Rosmini College staged an exciting fourth quarter fight back to wrestle the Auckland Premier Grade trophy from the grasp of defending champions Rangitoto College at the NSEC on Thursday night.
The game, a great advertisement for college basketball, looked as if it would be going the way of the boys from the Bays when Rangi led 82-76 after Sam Waardenburg scored in traffic with just 2:18 to play.
However, spurred on by the travelling ‘Faithful’, Rosmini mounted a late 12-2 run to squeeze home 88-84 and in the process record a twelfth straight win.
In the early stages Rosmini coach Matt Lacey, deputising for the absent Dave Mackay was forced into an early timeout after his team gave up the first seven points of the game.
Brayden Inger picked up a second foul as Kruz Perrott-Hunt put Rosmini on the board but it was a minor inconvenience as Rangi forged a 9-2 lead.
Rozza made some headway although an emphatic dunk from Dan Fotu put paid to that.
Another dunk, this time from Waardenburg stymied another Rozza run but there was little in it at quarter time, 23-20 Rangitoto ahead.
The lead changed hands on a number of occasions in the second stanza as opposition guards Fotu (11 points in the half) and Perrott-Hunt (10 points) demonstrated their scoring prowess.
Harry Payne helped Rangitoto close the half with a 7-2 run to lead 42-38 at the interval.
A Brayden Inger three took Rangitoto to a 51-45 lead necessitating a Rosmini timeout midway through the third.
Perrott-Hunt landed a three in reply but a Waardenburg back door play and a Cam Stone baseline jumper kept the defending champs ahead.
Rosmini guards Ben Turpin and Taine Wattie exchanged triples with Fotu and Inger withRangi still ahead at three-quarter time 68-60.
Zack Te-Puni broke a 6-0 Rozza start to the last quarter but Will Heather reduced the Rangi lead to two points 70-68.
Cam Stone landed a triple, Mitch Dance replied in kind only for Fotu to knock down a banked version of the same.
Payne caressed a floater home it was 80-74 and Rosmini needed a timeout with 3:25 to play.
Wattie nailed a jumper on the resumption and although Waardenburg made that tough basket in traffic the Rosmini comeback was activated.
Two neat Heather hook shots either side of a Marvin Williams-Dunn And 1 play propelled Rosmini into an 83-82 lead with little over a minute to play.
Rangi committed a 24 seconds violation on their next possession, Perrott-Hunt capitalised on the error with a left-handed drive 85-82.
Fotu scored inside to claw the Rozza lead back to one but Williams-Dunn calmly converted a pair of free throws with 21 seconds to play to give his team a three point buffer which Rangi were unable to dent.
Perrott-Hunt iced the game from the charity stripe and the final buzzer, that sounded a few seconds later, was a signal for a court invasion as a couple of hundred young Rosmini supporters swarmed onto the NSEC playing area to embrace their victorious team.
Both sets of supporters are to be commended for a creating a fitting Grand Final atmosphere.
Final Score: Rosmini 88– Perrott-Hunt 18/8, Heather 14, Wattie 14, Jenkins 11/7, Dance 9, Curran 7/9
Rangitoto 84 –Waardenburg 26/15, Fotu 19, Inger 10/7, Harry Clarke 9, Stone 7
Under 15 Boys Final
Marshall Cairns-Hita got Westlake Boys High School off to a good start against St Peter’s College although Antonio Luetich helped peg things back with St Kent’s trailing narrowly, 26-23 at half-time.
Isaiah Franklin and Phoenix Leupolu were active for St Peter’s in the third but with forward Campbell Atkinson scoring inside and the guards sharing the workload Lake kept their noses in front 41-36 at the three-quarter mark.
Leupolu really went to work in the final quarter scoring nine points to help close the margin. Max Dallow cut the deficit to 51-49 and Franklin set up a one point game, 53-52 when he landed a free throw with a minute to play.
However Westlake held their nerve down the stretch with Matt Malingin, Atkinsion and Cairns-Hita making important plays.
St Peter’s College 52 – Phoenix Leupolu 17, Antonio Luetich 15, Isiah Franklin 12
Westlake 55 – Marshall Cairns-Hita 20, Campbell Atkinson 16, Matt Malingin 9
Under 17 Boys Final
A powerful display by Kale Lawson, who scored 25 points and secured countless rebounds, proved to be the major difference between the two teams as Kelston Boys High School overcame Rosmini College in the Boys Under 17 Final.
Marvin Williams-Dunn opened proceedings with a brace of threes for Rosmini after which the speedsters Reimar Cruz for Rosmini and Matangi Prescott for Kelston delivered some eye catching moments as Rozza forged a 29-25 half-time advantage.
Thomas Morgan and Cian Emery connected with triples for Rozza in the third but they didn’t offer a great deal more on the scoring front as Sam Brooking, Prescott and Lawson took Kelston to a 42-40 three-quarter time lead.
Ryan Stanyer and Brooking increased the Kelston advantage before Terence Abdon landed a three to make it 50-47. It became even tighter when Cruz made a difficult shot look comfortable – 54-53 in favour of Kelston with 54 seconds to play.
Kelston had been forced to work hard to gain the lead and they were in no mood to relinquish the advantage scoring the final points of the game courtesy of Terepo King-Masters and fittingly, their captain, Kale Lawson.
Rosmini College 53 – Marvin Williams-Dunn 13, Reimar Cruz 10, Terence Abdon 10, Tyler Martin 7
Kelston Boys 58 – Kale Lawson 25, Matangi Prescott 12, Sam Brooking 7, Terepo King-Masters 6,
Open Grade Boys Final:
A tight, nervous opening half finished with St Peter’s ahead 21-17 thanks largely to 8 points from Christian Fromont.
Fromont landed a triple early in the third but Manurewa High School prospered to the tune of 15 points in the third as Sakiasi Faaui Tavita, Alan Alani-Taiao and Siaosi Siafa made plays to give Manurewa a 32-29 three-quarter time lead.
Back to back threes from Gerard Boersen gave St Peter’s fresh impetus and along with an improved defensive effort they regained the lead, 37-32.
Espinosa Toffer extended the advantage further, as did Finlay Morris, as St Peter’s controlled the final quarter to record a hard fought but deserved win.
Manurewa High 37 –Sakiasi Faaui Tavita 12, Alan Alani-Taiao 10, Pafe Momoisea 6
St Peter’s College 43– Gerard Boersen 13, Christian Fromont 11, Finlay Morris 10