since December 2019.

Derek Pardon recorded his third consecutive double-double (15 points and 11 rebounds) and his fourth in the last five games. The last player to produce three consecutive double-doubles for the Breakers was Shawn Long in February 2019.

Kiwi Sam Waardenburg, a former Rangitoto College and Harbour Basketball teammate of Dan Fotu, was outstanding for the Taipans. He finished with 15 points (5/6FG) 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and an assist. Yet to play for the Tall Blacks, after a fine career at the University of Miami, you imagine he is climbing up the pecking order on Pero Cameron’s Tall Blacks long list.

Beat Brisbane Bullets 116-79 at Spark Arena on Sunday

Jarrell Brantley and Izayah Le’afa posted season high points. Brantley was a beast in the low post accumulating 29 points on 13 from 19 shooting.

Le’afa scored all his 21 points in the first half on 7 from 10 shooting including 4 from 6 from deep. 

Cam Gliddon, with 3 rebounds, secured his 1,000th career rebound.

Upcoming

Gliddon needs just 2 points for 3,000 career points. With 2,998 career points he sits 12th on the scoring list of active players which is headed by Adelaide 36ers forward Daniel Johnson with 5,971 points.

Tom Abercrombie (4,204 points) is third on the active players scoring list.

Izayah Le’afa needs 12 points for 600 career points and Tom Vodanovich a single point for 400 career points.

Tom Abercrombie, with I more steal will become the 4th Breaker to pinch 250 steals.

The Breakers top five “Stealers”:

288 Boucher

278 Jackson

252 Vukona

249 Abercrombie

209 Henare

Talking of steals Will McDowell-White needs to pinch 3 more possessions for 50 steals in Breakers colours. 

In addition WM-W is only 3 assists shy of becoming the 11th Breaker to dish 250 assists.

The Breakers are next in action on Thursday entertaining South East Melbourne Phoenix at Christchurch Arena – tip-off 7.30pm followed by a Saturday evening encounter with Perth Wildcats at Vector Arena.

Book close to ton number two plus the Black Friday roundup

Amiee Book played NCAA game number 100 as Fresno State won a tight tussle with Delaware 53-49 at the Daytona Beach Invitational on Black Friday.

Book added 6 rebounds, 3 steals, a block and an assists to 4 points and is now just 6 points shy of the unique double of 1,000 points and 100 appearances in Women’s NCAA Division I basketball. It’s a double only achieved previously by 16 New Zealand players. 

Amy West, enjoyed her first outing of the season since recovering from a shoulder injury, as hosts St Mary’s beat Niagara 73-59 in the St Mary’s Thanksgiving Classic. The former Tall Fern finished with 6 points, 8 rebounds and a block in just 8 minutes. Tayla Dalton had a quartet of points and rebounds in the win.

Emme Shearer had 7 points, 5 rebounds and an assist as Portland enjoyed a come from behind 66-60 win against Houston at the St Pete Showcase in Florida.

Olivia Williams added triples of steals and rebounds to 8 points as UC Irvine defeated Long Island 65-56.

Other Women’s Results

New Mexico State 65 (Ashlee Strawbridge 5pts, 2rebs, 1assist, 1steal, 1 block) Yale 73

In Men’s Division I play Sam Mennenga was a highly efficient 7 from 8 from the field making 15 points, 4 rebounds and a couple of steals as Davidson College accounted for San Francisco 89-80.

At the North Shore Classic in Hawaii Sacramento State went down 74-61 to hosts Hawaii. Despite being on the losing team Callum McRae still produced an 11 points and 8 rebounds double.

Other Men’s Results

Hartford 55 (Tom Webley 4pts, 4rebs, 3 assists) Pennsylvania 75

Cameron brothers go head to head – one posts career high

November 24

The Cameron brothers Flynn and Tobias were in opposition for the first time in their long NCAA careers as Abilene Christian University took on the University of California Riverside UCR)  at the Vegas 4 Tournament in Las Vegas on Thursday (NZT). Younger brother Flynn, the Riverside combo-guard, took the opportunity to pour in a career high 26 points to carry UCR to a 76-65 victory.

Tobias tallied 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal in response but it was a game when Flynn grabbed the plaudits. He made 7 from 12 threes, all three freebies and also grabbed a team high 8 rebounds to go with 2 assists, 2 steals and a block. Nailing seven triples he became the first Highlander to achieve that feat for four seasons. 

Both Cameron’s are fifth year seniors having first played their freshman years back in 2018-19. Tobias has played all five years at Abilene Christian while Flynn played two years at De Paul University before transferring to Riverside.

The game in Vegas was the 118th career game for Tobias while for Flynn, capped by the Tall Blacks for the first time earlier this year at the FIBA Asia Cup, it was game number 96.

When game number 100 ticks over for Flynn he will become the 16th kiwi to play a century of Men’s NCAA Division I games – the duo the first New Zealand brothers to reach the notable milestone and also the first to play against each other at Division I level. Tall Blacks head coach Pero Cameron you imagine has been watching the careers of his sons unfold with immense pride.

Callum McRae played on the same Junior Tall Blacks team as the Cameron’s at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup. In his latest outing he was within a point of a double-double grabbing 10 boards to go with 9 points as Sacramento State went down 82-71 to UC Davis. Those 9 points took McRae past 900 career points and up to 4th on the all-time list of New Zealand scorers in Men’ NCAA Division I basketball.

Hartford University Hawks had a comfortable 82-45 win against FDU Florham with Tom Webley claiming 8 points (4/6FG) and 4 rebounds.

Akiva McBirney-Griffin scored a season best 6 points as UC Irvine pounded Life Pacific 116-54.

In women’s NCAA Division I play Helen Matthews helped Wofford to the narrowest of wins, a 67-66 triumph against UNC Wilmington. The Cantabrian combo guard tallied 14 points, one shy of her season best 15, and added 4 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal.

Amiee Book is on the verge of the double of 100 games and 1,000 points in NCAA Division I basketball. In her 99thappearance she scored 9 points as Fresno State won a one sided contest against UC Merced 71-28. Book has now scored 990 career points.

Barring injury that 100th game will be on Saturday (NZT) when Fresno play Delaware at the Daytona Beach Invitational.

BYU had little problem overcoming Carroll College recording a 71-47 win. Kaylee Smiler made 3 from 5 threes to equal her season high of 12 points with Arielle Mackey-Williams scored sored 7 points on 2 from 4 from the field.

Mckenna Dale took just the one shot, that missed, but she did pull down a team high 8 rebounds and garnered a couple of steals as Virginia defeated Campbell 62-41.

Tara Manumaleuga scored 3 points and had a brace each of rebounds, assists and steals as Texas Christian slipped to a 62-54 loss to Sam Houston.

Latest college news with Callum McRae and Kaylee Smiler amongst the grinners

November 18

At the North Shore Showcase in Hawaii a couple of former Waikato rep standouts Charlisse Leger-Walker and Kaylee Smiler were in opposition as Washington State University (WSU) took on BYU. Given BYU were 0-3 entering the contest and Washington unbeaten it was expected that the Cougars of Washington would be too good for the Cougars of Brigham Young. CL-W once again top scored for Washington with 21 points but it was Smiler (7 points and 2 assists) with the grin as BYU prevailed 67-57.  Arielle Mackey-Williams also chipped in with a valuable 9 points for BYU.

BYU couldn’t quite repeat that success 24 hours later going down to Troy 68-62 with Smiler nabbing 5 points and a couple of rebounds.

When WSU took their turn to play Troy they took care of business winning 87-72. CL-W settling for a quiet 14 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists!

Olivia Williams scored a team high 16 points, making 4 from 8 threes, as UC Irvine edged Seattle 54-53 to improve to 3-1 this season.

Portland Pilots were beaten 55-53 by a San Diego buzzer beater. Emme Shearer made a couple of threes on her way to 13 points to sit alongside a couple of rebounds an assist and a steal for Portland.

Southern Methodist defeated Texas A&M Commerce 86-57 with freshman guard Ella Brow scoring a season best 12 points.

Also producing a season best was Helen Matthews who was one rebound away from a double-double as Wofford triumphed 88-79 at High Point. The Cantabrian guard tallied 15 points and 9 rebounds.

Boise State beat Portland State 71-61 with freshman Danni Bayes posting 13 points (5/8FG), 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

Grace Hunter was immediately thrust into the starting point guard spot in her first outing of the season for California State University Bakersfield. The Wellingtonian guard connected with her first two jump shots and added a block, assist and rebound but unfortunately succumbed to injury after just 5 minutes. Bakersfield struggled without Hunter and went down 74-42 to UNLV.

McKenna Dale scored 6 points on 3 from 4 shooting, as well as securing 5 rebounds as Virginia won 74-60 on the road at American.

In Men’s Division I play…..

Tafara Gapare scored his first collegiate points – a made three – as UMass defeated Murray State 71-69.

Sacramento State improved to 3-1 winning their home opener 58-43 against UC Merced with Callum McRae again in excellent form. The Manawatu forward produced a big double-double of 14 points (7/14FG) and 14 rebounds – 6 offensive boards a highlight. 

At the Charleston Classic James Moors followed up his career high 24 points against South Carolina with 6 points and 3 rebounds in a 74-64 loss to Charleston.

Also at the Classic Sam Mennenga scored 23 points as Davidson College saw off Old Dominion 66-61. It was quite a weekend for the Tall Blacks forward in the three games at the Classic he tallied also 57 points, and was named to the Charleston Classic Tournament Team. That’s now 500 Division I career points for the former Westlake and Harbour player.

Tom Webley scored 9 points, and added 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a block as Hartford University pummeled Houghton 98-32.

UC Riverside flogged Occidental 106-30 with Flynn Cameron adding 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and a block to half a dozen points.

Other Results:

Fresno State 47 (Amiee Book 3pts, 2rebs) Cal Poly 48

St Mary’s 66 (Tayla Dalton 2pts, 3rebs, 1 steal) University of California 69

Late nights no problems for the Sky Sport Breakers.

21 November

The 2022 edition of the Sky Sport Breakers seem to thrive on adversity.

Not for the first time this season the team and staff faced minimal recovery time, due to flight cancellations and delays, before taking the court against well rested opponents.

On this occasion, having beaten the Tasmania Jack Jumpers on Friday night in Launceston, the Breakers had to overcome a chaotic return journey before eventually arriving in Auckland just over 12 hours ahead of the Sunday afternoon fixture against the Adelaide 36ers at Trusts Arena.

It was a game in which the Breakers trailed 80-78 with under three minutes to play, a situation where you would have thought the travel weary Breakers might fold. Instead it was the Auckland based club that found another gear outscoring the 36ers 11-3 in the closing minutes to close out an impressive weekend’s work and improve to 8-3 on the season – clear second behind the Sydney Kings (8-2) on the NBL ladder.

Barry Brown Jr scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter but it was Breakers big man Derek Pardon that was the major influence on proceedings. 

Fast becoming a fan favourite Pardon recorded a 19 points/10 rebounds double-double for the second consecutive game while also snaring 3 steals and swatting 3 blocked shots in a 35 minutes high energy performance.

There were other notable contributors to Sunday’s win with Jarrell Brantley posting his first double-double of the season – 17 points and 10 rebounds while Will McDowell-White was also influential with 13 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds.  

It wasn’t the happiest return to Auckland for former Breakers great CJ Bruton who was back in New Zealand for the first time since taking on the head coach role with the 36ers.

It was also a return of sorts for kiwi Hyrum Harris (6 points and 3 rebounds) and Mitch McCarron (8 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals). The 36ers duo played plenty of games at Trusts Arena during their time in the NZNBL with the James Blond Super City Rangers a few years ago.

Won 89-83 v Adelaide 36’ers at Trusts Arena on Sunday

McDowell-White became the fifth Breaker to score 100 points this season as he notched 13 points. 

The Breakers centurion points scorers are:

Brown 162

Brantley 149

Pardon 137

Le’afa 131

McDowell-White 105

Won 84-76 v Tasmania Jack Jumpers (away) on Friday

Derek Pardon posted 19 points and 10 rebounds, the exact numbers he posted on Sunday.

Izayah Le’afa dropped 4 from 7 threes on his way to a season high 17 points, he now has 550 NBL career points.

Tom Vodanovich scored his 100th point for the Breakers.

Upcoming

Cam Gliddon needs just 3 rebounds to bring up 1,000 career rebounds and 11 points for 3,000 career points.

Izayah Le’afa requires just 1 assist for 150 career dimes.

Will McDowell-White is 3 assists shy of becoming the 11th Breaker to dish 250 assists.

Tom Abercrombie, with I more steal will become the 4th Breaker to pinch 250 steals.

The Breakers top five “Stealers”:

288 Boucher

278 Jackson

252 Vukona

249 Abercrombie

209 Henare

The Breakers are in Cairns on Friday to face the Taipans before facing yet another quick turnaround to take on Brisbane Bullets at Vector Arena at 4pm on Sunday.

James Moors, Callum McRae and Kaylee Smiler set career marks

November 18

In our NCAA Division I midweek roundup the headlines go the way of former New Zealand age-group internationals James Moors, Callum McRae and Kaylee Smiler. 

James Moors posted a career high 24 points, on 10 from 12 shooting (2/2 3PG), as Colorado State accounted for South Carolina 85-53 to improve to 4-0 this season. The former Junior Tall Black also grabbed 9 rebounds in the Charleston Classic victory.

Also at the Charleston Classic are Sam Mennenga and Davidson College but they didn’t meet with the same success as Colorado State – beaten 89-66 by hosts Charleston.

However Mennenga posted numbers not far short of Moors, his former Westlake and Harbour teammate, he finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds.

Callum McRae enjoyed his most productive outing of the season as Sacramento State won 73-69 at Denver. The former Junior Tall Black centre, in just his third game for Sacramento since transferring from California Riverside, scored a game high 20 points (9/14 FG) along with 8 rebounds, 7 assists and a block – he is now just 19 points short of 900 career points.

Abilene Christian guard Tobias Cameron filled the stats line in the 104-46 demolition of McMurry – he posted 11 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks and a steal.

In women’s action Kaylee Smiler, in her first collegiate start, posted 11 points, 2 rebounds and 5 assists as BYU fell to a third straight loss – defeated77-66 by Oklahoma. The former Waikato representative had previously played 72 games for BYU without ever previously named to the starting five.

Ashlee Strawbridge played a major role as New Mexico State won the rivalry game against New Mexico, in overtime, 73-63. Strawbridge finished with a team high 8 rebounds to go with 9 points while playing a team high 33 minutes.

Amiee Book knocked down her first two 3-point attempts and eventually finished with 3 from 5 for 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals as Fresno State defeated UC Riverside 54-40.

Dejaan Schuler filled the stats line in Stetson’s one sided 92-22 win against Johnson. The Te Aroha native scored 6 points (2/5 3PG) and claimed 4 rebounds as well as an assist, steal and block.

Former Massey High School standout Yzabelle Tevao scored a season best 6 points, along with 3 rebounds, in Chicago State’s 87-62 loss at University of Illinois Chicago. 

Other Results – Men

University of California Riverside 51 (Flynn Cameron 4pts, 2rebs, 2 assists) Creighton 80

South Dakota 42 Kruz Perrott-Hunt (5pts, 5 assists, 3 rebs) Mississippi State 79

Marquette 95 (Ben Gold 3pts, 2 blocks, 1reb, 1 assists) LIU 58

Fordham 79 (Zach Riley 3pts, 1 assist) New Hampshire 61

Hartford 66 (Tom Webley 4pts, 3 steals, 1 rebound) Boston 102

Other Results – Women

Colorado 73 (Charlotte Whittaker 2pts, 1reb, 1 assist) Louisiana 43

Chicago State 57 (Yzabelle Tevao 2pts, 3rebs, 1 block) Evansville 82

Wofford 84 (Helen Matthews 4pts, 4rebs, 1assist, I steal, I block) Coastal Carolina 69 

University of California Irvine 60 (Olivia Williams 4pts, 2rebs, 1 steal) Washington 62 2xOT

Leger-Walker scores her 1,000th point; moves into elite company

Charlisse Leger-Walker moved into elite New Zealand women’s basketball company as Washington State University defeated Prairie View A&M 89-61 (on Monday morning NZT). Leger-Walker scored 24 points in the contest, her fourteenth point taking her to 1,000 career points – the 16th Kiwi to hit that mark in Women’s NCAA Division I college hoops.

By the end of the game the Tall Fern guard had overtaken Chev Paalvast (1,110 points) to move to fifteenth overall and only 22 points shy of sister Krystal’s mark of 1032.

CL-W has reached the milestone just three games into her junior (third) year, at Washington State in just 57 appearances – all of them starts.

The all-time record is held by Cantabrian Erin Rooney who scored 1,647 points in 131 games over four seasons – Monmouth University (2009-11) and Fordham University (2012-14).

Leger-Walker is currently averaging 17.7 points per game meaning, at her current rate of scoring, she would need to play 90 odd games to become the all-time leader. Barring major injuries one would imagine the record is well withing her grasp.

Worth noting from the list below is that Amiee Book, in her senior year at Fresno State University, is within 31 points of becoming the 17th player to join the illustrious group.

The full list of New Zealand women on the 1,000 NCAA Division I points list:

        1,647 Erin Rooney (Monmouth University Hawks, 2009-11/Fordham University Rams, 2012-14)
        1,624 Akiene-Tera Reed (Virginia Commonwealth 2017-21, USC 2021-22)
        1,497 Megan Compain (St Joseph’s University Hawks, 1993-97)
        1,439 Stella Beck (St Mary’s College Gaels 2014-18)
        1,291 Kendell Heremaia (Fordham University 2017-22)
        1,262 Rhaiah Spooner-Knight (Monmouth 17-18, Utah Valley 13-16)
        1,209 Tegan Graham (Colgate Uni 2016-20, BYU 2020-22)
        1,195 Micaela Cocks (University of Oregon Ducks, 2006-10)
        1,167 Ashleigh Karaitiana (University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine, 2012-16)
        1,144 Margaret Johns (Utah State University, 1979-83)
        1,096 Jillian Harmon (Stanford University Cardinals, 2005-09)
        1,089 Tessa Boagni (California State University, Northridge Matadors 2014-18)
        1,081 Josie Stockill (Colgate University Raiders, 2012-16)
        1,032 Krystal Leger-Walker (Washington State 2020-22, Northern Colorado 2015-18)
        1,110 Charlisse Leger-Walker (Washington State University 2020-present)
        1,006 Chevannah Paalvast (Monmouth University Hawks, 2010-14)
            969 Amiee Book (CSU Fullerton 2018-21, Fresno State University 2021-present)

In other news Dani Bayes filled the stats line as Boise State beat Weber State 63-52. The 2021 Tall Ferns trialist made 16 points (7/15FG) and added 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block in 33 minutes.

Tayla Dalton scored 10 points (2/3 3PG) to help St Mary’s College to an 88-81 win at California Baptist. She also tallied 4 rebounds and 2 assists while Jade Kirisome dished 5 assists to go along with 4 points as the Gaels made a 2-0 start to the season. 

Olivia Williams scored 8 points as UC Irvine edged a thriller against Sacramento State winning 60-58.

Kaylee Smiler made 3 from 3 from beyond the arc on her way to 12 points and Arielle Mackey-Williams added 7 points but BYU slipped to a 69-60 home defeat to Montana State.

Portland University Pilots found the going a little tough against Stanford, the second ranked team in Women’s Division I basketball, going down 87-47. Emme Shearer scored 9 points and Melika Samia 4 points in Portland’s first loss of the season.

In Men’s action South Dakota scored an 82-64 home win against Dakota State with Kruz Perrott-Hunt scoring 15 points to move to 717 career points – up to 10th spot amongst Kiwi points scorers in NCAA Division I Men’s basketball passing Sam Waardenburg (711 points).

Sam Mennenga continued his good early season form with 10 points, 6 rebounds and a couple of steals as Davidson College won a third straight game holding off Virginia Military Institute to win 75-71.

Other Results:

Sacramento State (Callum McRae 2pts, 6rebs, 4 assists)

Hartford 53 (Tom Webley 6pts, 4rebs, 1stl, 1 assist) St Francis 77

Charlisse Leger-Walker scores a career high

November 12

Charlisse Leger-Walker is closing in on 1,000 NCAA points after she scored a career high 35 points (11/26 FG, 9/10FT) in Washington State’s 65-59 come from behind win at San Francisco.

WSU overcame a 15-point deficit to claim their second win in as many outings, with CL-W now just 14 points shy of joining the 1000 points club. It’s the 24th time she has scored 20 points or more in 56 career games. She also had 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block in the game.

Washington State have a quick turnaround and play Prairie View A&M on Sunday November 13 (Monday morning NZ time) and one imagines the 1,000 points mark will be under threat in that contest.

Leger-Walker will become the 16th Kiwi to score 1,000 points in Women’s NCAA Division I college hoops joining such luminaries as Micaela Cocks, Megan Compain, Stella Beck, Tessa Boagni, and more recently Krystal Leger-Walker, the older sister of Charlisse.

In other games in the States on Friday (Saturday here) freshman Dani Bayes scored 12 points and grabbed 5 boards along with an assist and steal as Boise State were defeated 83-74 by Eastern Washington.

In Men’s Div I hoops James Moors was a perfect 5 from 5 from the field – including a made triple – as Colorado State beat Southeastern Louisiana 80-69. The junior forward filled the stats line with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, an assist and a block in 18 productive minutes

Virginia were far too strong for Monmouth winning 89-42 with Taine Murray scoring 7 points on 3 from 6 shooting.

Tobias Cameron also scored 7 points to add to 4 steals, plus a trio of assists and rebounds, in Abilene Christian’s 77-58 loss to Texas A&M.

Other Results:

Southern Methodist 74 (Ella Brow 2pts, 3rebs, 1 assist) Oklahoma 97

Cal State Bakersfield 56  Fresno State 53 (Amiee Book 6rebs, 1 assist, 1 steal)

Fordham 48 (Zach Riley 1 reb, 1 assist) Arkansas 74 

Latest Div I College news – Perrott-Hunt passes significant milestone.

Four young Tall Blacks have been in action in college hoops in the last couple of days and the quartet all posted double figures with Kruz Perrott-Hunt passing a significant milestone.

Perrott-Hunt had just the 5 points in South Dakota’s 85-77 come from behind win against Lipscomb. However it was enough to carry him past 700 career points in his 80th appearance for the Coyotes. Perrott-Hunt is just the 11th Kiwi to score over 700 points in Division I Men’s basketball.

It took double overtime to separate Davidson College and Wright State before the Wildcats edged to a 102-97 victory. Following on from a double-double in the opening game Sam Mennenga posted 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists as Davidson overcame a 21-points first half deficit to record a second straight win to open the season.

Ben Gold scored his first collegiate points, in just his second game, as Marquette defeated Central Michigan 97-73. Gold tallied 11 points (4/9FG) and also added a couple of rebounds and steals. 

Flynn Cameron and UC Riverside worked their way back from a 20-point first half deficit to pip Loyola Marymount 81-79. Cameron finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Tom Webley was a perfect 4 from 4 from the field for his 8 points as Hartford recorded a dominant 85-43 victory over Northern Vermont-Lyndon.

In women’s NCAA Division I play sophomore guard Arielle Mackey-Williams drained a long three to open the BYU scoring for the 2022-23 season. Mackey-Williams, making her first ever start for BYU, went on to score a collegiate best 18 points (6/11FG, 4/7 3 PG) but there was little joy for the Cougars as they went down 82-62 to Colorado State.

Olivia Williams also scored a collegiate best as UC Irvine thumped Whittier College 98-33 in a one sided affair. Williams finished with 14 points along with 5 rebounds and a couple of steals.

Ashlee Strawbridge was a perfect 2 from 2 from both the field and the foul line for 6 points  as New Mexico State overpowered New Mexico Highlands 80-39.

Emme Shearer also scored half a dozen as Portland defeated University of Hawaii 70-54. Shearer added a couple of steals while freshman Melika Samia was a perfect 2 from 2 for her 4 points.

McKenna Dale also scored 6 points as Virginia dominated University of Maryland, Baltimore County to win 101-46. Dale also had 4 rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Helen Matthews grabbed a team high 7 rebounds to accompany 4 assists and 3 points but couldn’t prevent Wofford falling to a 79-68 loss at Clemson.

Other Women’s Results:

Chicago State 57 (Yzabelle Tevao 2pts, 2rebs, 1 steal) Butler 84.

Stanford 104 California State University Northridge 40 (Rochelle Fourie 1pt, 1reb)

Stetson 56 (Dejaan Schuler 1 assist) Miami 80

Massive day of Division I hoops

It was a massive day of NCAA Division I college hoops today with no fewer than 29 Kiwis in action.

Tobias Cameron equaled his career best points tally and Sam Mennenga posted a double-double – here is a review of the action beginning with the Women’s action.

Charlisse Leger-Walker filled the stats line as Washington State proved much too good for Loyola Marymount winning 93-41. The Tall Ferns guard added 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and a block to 16 points on 7 from 12 shooting.

Tayla Dalton scored the first basket of the season for St Mary’s College as they went on to defeat Nevada 67-58. The 2022 Tall Ferns 3×3 guard scored 12 points (4/7FG, 4/6FT) and had 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

Amiee Book scored 11 points as Fresno State beat Fresno Pacific 66-49. The Grad Senior also snared a couple of steals and 4 rebounds in the win.

Emme Shearer made 4 from 6 from the field for her 10 points while also adding 6 assists, 5 rebounds and a couple of steals as Portland University Pilots beat Willamette 92-56. Melika Samia had 2 points, 2 steals, 3 rebounds and an assist on debut for the Pilots. 

Freshman Dani Bayes made 4 from 7 threes amongst her 12 points as Boise State swept past Multnomah 110-59. Bayes also added 2 assists and 3 rebounds in just 16 minutes.

Just short of double figures was Helen Matthews as she tallied 9 points in Wofford’s 81-72 loss to Youngstown State. Those points take the Cantabrian past the 300 career points mark.

A couple more Cantabs were in action as New Mexico State took on Colorado.

Ashlee Strawbridge, on debut, played a team high 37 minutes for New Mexico as they fell 85-55 to Colorado. Strawbridge finished with 7 points, 5 rebounds and a steal.

For Colorado Charlotte Whittaker, working her way back to match fitness following five operations on hip injuries and a 20-month layoff, claimed a couple of rebounds, a block and a single point in 11 minutes.

Freshman Ella Brow didn’t score any points but she did dish a game high 6 assists as Southern Methodist University defeated Texas A&M International 88-54.

Another freshman Rochelle Fourie scored with her first shot in Cal State University Northridge colours. The Palmy North forward scored just the 2 points on 1 from 2 shooting as CSUN were overpowered 88-56 by the University of California.

The Schuler sisters each scored on their Division I debuts also.

Breeje knocked down one from two free throws as Eastern Washington got an 86-47 win against Corban while Dejaan made a three for Stetson as the Hatters defeated Flagler 79-52.

In Men’s Division I action Kruz Perrott-Hunt carried the scoring load for South Dakota in their 85-59 loss at Wisconsin. KP-H scored 12 of South Dakota’s first 15 points before going on to register 21 points on 10 from 20 from the field. He also had a pair of steals plus triples in rebounds and assists.

Another 2022 Tall Black Sam Mennenga had 3 rebounds and 2 assists in the opening three minutes and went on to post a double-double as Davidson College defeated Guilford 87-64. Mennenga finished with 11 each in rebounds and points to accompany 3 assists and a steal.

Fellow Tall Black Flynn Cameron, in his 50th Division I start, scored 11 points to go with 7 rebounds and 2’s in steals and assists in Californai Riverside’s 82-66 loss at Colorado.

Brother Tobias nailed 18 points – equaling his career high – making 4 from 7 threes as Abilene Christian saw off Jackson State to win 65-56. Cameron senior added 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 bocks and a steal in a fine all court game.

Callum McCrae, in his first game for Sacramento State since his transfer from UC Riverside, pulled down 10 rebounds and tallied 6 points in the 76-50 loss to UCLA.

James Moors scored 6 points as Colorado State edged Gardner Webb 65-63 while freshman Akiva McBirney-Griffin had a trio of points and rebounds with a couple of assists as Cal University Irvine comfortably beat Chapman 96-50.

There were also some useful performances in pre-season games last week worthy of mention.

Grace Hunter, fresh off her strong season with the Tokomanawa Queens, dished a game high 5 assists to go with 7 points (3/4FG) as California State University Bakersfield beat Biola 96-57.

Florence Dallow marked her NCAA Division I debut in fine style knocking down 5 threes from 7 attempts to tally 17 points as Portland beat Warner Pacific 94-45. 

Dallow’s New Zealand Junior Tall Ferns teammate Lilly Parke was in equally good form as Auburn University at Montgomery were pipped 81-78 by Southern Mississippi. The former Auckland Basketball and Baradene College forward top scored with 19 points (7/10FG, 4/4 3PG) in just 15 minutes.

Skipper returns but Breakers defeated

The Sydney Kings continued their remarkable sequence of results on the road as they inflicted an 81-77 loss on the Sky Sport Breakers at Spark Arena on Sunday.

The Kings have now won 17 straight away games, the victory taking them to 7-2 and outright first in the ladder. It’s not all doom and gloom for the Sky Sport Breakers as they sit a lofty second on the NBL table with a 6-3 record entering into the two-week international break.

The Breakers looked dead and buried at half-time trailing 45-27 and with the margin still 18 points at the three-quarter mark a tame finish looked likely. However the Breakers poured in 31 fourth quarter points as Izayah Le’afa and Tom Abercrombie inspired a spirited comeback.

The Breakers reduced the deficit to two points in the dying seconds but with the clock their enemy the home team couldn’t get any closer.

It had been 33 months and 72 games since skipper Tom Abercrombie felt the warmth of home crowd support and the Breakers veteran received a terrific ovation as he entered the arena for his 372nd appearance for the club. He demonstrated that he had lost none of his defensive ability or his hops – a trademark fourth quarter dunk complimenting two earlier triples.

Here are the latest club records and milestones:

Lost 81-77 v Sydney Kings at Spark Arena on Sunday

Will McDowell-White nabbed his second double-double of the season in accumulating 10 points and 12 rebounds.

His 10 points moved him past 400 points for the Breakers – the 35th player to reach this milestone. Phill Jones was the first to reach the mark late in the inaugural 2003-04 season while Tai Webster, who was still at Forrest Hill Primary School when Jones made his 400th point, was the most recent in the 2020-21 season.

Tom Vodanovich played his 100th NBL game rather fittingly against the team he won a championship with last season and suited up for on 67 occasions. He first played for the Breakers between 2018 and 2020 before shifting to Sydney for a productive two seasons.

Barry Brown Jr is proving to be a model of consistency. With 22 points against the Kings the Breakers leading scorer this season has now scored between 22 and 24 points in five of the six games he has played.

Izayah Le’afa moved past the century mark in points this season with his 15 points on 7 from 12 shooting.

Upcoming

The Breakers have another home game to look forward to on Sunday November 20 when they take on the Adelaide 36ers at Trusts Arena, 48 hours after a match up in Tasmania against the Jack Jumpers.

Those two games follow the FIBA window when both the Tall Blacks and Australian Boomers will play two World Cup Qualifying games.

Dan Fotu and Alex McNaught headed off with the Tall Blacks on Monday morning to contest the Tall Blacks away games against Jordan on November 13 and Lebanon three days earlier.

Ili returns plus other news of Kiwis overseas

In our latest wrap we look at Shea Ili’s return to court, a career high for Sam Waardenburg and some early American college news.

Firstly Shea Ili. The dynamic point guard made his first appearance for Melbourne United after missing the opening four rounds of the Australian NBL season with concussion issues. The Tall Black guard made an immediate impact in helping guide Melbourne United, on a three-game slide, to a 94-77 home win against Perth Wildcats.

Ili scored with his first two shots, both threes, and went on to post 9 points (3/4FG), 4 assists and 3 rebounds in just 13 minutes of action. Corey Webster scored 8 points for the Wildcats.

Sam Waardenburg, in his rookie pro season, scored a season high 20 points as Cairns Taipans lost a points-fest at League leaders Sydney Kings 106-103. In a fine all-round game Waardenburg also posted 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a pair of steals. 

In Europe Tai Webster produced 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists as Socar Petkimspor defeated Bursaspor 80-72 to improve to 3-2 in the Turkish Super League.

Finn Delany had a pair of 11-point outings for Bonn as the German club recorded two victories.

Firstly it was a 73-66 European Champions League win against AEK Athens followed by a 94-85 success against Goettingen in the German League.

In the German second division Matt Freeman scored 10 points and added 6 rebounds although his club Bremerhaven suffered a 73-66 loss to Tuebingen.

Isaac Fotu tallied a team high 17 points (8/13FG) but Tochigi Brex were given something of a hiding by Chiba Jets going down 87-58. The Jets (7-2) lead the East Conference of the Japanese League with Brex (3-6) now sixth.

Jillian Harmon, who played on the Tall Ferns 3×3 team at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham earlier in the year, has confirmed she has re-joined Basket Landes for the upcoming French League season.

Tera Reed scored 19 points (5/10FG, 4/4FT) but Tampereen Pyrintö were defeated 82-77 by HBA-Marsky in the Finnish League. Pyrintö have slipped to 2-4 on the season although all four losses have been by 6 points or less.

Most American college campaigns commence in the coming days but a handful of pre-season games have already been played.

Flynn Cameron started his season rolling on a high note as UC Riverside defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills 94-79. The combo guard scored 21 points (5 from 9 threes) and added 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Asian Cup Tall Black teammate Kruz Perrott-Hunt was also in strong form as South Dakota mauled Simpson 101-55. KP-H finished with a game high 24 points (10/15FG, 4/8 3PG) to accompany 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

James Moors led the Colorado State rebounding count as they inflicted a 91-52 defeat on MSU Denver. The junior forward added 6 points, 2 assists and a steal to 10 rebounds.

Fresh from the Tall Ferns tour to Melbourne Charlisse Leger-Walker filled the stats line with 9 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and a brace of steals as Washington State defeated Westmont 64-40.

Breakers on a high despite Loe low.

NZ Breakers coach Mody Moar and Barry Brown Jr of the Breakers. New Zealand Breakers v Tasmania JackJumpers, Round 2 of the 2022-23 NBL Season at Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand on Friday 7 October 2022. © Mandatory credit: Andrew Cornaga / http://www.photosport.nz

The Sky Sport Breakers sit atop the NBL ladder alongside the Sydney Kings – who they face at Spark Arena next Sunday  – after demolishing the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers 94-62 at Spark Arena.

The win was achieved despite the loss of in-form big man Rob Loe who took a head knock in the opening quarter and didn’t return to the fray. 

Without his running mate, Derek Pardon stepped up posting his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds while Tom Vodanovich enjoyed extended minutes to record 10 points and 5 rebounds. Jarrell Brantley got the better of his opposite number Rashard Kelly in recording 11 points and 8 rebounds in just 23 minutes.

Import combo-guard Barry Brown Jr was once again a major spark off the bench – his game high 24 points being his fourth 20+ points haul in just five appearances by the American.

The victory moves the Breakers to 6-2 on the season, already one win more than the club engineered in the whole of the 2021-22 season.

What made the most recent win even more meritorious was the fact that Tasmania had had a week to prepare for the game whereas the Breakers had spent all day Saturday travelling back from Adelaide via Sydney. 

On Friday, the Breakers were equally impressive as they recorded their biggest ever win in Adelaide thumping the much vaunted 36’ers 99-70; the Breakers fourth win from five away games. 

The 4-1 road start has only been bettered twice in Breakers history. In 2008-09, in the second season under the influence of Tony Ronaldson and Kirk Penney, the Breakers started the season with 7 wins in the first 8 away games while in the 2010-11 championship campaign it was a 6-1 start on Australian soil

Here are the latest club records and milestones:

Won 99-70 at Adelaide 36’ers on Friday night

Jarrell Brantley had season highs in points (22), rebounds (9), assists (3) and steals (4). He also became the first Breaker to score 100 points this season.

Izayah Le’afa , with 15 points, passed the 500 career points milestone in his 65th NBL game.

With a season high equalling 7 dimes Will McDowell-White moved past Finn Delany into 11th spot on the Breakers all-time assists list – he now has 231 to his name at 4.4 per game.

Won 94-62 v Tasmanian Jack Jumpers at Spark Arena on Sunday

Rob Loe played his 150th NBL game against the Jack Jumpers (28 of those with Cairns Taipans) while Tom Vodanovich played his 99th game in the League – 67 of those with the Sydney Kings.

With 24 points Barry Brown Jr became the second Breaker to pass the 100-point mark for the season.

Upcoming

The Breakers have a mouth-watering home game against top Sydney Kings on Sunday before the NBL goes into recess for 11 days to accommodate the next FIBA window when both the Tall Blacks and Australian Boomers will play two World Cup Qualifying games apiece.

Will McDowell-White needs 8 more points to reach 400 points for the Breakers.

Cam Gliddon is closing in on a couple of notable milestones. He needs just 6 rebounds to total 1,000 career boards and 23 points to pass 3,000 career points spanning 11 seasons in the NBL.

Overseas Roundup – Former schoolmates go head to head

Former Rangitoto College class mates Olivia Berry and Penina Davidson were on opposing sides for the first time since school days as the Tall Ferns took on the Melbourne Boomers on Saturday – the Boomers beating an inexperienced New Zealand team 85-62. 

Congratulations to Olivia on scoring her first points in the black singlet while Micaela Cocks stretched her record number of appearances for the Tall Ferns to 145.

Another pair of ex-Harbour and Rangitoto teammates were in opposition in Cairns on Sunday. It was Dan Fotu with the smiles as the Sky Sport Breakers beat Sam Waardenburg’s Cairns Taipans in a low scoring contest 68-64, the win taking the Breakers to second on the NBL ladder. 

Earlier in the week fellow Breaker Rob Loe brought up 600 career NBL rebounds with 8 boards against South East Melbourne Phoenix while Waardenburg scored 13 points as the Taipans registered an impressive 83-78 road win against defending champions the Sydney Kings.

Tyrell Harrison has made a return to the Brisbane Bullets ranks after a long spell out with injury. He was outstanding in the one-point loss to South East Melbourne Phoenix (89-88) accumulating 11 points and 8 rebounds in just 19 minutes.

Further afield Isaac Fotu scored 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting but Tochigi Brex had their three-game winning streak ended as they dropped their Japanese League double-header at Alvark Tokyo, beaten 77-75 and 60-57. Fotu had 13 points and 7 rebounds in the second loss.

Tai Webster produced 14 points and 5 assists as Socar Petkimspor defeated Darussafaka 94-75 and improve to 2-2 in the Turkish League.

Brother Corey Webster scored 9 points for Perth but the Wildcats were trounced 103-72 by the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers in the Australian NBL.

Another former Harbour and Westlake player Yanni Wetzell enjoyed a couple of midweek outings for ALBA Berlin.

ALBA won a German Cup Round of 16 tie 98-95 against Bonn. Wetzell scored a season high 23 points (9/10FG, 5/7FT) for Berlin while former Breakers teammate Finn Delany notched 12 points for Bonn. Wetzell tied the contest in the closing minute after Bonn had led 93-91. He added two free throws with 20 seconds remaining as the reigning champions advanced to the quarter-finals.

48 hours later he scored 11 points as Berlin thumped Greek side Panathinaikos 94-65 in a EuroLeague fixture.

Bonn put the cup defeat behind them by claiming a 79-72 League win at Braunschweig on Saturday – Delany with 11 points and 7 rebounds. 

Also in Germany Matt Freeman scored 13 points, making 3 from 5 from deep, as Bremerhaven won a thriller on the road against Jena 71-69. The victory improves Bremerhaven to 2-2 on the Pro A League ladder.

Tall Fern Tera Reed registered her third double-double in five games as Tampereen Pyrintö secured an exciting 73-72 Finnish League victory at Vimpelin Veto. Tera finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds as Pyrintö improved to 3-2 for the season.

Also close to a third double-double was Zoe Richards as AB Contern easily defeated Les Sangliers 83-60 in Luxemburg League action. Richards finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds as Contern improved to 5-1 on the season.

Nelsonian Gracie Roberts-Hare is playing her fourth season in the Dutch League. After three seasons with Lekdetec she has moved clubs and scored 13 points on debut for Triple Threat in a 71-61 win against Martini Sparks Haren.

Breakers overcome Cairns and the NBL schedulers

The Sky Sport Breakers celebrated their 600th NBL game with a 68-64 victory in Cairns on Sunday afternoon in the midst of a ridiculous schedule – more on that shortly.

Missing their opening 14 shots the Breakers scored just 5 points in the first quarter yet somehow recovered to force the win. Those handful of points equaled the Sydney Kings unwanted record of the least number of points in the opening period of an NBL game.

However, led by 24 points from Barry Brown Jr, the Breakers recovered to trail 32-23 at half-time and by just five (50-45) at three-quarter time before grinding out the win in the fourth to leap frog the Taipans into second place on the NBL ladder.

Given the Breakers were playing for the fourth time in 10 days, and a fourth away game in their opening six fixtures, a start of 4 wins and 2 losses probably exceeds expectations given also that the club only won 5 from 28 games in the whole of last season.

Now back to the schedule in which the NBL boffins certainly have done the Breakers no favours. Having played all 28 games in Australia last season and 29 of 36 across the ditch the season before you would have thought a little sympathy may have been forthcoming from those in charge of scheduling at NBL HQ.

Not a chance – instead, just three weeks into the season, the Breakers have already visited three Australian states, undertaken five international flights and a couple of domestic hops.

It doesn’t get any easier this week for Round 5. They return from Cairns today (Monday), fly to Adelaide on Thursday (for a game against the 36ers on Friday) then return on Saturday to play the Jack Jumpers – who won’t have played for 7 days – at Spark Arena on Sunday.

Here are the latest club records and milestones:

Lost 99-77 against South East Melbourne Phoenix at Trusts Arena on Thursday

Reuben Te Rangi and South East Melbourne have won two straight at Trusts Arena although the games were played 17 months apart!

You might recall that the Breakers returned to New Zealand after playing 29 consecutive road games in the 2021 season, completing the campaign with seven straight games on home soil. The finale was played at Trusts with SEM claiming an 83-78 win.

Only Tom Abercrombie, Rob Loe and Will McDowell-White remain on the Breakers books from that first Covid affected season.

Loe received a blooded cheek after copping some friendly fire from Tom Vodanovich but returned to snare an eighth rebound in the game and chalk up his 600th NBL career rebound (86 of those during his single season with the Cairns Taipans). 

At Cairns Taipans on Sunday Won 68-64.

Will McDowell-White played his 50th game for the Breakers in Cairns. 

Barry Brown Jr, with 24 points, took his tally to 60 points in his three outings. With Derek Pardon averaging 11.3ppg (and 7.3 rebounds) and Jarrell Brantley 13ppg the three imports have settled in nicely.

Achieving victory scoring 68 points is the lowest total the Breakers have scored to gain a win since the leaky roof victory at Illawarra in February 2020. Breakers won 65-52 after the game was called off with three minutes to play in that one.

Otherwise we have to go back to New Year’s Eve 2012 when the Breakers eked out a 66-61 win, also in Cairns – a certain Cedric Jackson scored 17 points that night.

For the record the Breakers are 301-299 in those 600 games.

Upcoming

Izayah Le’afa is four points shy of 500 career points with Will McDowell-White needing 16 more for 400 career points.

Tom Vodanovich and Rob Loe are closing in on a couple of milestone games. Loe will play NBL career game number 150 next Sunday against the Jack Jumpers while Vodanovich needs to log three more appearances for his 150th.

Breakers Rolling – Numbers Galore

There are a swag of numbers to report after the Sky Sport Breakers impressive round three road double at South East Melbourne (won 85-77) and Illawarra Hawks (won 88-62).

Beginning his tenure as Breakers Head Coach with 3 wins in 4 games Mody Maor has easily bettered the start of his six predecessors at the club.

Inaugural Head Coach Jeff Green went 1-3 with his replacement Frank Arsego replicating that start. Andrej Lemanis tip-toed in with four straight losses before a victory in game number five while Dean Vickerman won his first game and then suffered four consecutive losses.

Paul Henare also won his opener but three straight losses followed with Dan Shamir also claiming just a singled W in his first four matches in charge.

It’s worth noting that Thursday’s home game at Trusts Arena against South East Melbourne Phoenix will be the 599thNational Basketball League (NBL) game the Sky Sport Breakers have played. 

Here are the numbers from those two excellent away victories.

At South East Melbourne

Izayah Le’afa played against his former club South East Melbourne Phoenix for the first time since his off-season move to the Breakers. It couldn’t have gone any better for the point guard as he produced a double-double of 14 points and 10 assist – a career best in dimes.

Development Player Alex McNaught, showing the defensive prowess that he has displayed in the NZNBL with the Nelson Giants, became Breaker number 140 when debuting against SEM. A Schools National Championship winner with St Kentigern College in 2019, the 20-year old came up with 2 steals, a block, a rebound and 2 points in 13 minutes of high energy, high quality action.

At Illawarra Hawks

The victory completed the first sequence of three consecutive wins since the end of the 2019-20 season when the Breakers won 4 straight and 6 of the last 7. It’s probably no coincidence that was the last season of “normality” before the two COVID interrupted campaigns.

Will McDowell-White’s commanding performance produced a striking stats line of 17 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. The Australian Boomer now has 210 assists for the club going past Shea Ili (207) and within striking distance of Finn Delany’s 221 (Delany 11th all-time on the dimes list).

Jamaal Brantley, stepping in for the injured Barry Brown Jr became Breaker #141.

Playing alongside brother Jarrell the siblings became the first brothers to play as imports, on the same team, in NBL history. They are the third set of brothers to play for the Breakers after Tai and Corey Webster and Dan and Isaac Fotu.  

Rob Loe has moved ahead of Cedric Jackson into 10th spot on the club’s all-time offensive rebounding list with 159 ‘O’ boards. He’s now chasing down Finn Delany and Gary Wilkinson with 163 and 167 offensive rebounds respectively.

The Breakers centre also joins Shea Ili as the 10th winningest Breaker. The pair have been on winning Breakers teams on 52 occasions – only 17 players have won 50 games or more in Breakers colours with Tom Abercrombie’s 210 successes clear of Mika Vukona’s 198 at the top of the list. 

Upcoming

Barring injury or illness McDowell-White will play his 50th game for the Breakers in Cairns on Sunday afternoon.

Breakers Alumni

Finn Delany and Yanni Wetzell, teammates at the Breakers last season, are both now playing in Germany.

The pair went head to head for the first time a couple of days ago and it was Wetzell that came away with bragging rights as ALBA Berlin won a German Cup Round of 16 tie 98-95 against Bonn.

Wetzell scored a season high 23 points (9/10FG, 5/7FT) for Berlin while Delany notched 12 points for Bonn. Wetzell tied the contest in the closing minute after Bonn had led 93-91. He added two free throws with 20 seconds remaining as the reigning champions advanced to the semi-finals.

2022 Girls High School Wrap

18 October

The Lacey Lowdown was able to bring you extensive coverage of the Girls 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Basketball season thanks to the tremendous support of Northern Kāhu.

It was a season dominated by Westlake Girls High School. The team of the year claimed the treble of the Secondary National Championship, Zone 1 Premierships (Nationals Qualifying Tournament) and the Auckland Premier Grade title – an unbeaten record of 30-0.

Defeating St Andrew’s College, from Christchurch, 99-66 in the Final they became the first Auckland team to win the Girls Championship since Northcote College were victorious in 2006.

Westlake defeated surprise package Whangarei Girls (74-47) in the Zone I Premiership Final and Mt Albert Grammar (87-54) in the Prems Grand Final.

At Nationals in Palmerston North Westlake and MAGS were joined by Epsom Girls Grammar, St Kentigern College and Takapuna Grammar School – all three schools returning to Nationals after significant breaks.

Takapuna Grammar’s achievement was particularly meritorious given they played in the second division (Senior A) of the Auckland competition this year – a competition they won with a 15-1 record.

Mt Albert finished 10th at Nationals, Epsom were 12th, Takapuna 13th and St Kentigern 21st.

All four teams will return the bulk of their squads in 2023 and will be keen to make a return visit to Palmerston North but with next season’s Auckland Prems League shaping to be super competitive places will be hard to come by. 

A number of Auckland players have gained international selection during the year most notably Amy Pateman (Westlake Girls HS), Waimanu Clarken (Mt Albert Grammar) and Ritorya Tamilo (Baradene College) who played at the FIBA U17 Women’s World Cup in Hungary in July.

The previous month the trio played at the FIBA Asia Cup where the team finished fourth to claim a World Cup berth. 

At the World Cup Tamilo had the distinction of being the leading shot blocker at the 16-team tournament averaging 3.1 per game. The Baradene centre was also New Zealand’s leading rebounder averaging 7.9 boards per game.

Selected for the U18 women’s National team that played at the FIBA U18 Asia Cup in India in September:

Mackenzie Chatfield – Westlake Girls HS 

Allyah Leusogi-Ape – Massey HS

Also in the team were 2021 Auckland high school graduates Lilly Parke (Baradene College) and Flo Dallow (Epsom Girls Grammar). Both players are currently on basketball scholarships in the USA.

Selected for next month’s FIBA U15 Oceania Championships in Guam are:

Bailey Flavell – Takapuna Grammar

Emma Schroeder – Westlake Girls HS

Zenthia Stowers – Takapuna Grammar

Kodee Williams-Sefo – St Mary‘s, Ponsonby

Kiwis overseas – an early season roundup

17 October

With Leagues in Europe and Asia, as well as the Australian NBL, recently underway we take a look at the early season form of our overseas based Kiwis.

Nearest home, in the Australian NBL, Sam Waardenburg scored a season high 13 points as Cairns Taipans registered an impressive 83-78 road win against defending champions the Sydney Kings.

Over in Perth Corey Webster registered a dozen points but the Perth Wildcats were undone 84-81 by Melbourne United. 

Beginning the Japanese League season with six consecutive away games Isaac Fotu and Tochigi Brex dropped their opening three games but are now on a three game win streak after defeating Sendai 89ers twice over the weekend.

Playing a shade under 30 minutes a game the Tall Blacks forward is averaging 12.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game – second on the team in both categories.

There are four New Zealand players plying their trade in Germany this season.

Finn Delaney has scored between 11 points and 13 points in all four games for Bonn this season. 

Bonn are 2-0 in the German BBL and 1-1 in the European Champions League.

Yanni Wetzell scored 10 points (4/6FG) in just 15 minutes as ALBA Berlin won 80-74 on the road at Milan in EuroLeague action on Friday night. 

ALBA sit top of the BBL with a 3-0 record although the former Breakers forward has only played in one of those games. 

In the German second division (Pro-A League) Taki Fahrensohn and his club Jena have enjoyed a 3-0 start to the season with the Tall Blacks wing averaging 7 points and 5 rebounds per game. In a small sample size he has made 63% (5 from 8) 3-pointers in his three outings.

Also in the Pro-A League Matt Freeman scored 14 points for Eisbaeren Bremerhaven but it was a tough game for the hosts thumped 112-78 by Dusseldorf and currently mid table with a 1-2 record.

Tai Webster has averaged 10.5 points and a brace of assists as Socar Petkimspor have opened the Turkish League with a win and a loss.

Tall Fern Tera Reed followed her 27 points haul last week with 23 points at the weekend but Tampereen Pyrintö slipped to 1-3 in the Finnish League after going down 79-73 to Honka. – all three defeats by six points or less. Reed leads the team in points (19ppg) and rebounds (11.0rpg).

Fellow Tall Fern Zoe Richards is averaging 10.8 points and 9.6 rebounds as her club AB Contern sit second on the Luxemburg League ladder with a 4 wins – 1 loss record.

The Southern Hoiho forward recently posted a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds as Contern won a nail biter against Musel Pikes 56-54.

The Australian WNBL begins on November 2nd with Penina Davidson and Lauryn Hippolite again suiting up for defending champions Melbourne Boomers while Kalani Purcell will again play for Sydney Flames.

Krystal Leger-Walker will make her WNBL debut in Townsville Fire colours with the Fire entertaining UC Capitals in the opening round.

Mary Goulding is named to the Bendigo Spirit roster but her status is unclear given she suffered a serious leg injury playing for Mainland Pouākai during the 2022 Tauihi season.

2022 Boys High School Wrap

October 15th

The Lacey Lowdown was able to bring you unrivalled coverage of the 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Basketball season thanks to the support of Nigel Morgan and the team at Dynamic Sport New Zealand.

With the dust finally settling on the high school basketball season, following the conclusion of the Secondary Schools National Championships, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the successes enjoyed by teams and individuals during 2022.

Representing your country at a World Cup must be a great thrill so let’s begin by acknowledging the following Auckland athletes who played at the FIBA U17 World Cup in Spain in July:

Julius Halaifonua – Rosmini College

Dante Matakatea – Mt Albert Grammar School

William Passi – Manurewa High School

Kalid Petzer – Auckland Grammar School

Brody Perry – Pukekohe High School

Will Shortt – Auckland Grammar School

George Turner – St Kentigern College

All of the above missed a chunk of games for their schools as they also played at the FIBA Asia Cup in June – the team finishing a highly creditable third to claim bronze.

In the local competitions the Boys Premier Grade title was claimed by Rosmini College after they defeated Auckland Grammar 61-54 in an entertaining Final.

The Senior A title was deservedly claimed by St Peter’s College although they needed overtime to see off the challenge of Avondale College before winning a high scoring encounter 104-99.

St Peter’s won all 14 regular season games, and both play-off fixtures, to complete an unbeaten season.

Then it was on to the Nationals Qualifying Tournament (Zone 1 Premierships) which was won by St Kentigern College, comfortably defeating Westlake Boys 96-71 in the Final, ahead of the return to Palmerston North.

Joining St Kent’s and Westlake on the pilgrimage to the first National Champs since 2019 (which St Kent’s won) were Auckland Grammar, Rangitoto College, Rosmini College, Mt Albert Grammar and Sacred Heart College.

At Nationals Rosmini made it all the way to the championship game, for the fourth time in as many years, but were undone by an outstanding Christ’s College (Christchurch) team going down 87-52 in the Grand Final.

Auckland schools took five of the top nine spots in Palmy to re-emphasise that the City of Sails is still the main hub of boys high school hoops in New Zealand.

In other play-off results MAGS were pipped 87-80 by Waimea College (Nelson) 87-80 in the 5th/6th contest while Auckland Grammar edged St Kent’s 91-86 in the 7th/8th play-off.

Rangitoto College finished 9th after defeating Palmerston North Boys High 74-61 on the final day while Westlake had to settle for 13th place and Sacred Heart 20th.

Special mention to Sacred Heart who were competing at their first ever National Championships and congratulations to co-coaches, and cousins, Tayla Robinson and Mike Robinson on a job well done.

Talking of jobs well done Kenny Stone has called time on his coaching career at Rangitoto College after 9 years of service.

During that time he took Rangitoto to numerous titles including two National Championships in 2015 and 2016.

Thanks Kenny!

Back to the playing front and  it’s worth pointing out that Dontae-Russo Nance (St Kent’s), Tautoko Wynyard (Rangitoto) and Kahu Treacher (AGS) departed for high school in the States between the completion of the Nationals Qualifying Tournament and the actual National Champs. 

You imagine their presence would have aided the cause of those schools but it’s a brand new phenomena that more schools will likely have to deal with in the future.

Now back to recognizing our other international players. 

The U18 Men’s National team was selected to compete at the FIBA U18 Asia Cup but travelling to Iran proved to be problematic. However it is fitting to recognize the players selected:

Tom Beattie (Rosmini)

Charlie Dalton (Rosmini) 

Dontae Russo-Nance (St Kentigern)

Tautoko Wynyard (Rangitoto)

Selected for next month’s FIBA U15 Oceania Champs in Guam are:

Gus Dallow (St Peter’s)

Jameer Reed (Rosmini)

Merrick Rillstone (St Kentigern)

Cooper LePou (St Kentigern)

2022 Secondary Schools Nationals Wrap

October 10th

Sixty nine teams set out to win one of four titles up for grabs at the 2022 Basketball New Zealand Secondary Schools National Championships. Only four could succeed – here is a quick summary of what prevailed.

Westlake Girls High School became the first Auckland team to win the Girls Secondary Schools National Championship since Northcote College were victorious in 2006.

Defeating St Andrew’s College, from Christchurch, 99-66 in the Final they became just the 17th winner of the C.A. Clarke and Stone Trophy – awarded to the Girls ‘AA’ National Champions.

Westlake and Northcote are the only two North Harbour teams to have won the title since it was first played for in 1969.

Runners-up St Andrew’s College, playing in their first Grand Final, were the first South Island finalists since Christchurch Girls High were victorious in 2013.

Christ’s College were excellent in the Boys Grand Final overpowering Rosmini College to win 87-52.

Christ’s, playing in their first Grand Final, became the 24th school to win the Doug Harford Trophy.

They also got a monkey off the back of the Christchurch schools boys teams as it had been almost a quarter of a century since one last appeared in a Grand Final – Aranui High School were winners in 1998. 

Rosmini can take mild satisfaction from the fact that they are only the fourth school, in the 55 year history of the championships, to have contested four consecutive Grand Finals – the others were Westlake Boys (2012-2015), Church College in the 1980’s and Mairehau High School (1972-75).

Opunake High School survived a stirring fourth quarter fight back from Ngā Taiātea Wharekura to win an exciting Boys ‘A’ championship game 82-74.

Both teams were previous winners of the title – Ngā Taiātea Wharekura in 2009 and Opunake at the previous championship in 2019.

Ngā Taiātea Wharekura girls were able to do what the boys couldn’t – the Hamilton school won its first ‘A’ Girls Championship defeating Tauranga’s Aquinas College 75-49.

Ngā Taiātea Wharekura with a roll of barely 200 pupils and only a small hall to practice in deserve great credit for their achievements in the ‘A’ Championships.

I’m still staggered by the shooting performance that Ngatai Pirini-Maika achieved on Day 3 of Nationals. Establishing what must be a new Nationals individual shooting record the Te Aroha College guard made 16 3-pointers in his 50 point haul against Stratford High School!

Good signs for the Breakers despite loss – some numbers of interest.

Mody Maor began his tenure as the 8th Breakers Head Coach, following Jeff Green, Frank Arsego, Andrej Lemanis, Dean Vickerman, Paul Henare, Kevin Braswell and Dan Shamir, with a 101-97 overtime loss at Melbourne United on Sunday.

It’s the second occasion the Breakers have been taken to overtime on the opening game of the season. The last time was two seasons ago when Tai Webster scored 34 points in a 94-91 loss at the Adelaide 36ers.

Despite the loss there was a lot to like about the Breakers performance.

New imports Derek Pardon (23 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks), and Barry Brown Jr (23 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists) both impressed on debut.

Pardon’s double-double is the first on debut for the Breakers since Rick Rickert posted 19 points and 12 rebounds against Cairns Taipans on the opening game of the 2007-08 season.

Will McDowell-White threatened a triple double with 9 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists – those 13 assists a new career high.

Rob Loe continued the good form he displayed with the Auckland Tuatara in the NZNBL recording 12 points and 4 rebounds before retiring to the bench with a, hopefully not serious, ankle injury.

The other player in double figures was Izayah Le’afa, the Wellingtonian guard scoring 13 points on his Breakers debut.

Loe’s 12 points took him to 800 points for the Breakers. In addition with 108 games under his belt he sits 14th on the Breakers all-time appearance list. 

With 7 assists logged against Melbourne United McDowell-White needs just 3 more assists to tally 200 dimes for the club. After just 45 games he is already up to 13th on the Breakers all-time assists list, averaging 4.4 assists per game. 

The next assignment for the Breakers is a home game against the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers at Vector Arena on Friday night – October 7th, tip-off 7.30pm. Get along and support the team as they play the first home game since June 5, 2021.

Auckland contingent performed well at the Women’s U18 FIBA Asian Championship

Monday, September 12

New Zealand finished sixth at the 2022 FIBA U18 Asian Championship in Bengaluru, India last week, losing the 5th/6thplay-off game against Korea 73-56.

The four Aucklanders on the New Zealand team performed with distinction despite the one win, four loss record of the Kiwis.

All four ranked in the top five Kiwis in the major statistical categories with Westlake Girls Year 13 Mackenzie Chatfield leading the team in steals, assists and rebounds (5.4rpg). Her 4.6 assists per game ranked her 4th overall amongst all players in the 8 team tournament.

Former Baradene College forward Lilly Parke was the team’s leading scorer averaging 8.6 points per game. Now in her freshman year at Auburn University at Montgomery, Parke was also the second highest rebounder with 4.8 boards per game.

Ex-Epsom Girls Grammar standout Flo Dallow is also in her freshman year in the States at the University of Portland. She averaged 8 points and 4 rebounds per game – 4th highest in points and third in rebounds.

Massey High School Year 13 Allyah Leusogi-Ape was the fifth highest scorer (7.8ppg) and 3rd leading rebounder with 4.4 boards per game.

Its also worth mentioning the performance of Takapuna Grammar forward Qaizden Stephano who averaged 8.8 rebounds and 4.6 points for the Samoan U18 team that finished 4th in the B Division of the U18 Asian Championship, the tournament played simultaneously alongside the A Division.

Australia beat China 81-55 in the A Division Grand Final with Japan claiming bronze after a 77-45 defeat of Chinese Taipei. All four team qualified for the 2023 FIBA U19 World Cup in Spain.

Malaysia earned promotion to the A Division after downing Mongolia 64-53 in the B Division Grand Final. India will be the team relegated after being pipped 48-45 in the A Division 7th-8th play-off fixture. 

Past records of Auckland & Northland Girls teams at Nationals

With the Zone 1 Premierships (National Championships Qualifying Tournament) completed I’ve taken a look at the past performances of the six Zone 1 Schools that have qualified for the 2022 National Champs in Palmerston North next month.

There have been no champions from north of the Bombay Hills since Northcote College were the victors in 2006. 

Prior to that Avondale College won two consecutive National titles in 2004 and 2005 but since then Auckland school have had to be content with the minor medals.

Westlake Girls High have not finished lower than 9th in their last 8 appearances – 5 semi-final appearances and 2 bronze medal finishes in 2013 and 2018 the highlights. Emme Shearer, now at the University of Portland was named to the ‘18 Tournament Team and Bronwyn Kjestrup in ’13. 

Mt Albert Grammar School also have a good recent record with their 2022 qualification making it 10 appearances in 12 years. They have twice finished runners-up in recent years, beaten by St Peter’s, Cambridge in 2016 and Hamilton Girls High in 2012. Sharne Robati and Rhyannon Poto were named to the Tournament Team in ’16 and Kezeiah Lewis in ’12.

None of the other four Zone 1 qualifiers have much recent history to draw on.

Whangārei Girls High School, with their second place finish at Premierships, have become the first Northland girls team to clip a ticket to Nationals since Kamo College in 2005. It will be the first trip to Nationals for Girls High since the mid 1990’s!

The mums of two current players played on those 90’s teams that were coached by the legendary Matagini ‘Mata’ Cameron. 2022 player Mahinaarangi Kukutai-Wairau is the daughter of 90’s player Kay Wairau while Te Rina Cameron-Tama is the daughter of Jeannie Cameron. 

It hasn’t been quite that long since Takapuna Grammar School made an appearance but if I tell you Micaela Cocks was on the team you will know it’s been a while. It was 2004 and Cocks was in her last year of school and since then of course has gone on to become the most capped Tall Fern. Two years earlier Takapuna had finished runners-up to Church College.

Epsom Girls Grammar assistant coach Chanel Pompallier was on that 2002 Takapuna Grammar team. EGGS have been limited to just two appearances at Nationals (2007 and 2016), but buoyed by their 3rd place finish at Premierships will be hoping 2022 is the start of regular visits to Palmerston North.

Saint Kentigern College will be making their first appearance at Nationals since three consecutive trips from 2013 to 2015 – current Head Coach Darci Finnigan was a leading player on all three teams. 

Saint Kent’s are yet to make a Top-10 finish in five previous visits – could this be the year?

Notable absentees in 2022 are Rangitoto College and Auckland Girls Grammar School.

Rangitoto’s run of 15 straight appearances dating back to 2005 has comes to an end – they were runners up on 3 occasions and bronze medalists twice in that time.

The AGGS run is just one less at 14 years with three bronze medal performances during that time.

A grainy shot of 2006 champions Northcote College

Below is a list of the highest placed Zone 1 teams at Nationals in recent years including all medalists – records pre 2004 are not extensive.

2019 St Mary’s, Ponsonby – 3rd

2018 Westlake 3rd

2017 AGGS 3rd

2016 MAGS 2nd and AGGS 3rd

2015 Rangitoto 7th

2014 Westlake 4th

2013 Rangitoto 2nd and Westlake 3rd

2012 MAGS 2nd and Rangitoto 3rd

2011 Rangitoto 3rd

2010 AGGS 3rd

2009 MAGS 5th

2008 Rangitoto 2nd

2007 Rangitoto 2nd

2006 Northcote Winners

2005 Avondale Winners

2004 Avondale Winners

2003 Takapuna 3rd

2002 Takapuna 2nd

1999 Kaitaia College 2nd

1988 MAGS 2nd

1981 Selwyn College 2nd

Schools National Champs – records of 2022 qualifiers plus a little history.

With the Zone 1 Premierships (National Championships Qualifying Tournament) completed and a wet Monday driving me to the record books I’ve taken a look at the past performances of Auckland Schools at National Championships.

Here goes with the boys (girls to follow) bearing in mind on-line records only go back to 2004 when four future Tall Blacks were named to the Tournament Team that year.

Tom Abercrombie (Westlake Boys), Jeremaia Trueman (Nelson College), Alex Pledger (Hamilton Boys High) and Benny Anthony – 24 points for Avondale College in their Grand Final win against Mana College – were the recipients.

Since then Westlake Boys (5), Rosmini (3), Rangitoto (2), St Kentigern (1) have won 11 of the last 15 championships emphasizing the dominance the Auckland Schools have engineered since ’04.

Westlake Boys head to Nationals as the only team from the region to compete at every championship since ’04. In addition to the 5 championships, 2 silvers, and 2 bronze medals they have only finished outside the top ten once and that was a creditable 11th in 2018. That is some record.

Rangitoto College, National champions in 2015 and 2016, have only failed to qualify twice (06 and ’12) in the last 17 years. In addition to the two championships they have two silvers and a bronze with a total of 10 Top-10 finishes.

Like Rangitoto College, Auckland Grammar have only missed two championships since ’04. You have to go back to 1979 to find the only time Grammar have won the title although since claiming bronze in 2010 they have been a model of consistency with an impressive ten straight Top-10 finishes. Could this be their year to convert that consistency into a championship?

Attending just their 8th National Tournament Rosmini College boast a formidable record in that short time. They were crowned champions at their first appearance in 2011 and subsequently have finished 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 11th, 1st, 1st and 2nd.

Mt Albert Grammar are headed to the National Champs for a 7th straight year hoping to at least match the performance of 2017 when a 3rd place finish was the best in the school’s history.

St Kentigern College, lest we forget, are the defending champions! They defeated Rosmini in an all-Auckland final in 2019 and, having claimed bronze in 2018, will be hoping to medal again in their 7th championship appearance.

For Sacred Heart College the 2022 National Championships will be the school’s first ever appearance at the ‘Big Dance’. What a way for all the Year 13 students to end their collegiate careers!

In a trip down memory lane here is a list of the Auckland champions and MVP’s (bracketed) noting records from pre 2004 are less detailed.

1979 Auckland Grammar

1983 Kelston Boys High

1999 Avondale College (Lindsay Tait)

2004 Avondale College (Tyrone Davey)

2005 Westlake Boys (Corey Webster)

2006 Westlake Boys (Corey Webster)

2009 Westlake Boys (Rob Loe)

2011 Rosmini College (Ana Haku)

2012 Westlake Boys (Tai Webster)

2013 Westlake Boys (Jaylen Gerrand)

2015 Rangitoto College (Tai Wynyard)

2016 Rangitoto College (Sam Waardenburg)

2017 Rosmini College (Mitch Dance)

2018 Rosmini College (Mitch Dance)

2019 St Kentigern College (Shalom Broughton)

Westlake win Zone 1 Girls Premierships as Whangārei make history.

Westlake Girls claimed the headline by defeating Whangārei Girls High 74-47 to take out the Zone 1 Nationals Qualification Tournament at Eventfinda Stadium on Saturday night but it was the history making runners-up that were the main storyline.

Despite playing the whole tournament with just seven players Whangārei Girls High gave all the Auckland teams plenty of trouble winning four from five pool games, a quarter-final against St Kent’s and a semi against Takapuna Grammar – most the wins by a convincing margin.

Their trip down State Highway 1 has seen them become first Northland Girls team to clip a ticket to Nationals since Kamo College in 2005. It will be the first visit to Nationals for Girls High since the mid 1990’s!

In the final Westlake, as usual, enjoyed scoring contributions across the board with Izzy Pugh (19 points), Amiya Fotu (17 points) and Rebecca Moors (16 points) leading the way. Kiama Tahere scored 12 points and Mahina Kukutai-Wairau 15 points for Whangārei but all seven players put in a mighty shift.

If Whangārei’s effort was the major highlight of the tournament then the success of Takapuna Grammar and Epsom Girls Grammar were interesting sub plots. 

Takapuna’s opening round overtime victory against Baradene kick started their qualifying campaign perfectly. Qaizden Stephano was the hero with a buzzer beating three to tie the contest in regulation.

Takapuna went on to top Pool A despite Stephano’s interior prowess being lost – mid tournament she flew to India to link up with the Samoan U18 team at the Asia Cup.

The Senior A champions defeated Manurewa in the critical quarter-final tie 70-60 before fading in the semi and bronze medal games. Taka were well served throughout by Amy McKenzie, Zenthia Stowers and Bailey Flavell. 

Epsom Girls Grammar saved their best performances of the season until it mattered. They defeated Baradene College in the quarters and although they lost to Westlake in the semi’s they bounced back to defeat Takapuna 76-49 in the 3rd-4th play-off.

Draun Forbes, Maia Fowler and Leah Patuwarua were outstanding throughout for EGGS.

Mt Albert Grammar endured a horror start to the tournament losing both opening day games. They then lost point guard Danae Tait to an ankle injury in the tie against Takapuna on day two but recovered to win that game to ignite their campaign.

They lost to Westlake in the quarters but in the all-important classification game that followed they defeated Baradene College to secure an October visit to Palmerston North.

NZ U17 rep Waimanu Clarken averaged an impressive 26 points a game for MAGS. 

In contrast to MAGS, Saint Kentigern College made the perfect start winning both opening games but then lost their remaining three pool games and quarter-final against Whangārei.

They also needed to win their 6-8 classification game – in a nervy affair they beat Manurewa High School 59-52 and followed that with a 56-45 win against MAGS to secure 5th spot overall – Ashleigh Tuumaialu and Anamia Rangihaeta double digit scorers in both games.

Final placings of team headed to Nationals:

1 Westlake

2 Whangārei

3 Epsom

4 Takapuna

5 St Kentigern

6 MAGS

St Kent’s the champs as Nationals Qualifiers sorted

St Kentigern College, still the reigning champions from 2019 remember, will carry the number one seeding at the 2022 Secondary Schools National Championships in October after downing Westlake 96-71 in the Final of the Zone I Qualifying Tournament at Eventfinda Stadium on Saturday night.

While Dontae Russo-Nance orchestrated proceedings it was Merrick Rillstone’s night to hit the right chords as the rangy forward dropped a staggering 49 points in what turned out to be a one-sided affair. The U15 National Championship MVP had his shooting game in fine tune as his team plundered 51 second half points.

Westlake will be content with a second placed finish, having had to undergo a change of coaching staff prior to the start the tournament, but it promised more when they led 29-19 as Rocco Chang (17 points), Daniel Ottenhoff (16 points) and Hamza Zahran (29 points) began impressively.

The Swans were just three adrift at half-time (45-42) before a major momentum shift in the third became seismic in the fourth as Rillstone, Russo-Nance (26 points) and Hunter Te Ratna (15 points) produced a scoring medley to delight the St Kent’s followers.

Rangitoto College garnered a couple of useful scalps during the tournament and should have made it a third when they led Auckland Grammar 69-60 deep into the fourth quarter and by five points inside the final seconds of the 3rd/4th play-off game.

Some indecision in their ranks allowed Josh Howes to make a game levelling three, then Cody Brown (28 points) to make the go-ahead basket with time almost expired – Rangi, unable to come up with an answer on the final possession, were pipped 71-69.

A dozen points each from forwards Jacob Fotu and Tautoko Wynyard, plus 18 from livewire guard Michael Ropotini seemed to have done the trick until Brown pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat.

Rosmini College, one the back of a career best performance from young forward Julius Halaifonua (38 points), came from behind to pip Mt Albert Grammar in the 5th/6th place contest.

15 points apiece from Will Leger and Denvor Elia, plus 17 from Dante Matakatea gave MAGS the edge for long spells but Halaifonua and Tom Beattie (26 points) carried Rosmini to victory with a fourth quarter push.

Sacred Heart College claimed the coveted seventh spot at Nationals after defeating St Peter’s College 74-63 in the critical 7th/8th play-off game.

The contest was still in the balance at three-quarter time with St Peter’s only 4 points behind (54-50). 

However it was Josh Tengblad (13 points) and Adam Davies (21 points) that proved the difference makers in the fourth as Sacred Heart stamped their ticket for Palmerston North with a 20-13 closing run.

Milan Tolich (17 points), Scott Errey (15 points) and Dorian Sula (14 points) kept the Senior A champions in the hunt but they looked leg weary in the fourth and slipped to a disappointing defeat.

St Peter’s claim Senior A title in overtime thriller

In a cliffhanger Senior A Grand Final St Peter’s College needed overtime to see off the challenge of Avondale College before eventually winning 104-99.

In a game of see-sawing fortunes Avondale boasted a 78-67 lead early in the fourth quarter, were still 92-86 ahead with 90 seconds to play and looked destined for an upset win.

However, with their unbeaten record on the line Scott Errey, headed for a game high 43 points, halved the deficit before a Milan Tolich free-throw and an Andrei Manio two tied proceedings.

Blaze Murphy restored the Avondale advantage with 21 seconds remaining only for Dorian Sula to tie proceedings once more and send the game into an additional five minutes.

Errey and Bailey Smith put the Saints 5 points up in the extra spell before the excellent Jimitose Iosia-Sipeli (41 points) trimmed the deficit once more. However another Errey basket and a Manio free-throw sealed the deal for St Peter’s – a 16th straight win.

Earlier it was Avondale that made most the early running as they claimed an 18-16 first quarter lead and stretched the advantage to a 42-36 half time advantage with Iosia-Sipeli and Kabir Bhargava (28) causing most the headaches for the St Peter’s defence.

Manio gave the St Peter’s offence some impetus at the beginning of the third only for Avondale to unleash five threes, in a similar number of minutes, four of them from the hot hands of Bhargava.

St Peter’s preferred to accumulate points in the more orthodox fashion – Smith, Errey and Gus Dallow but Avondale were still in the box seat at three-quarter time ahead 73-68.

The sharp shooting Bhargava made his seventh three of the game to proceed the St Peter’s fight back and a fitting climax to an exciting final.

Both teams will now set their sights on claiming a spot at the Secondary Schools National Champs. Their qualifying campaigns begins on Wednesday.

St Peter’s 104 – Scott Errey 43, Andrei Manio 26, Bailey Smith 12, Dorian Sula 7, Gus Dallow 6, Milan Tolich 6

Avondale 99 – Jimitose Iosia-Sipeli 41, Kabir Bhargava 28, Connor Gleeson 10, Kaliomiha Talamahina 7 

Takapuna Grammar claim Girls Senior A title

Takapuna Grammar School defeated Northcote College 78-61 in the Auckland Secondary Schools Girls Senior A Grand Final at Eventfinda Stadium.

Paced by 33 points from guard Bailey Flavell Takapuna led at every quarter but Northcote showed commendable resilience – their challenge only overcome in the final quarter.

Qaizden Stephano opened the scoring with a trademark inside jumper – Lizzie May got Northcote on the board but they trailed 17-13 after quarter one.

Amy McKenzie scored 6 second quarter points but it was a ten minute period dominated by Grace Lai and Flavell. Lai scored 8 of her 9 points in the spell while Flavell buried three triples on her way to 11 points in the quarter and 17 at the half.

Takapuna ahead 36-26 at half-time.

With Stephano dominating the paint and Flavell controlling the backcourt Takapuna stretched their lead to 14 before Anna Dyachenko’s added a further three to the advantage.

To their credit Northcote weren’t about to throw the towel in. Triples from DJ Hannah and Lizzie May, plus inside baskets from Lily Morgan fuelled a 10-point run – the deficit trimmed to 8 points late in the spell. 

Amy McKenzie righted the ship for Takapuna with a brace of baskets – their lead 58-46 at three-quarter time.

Any thoughts of a fourth quarter Takapuna comeback were short lived as Flavell knocked down triple number eight and Manaia Watson connected from deep also.

Both teams will now set their sights on claiming a spot at the Secondary Schools National Champs. Their qualifying campaigns begins on Wednesday.

Takapuna 78 – Flavell 33 (8 made 3-pointers), Amy McKenzie 20, Qaizden Stephano 10, Anna Dyachenko 9

Northcote 61 – DJ Hannah 25, Lily Morgan 11, Grace Lai 9, Lizzie May 8

Westlake Girls clinch Prems title

Westlake Girls High School underlined their status as the number on basketball team in the region with an emphatic 87-54 victory against Mt Albert Grammar School in the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grand Final on Thursday night.

The early signs were encouraging for MAGS as they went toe-to-toe with the unbeaten regular season champions – Waimanu Clarken and April Liu ensuring it was only a one point deficit at quarter-time (16-15).

Points became harder to come by in the second period for MAGS whereas Westlake gave it the full throttle to rack up 29 as their lead climbed to 46-26 by half-time.

Mackenzie Chatfield orchestrated affairs with deft touch assists for teammates or scoring makes of her own. Amy Pateman and Rebecca Moors were beneficiaries of Chatfield assists and when Sarah Moors knocked down an arching three the lead was twenty points and MAGS were clinging on.

Any prospect of a MAGS comeback were put to bed immediately after the break as Westlake opened with an 11-2 run – Pateman with five of those.

Danae Tait nailed a deep three for MAGS but Chatfield sunk a couple from beyond the arc in response – the Westlake lead 73-45 at three-quarter time.

Waimanu Clarken worked tirelessly for MAGS with the NZ U17 representative tallying 23 points but the offensive prowess of Westlake was just too potent on the night.  

Both team will now prepare for the National Champs Qualifying Tournament commencing on Wednesday although Westlake will have to do so without Chatfield who will be with the New Zealand U18 team preparing for a trip to India for the upcoming FIBA Asia Championships.  

Westlake 87 – Chatfield 25, Pateman 16, R Moors 15, Amiya Fotu 9, Jaelah Clayton 9, S Moors 8

MAGS 54 – Clarken 23, Liu 10, D Tait 9

Rosmini claim Boys Prems title

An entertaining, keenly fought, Auckland Secondary Schools Boys Premier Grand Final went the way of Rosmini College with a 61-54 victory against Auckland Grammar School on Thursday night.

When Cody Brown, In front of a boisterous crowd at Eventfinda Stadium, gave Grammar their first lead of the game early in the final period it was the away fans that had most to cheer.

There was even more for those fans to celebrate at the mid-point of the fourth when forward Will Shortt connected from beyond the arc to stretch the Grammar lead to 5 points (49-44).

Having been held to just 13 points in the previous 15 minutes the Rosmini offense suddenly sprung to life. An inside basket from Julius Halaifonua proceeded a game tying triple from Tom Beattie and a go ahead basket from Jameer Reed to put Rosmini ahead 51-49 with 2:30 to play.

The two team had struggled to shoot the ball consistently throughout the game and the trend continued in the final couple of minutes as both relied on trips to the foul line for points.

Shortt and Beattie exchanged free throws but inside the final 60 seconds a couple of Grammar turnovers proved costly as they were punished by Rosmini – Dalton and Beattie making no mistake from the charity stripe on both occasions. 

Josh Muggleston made a late three but it was too little to affect the outcome.

Earlier Rosmini had opened with a 12-2 burst and were still ahead at quarter time (16-10).

Brown and Ryan Hunt featured strongly for Grammar in the second but Dalton and Halaifonua maintained the Rosmini advantage at half time (31-22).

Grammar began to find some offensive fluidity in the third – Shortt and Jackson Kiss helping narrow the deficit to 41-38 at three-quarter time.

Muggleston and Brown quickly erased the arrears at the start of the fourth to set up a tense finish.

Rosmini 60 – Beattie 24, Dalton 14, Halaifonua 11

AGS 54 – Muggleston 15, Brown 13, Shortt 12, Kiss 6

Girls Senior A and Prems finalists found

The Auckland Secondary Schools Girls Premier Grade Grand Final next Thursday will be between Westlake Girls High and Mt Albert Grammar after Westlake defeated St Kentigern College 110-29 and MAGS overcame Baradene College 53-50 in semi-final ties at Eventfinda Stadium on Friday.

The Senior A Grand Final will be an all North Shore affair with Takapuna Grammar taking on Northcote College.

Due to my commitments to the Women’s D League (Saturday) and Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa (Sunday) the wrap on the semi-finals is a little less detailed than normal.

The Westlake against St Kentigern College matchup was a disappointingly one-sided affair won 110-29 by unbeaten Westlake. The Lake lead was 25-9 at quarter time and grew steadily throughout the contest.

St Kentigern 29 – Ashleigh Tuumaialu 11, Anamia Rangihaeata 9, Maia Mealamu 4

Westlake 110 – Mackenzie Chatfield 33, Izzy Pugh 22, Rebecca Moors 19, Amy Pateman 13, Jaelah Clayton 11

In contrast the other semi-final wasn’t decided until the final possession of the contest, a go-ahead banked three from Danae Tait with 12 seconds to play proving to be the game winner.

Having trailed 45-32 half way through the final quarter, and shots not dropping, Baradene looked dead and buried.

However back-to-back scores from Ritorya Tamilo plus an And-1 play from Summer Faleafa sparked a Baradene revival.

When Baradene point guard Deyna Topia scored inside the last three minutes it was just a three point deficit (47-44). Wai Clarken (25 points) extended the MAGS advantage to five but Baradene were on a roll.

A Tamilo score preceded a Poppy Cavanagh-Briggs make and when the same player found herself unmarked for an open layup Baradene were ahead 50-49 with 32 seconds left on the clock.

The next MAGS possession seemed to be fizzling out until Tait’s 3-point effort found the net via the backboard.

Baradene couldn’t make anything of their final possession – Clarken, at the other end, icing the game from the foul line to see MAGS home in a thrilling finish.

Baradene 50 – Summer Faleafa 15, Ritorya Tamilo 13, Deyna Topia 11, Poppy Cavanagh-Briggs 6

MAGS 53 – Wai Clarken 23, Danae Tait 11, Valana Pupuke-Robati 10

There was no such drama in the Senior A semi’s with Takapuna Grammar and Northcote College advancing with almost identical scorelines. Takapuna defeated Manurewa High 73-49 with Northcote winning 73-51 against Massey High.

Takapuna were given some trouble by Manurewa in the early stages, their lead only 16-12 at quarter time and 25-16 midway through the second.

It was Sela Uluheua and Bella Manu-Moore providing most the scoring firepower for Manurewa who were still in the contest close to the three-quarter mark.

However a 10-0 Takapuna run, either side of that mark, broke the Manurewa resistance. Takapuna were paced by a game high 26 points from Amy McKenzie with Qaizden Stephano and Bailey Flavell the other double figure contributors.

Takapuna 73 – Amy McKenzie 26, Bailey Flavell 17, Qaizden Stephano 16, Manaia Watson 9

Manurewa 49 – Sela Uluheua 19, Bella Manu-Moore 11, Zhendy Li 9

Northcote College bossed proceedings throughout against Massey High School who were hampered by having just five players.

With Lizzie May and Nikki Gear in good touch Northcote had a 22-11 lead at quarter-time, 42-22 at half-time and 59-33 at three-quarter time. The result was not in doubt at that stage but to their credit the ‘Massey Five’ were competitive to the end and took the fourth period 18-14, Allyah Leusogi-Ape their top scorer with 20 points.

Northcote with the win and a grand final date with Takapuna on Thursday.

Northcote 73 – Lizzie May 22, Nikki Gear 17, DJ Hannah 13, Lily Morgan 10

Massey 51 – Allyah Leusogi-Ape 20, Kortni Waikiki 12, Tahlya Waikiki 10, Zhoey Tilby-Woods 7

Auckland Dream win D League Grand Final

Etco Auckland Dream have been crowned the 2022 Women’s D League champions after defeating the Otago Gold Rush 74-60 at Eventfinda Stadium on Saturday.

The victory was far from straight forward with a resolute Gold Rush out of the blocks the quicker opening up an 11-6 lead, extended to 16-10 at the quarter mark.

In a contrast of styles the guard dominant Dream were being outworked by the front court orientated Gold Rush but made an adjustment in the second. Moving to a two-forwards axis produced immediate dividends as Coola Baudry and Trinity Paeu combined to reduce the deficit to one point.

Baudry gave the Dream its first lead of the game – a dominant second spell meaning they held a 34-29 lead at half-time.

The momentum remained with the Dream at the start of the third with the guards taking their turn to inflict damage – Summer Jean Motufoua, Darci Finnigan and Riana Rangi-Brown taking them to a 45-33 lead.

The response came from Hannah Beede and Sophie Adams (14 points and 18 rebounds), although Rangi-Brown (11 points in the quarter) had the last say of the period – 56-44 the Dream lead with 10 minutes to play.

Twenty points down at the mid-point of the fourth Otago weren’t throwing the towel in – Hannah Matahaere initiated a 7-0 run to fuel the optimism of the travelling supporters.

Fittingly player-coach Darci Finnigan and Tournament MVP Rangi-Brown (25 points) were the next two scorers as the Dream snuffed out the Gold Rush challenge to deservedly take the title.

Auckland Dream 74 – Rangi-Brown 25, Baudry 12, Motufoua 12, Finnigan 9

Otago Gold Rush 60 – Matahaere 15, Adams 14/18rebs, Mitchell 10, Beede 9

The 3rd/4th place game went the way of Canterbury after they defeated Harbour Breeze 73-65.

Canterbury: N Gleason 19, K Herman 17, L Pale 14, H Mischewski 9, K Williams 9

Harbour: H Wentworth 19, Y Negishi 12, N Scales 11, I Pugh 9

Other Placing Results:

5th/6th Waikato Wizards 95 Rotorua Lady Geysers 67

7th/8 Taranaki Airs 76 Southland Storm 56

9th Northland

10th Manawatu

11th Tauranga City Coasters

12th Auckland Dream Blue

Tournament Team

Alyssa Hirawani (Waikato)

Hannah Wentworth (Harbour)

Nicole Gleeson (Canterbury)

Karereatu Williams (Canterbury)

Sophie Adams (Otago)

Caitlin O’Connell (Otago)

Hannah Matahaere (Otago)

Darci Finnigan (Auckland)

Trinity Paeu (Auckland)

MVP – Riana Rangi-Brown (Auckland)

Boys Senior A and Prem finalists found

The Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade Grand Final next Thursday will be between Auckland Grammar School and Rosmini College after AGS defeated Westlake 78-56 and Rosmini overcame Rangitoto College 88-65 in semi-final ties at Eventfinda Stadium on Friday.

St Peter’s remain undefeated in Senior A after downing Manurewa High 76-59 and now face Avondale College in the championship game after they prevailed 90-77 against Northcote College

Due to my commitments to the Women’s D League (Saturday) and Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa (Sunday) the wrap on the semi-finals is in a little less detail than normal.

Auckland Grammar were locked in defensively holding Westlake to 18 points at half-time to lead by 15 points.

Westlake failed to break the shackles in the third, the contest settled by the three-quarter mark with Grammar ahead 58-30.

Hamza Zahran scored 16 points but it was an offensive struggle all game for Lake. Grammar were ably led by Josh Muggleston – 26 points, including 6 triples, for the industrious guard. 

AGS 78 – Muggleston 26, Cody Brown 16, Blake Manning 11, Ryan Hunt 9, Will Shortt 6

Westlake 56 – Zahran 16, Rocco Chang 12, Daniel Ottenhoff 8

Rangitoto College made the early running against Rosmini College with Jacob Fotu and Tautoko Wynyard doing damaging inside work – 9 points ahead in the middle of the second and still 4 up at half-time (39-35).

Rosmini blew the game open either side of the three-quarter time break. Tom Beattie and Charlie Dalton were the catalyst behind a 28-2 run that settled the contest.

Rosmini 88 – Beattie 34, Dalton 29, Julius Halaifonua 9, Kane Murphy 8

Rangitoto 65 – Wynyard 15, Arnold Nam 15, Fotu 11, Jimmy Kim 9

In Senior A it was Avondale College that prevailed against Northcote College but the 90-77 margin was far less comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

The scores were tied at 67 points apiece early in the fourth and when Aaron Sievert knocked down a trademark three Northcote trailed by a single point inside the final 6 minutes.

A Kabir Bhargava triple was an almost immediate response although at the 2:30 mark the Avondale lead was still only 6 (80-74).

Connor Gleeson’s accuracy from the foul line shepherded Avondale through the closing stages to set up a Grand Final matchup with St Peter’s College.

Avondale 90 – Gleeson 24, Jimitose Iosia-Sipeli 22, Bhargava 21, Andrew Murphy 7, Blaze Phillips 6

Northcote 77 – Sievert 32, Tom Bates 18, Dontaye  Sowman-Faaee 16   

St Peter’s, led by Scott Errey and Andrei Manio, saw of a spirited Manurewa High challenge before eventually winning 76-59.

Ahead 40-22 at half-time it appeared as if St Peter’s might cruise to a comfortable win but led by NZ U17 rep William Passi – his baseline drive and dunk one of the plays of the day – Manurewa resisted strongly.

They shaded the third period 23-22 and tied the fourth but St Peter’s had done the hard graft in the first half and deservedly preserved their unbeaten record ahead of the Avondale College challenge next Thursday.

St Peter’s 76 – Manio 27, Errey 20, Luke Thompson 10, Bailey Smith 8

Manurewa 59 – William Passi 14, Alex Hughes 10, Brian Tapu 10, Richard Campbell 10, Ryan Ancha 6

D League semi-finals settled

Basketball

The Women’s D League Grand Final will be a North Island versus South Island affair with Etco Auckland Dream Black taking on Otago Gold Rush on Saturday afternoon at Eventfinda Stadium in Auckland.

In the first semi-final on Friday the Etco Auckland Dream comfortably held off the challenge of the Platinum Homes Harbour Breeze winning the Battle of the Bridge 88-65.

Resolute defence and a superior shooting performance got the Dream home. In comparison to Harbour’s 2 from 22 from beyond the arc Auckland had six different players connect from deep for a combined 9 from 22 (40%).

Riana Rangi-Brown led the Dream scoring with 18 points, the livewire guard receiving able support from Summer-Jean Motufoua (16 points).  Elianna Tuaiti, Casyn Buchman and Coola Baudry were also double figure contributors.

For the Breeze the Westlake Girls High duo of MacKenzie Chatfield and Izzy Pugh led the way with 20 points and 18 respectively.

The Dream set the tone early on – Rangi-Brown helping herself to 9 points in a 19-11 opening salvo.

Chatfield, having played for the Northern Kāhu in Wellington the night before, made 8 second quarter points for the Breeze but a triple from Dream player-coach Darci Finnigan kept her team in the ascendancy.

Another trey from Buchman helped further – Dream 37-33 ahead at half-time.

Dream quickly established a 10-point lead and when Trinity Paeu hit a baseline jumper the margin was up to 13 (54-41).

Pugh reduced the dficit back to 10 but it was just a brief respite as the Dream 3-point shooting heated up – closing the quarter with a 14-4 run they held all the cards at three-quarter time with a 68-48 lead. 

The Breeze made a 6-0 run to threaten a comeback but it was a mere temporary inconvenience for the Dream as they comfortably advanced to Saturday’s final.

Dream 88 – Rangi-Brown 18, Motufoua 16, Baudry 11, Tuaiti 11, Buchman 10 

Breeze 65 – Chatfield 20, Pugh 18/10rebs, Anderson 10, Negishi 7

In the second semi the all-South Island dual went the way of Otago Gold Rush defeating Canterbury 80-69.

Sophie Adams posted a big double-double of 24 points (9/12FG) and 13 points – Tyler Mitchell also played a good hand with 14 points. Hannah Matehaere joined Adams in double-double territory with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Caitlin O’Connell was within a point of a DD with 9 points and 10 rebounds. The rebounding numbers were heavily in favour of Otago as they won the battle on the boards 63-45.

Gemma Etheridge (9 points and 10 rebounds) and Hannah Mischewski (9 points) supported Nicole Gleason’s team high 21 points but it wasn’t quite enough to see off their southern neighbours. 

Adams had 13 points to her name as Otago edged the opening quarter 21-19.

Gleason scored 9 points in the second period and with Tatiana Kaumoana draining a long three it was the Cantabs with the half-time advantage (36-33).

That lead was quickly erased by Matehaere before Annabelle Ring gave Otago the lead. Tyler Mitchell (14 points) made some telling scores as Gold Rush took the third 20-12 to lead 53-48 at the last break.

A Karereatua triple three minutes into the fourth pulled Canterbury to within a point (61-59) and a grandstand finish looked on the cards.

However Otago, as they had in the quarter final win against Waikato, controlled the closing minutes. They outscored Canterbury 11-2 over the following five minutes to establish a 72-61 advantage.

Canterbury were unable to put a dent in that lead, Otago marching on to a Dream final!

Gold Rush 80 – Adams 24, Mitchell 14, Matehaere 12, O’Connell 9 

Canterbury 69 – Gleason 21, Herman 9, Etheridge 9, Mischewski 9

D League – Day 2 wrap as semi-finalists are found

There was plenty of action on Day 2 of the Women’s D League at Eventfinda Stadium in Auckland on Thursday.

After four Preliminary Quarter-Finals in the morning and Quarter-Finals in the second half of the day the 12 team field has been narrowed to four with Friday’s semi-finalists being Canterbury, Otago Gold Rush, Auckland Dream and Harbour Breeze.

In the all South Island tie Canterbury enjoyed 20-point performances from Nicole Gleason and Karereatua Williams as they recorded a decisive 95-62 victory.

A competitive first period was edged 19-15 by Canterbury before Southland were held to just 10 points in the second quarter to find themselves 44-25 in arrears at the interval.

Canterbury eased away in the second half to book their semi-final berth.

Southland 62 – J O’Connell 16, M Hunter 12, M Tinnock 11

Canterbury 95 – N Gleason 24, K Williams 21, G Etheridge 11, L Pale 10

Defending champions Rotorua Lady Geysers were ousted 95-62 by Etco Auckland Dream.

The Dream powered to a 27-15 first quarter lead, increased that to 45-25 by half-time and built that steadily throughout the second half.

Riana Rangi-Brown paced the Dream effort with 31 points.

Auckland 99 – R Rangi-Brown 31, C Buchman 14, W Clarken 11, T Paeu 8

Rotorua 56 – A Haumaha 17, C Lacey-Rameka 13, M Mapengo 13, P Pene 7

In the game of the day Otago Gold Rush held off Waikato Wizards to win 70-64 in a tight finish. 

Trailing 64-63 with 90 seconds to play Otago held their nerve down the stretch to clinch the tie in an exciting finish.

Otago forward Hannah Matehaere, on her way to a game high 25 points, made the go-ahead scores. With Caitlin O’Connell and Hannah Beede solid from the foul line and Waikato held scoreless Otago prevailed to earn a semi-final match up with Canterbury. 

With Ariel Cowley in good touch Waikato opened up an 8-point lead after half-time only to be pegged back by the three-quarter mark – 51 points apiece at that point.

It remained a one possession game throughout the fourth before Matehaere and Otago sealed the victory to earn a semi-final match up against Canterbury.

Otago 70 – H Matehaere 25, H Beede 12, C O’Connell 11, A Ring 7

Waikato 64 – A Cowley 15, S Walker-Pitman 12, R Walker-Pitman 12, H Moala 11

SealesWinslow Taranaki Thunder made a bright start against Platinum Homes Harbour Breeze before going down 70-47.

The Thunder, with Daneka Tu’lneau dominating inside, were ahead 15-12 at quarter time. Still all square early in the second, the Breeze then grabbed the initiative to lead 37-30 at half-time – Yume Negishi impressing for Harbour.

Taranaki ran out of gas in the third outscored 24-6 to trail 61-36 at three-quarter time – Harbour headed to a Battle of the Bridge against Auckland Dream on Friday.

Taranaki 47 – D Tu’lneau 14, E Trolove 7

Harbour Breeze 70 – Y Negishi 16, I Pugh 16, N Scales 15, H Wentworth 8

Friday’s Semi—Final Draw

Canterbury v Otago

Auckland v Harbour

Preliminary Quarter-Finals Results:

Rotorua Lady Geysers 78 Etco Auckland Dream Blue 64

Manawatu 42 Canterbury 115

Northland Phoenix 35 Waikato Wizards 82

Auckland Grammar beat Rangitoto to wrap up Boys Prems regular season.

Auckland Grammar School recorded a 79-65 come from behind victory against Rangitoto College on Sunday.

In the make-up game from Round 10 it was Rangitoto that made the early running – 8 points each from Michael Ropotini and Jacob Fotu carving out a 21-16 lead.

The second quarter was something of a grind – just 12 points scored by each team.

It was all AGS in the third quarter as they turned a 5 points deficit into a 7 point lead.

Josh Muggleston nailed a couple of threes as he scored 10 points in the period and with Josh Howes also connecting from beyond the arc it was Grammar in the ascendancy.

The fourth period was the highest scoring quarter of the game. 

Joel Brown and Arnold Nam made scoring incursions for Rangitoto but it was Cody Brown, Howes and Muggleston that ensured it would be a Grammar victory ahead of their semi-final against Westlake Boys.

Rangitoto finished with the same 7-7 record as St Kentigern and Mt Albert Grammar but claim the fourth semi-final spot with a better head-to-head record amongst the three teams.

AGS 79 – Josh Muggleston 20, Ryan Hunt 16, Josh Howes 15, Cody Brown 12

Rangitoto 65 – Michael Ropotini 17, Tautoko Wynyard 14, Joel Brown 13, Jacob Fotu 11

Final Standings 

12-2 Rosmini

11-3 Westlake

10-4 AGS

7-7 Rangitoto

——————-

7-7 St Kentigern, MAGS

2-12 Sacred Heart

0-14 Liston

The semi-finals will be played at Eventfinda Stadium on Friday August 19.

The final regular season round of games played on Friday saw Boys Premier League wins for Westlake Boys, Rangitoto College, Mt Albert Grammar and Auckland Grammar.

In the most critical game Rangitoto College defeated Liston College and in so doing collected a seventh win of the season and with it a semi-final berth.

Rangi have a rearranged game against Auckland Grammar to play on Sunday however, with seven wins and the head to head advantage over St Kentigern and Mt Albert (both with seven wins also), the result would appear to be immaterial in terms of the semi-final lineups.

Rosmini will play Rangitoto in one semi-final with Westlake and AGS meeting in the other.

Against Liston College, Rangitoto had six players in double figures as they won every quarter to cruise to a 95-43 home win.

It’s been a tough campaign for Liston but the players deserve credit for playing with commitment and pride throughout the season.

Rangitoto 95 – Jacob Fotu 19, Arnold Nam 13, Tautoko Wynyard 12, Baxter Riley 12, Kaia Kemp 11, Joel Brown 11, Michael Ropotini 9

Liston 43 – Rasheed Ieremia 14, Sebastian Alan 7, Manuel Tuaere 7

In the clash between the top two sides it was Westlake Boys that came out on top registering an 85-74 away win at neighbours Rosmini College.

Malachi Book scored a season high 20 points for Westlake as they got off to a flyer establishing a 21-13 advantage.

Tom Beattie scored 10 second quarter points on his way to a game high 31 points – the period shared 18 points apiece.

The third was just as close – Book and Hamza Zahran countering the scoring of Beattie and Julius Halaifonua – the Lake lead ten points at three-quarter time.

A triple from Charlie Dalton and points from Jameer Reed were encouraging for the home supporters but Daniel Ottenhoff, Rocco Chang and Ned Shearer ensured the Westlake advantage wasn’t squandered.

Rosmini 74 – Beattie 31, Charlie Dalton 15, Julius Halaifonua 10, Jameer Reed 10,

Westlake 85 – Malachi Book 20, Zahran 20, Daniel Ottenhoff 18, Chang 15, Ned Shearer 9

Nine points from Denvor Elia helped propel Mt Albert Grammar to a big 22-7 quarter time lead against Sacred Heart College.

Matt Fautuaalii and Josh Stewart improved the situation for Sacred Heart in the second but they still trailed 35-21 at half-time.

A high scoring third period was edged 25-24 by MAGS – a couple of threes from Kade Cartwright, plus contributions from Will Leger and Lois Uri ensured the hosts remained ahead at three-quarter time.

Heart kept plugging away in the final period – Jerome Jakeman, with three triples, and Stewart combined for 19 points but MAGS had a large enough buffer to close out the victory.

MAGS 75 – Will Leger 15/17rebs, Louis Uri 15, Ethan Lay 14, Kade Cartwright 12, Denvor Elia 11
Sacred Heart 64 – Josh Stewart 21, Jerome Jakeman 12, Adam Davies 10, Matt Fautuaalii 8

Auckland Grammar eased to a comfortable 95-69 home win against Saint Kentigern College on the back of 32 points from Josh Mugglestone. He had 7 points in the opening quarter, as did Kalid Petzer, the lead 29-19 at quarter time.

Without Dontae Russo-Nance, Merrick Rillstone was carrying a heavy scoring load – recently named to the NZ U15 team he was up to 15 points by half-time although the Grammar lead had grown to 48-35.

St Kent’s guards George Turner and Cooper Lepou – also named to the national U15 team – made points in the third. However Mugglestone, Cody Brown and Theo Brothers were instrumental in increasing the AGS lead – the advantage 17 points at the three-quarter mark (69-52) and 26 by full time.

AGS 95 – Josh Mugglestone 32, Cody Brown 14, Kalid Petzer 11, Theo Brothers 10, Jackson Kiss 8 

St Kentigern 69 – Merrick Rillstone 24, George Turner 13, Hunter Te Ratana 11, Cooper Lepou 8

Senior A Girls – Round 14 wrap

Takapuna Grammar were denied an unbeaten Senior A season by Massey High, the hosts winning the contest 88-79 in overtime. In a high scoring contest opposing guards Allyah Leusogi-Ape and Bailey Flavell each posted 36 points.

Massey led 19-17 at quarter time before moving up a gear in the second to stretch the advantage to 38-30. Leusogi-Ape nailed 10 points in the second period – Amy McKenzie 8 points for Takapuna.

Takapuna appeared headed for victory in the third as they moved ahead 59-53 only to be pegged back in the final quarter – Leusogi-Ape making 16 points in the period – the two teams level, 74-all at the end of regulation.

A big three from Kortni Waikiki (28 points) set Massey on their way in the extra 5 minutes. Flavell, named recently to the New Zealand U15 team, and Qaizden Stephano made baskets for Takapuna but Massey closed out the confidence boosting win – Cyntalia Schuster adding to further makes from Leusogi-Ape and Kortni Waikiki down the stretch.

Takapuna will look to rebound in their semi-final tie on Friday.

Massey 88 – Allyah Leusogi-Ape 36, Kortni Waikiki 28, Zhoey Tilby-Woods 9, Cyntalia Schuster 6, Tahlya Waikiki 6

Takapuna 79 – Bailey Flavell 35, Amy McKenzie 20, Manaia Watson 14, Qaizden Stephano 8

Shirley Tuilimu and Sela Uluheua scored 18 points apiece as Manurewa High School warmed up for semi-final action with a 67-50 away win.

Luiza Teariki and Tatyana Ioelu landed threes for Auckland Grammar in the opening quarter but it was Manurewa making the better progress – up 20-14.

An even second period followed, the Manurewa lead being 34-26 at half-time.

The third quarter was won decisively by Manurewa 25-8. Lavinia Liufau, Tuilimu and Sela Uluheua did most the damage as the visitors eased to a win ahead of that semi-final on Friday.

AGGS 50 – Faith Hurt 12, Luiza Teariki 10, Aja Tarawa 10, Tatyana Ioelu 7, Ryn Nikoia 6

Manurewa 67 – Shirley Tuilimu 18, Sela Uluheua 18, Lavinia Liufau 10, Zhendy Li 6

Paced by a game high 24 points from Nellie Ioane Mount Roskill Grammar recorded a meritorious 47-43 home win against One Tree Hill College.

Ioane and Billee Koonwaiyou initiated a fine start for Roskill as they charged to a 16-6 quarter lead.

Momentum changed in the middle stages as Milla Eckford and Melaia Tuisuva led the One Tree Hill revival. OTH trailed 24-20 at half-time before hitting the front at 31-30.

However it was Roskill that would have the better of the final ten minutes – Ioane scored 11 points in the fourth and with Adra Kaufusi chipping in with a pair of crucial scores it was the hosts that prevailed in a nail biter.

Mt Roskill 47 – Nellie Ioane 24, Billee Koonwaiyou 11, Adra Kaufusi 6

OTH 43 – Milla Eckford 11, Melaia Tuisuva 10, Harriate Heta 7, Sophia Govind 6

Avondale College defaulted the fixture against Northcote College.

Standings:

13-1 Takapuna

11-3 Northcote

10-4 Massey

9-4 Manurewa

5-9 AGGS

4-10 One Tree Hill

3-10 Mt Roskill

0-13 Avondale

*The outcome of the unplayed game between Manurewa and Avondale has not been published.

Senior A Boys – Round 14 wrap

The Senior A regular season has concluded but there appears to be an unplayed game between Manurewa High School and Avondale College. The result of that game will determine the semi-final line-ups – St Peters College and Northcote College are confirmed in the top two positions.

St Peter’s College completed an unbeaten regular season with a 105-66 home win against Manurewa High School.

St Peter’s were out the gate quickly establishing a 27-21 advantage and were close to top gear in the second to lead 47-32 at half-time despite 10 points from Manurewa’s William Passi and 9 from Brian Tapu.

Scott Errey led all scorers at the break with 18 points.

The second half produced a career night for Andrei Manio who knocked down six threes on his way to 33 points. 

Cobain David joined in the three-point frenzy in the final period – all 12 of his points coming from shots made from beyond the arc.

Alex Hughes top scored for Manurewa but it was a night when his team came off second best.

St Peter’s 105 – Andrei Manio 33, Scott Errey 28, Cobain David 12, Bailey Smith 12, Milan Tolich 10

Manurewa 66 – Alex Hughes 20, Brian Tapu 14, William Passi 11, Annun Leng 5

Northcote College slipped to a 91-82 home defeat to Avondale College but still retained second spot on the Senior A ladder ahead of Friday’s semi-finals.

Aaron Sievert scored 33 points for Northcote but for once was outscored on his home court as Jimi Iosia-Sipeli piled on a season best 41 points.

Northcote had the better of the first quarter (24-19), Avondale prevailed in the second, 44-43 to the hosts at the interval.

The third quarter proved decisive as Avondale claimed it 23-15. Iosia-Sipeli scored 10 points  in the period while Connor Gleeson’s late three stretched the advantage to 66-59.

Sievert posted 15 fourth quarter points but the Avondale resistance was steadfast as they claimed a fine road win.   

Northcote 82 – Aaron Sievert 33, Tom Bates 10, Tane Cook 10, Dontaye Sowman-Faaee 7, Tzion Manoa 8, Marley Rennie 6

Avondale 91 – Jimi Iosia-Sipeli 41, #10 Nathaniel T 15, Connor Gleeson 13, Kabir Bhargava 9

In other results Aorere College beat Dilworth 62-58 and Mount Roskill Grammar defeated Macleans College 106-69.

Standings 

14-0 St Peter’s

9-5 Northcote

8-5 Avondale

7-6 Manurewa

7-7 Mt Roskill

5-9 Dilworth

4-10 Aorere

1-13 Macleans

Girls Prems – Regular season completed

The final round of Girls Premier Grade regular season action saw wins for Mt Albert Grammar, Westlake, Rangitoto College and St Kentigern College. 

In a dress rehearsal for next Friday’s semi-final match up Mt Albert Grammar School defeated Baradene College 91-75.

The game featured three stunning scoring performances. Mt Albert’s NZ U17 rep Waimanu Clarken put together a 46-point game, the highest individual score in Prem Girls games this season. Giving great support was April Liu, compiling a career best 34 points.

For Baradene, Deyna Topia was also in excellent form tallying a team high 30 points. 

Baradene made the slightly better start to lead 18-15 at quarter time although MAGS reversed that in the second to lead 38-37 at the interval.

The third was a high scoring affair as Clarken and Liu combined for all 27 of Mt Albert’s points in the period – one they won to stretch out to a 65-58 lead.

Summer Faleafa and Ritorya Tamilo chipped in with a couple of scores but Baradene were leaning heavily on Topia. The point guard scored 11 points in the closing quarter but the Clarken-Liu combo continued to stretch the MAGS advantage.

The two teams will do it all again on Friday!

MAGS 91 – Clarken 46, Liu 24, Danae Tait 7

Baradene 76 – Topia 30, Faleafa 15, Tamilo 14, Amelia Nathen 8

Rangitoto College climbed off the bottom of the table with a 72-53 home win against St Mary’s College.

Rangitoto were paced by a 21 points performance from Mela Andrews – Faith Ualika leading the way for St Mary’s with 16 points.

Rangitoto led 34-28 at half-time but it was a decisive third quarter in which they outscored the visitors 28-6 that decided the tie. Multiple scorers fuelled the 28-point run, most noticeably Andrews, Alicia Carr, Tamsin McAsey and Zaara Sain.

St Mary’s rallied in the fourth courtesy of India Nash and Layla Aholelei but the deficit was far too big to claw back.

Rangitoto 72 – Mela Andrews 21, Alicia Carr 11, Casey Devonshire 11, Tamsin McAsey 8, Zaara Sain 8, Aroha Riley 7

St Mary’s 53 – Faith Ualika 16, India Nash 13, Layla Aholelei 12, Christiana Setu 4

Westlake Girls completed an unbeaten regular season with a 120-40 win against Carmel College and will face St Kentigern College in semi-final play on Friday.

Westlake 120 – Mackenzie Chatfield 22, Izzy Pugh 22, Amiya Fotu 17, Amy Pateman 15, Rebecca Moors 14, Hannah Richardson 8

Carmel 40 – Jemma Cammell 15, Ruby Railton 10, Zahara Tibbotts 8

In the game played on Thursday Saint Kentigern College claimed the last Prem Girls semi-final berth with a tense 61-57 victory at Epsom Girls Grammar.

The final regular season game for both teams in effect became a quarter-final tie as both had an identical 7-6 record leading into the contest.

The opening exchanges favoured Epsom, Mihinoa Tanghaere’s basket late in the first quarter, extending the host’s advantage to 20-15 at the first break.

The second period was something of a shoot-out between Epsom guard Draun Forbes and St Kent’s Nerisa Vavau.

The pair sunk three triples apiece – points late in the quarter from Maya Fowler kept Epsom ahead 35-32 at half-time.

Forbes added a fourth three in the third although Sharmaine Taplin countered in kind as the Epsom lead shrunk to 2 points at three-quarter time (48-46)

The fourth was a tight tussle but it was 7 points from Tapling that seized the momentum for St Kent’s – Mania Rogers and Ashleigh Tuumaialu added valuable points as the visitors closed out a hard fought victory.

St Kent’s will now lineup against Westlake Girls in a semi-final tie next Friday at Eventfinda Stadium. 

Epsom 57 – Draun Forbes 24, Leah Patuwairua 12, Maya Fowler 11

St Kentigern 61 – Ashleigh Tuumaialu 17, Sharmaine Tapling 14, Maia Bennett 12, Nerisa Vavau 9, Mania Rogers 6

Standings:

14-0 Westlake 

11-3 Baradene

10-4 MAGS 

8-6 St Kentigern

7-7 Epsom

3-11 St Mary’s

2-12 Rangitoto

1-13 Carmel

Boys Prems – Round 14 wrap

The final regular season round of games saw Boys Premier League wins for Westlake Boys, Rangitoto College, Mt Albert Grammar and Auckland Grammar.

In the most critical game Rangitoto College defeated Liston College and in so doing collected a seventh win of the season and with it a semi-final berth.

Rangi have a rearranged game against Auckland Grammar to play on Sunday however, with seven wins and the head to head advantage over St Kentigern and Mt Albert (both with seven wins also), the result would appear to be immaterial in terms of the semi-final lineups.

Rosmini will play Rangitoto in one semi-final with Westlake and AGS meeting in the other.

Against Liston College, Rangitoto had six players in double figures as they won every quarter to cruise to a 95-43 home win.

It’s been a tough campaign for Liston but the players deserve credit for playing with commitment and pride throughout the season.

Rangitoto 95 – Jacob Fotu 19, Arnold Nam 13, Tautoko Wynyard 12, Baxter Riley 12, Kaia Kemp 11, Joel Brown 11, Michael Ropotini 9

Liston 43 – Rasheed Ieremia 14, Sebastian Alan 7, Manuel Tuaere 7

In the clash between the top two sides it was Westlake Boys that came out on top registering an 85-74 away win at neighbours Rosmini College.

Malachi Book scored a season high 20 points for Westlake as they got off to a flyer establishing a 21-13 advantage.

Tom Beattie scored 10 second quarter points on his way to a game high 31 points – the period shared 18 points apiece.

The third was just as close – Book and Hamza Zahran countering the scoring of Beattie and Julius Halaifonua – the Lake lead ten points at three-quarter time.

A triple from Charlie Dalton and points from Jameer Reed were encouraging for the home supporters but Daniel Ottenhoff, Rocco Chang and Ned Shearer ensured the Westlake advantage wasn’t squandered.

Rosmini 74 – Beattie 31, Charlie Dalton 15, Julius Halaifonua 10, Jameer Reed 10,

Westlake 85 – Malachi Book 20, Zahran 20, Daniel Ottenhoff 18, Chang 15, Ned Shearer 9

Nine points from Denvor Elia helped propel Mt Albert Grammar to a big 22-7 quarter time lead against Sacred Heart College.

Matt Fautuaalii and Josh Stewart improved the situation for Sacred Heart in the second but they still trailed 35-21 at half-time.

A high scoring third period was edged 25-24 by MAGS – a couple of threes from Kade Cartwright, plus contributions from Will Leger and Lois Uri ensured the hosts remained ahead at three-quarter time.

Heart kept plugging away in the final period – Jerome Jakeman, with three triples, and Stewart combined for 19 points but MAGS had a large enough buffer to close out the victory.

MAGS 75 – Will Leger 15/17rebs, Louis Uri 15, Ethan Lay 14, Kade Cartwright 12, Denvor Elia 11
Sacred Heart 64 – Josh Stewart 21, Jerome Jakeman 12, Adam Davies 10, Matt Fautuaalii 8

Auckland Grammar eased to a comfortable 95-69 home win against Saint Kentigern College on the back of 32 points from Josh Mugglestone. He had 7 points in the opening quarter, as did Kalid Petzer, the lead 29-19 at quarter time.

Without Dontae Russo-Nance, Merrick Rillstone was carrying a heavy scoring load – recently named to the NZ U15 team he was up to 15 points by half-time although the Grammar lead had grown to 48-35.

St Kent’s guards George Turner and Cooper Lepou – also named to the national U15 team – made points in the third. However Mugglestone, Cody Brown and Theo Brothers were instrumental in increasing the AGS lead – the advantage 17 points at the three-quarter mark (69-52) and 26 by full time.

AGS 95 – Josh Mugglestone 32, Cody Brown 14, Kalid Petzer 11, Theo Brothers 10, Jackson Kiss 8 

St Kentigern 69 – Merrick Rillstone 24, George Turner 13, Hunter Te Ratana 11, Cooper Lepou 8

Standings 

12-2 Rosmini

11-3 Westlake

9-4 AGS

7-6 Rangitoto

7-7 St Kentigern, MAGS

2-12 Sacred Heart

0-14 Liston

The outstanding fixture between AGS and Rangitoto College will be played on Sunday.

The semi-finals will be played at Eventfinda Stadium on Friday August 19.

St Kent’s edge Epsom to claim semi-final berth

Saint Kentigern College claimed the last Girls Premier Grade semi-final berth with a tense 61-57 victory at Epsom Girls Grammar.

Played on Thursday night the final regular season game for both teams in effect became a quarter-final tie as both had an identical 7-6 record leading into the contest.

The opening exchanges favoured Epsom, Mihinoa Tanghaere’s basket late in the first quarter, extending the host’s advantage to 20-15 at the first break.

The second period was something of a shoot-out between Epsom guard Draun Forbes and St Kent’s Nerisa Vavau.

The pair sunk three triples apiece – points late in the quarter from Maya Fowler kept Epsom ahead 35-32 at half-time.

Forbes added a fourth three in the third although Sharmaine Taplin countered in kind as the Epsom lead shrunk to 2 points at three-quarter time (48-46)

The fourth was a tight tussle but it was 7 points from Tapling that seized the momentum for St Kent’s – Mania Rogers and Ashleigh Tuumaialu added valuable points as the visitors closed out a hard fought victory.

St Kent’s will now lineup against Westlake Girls in a semi-final tie next Friday at Eventfinda Stadium. 

Epsom 57 – Draun Forbes 24, Leah Patuwairua 12, Maya Fowler 11

St Kentigern 61 – Ashleigh Tuumaialu 17, Sharmaine Tapling 14, Maia Bennett 12, Nerisa Vavau 9, Mania Rogers 6

Standings – remaining Round 14 games to be played tonight (Friday)

13-0 Westlake 

11-2 Baradene

9-4 MAGS 

8-6 St Kentigern

7-7 Epsom

3-10 St Mary’s

1-12 Rangitoto, Carmel

Senior A Girls – Round 13 wrap

In the penultimate round of the Senior A regular season Takapuna Grammar made it 13 straight wins with an 89-59 home victory against Northcote College, although the margin of victory hardly did justice to the effort of their North Shore rivals.

Takapuna forward Qaizden Stephano scored 6 first quarter points, however Lizzie May and Lily Morgan matched that number to keep Northcote in touch at the first break – down 24-18.

DJ Hannah and Nikki Gear were troubling the Takapuna defence although at the other end the penetrative drives of Amy McKenzie and Bailey Flavell were equally problematic for the visitors – Northcote still handily placed at half-time trailing 46-37.

The third period would prove decisive as Takapuna put together a dominating 23-8 frame to decide the contest.

McKenzie scored the first 8 of Takapuna’s points in the spell followed by a triple from Manaia Watson and more incursions from Flavell.

Northcote were unable to make up ground in the fourth although their second place on the Senior A ladder remains assured.

Takapuna 89 – Bailey Flavell 28, Amy McKenzie 23, Qaizden Stephano 14, Manaia Watson 12, Mariah Parker 6

Northcote 59 – N Gear 20, DJ Hannah 18, Lily Morgan 9, Lizzie May 9

In a tussle between two top four team Manurewa High held off Massey High to win a close encounter 64-61. 

Manurewa edged the first quarter 12-11 and the second 14-13 to take a two-point lead into half-time.

Sela Uluheua had 9 first half points for Manurewa while Allyah Leusogi-Ape led the way for Massey with a dozen.

Leusogi-Ape pressed on with another 10 points as the scoring increased dramatically in the third. There were 6 points each from Shirley Tuilimu and Beautiful Campbell as Manurewa built a 51-45 three-quarter time lead.

Kortni Waikiki and Cyntalia Schuster edged Massey closer – a triple from Zhoey  Tilby-Woods also helping.

However a three from the opposite #6 Alyssa Uluheua and a pair of scores from Campbell meant Manurewa were able to hang on for the victory.

A semi-final berth is guaranteed for both teams – the outcome of their final regular season games will determine their opponents. 

Manurewa 64 – Sela Uluheua Shirley Tuilimu 14, Beautiful Campbell 12, Bella Manu-Moore 6, Lavinia Liufau 6

Massey 61 – Allyah Leusogi-Ape 25, Kortni Waikiki 15, Cyntalia Schuster 12, Faith Williams 6

In other games Auckland Girls Grammar defeated Mt Roskill Grammar 68-33 and One Tree Hill College were too strong for Avondale College winning 109-30.

Standings:

13-0 Takapuna

10-3 Northcote

9-4 Massey

8-4 Manurewa

5-8 AGGS

4-9 One Tree Hill

2-10 Mt Roskill

0-12 Avondale

Senior A – Round 13 wrap

Dilworth’s late season hot form continued on Monday with a 97-93 home victory against second on the table Northcote College in Round 13 of the Boy’s Senior A competition.

An upset didn’t look on the cards early on as Northcote eased to a 23-19 lead but it was a decisive run by Dilworth, in the second period, that set up the victory.

The hosts took the quarter 33-15 as Ikahui Mahe, Nepia Moore, Owen Pattison and Kingston Kai’lahi-Aso ignited their offence.

Aaron Sievert scored a customary game high 39 points as Northcote mounted a second half comeback. The Cote shot maker was ably assisted by Tane Cook, Tom Bates and Dontaye Sowman-Faaee but that second quarter assault from Dilworth gave them a large enough buffer to complete a fourth consecutive win.

Northcote will entertain Avondale in their final regular season game on Friday, a contest that could well be a dress rehearsal for the semi-finals the following Friday.

Dilworth 97 – O Pattison 32, K Kai’lahi-Aso 28, Nepia Moore 10, Ikahui Mahe 9, Ivan Kerr 8

Northcote 93 – Sievert 39, Tane Cook 17, Tom Bates 13, Dontaye Sowman-Faaee 11


Manurewa High trailed at every quarter before they finally found a spark to outscore Aorere 23-10 in the all-important fourth quarter.

A physical contest witnessed three of the ‘big’ men fouling out; Brian Tapu (18 points) from Manurewa and the Gordon brothers, Franklyne and Christopher (22 points) from Aorere.  

With William Passi attending the Basketball Without Borders camp in Canberra Manurewa only had an 8-man squad for the game.  That went to seven when top point-getter Richard Campbell landed awkwardly and had to retire with a knee injury.

The void was filled by a posse of Manurewa players in the fourth – Issachar Pati scored 6 points, Briand Tapu 8 and Alex Hughes 7 as the hosts came home on a full head of steam.

Earlier Chris Gordon, Moroki Tauhare and Addison Nielsen had kept Aorere to the fore – ahead at the three breaks (22-16), (36-33) and (54-50).

Manurewa, a semi-final berth assured, visit top of the table St Peter’s on Friday.

Manurewa 73 – B Tapu 18, A Hughes 17, R Ancha 14, Richard Campbell 8, Issachar Pati 8

Aorere 64 – C Gordon 22, Moroki Tauhara 20, Addison Nielsen 7, Tanielu Taito 6 

In other games St Peter’s College remain unbeaten after an 82-68 success against Mt Roskill Grammar while semi-final bound Avondale College defeated Macleans College 90-76.

Standings with one round to play:

13-0 St Peter’s

9-4 Northcote

7-5 Manurewa, Avondale

6-7 Mt Roskill

5-8 Dilworth

3-10 Aorere

1-12 Macleans

Girls Prems – Westlake confirmed regular season champions

Westlake Girls wrapped up the Auckland Prems regular season championship with a comfortable 88-58 victory at nearest rivals Baradene College.

The game began promisingly for Baradene with Poppy Cavanagh-Briggs making three straight baskets. Deyna Topia landed a triple and the hosts had the ideal start, ahead 19-16.

The optimism amongst the home supporters was dented in the second as Westlake piled on 29 points to take a 45-29 advantage into the break.

Mackenzie Chatfield, Amiya Fotu, Sarah and Rebecca Moors inflicted the damage with Chatfield’s 19 first half points including  four made 3-pointers.

Unfortunately for Baradene they couldn’t find any answers after the interval as Westlake put the result to bed with a 28-10 quarter – Izzy Pugh’s inside game troubling the hosts.

Topia and Ritorya Tamilo brightened the mood in the home camp in the fourth quarter with a cluster of baskets however it was Westlake with the biggest smiles as they enjoyed a 13th consecutive win.  

Westlake will play the winners of the Epsom Girls v St Kentigern tie being played on Thursday night. Baradene will contest the other semi against MAGS.

Baradene 58 – D Topia 17, P Cavanagh-Briggs 14, R Tamilo 11, Amelia Nathan 6

Westlake 88 – Chatfield 24, A Fotu 20, I Pugh 16, R Moors 11, Jaelah Clayton 8, S Moors 7

The St Mary’s against Mt Albert Grammar clash was missing two of the brightest prospects in Auckland high school basketball.

MAGS were missing the services of Waimanu Clarken, attending the Basketball Without Borders camp in Canberra, while St Mary’s have lost the services of Kodee Williams-Sefo – side-lined for the remainder of the season with a leg injury.

The absences had a far more detrimental affect on St Mary’s as they were beaten 95-38.

Faith Ualika top scored for St Mary’s while MAGS enjoyed scoring contributions across the board as coach Brent Lay e gave an extended run to a number of his younger squad members.

St Mary’s 38 – Faith Ualika 12, India Nash 9, Layla Aholelei 6, Christiana Setu 5

MAGS 95 – April Liu 28, Te Arina Roberts 13, Lara Cocker-Lemalie 12, Jorjia Fiu 11, Niesha Dighe 8, Valana Pupuke-Robati 7, Emina Tiatia 7

Epsom Girls Grammar’s all-round offensive prowess proved too good for Carmel as they recorded an 88-60 victory to maintain their bid for a semi-final berth.

A top four spot will be decided on Thursday night when Epsom entertain St Kentigern College. Both teams have a 7 win-6 loss record meaning the game in effect becomes a quarter-final as the winner will move on to face Westlake whilst the losers will prepare for Secondary Schools Nationals Qualifying Tournament.

Carmel made a strong showing in the opening half with Ruby Railton, Amie Gaylard  and Jemma Cammell regularly breaching the Epsom defence. Down 20-14 at the quarte mark and 39-29 at half-time Carmel were very much in the contest.

That changed after the interval as Epsom enjoyed a dominant 29-13 third quarter – Draun Forbes, Maya Fowler and Leah Patuwairua each doing damage – to settle the tie.

Millie Lloyd got on the scoreboard for Carmel in the fourth. Likewise Andrea Ape-Paia and Alex Dickers for Epsom.

EGGS 88 – L Patwairuau 42, D Forbes 23, M Fowler 13 Teuila Va’aelua 5

Carmel 60 – J Cammell 20, R Railton 11, I O’Rourke 10, A Gaylard 9

Due to illness in the squad Rangitoto College had to default the fixture against St Kentigern College

Current Standings with one round remaining.

13-0 Westlake 

11-2 Baradene

9-4 MAGS 

7-6 St Kentigern, Epsom

3-10 St Mary’s

1-12 Rangitoto, Carmel

Boys Prems Round 13 Wrap – Rosmini seal regular season title

Rosmini College wrapped up the Auckland Prems regular season title with a solid 80-54 victory at Auckland Grammar. In the penultimate round of the regular season here were also wins for Westlake, Mt Albert Grammar and Rangitoto College.

Grammar, missing the services of Will Shortt and Kalid Petzer attending the Basketball Without Borders camp in Canberra, got off to a dreadful start giving up 30 first quarter points to trail by 20. 

Charlie Dalton (8 points) and Tom Beattie (13 points) did most the damage for Rosmini – a corner three from Noah Johns capping a dominant opening spell.

Julius Halaifonua made inside buckets either side of the break and with Beattie and Josh Batty knocking down triples the visitors lead was 47-24 at the interval.

Josh Muggleston had 8 points at the break although he and back court partner Cody Brown (7 points) had been well contained by the Rosmini defence.

Ryan Hunt and a couple of aerobatic plays from Jackson Kiss threatened a Grammar revival but that was snuffed out by Halaifonua and Beattie – the Rosmini advantage 64-39 ahead of the fourth.

Full court pressure defence from Grammar forced Rosmini into a number of turnovers but the hosts were unable sustain a significant scoring run. 

Anton Seuseu’s inside bucket and Tim Sun’s long three were the scoring highlights of the closing minutes.

AGS 54 – Kiss 16, Muggleston 13, Brown 12, Hunt 6
Rosmini 80 – Beattie 32, Dalton 17, Halaifonua 12, Batty 7

Game report from Andrew Horrocks

In a game that would go a long way to helping paint the final picture of the Premier Boys competition, Rangitoto headed south of the Bridge to take on St Kentigern College. Without Dontae Russo-Nance (attending the Basketball Without Borders camp in Canberra) and Max Johnson St Kent’s were paced by Merrick Rillstone and George Turner, on the other side Rangitoto were held together by the nails and glue combination of the Tongan Tornado Jacob Fotu and Tautoko Wynyard.

After winning the opening tip, Rangi fed a steady diet of post ups between Fotu and Wynyard. Only a Turner triple could break up the early barrage and after 2:12 Aaron Young had seen enough to call a time out, Rangitoto with a 10-3 advantage. Rangitoto’s zone defence was doing a good job of preventing any penetration from St Kent’, forcing outside shots. Despite their smaller stature St Kent’s were making a nuisance of themselves on the offensive boards allowing for repeated Rillstone drives, to get his team back in the game. Kenny Stone felt the need to give his team a break with a 17-9 cushion midway through the first. Aaron Young moved to a zone defence out of the time out and Fotu took advantage, 14 first quarter points helping his team to a 29-14 lead. The only basket coming outside of the paint for the visitors was a late Kaia Dryden corner 3 courtesy of some good ball movement.

Both teams made a nervy start to the second quarter with ball handling and passing errors affecting each side. Rillstone took advantage of an errant pass to grab a runaway dunk to eventually get the scoring underway. After a 6-2 Rangitoto run Aaron Young decided another chat with his troops was required. Wynyard got his first dunk off the night, extending the Rangitoto lead to 22 off a beautifully executed Dryden pass. St Kent’s were finally able to answer and converted twice from beyond the arc via Turner and Jack Foley advancing the score to 40-24. Rillstone scored 7 straight for the hosts who were trying to keep Rangitoto within reach, a Cooper Lepou triple ignited the home crowd who could sense a momentum shift but with a Fotu spinning lay-up to end the quarter it was Rangitoto who were in the ascendancy 49-34.

The start of the second half mirrored the first, Wynyard with his second slam of the evening getting his team on the board. St Kent’s, buoyed by their fans, rattled off 6 straight via Hunter Te Ratana but had a tough time at the other end in trying to slow down Wynyard and Fotu. The two key cogs for Rangi scored all 13 points in the period through an array of nifty footwork and delightful high-low passing. A block from Wynyard on Rillstone made it appear as though the defensive anchor was going to close the door on St Kent’s but a triple on the resulting inbound, a well-timed block in transition and another three-pointer from the Waikato age group representative gave his team hope – the score back to 61-49 with 2:41 to play in the third. Defence was the phrase the rest of the period, Rangitoto going into the final stanza up 62-50 on the back of another Wynyard block.

Once again Rangitoto started the stronger of two sides with quick baskets but unruly play allowed St Kent’s to grab 8 straight points reigniting the crowd – Stone had seen enough, a timeout required with 6:38 to play – Rangitoto nursing a 66-58 lead. Fotu once again scored but on the other end Turners sixth triple of the evening cut the lead to 7. It wasn’t to be their night though, Wynyards final dunk of the night putting an exclamation mark on proceedings with 1:20 to go, Rangitoto victors 77-68, in the process keeping alive their chances of a semi-final berth.

St Kentigern 68 – Rillstone 30, Turner 20, Te Ratana 12

Rangitoto 77 – Fotu 26, Wynyard 25, Michael Ropotini 10

In front of a raucous crowd on seniors night Sacred Heart College produced one of their best performances of the season before going down to Westlake Boys High 75-67.

With Heart, led by Josh Stewart (26 points), ahead 55-53 at three-quarter time it required a captain’s performance from Rocco Chang to steer Westlake to victory.

Chang had been kept quiet to that point but he came up with 11 points in the fourth after Daniel Ottenhoff (26 points) had nabbed the first six of the period – Heart outscored 22-12 in the last ten minutes.

Stewart had 9 points in the opening frame – edged 17-16 by Westlake.

Hamza Zahran scored Westlake’s last 6 points of the opening half as Heart, via Stewart, Adam Davies, Jerome Jakeman and Matt Fautuaalii carved out a 36-34 half time lead.

The two teams went basket for basket in the third to set up a grandstand finish in the fourth – Chang and Westlake prevailing to confirm a top three finish on the Premier League ladder.

Sacred Heart 67 – Stewart 26, Davies 13, Jakeman 9

Westlake 75 – Ottenhoff 26, Zahran 21, Chang 13, Hadi Alashami 6

Liston College enjoyed their best spell of basketball in a number of weeks as they forged a 30-26 half-time lead against Mt Albert Grammar School.

Rasheed Ieremia posted 8 points and Adrian Fabian 6 for Liston who also enjoyed scoring contributions from six other players in an encouraging display.

Mt Albert set about gaining the initiative in style in the third period. Not only did they add starch at the defensive end keeping Liston to 9 points but reeled off 27 of their own.

Kade Cartwright scored 10 of his game high 21 points and Will Leger tallied 6 as MAGS enjoyed an 18-point swing in the period.

Dhon Lao and Manu Tuaere led a Liston mini revival in the final quarter but Leger capped a fine all round performance with 9 points in the fourth to see off the spirited Liston challenge. 

Liston 60 – Rasheed Ieremia 13, Adrian Fabian 11, Dhon Lao 9, Manu Tuaere 7

MAGS 72 – Will Leger 21, Kade Cartwright 17, Stepan Kusenko 11, Denvor Elia 10, Ben Skelton 6

Current Standings (with one round to play)

12-1 Rosmini

10-3 Westlake

8-4 AGS

7-6 St Kentigern

6-6 Rangitoto

6-7 MAGS

2-10 Sacred Heart

0-13 Liston

Girls Senior A – Round 12 Wrap

Round 12 of the Girls Senior A Grade competition saw wins for Northcote College, Auckland Girls Grammar and Massey High School.

Paced by 26 points from DJ Hannah, Northcote College maintained second place on the Senior A ladder with an 81-65 home win against Manurewa High School.

Northcote were out to a 26-12 quarter time lead before being pegged back slightly in the second.

Sela Uluheua also had 26 points in the game – along with Shirley Tuimulu the Manurewa effort reduced the Northcote lead to 63-52 at three-quarter time.

Hannah and Nikki Gear eased Northcote to the win in the final quarter.

Northcote 81 – DJ Hannah 26, Nikki Gear 15, Grace Lai 11, Lizzie May 10, Lily Morgan 7

Manurewa 65 – Sela Uluheua 26, Shirely Tuilumu 13, Beautiful Campbell 7, Lavinia Liufau 6, Alyssa Uluheua 6

In the game of the round Angelica Vahai amassed 38 points but couldn’t prevent One Tree Hill College being pipped 58-57 by Auckland Girls Grammar School.

Vahai and Milla Eckford helped One Tree Hill to a 16-15 early lead but Grady Nikoia’s scoring burst gave AGGS a 33-26 half-time lead.

Faith Hurt and Fuschia Traill helped AGGS build a decisive 47-34 three-quarter lead only for OTH were to storm back in the last ten minutes.

Vahai scored 15 points in the fourth and gaining good support from Melaia Tuisuva and Harriate Heta OTH almost pulled off a dramatic come from behind win.

OTH 57 – Vahai 38, Milla Eckford 6, Jesse-Lee Upu 5

AGGS 58 – Faith Hurt 16, Fuschia Traill 12, Grady Nikoia 9, Tatyana Ioelu 7, Ryn Nokoia 6

In a one sided contest Massey High School defeated Mt Roskill Grammar School 107-14.

Mt Roskill 14 – Adra Kaufusi 7

Massey 107 – Cyntalia Schuster 23, Kortni Waikiki 21, Tahlya Waikiki 20, Allyah Leusogi-Ape 20, Anne Marie Fatai 11, Zhoey Tilby-Woods 9

Avondale College defaulted the game against Takapuna Grammar School.

Standings:

12-0 Takapuna

11-2 Northcote

9-3 Massey

7-4 Manurewa

4-8 AGGS

3-9 One Tree Hill

2-10 Mt Roskill

0-11 Avondale

Boys Senior A – Round 12 wrap

Mt Roskill Grammar defeated Aorere College 71-60 with a fourth quarter run of 25-18 decisive

Whilst the Gordon brothers Chris and Franklyne did all the damage for Aorere it was ultimately the shot making of Roskill’s Zachan Kemen  that made the difference. He nailed three of his four triples in the final quarter to seal a sixth win of the season for Roskill.

Mt Roskill 71 Mitchell Greenaway 16, Kemen 14, Ngawaka Rakete 12

Aorere 60 C Gordon 32, F Gordon 24

  
Northcote College edged a tight encounter with Manurewa High School 80-75.

The first quarter had the teams tied at 23 points each and by halftime there was still only a basket separating the two teams – Manurewa 43-41 ahead.  

Manurewa did a good holding Aaron Sievert to only two 3-pointers, although the Northcote shooting guard did finish with a game high 35 points.

With three starters in foul trouble by the end of the third quarter Manurewa were struggling to hold Northcote who outscored the visitors 38-32 in the second half.

Richard Campbell and Brian Tapu combined for 44 points for Manurewa. For Northcote Tom Bates and Tane Cook lent good support to Sievert. 

Northcote 80 – Sievert 35, Bates 14, Cook 13, Dontaye Sowman-Faaee 10

Manurewa 75 – Campbell 24, Tapu 20, Jarell Tuhega 12, Ryan Ancha 7

Unbeaten St Peter’s College were made to work hard in the first half by Macleans College before securing a 100-70 victory. 

Levi Smyth and Jamie Carville were prominent as Macleans carved out an 18-17 first quarter lead extended to 44-38 at half-time.

The regular season champions came out firing after the interval as Scott Errey, Milan Tolich and Bailey Smith led a rampant St Peter’s to a 31-point quarter.

Ahead 69-58 at three-quarter time the Saints cruised through the closing minutes for win number 12.

Macleans 70 – Smyth, 22, Carville 14, Declan Puffy 11, Teegan La Grange 8, Christian Mutti 7

St Peter’s 100– Errey 32, Andrei Manio 20, Tolich 18, Smith 13, Toby Cox 7

Dilworth made it three wins on the bounce with an 89-78 home win against Avondale College.

Owen Pattison got Dilworth off to a flying start with his 10 first quarter points. Ahead by 5 points at the quarter break it was 51-39 by half-time as Nepia Moore demonstrated his shot making ability – three triples in the half.

Talking of triples, Kabir Bhargava would make six as he and Jimi Iosia-Sipeli kept Avondale in the hunt but a 73-57 three-quarter time deficit was too much to claw back especially as Damon Kitchen kept the score ticking over for Dilworth.

Dilworth 89 – Moore 17, Damon Kitchen 17, Pattison 15, Ivan Kerr 14, Kingston Kai’lahi-Aso 10, Ikahui Mahe 9

Avondale 78 – Iosia-Sipeli 22, Bhargava 20, Connor Gleeson 13, Kuldeep Khakh 11, Andrew Murphy 6

Standings:

12-0 St Peter’s

9-3 Northcote

6-5 Manurewa, Avondale

6-6 Mt Roskill

4-8 Dilworth

3-9 Aorere

1-11 Macleans

Girls Prems Round 12 wrap – Carmel get the win

Editorial limitations means the Round 12 roundup is somewhat abbreviated. Normal service will resume in Round 13.

Jemma Cammell produced a captains knock of 32 points to carry Carmel College to a decisive 74-55 win at Rangitoto College.

The second quarter proved decisive after a 14 points apiece opener. Carmel put on 28 points to establish a 42-28 half-time lead and built on their advantage at each break.

Imogen O’Rourke, Zahara Tibbotts and Ruby Railton lent Cammell good support – Aroha Riley and Amelia Andrews in double figures for Rangitoto.

Congratulations to Carmel on their first win of the season.

Rangitoto 55 – Riley 13, Andrews 11, Zaara Sain 9, Nina Nguyen 6, Maddison Skelton 6

Carmel 74 – Cammell 32, O’Rourke 12, Tibbotts 10, Railton 9

Epsom Girls Grammar went down 103-71 at Westlake Girls but deserve credit for their performance. Down 58-22 at half-time their resistance could have evaporated but they fought back well in the second half and deservedly won the final quarter, putting on 30 points in the process.

Led by their seniors Mackenzie Chatfield, Amiya Fotu, Jaelah Clayton, Izzzy Pugh and Rebecca Moors, Westlake were rampant in the first two periods logging 32 points in the opening spell and 26 in the second.

Well supported by Draun Forbes and Maya Fowler, Leah Patuwairua was an offensive spark for Epsom scoring a game high 31 points.

Westlake 103 – Pugh 27, R Moors 18, Chatfield 15, A Fotu 13, Clayton 11, S Moors 8

EGGS 71 – Patuwairua 31, Forbes 16, Fowler 14

Jemma Cammell produced a captains knock of 32 points to carry Carmel College to a decisive 74-55 win at Rangitoto College.

The second quarter proved decisive after a 14 points apiece opener. Carmel put on 28 points to establish a 42-28 half-time lead and built on their advantage at each break.

Imogen O’Rourke, Zahara Tibbotts and Ruby Railton lent Cammell good support – Aroha Riley and Amelia Andrews in double figures for Rangitoto.

Rangitoto 55 – Riley 13, Andrews 11, Zaara Sain 9, Nina Nguyen 6, Maddison Skelton 6

Carmel 74 – Cammell 32, O’Rourke 12, Tibbotts 10, Railton 9

Mt Albert Grammar breezed to a comfortable 88-43 home win against St Kentigern College.

MAGS took control of the game in the second quarter with a dominating 29-11 spell. Jorjia Fiu scored 9 points in the period, and April Liu 8, to propel MAGS to a 42-20 half-time lead.

The victory secures MAGS a semi-final berth in the play-offs in a couple of weeks’ time. 

MAGS 88 – April Liu 18, Waimanu Clarken 18, Jorjia Fiu 17, Danae Tait 10, Valana Pupuke-Robati 9, Sienna-Rose Tawera 6

St Kentigern 43 – Ashleigh Tuumaialu 13, Sharmaine Tapling 11, Nerisa Vavau 8, Anamia Rangihaeata 6

Ahead of the showdown with Westlake Girls on Monday, Baradene College were far too good for St Mary’s College winning 111-31.

St Mary’s 31 – Faith Ualika 8, Tamzin Jakeman 5, Heaven-Leigh Schmid 5 

Baradene 111 – Deyna Topia 32, Harriet Burrell 18, Summer 18, Ritorya Tamilo 12, Amelia Nathan 10, Poppy Cavanagh-Briggs 10

Current Standings:

12-0 Westlake 

11-1 Baradene

8-4 MAGS 

6-6 St Kentigern, Epsom

3-9 St Mary’s

2-10 Rangitoto, Carmel

Round 12 Prems Wrap: Russo-Nance drops 61!

Editorial limitations (lack of time!) means the Round 12 wrap is somewhat abbreviated. Normal service will resume in Round 13.

Wins on Friday for Sacred Heart, Westlake, Rosmini and St Kentigern – a quiet 61 points from Dontae Russo-Nance in that one!

Russo-Nance pushed his, and the Premier Grade, individual points best to 61 as St Kentigern College beat Mt Albert Grammar in overtime. 

St Kent’s were 6 points down inside the last 60 seconds before firstly Russo-Nance and then Merrick Rillstone (33 points), with 8 seconds remaining, hit triples to tie proceedings at 92 points apiece. 

Russo-Nance bossed the overtime period making his seventh and eighth triples to carry St Kent’s to win number seven on the season.

The result strengthens St Kent’s hold on a top four spot but eliminates MAGS from semi-final contention with two rounds of the regular season to play. 

MAGS 99 – 

St Kentigern106 – Russo-Nance 61, Rillstone 33

Sacred Heart College are celebrating a second win of the season after beating Liston College 79-71.

It was neck and neck through the first three-quarters – Sacred Heart ahead 60-56 at that stage.

Liston held a 4 point lead early in the fourth but a quick turnaround from Sacred Heart pushed them out to an 11 point lead at one stage. 

Dhon Lao and Rasheed Ieremia were outstanding for the hosts with Dalton Dennis a standout for Heart. His 17 points and double figure rebounds, Josh Stewart’s 25 points alongside 14 from Adam Davies ensured the visitors would grab the win.

Liston 71 – Ieremia 23, Lao 15, Seb Alan 10, Adrian Fabian 8

Sacred Heart 79 – Stewart 25, Dennis 17, Davies 14

Westlake Boys edged Auckland Grammar 95-92. Grammar guard Josh Muggleston made a couple of late threes to bag the win against Rangitoto last Monday and he almost forced overtime in this one but his effort, with time expiring, hit the back of the iron and bounced out.

In a high scoring encounter Grammar fought back from a 75-66 three-quarter time deficit to tie proceedings at the mid-point of the fourth but key scores from Rocco Chang and Hadi Alshami got Westlake over the line.

Westlake 95 – Hamza Zahran 28, Chang 24, Daniel Ottenhoff 24, Malachi Book 8

AGS 92 – Kahu Treacher 26, Muggleston 24, Cody Brown 15

Tom Beattie’s 27 points paced Rosmini College to an 86-62 road win at Rangitoto College. Rosmini took a low scoring first half 32-22 before pulling clear with a 28-16 third quarter burst. 

Tautoko Wynyard, with 18 points, was the best for Rangi who probably have to win their remaining three games to claim a spot in the semi-finals.

Rangitoto 62 – Wynyard 18, Jacob Fotu 13, Arnold Nam 12, Joel Brown 8

Rosmini 86 – Beattie 27, Julius Halaifonua 16, Charlie Dalton 9, Chris Wyllie 9

Current Standings:

11-1 Rosmini

9-3 Westlake

8-3 AGS

7-5 St Kentigern

5-6 Rangitoto

5-7 MAGS

2-10 Sacred Heart

0-12 Liston