Following a month long summer recess the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam resumed at Auckland University Sports Centre on Tuesday evening.
In the early game Save Youthtown established an early lead, forging a 16-7 lead against a ragged looking Mai 88 Sixers. Coach Hayden Allen, unable to play due to an ankle injury, rallied his troops in a much needed time out, his words having the desired effect as they trailed by just two points at quarter time, 24-26.
Tyler Kerlin dropped a three and added a reverse lay up for the Sixers in response to a classy Tait assist/Boucher lay up combination for Yothtown. Both teams were guilty of sloppy fouls and with Tait picking up a technical foul after falling out with an official the second quarter finished with a rash of free throws. Morgan Natanahira and Elliott Briars were 100% from the charity stripe, Lindsay Tait and Ana Haku were almost perfect themselves as the half closed with Youthtown ahead 57-45.
Veteran Robson Tavita opened the third period with a neat hook shot and Natanahira executed a couple of put backs to keep the Sixers afloat. Bryers and Youthtown guard Anthony Jones engaged in a bit of one on one for a couple of possessions and a Inga Solofuti triple kept Youthtown in control at the end of quarter three – ahead 77-68.
Carew Elers, before exiting early with 5 fouls, nudged Youthtown further ahead and Jones penetrated for a basket but just as it appeared the Sixers were a spent force they found an extra gear to storm back into contention. Nick Barrow and Natanahira scored inside, Matt Lacey scored back to back threes, Tavita another inside bucket and all of a sudden the scores were level 88 apiece with 2:40 remaining.
From there the more experienced Youthtown won the possession battle – Tait executed a typical and one play, Boucher secured a couple of customary offensive rebounds, Haku knocked down a three as the shot clock expired and the Sixers fight back was repelled.
Save Youthtown 99 – Tait 30, Haku, 29, Jones 14, Patrich Bolstad 9.
Mai 88 Sixers 90 – Barrow 20, Natanahira, 19, Tavita 16, Lacey 16
The second game of the evening was a more one sided affair as Breakers Development raced to a 35-19 first quarter advantage and never looked back after that as they strolled to a 101-73 win against The Birdmen.
Rory Fannon worked tirelessly for the Birdmen putting together a double double of 17 points and 12 boards but the allround scoring ability of the Breakers, they had seven players in double figures, was too much for their opponents.
Breakers Development 101 – Brad Anderson 25, Shea Ili 16, Yuat Alok 14, Matt Freeman, 12, Jordan Ngatai 12, Duane Bailey 10, Yani Wetzel 10.
The Birdmen 73 – Rory Fannon 17, Johnny Fesolai 15, Carl Buck 14, Jaylen Gerrand 12
The loss means the Birdmen are eliminated from finals contention with three games remaining.
Standings after 9 rounds:
Save Youthtown 8-1
Breakers Development 6-3
Mai88 Sixers 3-6
The Birdmen 1-8