The finals of the major Girls competitions in Auckland were settled on Thursday at North Shore Events Centre.
In the Premier Grade Auckland Girls Grammar School proved too strong for traditional rivals Mt Albert Grammar School winning 61-52.
A low scoring first quarter ended with Mt Albert marginally ahead 12-11.
Both teams struggled for offensive fluency in the early stages of the second period although three consecutive baskets from MAGS guard Jodeci Joseph trimmed the AGGS advantage (20-18). That advantage had been built around the efforts of Karma Skilton-Roberts and Rionne Papa.
Consecutive threes from the sister pairing of Elianna and Laetitia Tuaiti helped Auckland to a 27-21 half-time lead.
Skilton-Roberts led all scorers with 9 points at the break.
A couple of quick baskets from Trinity Paeu and one from Joseph tied the scores at 27-27 but critically for MAGS Sharne Robati picked up her fourth foul and was forced to the bench.
It took Auckland six minutes to find the hoop in the third but MAGS were unable to capitalise on their opponents scoring drought.
A pair of treys from each team in the final ninety seconds of the period (two from Tyla Tuala for Auckland and one each from Rhyannon Poto and Jade Manase for MAGS) kept the game beautifully poised, 40-36, in favour of the minor premiers with 10 minutes to play.
Another three from Skilton-Roberts plus five points from Papa pushed AGGS out to a 49-38 early in the final period.
Robati and Paeu reduced the deficit to 49-42 with five minutes to play.
Tuala and Elianna Tuaiti pushed the lead out to 53-42 and MAGS required a timeout with just over three minutes to play.
Paeu and Joseph scored after the break but AGGS had little trouble maintaining their lead and recorded a 61-52 victory. The title was claimed on the back of a 14-2 season and it will be interesting to see if AGGS can continue their run of success at the Secondary Schools Nationals Qualifiers next week.
Final Score: Auckland Grammar 61 – Skilton-Roberts 14, Tuala 13, Papa 13, E Tuaiti 10 Mt Albert 52 – Paeu 15, Joseph 13, Robati 11, Poto 7
Under 15 Girls Final:
Following 21 points in the semi-final last week Harmony Rangi-Brown was able to continue her good scoring touch with 23 points to lead Massey High School to a convincing win against Mt Albert Grammar School.
Monica Kelly scored 13 first half points for MAGS but they still found themselves 33-25 in arrears at the break.
Alayna Kamuhemu scored five points for MAGS in the third period but that was all they could muster as Rangi-Brown, Kiara Taimai and Rose Maeli dominated proceedings to give Massey a game winning 47-30 lead at three-quarter time.
Kelly scored six straight points for MAGS in the fourth but Massey’s neat passing game ensured the trophy would be heading west.
Mt Albert Grammar 40 –, Monica Kelly 19, Alayna Kamuhemu 8, Anna Teu 6
Massey High 63 – Harmony Rangi-Brown 21, Rose Maeli 22, Kiara Taimai 8
Under 17 Girls Final:
Mount Albert turned the tables on Massey High in the Under 17 final with Sharne Pupuke-Robati leading all scorers with 17 points.
Defence was dominating proceedings as MAGS edged to a 20-18 half-time lead.
Pupuke-Robati and Va’ai Moanekah extended the MAGS advantage in the third before seven straight points from Laticia Jost kept Massey’s hopes alive, 30-28 behind with a quarter to play.
The impressive Shauna Povey tied the game at the beginning of the final period but Jade Manase landed a three to restore the MAGS advantage.
Pupuke-Robati and Rikki Fiatau shared ten points as Massey, despite three point successes from Povey and Ramona Fuaivaa, were held at bay in the closing minutes.
Mt Albert Grammar 39 – Sharne Pupuke-Robati 17, Rikki Fiatau 7, Tessa Talo-Tomokino 7
Massey High 35 – Shauna Povey 13, Laticia Jost 8, Ramona Fuaivaa 6
Open Grade Girls Final:
The North Shore local derby was in the balance at half-time before a dominant third period from Westlake Girls High put paid to the title aspirations of Birkenhead College.
Seven first quarter points from Rashaan Smith helped Birkenhead keep pace with Westlake in the early stages.
Christine Ling landed a three in the second period for Westlake and her eight first half points helped Lake to a narrow 27-23 lead at the break.
Despite baskets from Beth Marshall and Smith it was all Westlake in the third as they piled on 19 points in the period. Kaia Pola, , Jessica Moors, and Emme Shearer each scored a brace of baskets as Lake stretched out to an unassailable 46-27 lead at the end of the quarter.
A low scoring final period ensued with Westlake running out comfortable winners.
Westlake Girls 54 – Emme Shearer 13, Jessica Moors 10, Christine Ling 10, Kristin Talma 7
Birkenhead College 32 – Rashaan Smith 14, Beth Marshall 10