Rangitoto College and Westlake Girls were crowned Premiership champions on the final day of the 2016 Zone 1 Secondary Schools National Championships Qualifying Tournament at the North Shore Events Centre on Saturday. Both teams produced dominant displays to win their respective titles.
Equally significantly the seven qualifiers (both Boys and Girls) for the National Championships in Palmerston North in October were decided.
Rangitoto retained the Boys title with a resounding 91-57 win against Auckland Grammar School.
Rangitoto scored the last 11 points of the opening quarter to lead 23-12 at the break.
The Grammar chances were dealt two major blows in the second quarter as starters Connor Flanagan and Taki Fahrensohn departed the game with significant injuries. Rangitoto took full advantage to stretch the lead beyond twenty points, 47-21, at half-time.
The influential Dan Fotu had 11 points at the break to led all scorers, the sidelined Fahrensohn half a dozen for Grammar.
Unfortunately Fahrensohn (pinched nerve in the arm) and Flanagan (severe ankle sprain) were unable to take any further part in the game although the under resourced AGS outfit kept plugging away.
Guards Thomas Whyte, Rua Winitana and Elijah Andrews, along with Samson Aruwa, kept AGS afloat but they had no answer to the one-two punch of Brayden Inger and Sam Waardenburg. Inger had 14 points in the third period alone.
The Rangi lead was a massive 74-32 at three-quarter time and with the result no longer in doubt the intensity went out of the game in the fourth, both teams heading to Nationals with high expectations.
Final Score: Rangitoto 91 – Inger 24, Fotu 21, Zac Te Puni 10 Auckland Grammar 57 – Aruwa 15, Whyte 12
Earlier in the day Rangitoto avenged their defeat the previous week against Rosmini College in the Auckland Prems Final in some style. Rangi led from start to finish winning the semi-final clash 84-58.
In the second semi-final Auckland Grammar accounted for Westlake Boys in equally convincing fashion winning 87-66.
Boys Final Standings/Results (Top 7 teams Qualify for Nationals)
1st/2nd Rangitoto 91 Auckland Grammar 57
3rd/4 Rosmini 77 Westlake 65
5th/6th Kelston 93 Selwyn 62
7th/8th Mt Albert 107 Whangarei Boys 30
9th/10th St Peter’s 80 Whangaparaoa 67
11th/12th Avondale 87 Takapuna 69
13th/14th Macleans 86 Massey 63
15th/16th Pakuranga 62 Mt Roskill 57
17th’18th Northcote 67 Birkenhead 48
19th/20th Kristin School 54 Southern Cross 43
With the senior trio of Rosie Davison, Zara Jillings and Tiarna Clarke in dominant form Westlake Girls proved too strong for Auckland Grammar winning the Girls Final 88-52.
Westlake led 46-27 at half-time with the Junior Tall Ferns pairing of Jillings and Clarke connecting with a combined five threes in the session.
Westlake were even more dominant in the third winning the stanza 31-14 as Emme Shearer, Jordyn Maddix and Sophie Dil helped stretch the advantage to 77-42.
Mele Latu, Rionne Papa, Karma Skilton-Roberts and Elianna Tuaiti all made double figure contributions for AGGS but it wasn’t their day as they went down to their heaviest defeat of the season.
Westlake now boast a 3-1 record against the reigning Auckland Premiers and will head to Nationals with confidence high and a trophy in the cabinet.
Final Score: Westlake 88 – Clarke 31, Jillings 28, Davison 14, Shearer 8
Auckland 52 – Papa 14, Skilton-Roberts 12, E Tuaiti 11, Latu 10
The crucial 7th/8th play-off game was won by Epsom Girls who defeated Orewa College 66-61 in overtime after the scores were locked 58 apiece in regulation. Orewa guard Ariana Henare scored 31 points including 13 points from the foul line but 18 points from Sarah Scoular and a further 16 from Aira Benitez carried Epsom to victory and a place at Nationals.
Girls Final Standings/Results (Top 7 teams Qualify for Nationals)
1st/2nd Westlake 88 Auckland Grammar 52
3rd/4th Rangitoto 79 St Kentigern 36
5th/6th Mt Albert 82 Massey 42
7th/8th Epsom Girls 66 Orewa 61