The final of the Boys Premier Grade competition in Auckland will be an all North shore affair after both Rangitoto College and Rosmini College came through tough examinations.
The two semi-finals came after three other grades had completed their games on a busy night of basketball action at the NSEC on Friday. The Greater Auckland Under 15, Under 17 and Open Grade competitions preceded the Prem games – see results at foot of story.
In the first Premier semi-final Rangitoto College, were forced to fend off a fast finishing Auckland Grammar School winning 77-72.
Rangitoto made light of having just six players on the night breezing to a 26-10 opening quarter lead with Sam Waardenburg and Kaycee Anibueze sharing 20 of the points on offer.
Grammar made a much better fist of it in the second period and with seven players making scoring contributions in the period the Rangitoto advantage was kept in check, 42-31 at half-time.
Grammar continued their improved showing in the third as Taki Fahrensohn and Elijah Andrews found their scoring touch and it was just 58-54 in favour of Rangi at three-quarter time.
Baskets from Hyrum Shin, Brayden Inger and Logan McIntosh stretched the Rangitoto lead to what appeared to be an unassailable 69-56 advantage with time the enemy of Grammar.
However Samson Aruwa and Andrews prompted a Grammar revival and when Conor Flanagan finished in transition with an emphatic dunk it was just 69-67 to Rangi with three minutes to play.
Guards Logan McIntosh and Shin scored four quick points for Rangi before Flanagan scored again; 71-69.
A Sam Waardenburg basket eased the Rangi nerves and although Tom Whyte landed a three for Grammar Inger was able to secure the win for the defending champions from the foul line.
Final Score: Rangitoto 77 – Waardenburg 28, Anibueze 19, McIntosh 12, Inger 10 AGS 72 – Fahrensohn 18, Andrews 17, Whyte 13, Aruwa 10
Despite a combined 57 points from Isaac Letoa and James Moors Westlake Boys High School were beaten 81-78 by Rosmini College in the second semi-final.
Both sets of supporters were in good voice as Letoa claimed 5 quick points to give his team a 20-12 opening quarter lead.
A Moors drive extended the Westlake advantage to ten points and with Rozza struggling to locate the basket coach Dave Mackay called a timeout.A Luke Day baseline jumper increased the lead, Moors inflicted further damage with a trey and with pressure defence stifling the Rosmini attack Westlake were in control.
Peter Jenkins and Will Heather scored a couple of baskets for Rozza and it was Phil Campbell’s turn to call a timeout.
A steal and points from Letoa and a banked left handed finger roll layup from Greg Vukets kept Lake ahead 37-23 but their good work was partially undone as extended Rosmini defensive pressure provided a 6-0 spurt in the last 30 seconds of the half.
Westlake captain Letoa registered an impressive 18 points in the opening half – his team ahead 37-29.
Rosmini carried the late first half momentum into the opening stages of the third stanza. A Taine Wattie triple dragged Rosmini to within three followed by a Marvin Williams-Dunne replica effort that tied the scores.
Letoa steadied the Westlake ship with a brace of baskets – scores tied 41 apiece midway through the third.
The teams went basket for basket before Kruz Perrott-Hunt created a steal and assist for Wattie giving Rosmini the lead for the first time since the opening minute of the game. Another Wattie basket (a three) gave Rosmini a 55-52 lead at the three-quarter mark.
Nathan Curran gave Rosmini a two possession lead for the first time and then Mitchell Dance brought ‘The Faithfull’ to life once more. With the Rosmini lead extended to 65-58 Lake needed a timeout.
The ploy worked a treat with Moors making a basket and a pair of free throws.
Wattie came up with yet another offensive rebound and score but that man Letoa kept his team in the game; 67-64 with four minutes to play.
Free throws on three consecutive Rozza offences extended their lead to 72-64 with 3:30 to play.
A pulsating finish ensued.
Reuben Fitzgerald made a three (74-69) and although Curran scored in the paint under intense defensive pressure Moors inspired a Westlake comeback with a right handed hook shot trailed by a long three
Rosmini still led 76-74 with 68 seconds to play but needed a timeout.
Their possession on the subsequent play came to nothing and when Fitzgerald was fouled he stroked home a pair of freebies to tie the scores with 36 seconds to play only for Wattie to nail a triple with 17 seconds remaining.
Moors was then fouled in attempting a triple and he sunk two of three free throws to make it a one point ball game.
Curran sank both free throws after being fouled and although Lake had the final possession they were unable to force the game into overtime.
The game was a terrific advert for school basketball with both teams receiving excellent, vociferous support from their respective followers.
Final score: Rosmini 81 – Wattie 18, Dance 15, Curran 10, Hylton 8, Jenkins 8 Westlake 78 – Letoa 29, Moors 28, Telfer 7, Fitzgerald 7
Under 15 Boys semi-finals:
St Peter’s College 46 – Antonio Luetich 18, Samuel Glover 7
Sacred Heart College 26 – Max Burggraf 12
Westlake 63 – Campbell Atkinson 17, Marshall Cairns-Hita 16, Zane Chang 10
Massey High 47 – RonanLethbridge 14, Ben Lethbridge 9, Nathan Costales 9
Under 17 Boys semi-finals:
Rosmini College 52 – Marvin Williams-Dunn 25, Reimar Cruz 8
Westlake Boys 51 – Taylor Yang 15, Mark Wellacott 12, Patrick Morada 7
Avondale College 55 – Jaga Mete 23, Aman Donaldson 10, Caleb Finau 8
Kelston Boys 66 – Kale Lawson 18, Terepo King-Masters 17, Shaun Falefa 13
Open Grade Boys semi-finals:
St Kentigern College 52 – Max Shorter 18, Spencer Johnstone 13, Joel Vianga 10 Manurewa High 53 – Pafe Momoisea 22, Sakiasi Faaui Tavita 18
Selwyn College 35 – Miles Pinono 18
St Peter’s College 50 – Rontel Russo 10, Gerard Boersen 10, D’Angelo Niupopo 9
The finals of all four competitions will be held at NSEC on Thursday August 25th.