Buzzer Beater heart break for Tall Ferns


After getting something of a whalloping in the opening ‘friendly’ against Japan on Wednesday the Tall Ferns put together a hugely improved performance on Friday.

Playing their third game in as many days the Tall Ferns went down 77-75 to the world #10 ranked side.

Despite the result the Tall Ferns will head to Taiwan on Monday, to defend their William Jones Cup title, in good heart. Three games and a good week of solid practice will see the Tall Fwerns primed for their first game at the William Jones on Wednesday against the Philippines.

Game report from loss to Japan here



Tall Ferns lose to Japan

Tall Ferns photo.jpg

The Tall Ferns fielded five debutants in the defeat to Japan in the opening game of their eight-game tour of Japan and Taiawan.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom as Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy explains here

Japan 74

Tall Ferns 44 – Boagni 12, Beck 7, Paalvast 6, Purcell 6, Davidson 4, Goulding 4, Fotu 2, Farnworth 2, Cocks 1

Finalists found at Aon U17 Nationals

600600p5292EDNmainGrand finalists found U17s

Hutt Valley and Waikato will go head to head in the Girl’s Final at the Aon U17 Nationals.

That game, aolong with the Boy’s Final featuring Canterbury and Waitakere West, will be played at Eventfinda Stadium on Saturday.

Here’s how the teams got to the final link


2019 WBC Reflections

2019 champs

Following a magnificent 2019 Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) season I have spent the last few days reflecting on its success.

Here are some thoughts

And what’s ahead in 2020? More teams? More returning players from overseas? More coverage on Sky? More live streaming/

Shame we have to wait another nine months.



A Dream WBC Final


Auckland Dream staged a remarkable comeback to win its first Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) title last night, an occasion that was a dream in so many ways.

The game, between two outstanding teams, was the best women’s basketball game seen in New Zealand for many a year.

Harbour Breeze would have been worthy champions but they run down by the Dream in a classic finish.

It was a dream finale with the game going into overtime and the result in doubt until the final posession.

It was a dream contest to have shown live on SKY Sport.

It was a dream to have so many high quality athletes showcasing their ability – ten current or former Tall Ferns on show amongst the two finalists and many others amongst the other ten teams.

It was a dream encounter with every possesion a contest.

In the end it wasn’t a dream it was reality and here’s an inadequate summary of the drama that unfolded link



St Mary’s edge Rangitoto plus wrap on other Girl’s Prem games

St Mary's girlsg

The best game of Round 9 of the Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Premier League was at St Mary’s College in Ponsonby where the hosts pipped Rangitoto College, but only just, 75-74 last Friday.

It was tight throughout as a half-time lead of 34-33 in favour of Rangi and the three-quarter advantage of 53-50 favouring St Mary’s suggests.

Into the final two minutes the lead was still back and forth with Hannah Wentworth levelling the scores (74-74) with 19 seconds to play.

Both teams forced turnovers only to immediately give possession away and it was Leata Te Nana-Williams who made the game winning free throw for St Mary’s with just three seconds left on the clock.

Aroha Riley scored a game high 28 points (including four threes) and backcourt buddy Wentworth threatened a triple double (27 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds) as the two masterminded the Rangitoto effort.

A more balanced St Mary’s effort saw five players notch eight points or more led by Riana Matiseni (16 points), Alex Moore (14 points) and Leata Te Nana-Williams with a team high 23 points.

The Girl’s Premier League needs far more of these close encounters.

St Mary’s 75– L Te Nana-Williams 23, R Matiseni 16, A Moore 14, S Te Nana-Williams 9, Z Kailahi-Fulu 8

Rangitoto 74– A Riley 28, H Wentworth 27, E Moore 14, E Blyth 5


Massey High wasted little time in stamping their authority on proceedings at Mt Albert Grammar School – 7 early points from Alyesha Schuster helping them to a 20-6 lead after 10 minutes.

MAGS continued to struggle in the second spell as Maya Taingahue paced Massey to a position of strength at half-time ahead 38-13.

The hosts were much improved after the break as Monica Kelly, Tiger-Lily Cocker-Lamalie, Rikki Fiatau and Danae Tait helped MAGS reduce the deficit to 54-35 at three-quarter time.

Shauna Povey and Ramona Fuaivaa re-asserted Massy dominance in the fourth as they recorded win number five for the season.

MAGS 42– M Kelly 13, T Cocker-Lamalie 9, R Fiatau 8, D Tait 8

Massey 72– S Povey 14, A Schuster 13, R Fuaivaa 12, M Taingahue 8


In a largely one-sided affair Carmel College beat Auckland Girls Grammar 127-44.

Leah Patuwairua was exceptional scoring a massive 35 points as she carried the Grammar offense on her shoulders even in the final quarter when the team were down to four players after Milika Fonohema (7 points) and Phayezon Vae fouled out.

The highlight for Carmel was half a dozen late points for rookie India Flavell.

AGGS 44– L Patuwairua 35, M Fonohema 7

Carmel 127– T Dalton 17, I Cattermole 14, K Linstrom 11, Q Stephano 11, J Cammell 10


Premier Girls Standings:

8-0 St Mary’s

6-1 Westlake

5-3 Massey

4-4 Carmel

3-4 Rangitoto

1-7 MAGS

0-8 AGGS

Grammar beat Rosmini in latest round of Premier action


The two top teams in the Auckland Secondary Schools Boys Premier League both won again as did Westlake and Auckland Grammar in the latest round of action last Friday.

After a couple of promising performances of late Mt Albert Grammar School found it anuphill battle against league leaders St Kentigern College going down 78-40.

In probably the lowest scoring opening quarter of the season visitors St Kentigern led 11-5 after 10 minutes.

It didn’t get any better for the hosts in the second period scoring just five points again to trail 33-10 at half-time – Levic Kerr, Kazlo Evans and Josh Child doing most of the damage for St Kent’s.

Nate Wilson (27 points and 16 rebounds) was playing something of a lone hand for MAGS although he did get support from Phoenix Sorensen in the third but triples from Martin Gan and Evans took St Kent’s out to 53-25 at the three-quarter buzzer.

More points from Wilson followed but half a dozen apiece from Kerr and Alex McNaught eased St Kent’s to the win and retention of top spot on the ladder.

 MAGS 40 – N Wilson 27/16r, P Sorensen 8, B Skelton 4
St Kent’s 78 –
K Evans 18, L Kerr 16, J Child 12, A McNaught 11, S Broughton 9


Rangitoto College had little trouble at Liston College winning 116-68 with young forward Tautoko Wynyard posting a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Liston guard Sefa Prasad scored seven early points but Rangi were racing and led 25-15 at quarter time.

Eight points from Ethan Skelton and six from Phoenix Leupolu in the second gave Rangi a 56-28 half-time lead.

Preston Karatau and Prasad kept the score ticking over for Liston in the third frame but eight points from Harry Payne and a triple late in the period from Joon Back took Rangi to an unassailable 86-42 three-quarter time lead.

Victor Ola’aiga scored in double figures in the fourth but a free wheeling Rangitoto chalked up win number nine to remain hot on the heals of leaders St Kentigern.

Liston 68 – V Ola’aiga 20, S Prasad 15, S Hickey 14, P Karatau 13

Rangitoto 116 – H Payne 19, P Leopolu 17, E Skelton 13, Z Riley 13/8a, J Thornton 12, T Wynyard 10/15r


 Macleans College forward Harry Smith scored a game high 20 points but a more evenly balanced Westlake scoring effort took Lake to a convincing 89-44 victory.

Smith had scored 11 points at half-time but by then Westlake had cleared out to a 43-18 lead.

Westlake had nine scorers in the half led by Josh Kooiman’s 11 points.

Westlake increased their lead as Paora Winitana, working his way back to match fitness after a long injury lay-off, regularly found his way to basket. Boston Caldwell added a brace of threes as Lake took a 66-26 lead into the three-quarter break.

Jesse Manuel scored six fourth quarter points for Macleans but it was small consolation for the hosts who were well beaten on the night.

 Macleans 44 – H Smith 20, R Jiang 7, J Manuel 6

Westlake 89 – P Winitana 16, J Kooiman 14, C Atkinson 9, C Silbiger 7


Despite 47 points from Taine Murray Auckland Grammar proved too good for Rosmini College winning 97-82.

Grammar, on the back of threes from Daniel Boyd and the outstanding Connor Ngan (26 points), were 15 points ahead (80-65) three minutes into the final period and having led for the duration of the game appeared to be heading for a comfortable win.

Rosmini then seized the initiative as Taine Murray scored ten straight points (including a pair of rim rattling dunks) and when Sean Murphy added a put back the margin was just two points (81-79) with four minutes to play.

However from there momentum swung back in favour of the hosts, Ngan controlling the tempo as Luka Vea, Caleb Landon and Ilasia Tela added the finishing touches to a polished AGS performance.

Earlier Grammar had forged a 25-20 opening quarter advantage extended to 52-43 at half-time – Tela up to 15 points at the break.

Murray was in fine form and his twelve third quarter points, coupled with contributions from Reihana Maxwell-Topia and Murphy, trimmed the AGS lead to 70-65 at the last break.

Rosmini made that run in the fourth but AGS stood firm – the two teams now locked in third spot on the ladder with identical 5-4 records.

AGS 97 – C Ngan 26, I Tela 20, D Boyd 19, L Vea 12, C Landon 11

Rosmini 82 – T Murray 47, S Murphy 11, R Maxwell-Topia 10


Premier Standings:

9-1 St Kentigern

8-1 Rangitoto

5-4 Rosmini, AGS

5-5 Westlake

3-6 MAGS

2-7 Liston

0-9 Macleans

St Kentigern stay top and MAGS win again in Boy’s Prem action

MAGS BOYS huddle

Two Auckland Secondary Schools Boy’s Premier games were played on Monday night. Mt Albert Grammar won at Liston College 81-74 and St Kentigern College defended home territory against Westlake Boys winning 89-78.

In the catch up game from Round 7 Mt Albert Grammar led from start to finish at Liston College turning the tables on the hosts who had beaten them 70-59 when the teams last met in Round 2.

For large parts of the game MAGS appeared in total control but every time they threatened to bust the game open Liston, led by Kiani Saxon and Preston Karatau (29 points), would respond and narrow the gap.

When Karatau banked a three from NBA range with three minutes to play the Mt Albert lead, which moments earlier had been ten points, was suddenly trimmed to three (74-71).

Phoenix Sorensen then eased the MAGS nerves with a trey and when Josh Leger converted a neat turn-around jump shot it was 79-71 to the visitors with 90 seconds left.

Liston weren’t quite finished – the hard working Shawn Hickey scored off a neat pocket pass from Sefa Prasad and converted a free throw on the next trip down the floor.

However MAGS were in no mood to let this one slip as they managed the clock in the closing seconds to win 81-74.

Sataan Tawera and Leger dominated the early stages as MAGS built a 22-15 lead in front of a good crowd at St Dominic’s College.

Karatau lit up proceedings in the second scoring 17 points as Liston kept in touch – down 49-41 at half-time.

Saxon and Nate Wilson engaged in a personal dunking contest in the third frame – both players pulling out some athletic plays – 64-59 to the visitors with ten minutes to play.

It was basket for basket in the fourth before Leger and Sorensen made those vital baskets.

Three wins on the bounce for MAGS and a top four berth now within reach.

Liston 74– P Karatau 29, K Saxon 16 S Hickey 12, D Helu 9, S Prasad 8

MAGS 81– N Wilson 22, J Leger 20, S Tawera 19, P Sorensen 7, P Mengistie 7


Westlake guard Josh Kooiman knocked down nine threes at St Kentigern College in what may well be a Prems record three-point shooting performance. All 27 of his points were accumulated from beyond the arc but despite that effort Lake went down 89-78 to the league leaders.

Kooiman got busy early knocking down two first quarter threes but Levic Kerr’s seven points gave St Kent’s a 20-15 early lead.

Reuben Natusch joined in the three-point making for Westlake and Alex McNaught for the hosts. However Kerr and Kazlo Evans kept St Kent’s in the ascendancy, 41-35 ahead at half-time.

Point guards McNaught and Jett Thompson were the main architects of their team’s fortunes in the third both players scoring nine points as the St Kent’s lead narrowed to 57-55 with ten minutes to play.

Kooiman saved his best until last landing five triples in the closing quarter as Westlake tried desperately to snatch the win. However three scores apiece from Shalom Broughton, Evans, McNaught and Kerr, plus a late three from Sam Chan took St Kent’s to victory and maintained their place at the top of the table.

St Kent’s host MAGS on Friday while Westlake will want to arrest a four game losing streak when they visit Macleans College.

St Kentigern 89– L Kerr 21, A McNaught 20, K Evans 17, S Broughton 15, E Watson 9

Westlake 78– J Kooiman 27, J Thompson 19, A Luetich 8, J Wuthrich 6, P Winitana 6


Premier Standings:

8-1 St Kentigern

7-1 Rangitoto

5-3 Rosmini

4-4 AGS

4-5 Westlake

3-5 MAGS

2-6 Liston

0-8 Macleans

Wins for St Mary’s, Westlake and MAGS in Girl’s Prems



MAGS Girls

St Mary’s College and Westlake Girls strengthened their grip on the top two places in the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier League with decisive victories on Friday.

Westlake defeated Rangitoto College 92-60 whilst St Mary’s beat Massey High 78-64.

Despite Hannah Wentworth (30 points) and Ella Moore triples it was visitors Westlake that made the better start at Rangitoto. 11 points from Emme Shearer and 7 from MaKenzee Boucher took Westlake to a healthy 26-15 lead after 10 minutes.

Kellie Tawhiao scored half a dozen points in the second frame for Rangi but they trailed 35-27 at half-time – Shearer up to 15 points.

Wentworth earned a few trips to the foul line during the third but with Amiya Fotu landing a three and Jess Moors heading to a team high 19 points it was 66-41 to the visitors ahead of the fourth quarter.

The final period became something of a three-point shoot-out. Wentworth and Moneesha Barrett dropped a combined five treys for Rangitoto with efforts from Boucher, Jordyn Maddix (twice) and Rosie Dil dropping for Westlake as they made it six wins from seven outings.

Rangitoto 60– H Wentworth 30, M Barrett 13, K Tawhiao 6, E Moore 5

Westlake 92– J Moors 19, E Shearer 15, R Dil 11, M Boucher 10, J Maddix 7


Sisters Jazz and Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu combined for 49 points as St Mary’s College extended their unbeaten run at Massey High School winning 78-64.

A competitive opening quarter was edged by Massey – Meya Taingahue scoring 8 points as they led 18-17.

The Kailahi-Fulu’s, aided by Leata Te Nana Williams, dominated the second period as St Mary’s forged a 39-27 half-time lead.

Shauna Povey scored six points for Massey in the third but Alex Moore matched that figure as St Mary’s took a firm grip on the contest leading 60-38 at three-quarter time.

Ramona Fuaivaa and Alyesha Schuster helped Massey win the final quarter 24-15 but St Mary’s had banked enough early points to make it seven wins on the bounce.

Massey 64– S Povey 19, R Fuaivaa 12, A Schuster 8, M Taingahue 8

St Mary’s 78– Z Kailahi-Fulu 25, J Kailahi-Fulu 24, A Moore 10, L Te Nana Williams 9


At the bottom of the table 26 points from Rikki Fiatau paced Mt Albert Grammar to a solid 72-40 win against Auckland Grammar.

Hina Fifita and Laetitia Tuaiti scored from beyond the arc for Auckland but Fiatau had nine points in the opening minutes and Monica Kelly six as Mt Albert built a 23-17 lead, extended to 36-26 by half-time.

Leah Patuwairua scored all but three of AGS second half points as Kelly, Tiger-Lily Cocker-Lemalie, Harmony Brown and Fiatau took charge of proceedings.

MAGS up and running with their first win of the season.

Mt Albert 72– R Fiatau 26, M Kelly 17, T Cocker-Lemalie 14, H Brown 6

AGGS 40– L Patuwairua 21, L Tuaiti 10


Premier Girls Standings:

7-0 St Mary’s

6-1 Westlake

4-3 Massey

3-3 Carmel, Rangitoto

1-6 MAGS

0-7 AGGS

Boy’s Prems – Round 8 wrap

Sataan Tawera

Return of Sataan Tawera boosts MAGS

Auckland Grammar School and Westlake Boys High found the going tough without their respective Junior Tall Blacks in Round 8 of the Auckland Secondary Schools Boy’s Premier League on Friday.

Jaga Mete (Grammar) and Sam Mennenga (Westlake) are in France with the New Zealand team preparing for the upcoming FIBA U19 World Cup and their presence was understandably missed by their respective teams. Westlake lost at North Shore rivals  Rangitoto College (93-65) and Auckland lost the battle of the ‘Grammars’ going down 74-57 at Mt Albert.

Despite 11 points in the opening quarter from Auckland point guard Connor Ngan it was hosts Mt Albert, capitalizing on a 16-0 run, that led at quarter time (25-15) with forward Josh Leger picking up 12 points.

A low scoring second period was edged 11-8 by the visitors – Luka Vea making a couple of timely baskets for Auckland.

MAGS had begun the season with five straight losses and it’s no coincidence that their fortunes have improved with the return from injury of Sataan Tawera (22 points). The influential guard lit up proceedings early in the third with 11 straight points including three scores from beyond the arc.

Further baskets from Leger and Phil Mengistie carried MAGS to a position of dominance at three-quarter time – ahead 58-39.

Ngan and Caleb Landon combined for 11 points in the fourth but Tawera and Leger, on his way to a double-double of 21 points and 16 rebounds, took MAGS to a second straight win ahead of the rearranged game against Liston College on Monday.

MAGS 74– S Tawera 22 (5/10 3PG), J Leger 21/16r, N Wilson 10/19r, P Mengistie 8

AGS 57– C Ngan 22, C Landon 12, L Vea 8, I Tela 5


At Rangitoto College Jett Thompson, with a couple of slicing drives, gave Westlake the early lead but consecutive threes from Obadaiah Paea tied proceedings at quarter time – 20 points each.

Rangitoto gained some ascendancy making a 15-3 run to open the second frame with Paea and Zach Riley at the heart of the action. Antonio Luetich and Caton Silbiger responded for Westlake but a bucket from Liam Judd and a corner three from Ethan Skelton on the stroke of half-time meant that Lake had been outscored 27-9 in the period and trailed 47-29 at the break.

Skelton started the second half as he finished the first with a corner three. Another three, this time from Tommy Te Puni, was proceeded by a trey from Thompson to open the Lake response after the interval.

When Skelton scored consecutive layups off turnovers Westlake Head Coach Zac Fitzgerald needed a timeout with his team 58-34 in arrears.

Joe Wuthrich scored on the resumption but Te Puni and Skelton had all the answers – the hosts ahead 74-45 at the last break to the delight of the vociferous home supporters.

Rangitoto forward Dallas Clayton had the satisfaction of scoring against his former teammates with a neat left handed finish before Paora Winitana, making a welcome return following six months on the sideline with injury, put some points on the board for Westlake. However it was little consolation as the Swans slipped to a third straight loss.

Rangitoto 93– O Paea 24, E Skelton 18, Z Riley 13, H Payne 6

Westlake 65– J Thompson 21, A Luetich 15, P Winitana 8, J Kooiman 5


Rosmini College were made to work hard by an injury depleted Macleans College before eventually running out winners 105-83.

Visitors Macleans could only field six fit players but despite that handicap only trailed 26-21 at quarter time. Kraus Reyes scored their first six points and but for missed free-throws Macleans could well have led after ten minutes.

Tyler Martin and Terence Abdon hit a pair of threes apiece but Macleans, or more precisely Jesse Manuel and Harry Smith, kept in touch trailing 54-43 at half-time.

Smith and Manuel  would go on to score an impressive 32 points apiece but they could do little to stop Rosmini dominating the third period.

Martin, Abdon and Taine Murray shared seven threes in the quarter (12 in the match) as the Rosmini lead climbed to 85-59 by the three-quarter mark.

Marvin Williams-Dunn, Jett Marshall and Thomas Morgan continued Rozzas three-point barrage butthe highlight of the game came in the closing minutes and belonged to big man Jack McGregor.

Picking up the ball on the elbow of the key the Macleans forward threw down a rim rattling two handed dunk much to the delight of the Macleans bench. Their obvious delight and togetherness epitomised the effort of coach Adrian Boyd’s charges.

Rosmini 105– T Murray 31, T Martin 18, T Abdon 16, B Robb 10, M Williams-Dunn 7

Macleans 83– J Manuel 32, H Smith 32, K Reyes 14


Shalom Broughton with a game high 30 points and Alex McNaught with 21 points on his birthday led St Kentigern College to a 100- 83 home win against Liston College to stay level with Rangitoto College at the top of the Prems ladder.

Desmond Helu knocked down three triples in the opening quarter but despite Sefa Prasad also landing from deep Liston trailed 26-17 at the ten minute mark – all five St Kent’s starters on the scoresheet.

The hosts reeled off 34 points in the second quarter to take a stranglehold on the game. Levic Kerr was at his dominant best and with Broughton and McNaught in support St Kent’s forged a 62-28 half-time advantage.

Elliot Watson scored 8 third quarter points but with Kerr in foul trouble it meant Liston, with parity on the boards, were able to stage a recovery led by Shawn Hickey and Preston Karatau.

Down 82-58 at three-quarter time Liston continued to battle away and again won the last quarter (25-18) as Kiani Saxon, Karatau and Hickey picked holes in the St Kent’s defence.

St Kentigern 100– S Broughton 30, A McNaught 21, L Kerr 18, E Watson 14

Liston 83– P Karatau 17, S Hickey 17, S Prasad 15, D Helu 13, K Saxon 9


Premier Standings:

7-1 Rangitoto, St Kentigern

5-3 Rosmini

4-4 AGS, Westlake

2-5 Liston, MAGS

0-8 Macleans