The inaugural high school ‘Battle of the Bridge’, hosted by the Sky Sport Breakers, was won by City Side who defeated North Shore 66-51.
Played ahead of the Breakers v Brisbane Bullets NBL clash at Spark Arena on Monday evening the game featured the best young high school players from Mt Albert Grammar, Auckland Grammar and St Kentigern College representing City Side. North Shore featured top players from Rosmini College, Rangitoto College and Westlake Boys High.
Shalom Broughton led the way for City Side with 18 points, the Schick Nationals MVP well supported by his St Kentigern teammates Levick Kerr and Alex McNaught. Auckland Grammar point guard Connor Ngan was also prominent as were the Mt Albert Grammar duo of Nate Wilson and Sataan Tawera.
Westlake Boys star Sam Mennenga, signed to play NCAA Division I basketball at Davidson College next year, top scored for North Shore with 15 points while Rangitoto’s Zack Riley and the Rosmini duo of Jayden Boucher and Reihana Maxwell Topia provided good support.
Played in front of the Sky Sport cameras, and a healthy crowd, Riley was the first to score and his teammate Josh Kooiman rounded out the first quarter scoring but in between triples from Ngan and Broughton helped City Side to a 21-15 first quarter lead.
Jaga Mete and Kerr extended the City Side lead to double digits before Mennenga replied with a brace of baskets and when Sean Murphy scored the last three points of the first half North Shore trailed by the narrowest of margins (31-30).
Boucher and Riley gave North Shore the lead immediately after the break but it was short lived as Tawera, Broughton and Ngan (8 points in the quarter) took City Side to a handy 47-40 three-quarter time lead.
Kerr and Josh Leger extended the City Side advantage and although Maxwell-Topia and Mennenga scored a couple of neat inside baskets North Shore were unable to cut into the City Side advantage. Fittingly Kerr, McNaught and Broughton, key players in St Kent’s National Championship winning campaign, put the lid on the win combining for 14 points in the closing ten minutes.
City Side 66– S Broughton 18, L Kerr 11, C Ngan 11, A McNaught 8, S Tawera 6, N Wilson 6, J Mete 4, J Leger 2, L Vea, K Evans
North Shore 51– S Mennenga 15, J Boucher 6, R Maxwell-Topia 6, Z Riley 6, S Murphy 5, J Kooiman 4, M Williams-Dunn 3, J Thompson 3, H Payne 3, E Mandeno