Following their quarter final loss the previous day the New Zealand Under 16 Men were playing-off for places 5-8 at the Australian State Championships on Friday.
Pitched against Queensland South, a team they had beaten by 15 points in pool play, the Kiwis made a sluggish start trailing 12-11 at quarter time and 32-25 at half-time. Mitchell Dance and Joseph Hylton were the best of the Kiwis at the break with 5 points each.
Queensland still led by 9 points past the mid point of the third quarter before New Zealand made its move.
The team’s leading three point shooting exponent Tom Cowie landed a trademark three. The shot prompted an 8-0 run to bring the Kiwis to within a single point, 37-36. Cowie again plus a Williams-Dunn trey kept the margin to one at three-quarter time 43-42.
What had been a tight tussle became one way traffic in the fourth as New Zealand completely dominated the closing period.
Hylton, Dance, Cowie, Shalom Broughton and Kainoa Lepou all made scoring contributions to a match winning 19-3 run.
The 23-7 fourth quarter propelled New Zealand to a 65-15 victory and a play-off game for fourth and fifth on Saturday.
Broughton had a game high 14 rebounds and Cowie a game high 4 assists.
Leading NZ Scorers: Tom Cowie 13, Mitchell Dance 13, Kainoa Lepou 11, Shalom Broughton 8/14, Joseph Hylton 7, Marvin Williams-Dunn 5, Ezrah Vaigafa 4, Jared Thornton 2, Morgan Trott 2