The New Zealand Under 16 Women had a tough two game schedule on day three of the Australian State Championships in Melbourne on Monday. The Kiwis came away with a win in the morning and a loss in the afternoon.
In the morning game 20 points and 15 rebounds from Sharne Pupuke-Robati and a triple double threatening 22 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists from Charlisse Leger-Walker helped propel New Zealand past ACT 77-62.
New Zealand established a 20-13 lead in the first quarter helped by threes from Jordyn Maddix and Briarley Rogers.
The Kiwis gained a double-digit advantage midway through the second period but were unable to fully shake off a determined ACT team.
A Leger-Walker triple ended a four minutes scoring drought in the third, Rosalia Samia and Gracie Hasler-Ewin also made baskets but the lead was still only ten points, 53-43, at three-quarter time.
A decisive 10-3 run at the start of the fourth, that included 6 points from Pupuke-Robati, gave the Kiwis the breathing space they wanted to record a second straight win.
NZ Scorers v ACT: Charlisse Leger-Walker 22/8/8, Sharne Pupuke-Robati 20/15, Jordyn Maddix 9, Briarley Rogers 6, Gracie Hasler-Ewin 6/8, Isabelle Cook 5 Caitlin O’Connell 3 Ella Bradley 4, Rosalia Samia 2
Taking on Victoria Metro is a daunting task at the best of times, after all they have won 14 of the last 16 Australian U16 Women’s National Championships.
Giving them a 23-6 start is not a wise move but unfortunately that was the hole the Kiwis had dug at the end of the first quarter.
New Zealand responded well in the second but still trailed 48-26 at the interval.
Guards Jordyn Maddix and Briarley Rogers both landed triples but a turnover count of 15-3 at the half hurt the Kiwi effort.
NZ continued to keep pace with their more fancied rivals and shaded the third (16-14) as Rosalia Samia, Sharne Pupuke-Robati, Gracie Hasler-Ewin and Maddix all found the basket.
An 8-0 start from the opposition in the final period killed off any hope the Kiwis had of putting a dent in the Victoria lead. The reliable Pupuke Robati broke the run but the Kiwis ran out of gas at the end of a long day losing 80-53.
NZ Scorers v Vic Metro: Sharne Pupuke-Robati 21/ Charlisse Leger-Walker 9/7, Gracie Hasler-Ewin 6, Jordyn Maddix 5 Briarley Rogers 4, Rosalia Samia 4, Isabelle Cook 3, Caitlin O’Connell 1