Tai Wynyard was a surprise inclusion in the Breakers Selection team that went down 97-78 to the touring Athletes in Action at Atlas Place on Saturday evening.
The University of Kentucky and former Breakers Development forward showed no ill affects from only arriving back in New Zealand on the morning of the game as he opened the scoring on his way to a team high 15 points. Sheai Ili, Angus Riley and Isaac Letoa also made double figure contributions but a youthful Breakers (the team included six Breakers Academy players who are at high school) were eventually run down by an older, more experienced, AIA.
Ili, the only member of the SKYCITY Breakers in the lineup sank an early three as did Angus Riley but Athletes in Action, boasting seven Division 1 American College players, led 25-23 at quarter time.
Ili went coast to coast, Riley nailed a baseline jumper and Taki Farensohn converted in transition as the Breakers made a 6-0 run to start the second period.
Ili drove to the basket on an isolation play to give the host a 34-31 lead at the mid point of the quarter but the scoring slowed considerably at the back end of the half – the scores tied 38-38 at the interval.
AIA broke the game open immediately after half-time with a 12-0 run prompting Breakers coach Mike Fitchett to call a time timeout.
AIA continued to put on a shooting display in the third notching 31 points including four threes – three of them by Biola University guard Pierre Zook.
Letoa made seven points at the back end of the quarter and Sam Waardenburg a deep two but the Breakers trailed 72-51 at three-quarter time.
The hosts found scoring a good deal easier in the fourth but each time they made a run AIA were able to counter.
Wynyard opened the quarter with a dunk in transition and Dan Fotu scored back to back buckets but AIA still led 79-61.Ana Haku, Riley and Cameron Stone all made baskets late in the fourth but the AIA lead was never threatened and they went on to win 97-78.
Teams and Points Scorers
Tai Wynyard (University of Kentucky), 15pts
Shea Ili (SKYCITY Breakers), 14pts
Angus Riley (Bryant University, Rhode Island) 13pts
Isaac Letoa (Westlake Boys High School) 11pts
Sam Waardenburg (Rangitoto College), 7pts
Ana Haku (Southland Sharks) 6pts
Dan Fotu (Rangitoto College) 6pts
Derone Raukawa (Southland Sharks) 2pts
Taki Fahrensohn (Auckland Grammar School) 2pts
Cameron Stone (Rangitoto College) 2pts
Brayden Inger (Rangitoto College)
Athletes in Action
Pierre Zook (Biola University) 20pts
Evan Bradds (Belmont University 19pts
Rashawn Thomas (Texas A&M, Corpus Christi) 14pts
Everett Osbourne (UT Rio Grande Valley) 11pts
Chris Collins (Texas A&M University) 9pts
Chandler Thomas (Georgia Southwestern) 8pts
Bryan Michaels (Concordia University) 6pts
Dallas Cameron (Stephen F Austin University) 5pts
Dillon Pollard (University of Mobile) 3pts
Bouna Ndiaye (Northwest Nazarine University) 2pts