Kiwi debutants shine as American College season opens.

Covid continues to wreak havoc with American college basketball. Numerous programmes won’t start until January and others have closed down completely for the 2020-21 season.

However there is some good news as many universities have kick started their seasons this week allowing a number if Kiwis to show their worth.

Hats off to NCAA Division I freshmen Tayla Dalton, Helen Matthews (pictured), Emme Shearer and Sam Mennenga in particular.

Here is the wrap on the major happenings in the last couple of days:

https://nz.basketball/at-a-glance-kiwi-debutants-impress-in-us/

Williams-Mackey in Dreamland

Arielle Williams Mackey helped propel Auckland Dream to a second straight Sal’s NBL 18IN18 victory at Bruce Pulman Arena on Friday.

The shooting guard produced a game high 19 points (8/13FG) as the Dream proved too good for Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats winning 66-51.

The 18-year old, the youngest member of the Dream, has also announced that she will be headed to Brigham Young University (BYU) on a 4-year basketball scholarship.

Dream forward Amanda Wayment is a former BYU captain and of course former Dream standout and Tall Ferns captain Kalani Purcell is also a former Cougar.

Full game report below:

https://women.nznbl.basketball/dream-claw-wildcats-to-make-it-two-from-two/

City too slick for Shore

The Girl’s edition of Battle of the Bridge was held at St Mary’s College on Saturday evening with City running out winners 81-64.

Shore were quickest out of the gate and led by double figures at the mid-point of the first quarter as Aroha Rogers, Rosie Dil and Makenzee Boucher made an immediate impact on the game.

City worked their way back into the contest at the backend of the period – five straight points from Lily Parke giving them a 22-21 quarter time lead.

Once ahead City steadily built their advantage to lead 44-34 at half-time and 64-51 at the three-quarter mark.

MacKenzie Chatfield made some eye catching plays for Shore but City always had the answers with MVP Flo Dallow, Parke, Odessa Lawson, and the Tenana-Williams sisters, Leata and Safena, all impressing.

As with the Boy’s game the previous day another good crowd was in attendance for what will hopefully become an annual celebration of girl’s high school basketball. Saturday evening was just that, congratulations to the organisers and all the players that provided the entertainment.

City 81 – Parke 20, Dallow 11, Lawson 8, Tyla Tevaga 8, Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu 8, S Tenana-Williams 5, Imogene Noble 5, Lelani Robertson 5, Monica Kelly 4, L Tenana-Williams 4, Ramona Fuaivaa 4, Maria Tatupu 2

Shore 64 – Chatfield 18, Boucher 8, Dil 7, Kellie Tawhio 7, A Rogers 7, Waiaaria Rogers 7, Emma Pugh 5, Centaine Noom-Duckworth 3, Qaizden Stephano 2

City win Battle of the Bridge

City retained the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ Trophy at St Kentigern College on Friday night with a 127-105 victory against their Shore rivals.

The free scoring tone was set in the opening quarter as the two teams threw down a combined 67 points – unfortunately for the Shore, City amassed 42 of them. Connor Ngan (six threes on the night) and Levick Kerr asserted early dominance with 13 points apiece in the frenetic start.

Christian Martin, Zach Riley, Taine Murray and Sean Murphy, on his way to a game high 36 points, redressed the balance in the second but City were sitting pretty – 72-56 ahead at half-time.

Any chance of Shore narrowing the gap in the third was snuffed out by Luka Vea and Dontae Russo-Nance.

Murphy continued his scoring ways but Theo Coker-Grey and Dakota Stephens put the exclamation marks on the win.

In front of a good sized crowd, and playing 12 minute quarters, the game was a fitting way to end Auckland Secondary Schools Boy’s Premier basketball for 2020. 

City 127 – Ngan 23, Russo-Nance 23, Vea 20, Kerr 17, Coker-Grey 12, Alex McNaught 11, Caleb Langdon 6, Sataan Tawera 6, Stephens 5, Kazlo Evans 4

Shore 105 – Murphy 36, Riley 18, Martin 13, Jett Thompson 10, Murray 9, Zeke Priest 6, Lucas Payne 5, Ethan Skelton 4, Josh Kooiman 2, Cian Emery 2

The Shore boys were able to turn the tables in the Junior game defeating City 73-67. Westlake’s Hamza Zahran led all scorers with 23 points.

It looked like another City win at three-quarter time as they were ahead 58-53 but held to just 11 points in the final ten minutes Shore charged home – threes in the final minutes from Zahran, Malachi Book and Jimmy Kim snatching momentum.

Harri Coker-Grey (18 points) and George Turner (11 points) were prominent for City.

Shore 73 – Zahran 23, Book 11, Michael Ropotini 10, Elyas Taher 8, Kim 7

City 67 – Coker-Grey 18, Turner 11, Noah Martin 9, Kade Cartwright 7

Paalvast gold plus plenty of other overseas news

Chev Paalvast strikes championship gold, Kalani Purcell with a triple double, an MVP performance from Jillian Harmon plus season best from Isaac Fotu.

Get the wrap on our Tall Ferns and Tall Placks overseas here:

At a Glance: Tall Blacks and Sky Sport Tall Ferns Abroad

Fotu and Venezia defeated in EuroCup

Umana Reyer Venezia fell 92-78 at Spanish club Joventut in the EuroCup on Tuesday. Isaac Fotu had a quiet night, playing just over 10 minutes the Tall Blacks forward grabbed 3 rebounds but was 0-3 shooting from the field.

Venezia, with a 1-2 record in the EuroCup are at home to Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul next Wednesday. 

For further news on New Zealand player performances overseas click here:https://nz.basketball/at-a-glance-tall-blacks-and-tall-ferns-abroad/

Gracie Roberts-Hare in fine form then …..

Gracie Roberts-Hare scored 15 points and pulled down 7 rebounds as Lekdetec beat newly promoted Triple Threat in the opening round of the Dutch League last week.

Unfortunately that was where the good news ended for the Waimea College and University of Charleston alumna as the League has been shut down for at least a month due to rising COVID-19 infections in the country.

Roberts-Hare is in her second season with Lekdetec but it may well be some weeks before she can get back on court with over 40,000 new COVID cases reported in Holland last week.

Still in Europe and former Tall Fern Jillian Harmon posted 11 points and 5 rebounds as Schio beat Vigarano 88-49 to make it four wins from four outings in the Italian League.

For further news on New Zealand player performances overseas click here: https://nz.basketball/at-a-glance-tall-blacks-and-tall-ferns-abroad/

Tyrell Harrison best of Kiwis abroad this week

With Tom Vodanovich and Telstar Hesperange having a bye in the Luxembourg League there are just three Tall Blacks performances to reflect on from the weekend

Isaac Fotu was one of just three Venezia players in double figures as they went down 90-72 in Italian League action. The power forward scored 11 points and secured 6 rebounds as Venezia slip to 2-1 at the start of the new season.

Nearer home Tyrell Harrison produced 14 points and 9 rebounds as Southern District Spartans concluded Queensland State League (QSL) regular season play with a loss at the hands of Brisbane Capitals. 

The Spartans conceded a cricket score to the Capitals going down 133-89 with a familiar foe, Jason Cadee, amassing 47 points for Brisbane!

Mika Vukona added 6 rebounds to 8 points for the Spartans who finished fourth on the QSL ladder with an 8-3 record ahead of the play-offs. 

One spot below the Spartans are Sunshine Coast Phoenix. The Phoenix have been well served by forward Jonathan Janssen who last season suited up for the Canterbury Rams. Janssen has averaged 16.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game during the regular season.

Double-double delight

Chevannah Paalvast in good form for Logan Thunder

There are four Kiwi double-doubles to report from the final regular season games in the Queensland State Basketball League (QSL) played at the weekend plus one in Italy.

Chevannah Paalvast and Logan Thunder take pride of place as they head into the play-offs with an unblemished 11-0 record. The Thunder beat Northside Wizards 114-55 with Paalvast claiming a season high 23 points along with 10 rebounds.

Southern District Spartans finished second on the ladder after a comfortable 95-67 home win against Brisbane Capitals.

Kalani Purcell led the way for the Spartans with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 5 steals – her fifth double-double in nine games.

Natalie Taylor was also in good form tallying 19 points.

RedCity Roar slipped to a surprising 86-74 home defeat against Ipswich Force. Despite the loss the Roar are comfortable inside the top-six headed to the play-offs.

The Roar have five kiwis in their lineup and all made a contribution on Saturday including double-doubles from Kayla Kiriau (11 points and 10 rebounds) and Charmian Mellars (12 points and 13 rebounds.

There were also good contributions from Ajiah Siosiua-Pepe (16 points), Ashleigh Karaitiana (16 points) and Karlene Kingi (6 points). 

Other news from Australia is that the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) is that the 2020 season will be played in a Queensland hub (Cairns, Townsville and Mackay).

Tip-off is November 12 and the Lowdown will be keeping tabs on the Tall Ferns playing in the League. Mary Goulding is in her debut season with Bendigo Spirit with Penina Davidson, Kalani Purcell, Toni Farnworth and Stella Beck all suiting up again for Melbourne Boomers. 

In Spain Jillian Harmon was also in double-double form. The former Tall Fern corralled 14 rebounds to accompany 13 points as Famila Wuber Schio made it three wins from three outings with a 77-72 victory against Empoli.

In the Dutch League Gracie Roberts-Hare scored 15 points as Lekdetec beat newly promoted Triple Threat 102-60 in the opening round of the season.

Rangitoto win Auckland Invitational

When the Covid-19 restrictions forced Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Basketball to be shut down Rangitoto College (5-0) were unbeaten at the top of the table with St Kentigern College (4-1) in pursuit. 

Fittingly the two teams contested the Auckland Invitational Final at Eventfinda Stadium on Saturday evening – the 2019 Auckland Premier Champions against the 2019 National Secondary Schools Champions.

And it was Rangitoto that gained the win, 81-74, to claim the unofficial 2020 Auckland Championship.

The two teams split 34 points in the opening term before St Kentigern embarked on a 13-2 run to begin the second quarter as Levick Kerr gained some ascendancy inside, Dontae Russo-Nance and George Turner found their range from the perimeter and Kazlo Evans made a couple of slashing drives to basket.

The riposte from Rangitoto was immediate. Zeke Priest (the Lowdown’s MVP of the Tournament) scored with some powerful drives, Zach Riley knocked down a couple of jump shots and with Daniel Powell chipping in with points the St Kent’s lead was trimmed to just two points at half-time (35-33)

Fortunes ebbed and flowed in the third but when Kerr sat down after picking up a fourth foul Rangitoto seized the opportunity – skipper Ethan Skelton’s 12 points in the period giving his team a 58-52 lead with ten minutes to play.

A pair of Russo-Nance baskets narrowed the deficit to two points at the start of the final quarter but that was as close as it got as Lucas Payne, Skelton, Riley and Priest (27 points) took the game away from St Kent’s.

Four days of entertaining basketball was certainly a positive way to finish a fragmented season especially for the numerous Year 13 players in the five participating teams.

Rangitoto 81 – Priest 27, Riley 18, Skelton 17, Payne 14

St Kentigern 74 – Russo-Nance 24, Evans 20, Kerr 10, Turner 10

Josh Kooiman and Sean Murphy ended their high school basketball careers in style in the 3rd/4th play-off game, won 102-85 by Westlake.

Westlake guard Kooiman knocked down eight threes on his way to 39 points whilst Rosmini wing Murphy was one shy of that mark with 38 points.

Rosmini 85 – S Murphy 38, Kane Murphy 13, Pita Maxwell-Topia 11, Tom Beattie 8

Westlake 102 –Kooiman 39, Reuben Natusch 13, Christian Martin 13, Antonio Leutich 9

Semi-Final Results:

Westlake 97 – Martin 22, Kooiman 16, Thompson 12, Natusch 9

Rangitoto 110 – Riley 22, Payne 21, Priest 19, Skelton 17, J Fotu 12

St Kentigern 84 – Kerr 26, Evans 19, Nance 15, Gan 11

Rosmini 75 – S Murphy 19, Beattie 18, Maxwell-Topia 12, Dalton 9