Monthly Archives: November 2016

Rusbatch nets 36 points but Breakers went down in latest Mexicali Fresh action

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Round four of the 2016 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam saw wins for Mai FM 88 Sixers and 68a Nelson St on Saturday.

Breakers Development had just five players suited for their game against Mai FM 88 Sixers – Jordan Ngatai, Derone Raukawa, Ethan Rusbatch, Kruz Perrott-Hunt and James Moors.

Early on they were equal to the task trailing by just three points at quarter time 25-22 and still in contention, 49-44 down at half-time

Rusbatch opened the second half with a three, Moors finished with a dunk, Perrott-Hunt landed a triple and when Raukawa converted in transition the Breakers were ahead 57-56.

But that was as close as it got for the Breakers.

A hook shot followed by triple from Will Heather restored the Sixers advantage and soon after Perrott-Hunt made the Breakers task more difficult after picking up his fifth foul.

The numerical disadvantage took its toll on the Breakers in the fourth. Ana Haku, Brook Ruscoe and Josh Bloxham helped the Sixers stretch out to a 98-81 lead with three minutes to play before eventually winning 109-84.

Final score;

Breakers Development 84 – Rusbatch 36, Raukawa 27, Ngatai 11

Mai FM 88 Sixers 109 – Haku 25, Ruscoe 20, Manny Matambanadzo 15, Heather 14

The highlight of the opening quarter of the encounter between The Birdmen and 68A Nelson Street was a drive and dunk in traffic from Liam Thornton helping Nelson Street forge a 28-24 lead.

Tipene Friday drew the Birdmen within a point, 34-33 after a Sam Aruwa steal however a late Nelson Street surge led by Lindsay Tait and Hyrum Harris propelled them to a 62-48 half-time lead.

Late in the third another Thornton dunk off a classic Tait steal and Boucher assist kept Nelson Street in the ascendancy 87-74.

Regular scoring contributions from Justin Bailey, Brandon Lucas and Jaylen Gerrand kept the Birdmen in contention but Stu McEwan brought up the century for Nelson St (101-86) with six minutes to play.

A Lucas jump shot cut the arrears but back-to-back buckets from Harris including an And-1 play stretched the lead to 106-92.

Youngsters Linus Jakszt and Thornton added the finishing touches for Nelson Street.

Final score;

68a Nelson St 115 – Harris 23, Tait 22, Thornton 19, Jakszt 17, McEwan 13

The Birdmen 104 – Bailey 28, Lucas 20, Gerrand 20, Friday 19

 

Standings after 4 rounds:

3-1 Nelson Street,

2-2 Birdmen, Breakers Development

1-3 Mai FM 88 Sixers

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Strong Junior Tall Blacks team named for Oceania Champs

The Junior Tall Blacks (JTB) team has been named for the FIBA Oceania Championships in Fiji, which could be one of the strongest junior basketball teams yet.

Head Coach Daryl Cartwright says every one of the 12 players have the confidence to lead and step up to a more intense level of competition.

“In their respective teams or schools, they are the leaders, they are the ones to make the big plays or carry their teams just about every time they step on the floor. That brings a confidence that we need them to carry to the Oceania Championships. I feel we have genuine depth in the squad and every player has the ability to be a starter for us.”

The team already has a number of players that are well known to the basketball community for more than their on-court ability.

The basketball pedigree of two new faces is particularly notable – Flynn and Tobias Cameron, the sons of Tall Black legend and Tall Black Assistant Coach Pero Cameron. Both live in the Gold Coast and although they are eligible to compete for Australia, they have put their hands up for New Zealand.

Dan Fotu is another familiar name, being the younger brother of Tall Black and Zaragoza player Isaac Fotu. Dan Fotu was also selected for the Basketball Without Borders Asia Camp, alongside JTB team mates Sam Waardenburg, Taane Samuel and Quinn Clinton. Clinton went on to be named MVP of the camp’s All Star Game, while Waardenburg was named MVP of the entire camp.

Sam Waardenburg has already hit the headlines multiple times through playing in the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Champs, being picked for the prestigious NIKE All Asia Camp, attending the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp, attending the Adidas Nations Tournament and for signing to Miami University on a full Division 1 Scholarship. JTB teammate Takiula Fahrensohn has also signed to Division 1 with the University of Portland.

Another stand out player is seven foot tall Callum McRae, the team’s big man who will play a key defensive role. Notably he led the Palmerston North Boys team to a near upset at the Secondary Schools Nationals in October, had it not been for the Rangitoto buzzer beater in the final second.

From March 2015, the JTB wider squad have been targeting the 2016 FIBA Oceania Championships as a pinnacle event. The winner of the tournament will qualify for the FIBA Under 19 World Cup in Cairo next year. Coach Cartwright says the difficult final selection is the result of standout performances from each of these players, while a number of those who didn’t make the final cut could also step up if there are injuries.

“We have had a very dedicated and committed group over the course of the lead up campaign, and there is real depth in every position. The squad have risen to the challenges we have asked of them this year and competed hard for the opportunity to represent New Zealand. It is always a position you would prefer to be in as coaching staff, to debate player’ attributes and who we think fits with the style we want to play, as well as the expectations that come with being part of this New Zealand team.”

With less than a month until the Oceania Championships tip off, Cartwright says what the team needs now is time to develop as a group, which will be the focus while the team are in camp this week.

“It takes time to develop playing as a group. Developing that understanding of how to get the best out of your teammates, where they like to score and other factors. We have not had the luxury of international competition as part of our build up, but that cannot be an excuse, we must demand the very best of each other so we can prepare for the challenge of potentially facing a very good Australian team.”

Australia are the top seeds for the event. A number of the current JTBs played this Australian team in 2015 at the FIBA Under 16 Oceania Championships, only losing within the final moments of final, despite having beaten the team in pool play. New Zealand is yet to win an Oceania age-group championships, mainly due to the dominance of a well-funded Australian basketball system.

“We are looking at how we can use what our strengths are to face them,” says Cartwright. “As a playing group we will need to play together as a team. If you look at what truly makes the Tall Blacks a special team, it is how they draw together as a playing group and are prepared to fight and scrap for every possession. Are you prepared to work for your teammate beside you for every second of the clock? It is about the mana of the singlet. That’s what allows them to push the giants on the world stage. We have to be prepared to do that all the way to the final game.

“My drive is to get our athletes to a World Championship. To be able to represent New Zealand in a tournament where they have the opportunity to compete against the best in the world is a big deal for these players.”

The JTBs is a development team where its alumni often go on to higher honours. Cartwright says this team is a fine example of the state of New Zealand basketball and the increasing rise of New Zealand basketball on the world stage.

“We are seeing a growth period in the game in New Zealand at present and, with the success of Steven Adams in the NBA, we are going to see that continue. There are also many administrators and coaches all around the country who put in a lot of hours to develop the game because they have a passion for the sport. As the people in key roles and those they work alongside continue to develop and improve, so will the talent of our junior players. The number of kiwi athletes in the American college system at the moment is at an all-time high and quality Division 1 and 2 schools are looking at our emerging talent. As these players go through the system, we may well see more Kiwis flying the New Zealand flag in the NBA or WNBA. The end result is greater depth at the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns level.”

Junior Tall Blacks – Final 12 (Name | Age | Position | Height | Association):

Joshua Aitcheson |18 | Forward | 194cm | Basketball Otago
Flynn Cameron | 16 | Guard | 190cm | Gold Coast Basketball, Australia
Tobias Cameron | 17 | Guard | 193cm | Gold Coast Basketball, Australia
Quinn Clinton | 17 | Guard | 190cm | Canterbury Basketball Association
Takiula Fahrensohn | 17 | Guard | 198cm | Waitakere West Auckland Basketball Inc.
Daniel Fotu | 17 | Forward | 205cm | North Harbour Basketball
Isaac Letoa | 18 | Guard | 183cm | North Harbour Basketball
Hamish McDonald | 17 | Guard | 185cm | Waikato Basketball Council
Callum McRae | 17 | Centre | 212cm | Palmerston North Basketball Association
Samson Aruwa | 17 | Forward | 192cm | Basketball Auckland
Taane Samuel | 17 | Forward | 198cm | Wellington Basketball Association
Samuel Waardenburg | 17 | Forward | 208cm | North Harbour Basketball

Head Coach: Daryl Cartwright
Assistant Coaches: Gavin Briggs, Leyton Haddleton
Manager: Charles Maaka
Physio: Dawn ChambersTall

Excellent performances from a number of Kiwis overseas this week

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There were a number of excellent performances from our Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks overseas last week.

The majority of our American college players were involved in Thanksgiving tournaments. There were a large number of games and plenty of strong performances so here is a quick recap.

 It was a mixed weekend from the Nebraska Huskers at the Wooden Legacy but a stunning three games from Tai Webster. He fouled out in 27 minutes as the Huskers edged Dayton 80-78 on Friday but scored 16 points before exiting. The following night the combo guard produced a career high 7 assists added to 19 points and 7 rebounds as the Huskers fell to UCLA 82-71. The former Westlake standout finished off with a game high 23 points plus 8 boards as Nebraska went down 66-53 to Virginia Tech.

St Mary’s Gaels were the hosts at the Hilton Concord Classic but went down 83-78 to Boise state on Saturday and 63-62 on Sunday to Utah. Stella Beck came within a whisker of a double double in both games. She followed up 15 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds with 11 points and 9 rebounds.

Kalani Purcell went stats stuffing at the UNM tournament in Albuquerque. Coincidentally BYU won both their games 71-56 firstly against St Joseph’s then Tulsa.

No coincidence that Purcell was in the tick of things with 12/11/6/4b v St Joe’s and 19/7/6/2b/3st the next day.

Fellow Tall Ferns forward Penina Davidson was also busy. She landed 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 3 blocks as Cal Berkley beat San Francisco 75-52 at their own Cal Classic tournament. Davidson made an even better return in the second game – 14p/9r/2a/2st/2b as the Golden Bears recorded another win this time against Duquesne 86-66.

Tessa Boagni was in fine rebounding form as Cal State, Northridge accounted for Detroit Mercy 76-67 at the Raddison Chatsworth Classic. Boagni snared 9 boards to accompany 4 points and a pair of blocks. There were another 9 boards plus 8 points for the Cantabrian in the 63-59 loss to Michigan State on Sunday.

Krystal Leger-Walker produced 11 points and 8 assists as Northern Colorado Bears beat the hosts University of Texas-San Antonio 73-66 on Saturday at the UTSA Classic. Leger-Walker had a poor shooting night (2/9FG) as the Bears downed Eastern Michigan 58-57 in their second game but the Waikato guard was all hustle with 4 assists and 5 steals. Her fifth steal was critical – secured with 18 seconds to play it enabled the Bears to set up the game winning final play.

Jacinta Beckley produced her best return of the season to date with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists as Seattle Redhawks went down to Portland State 79-71.

There was a nice return for Jack Salt as Virginia Cavs won both games at the Emarald Coast Classic. The Cavs beat Iowa 74-41 and Providence 63-52. Salt started in both games but really made a mark in game two with 8 points (4/6FG) and 6 rebounds in 27 minutes of action.

Tai Wynyard is struggling for court time at Kentucky but did put his limited time to good use against Cleveland State scoring 4 points and securing 3 rebounds in just four minutes as the Wildcats improved to 5-0 with a 101-70 victory against Cleveland State.

Away from college hoops:

In an Australian WNBL Grand Final rematch Perth Lynx stole a win in Townsville defeating the Fire 89-85 in another classic on Friday night.

The match pitched Tall Fern v Tall Fern as both Micaela Cocks and Toni Edmondson featured strongly for their respective teams.

For Perth Edmondson scored a season high 18 points (6/12FG, 3/7 3PG), secured a game high 11 rebounds and added a block and a steal.

Cocks also came close to a double double adding 9 rebounds to her 14 points for the Fire. The defending champions slip to sixth on the ladder with a 5-6 record, Perth (7-3) moved to second the table.

La Murra Lucca (7-1) proved far too good for bottom of the table Battipaglia in Italian League action. Jillian Harmon bullied the Batt’s to record 25 points and 8 rebounds.

Despite going down 60-57 at Zomotza Mike Karena’s Sammic ISB are still top of the Spanish second division competition with a 7-3 record. Karena had a double double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in his latest outing

In other news

There has been some bad news followed by better news for Tall Ferns Brooke Blair. As reported a couple of weeks ago Blair went down after just seven minutes of Idaho State’s 82-78 season opening loss to Santa Clara.

It can be confirmed that the former Rangitoto College standout has suffered a season ending ACL injury. The Bengals combo guard was looking forward to a successful senior year but will now spend the coming months rehabbing. The silver lining for Blair is that she is permitted to redshirt the current campaign meaning that she will be eligible to conclude her college career in the 2017-18 season.

Last season Blair started all 33 games for the Bengals reaching double figures in 26 contests. Averaging 12.4 points per game she finished second on the teams scoring and fourteenth on the Big Sky Conference scoring list earning Conference All-Tournament team selection.

Her consistent performances caught the eye of the Tall Ferns selectors and Blair made her full international debut against the Czech Republic in May on the tour of China

The following month she returned to her native North Shore and scored 22 points for New Zealand Select against China B at AUT Sports Centre.

The 22 year old is understandably “disappointed” to have to sit out the current season but as she told the Lowdown, “I will now concentrate on my rehab programme with the aim being to be fully fit for next season.”

Big Blow for Blair

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There has been some bad news followed by better news for Tall Ferns Brooke Blair. As reported a couple of weeks ago Blair went down after just seven minutes of Idaho State’s 82-78 season opening loss to Santa Clara.

It can be confirmed that the former Rangitoto College standout has suffered a season ending ACL injury. The Bengals combo guard was looking forward to a successful senior year but will now spend the coming months rehabbing. The silver lining for Blair is that she is permitted to redshirt the current campaign meaning that she will be eligible to conclude her college career in the 2017-18 season.

Last season Blair started all 33 games for the Bengals reaching double figures in 26 contests. Averaging 12.4 points per game she finished second on the teams scoring and fourteenth on the Big Sky Conference scoring list earning Conference All-Tournament team selection.

Her consistent performances caught the eye of the Tall Ferns selectors and Blair made her full international debut against the Czech Republic in May on the tour of China

The following month she returned to her native North Shore and scored 22 points for New Zealand Select against China B at AUT Sports Centre.

The 22 year old is understandably “disappointed” to have to sit out the current season but as she told the Lowdown, “I will now concentrate on my rehab programme with the aim being to be fully fit for next season.”

We wish her well.

Edmondson and Perth too good for Cocks and Townsville

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In an Australian WNBL Grand Final rematch Perth Lynx stole a win in Townsville defeating the Fire 89-85 in another classic on Friday night.

The match also pitched mate v mate and Tall Fern v Tall Fern as both Micaela Cocks and Toni Edmondson featured strongly for their respective teams.

Cocks and Townsville Fire made the early running, the combo guard splashed three triples in the opening quarter.

However Perth, now equal top on the WNBL ladder with a 7-3 record, took charge of the middle stages of the encounter. They moved to a 50-40 half-time lead, 66-54 at the final break and were ahead by 18 early in the final period.

However the Fire turned up the heat in the closing minutes and when Cocks landed her fourth trey of the night with 3:57 to play, the lead had been trimmed to eight points, 80-72. It became 82-77 with 90 seconds to play but Edmondson bossed the final few seconds grabbing an important steal and sinking three from four free throws to lead the Lynx to an important road win.

The Cantabrian scored a season high 18 points (6/12FG, 3/7 3PG), secured a game high 11 rebounds and added a block and the afore mentioned steal.

Cocks also came close to a double double adding 9 rebounds to her 14 points. The defending champions slip to sixth on the ladder with a 5-6 record.

Townsville’s other Kiwi Chevannah Paalvast didn’t see any court time.

Kelman-Poto shines in week two of Women’s Mexicali Summer Jam

 

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Ashleigh Kelman-Poto was the star of the second round of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam Women’s competition on Saturday.

The former Mount Albert Grammar standout was in an unstoppable mood scoring 36 points to lead the Sparks to a 63-51 victory against Team Sky.

Renee Johnston scored an early three for Team Sky but a couple of baskets each from Kaitlin Burgess and Kazia Kelly opened an early lead for Sparks that stretched to 31-21 at half-time

Sharne Pupuke-Robati and Rhyannon Poto, both current MAGS students, did their best to keep Sky in the hunt but Kelman-Poto was in irresistible form scoring 13 straight points in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

36 points was a career high for the 24 year old forward who graduated from East Central University, Oklahoma earlier this year.

Final score;

Sparks 63 – Kelman-Poto 36, Burgess 9, Tangiariki 6

Sky 51 – Pupuke-Robati 11, Poto 10, Manase 8, S Herewini 6

In game two Team Storm won for the second time coming from behind to beat The Suns in a close one 62-59.

The scores were locked 31 apiece at half- time with Safena TeNana-Williams nabbing 10 points for Storm, Anna Lacey and Mikayla Blair leading the way for The Suns.

Both teams were deprived of players early in the second half. Suns guard Shauna Povey was forced out with an ankle injury and Storm forward Keeley Tini followed her to the sideline soon after.

The Suns shone in the third producing a dominating 17-8 surge as Kat Leslie, and the Jenkins duo Annabelle and Tabitha Jenkins cut loose.

The Suns still led by double figures with six minutes to play but were run down by Zara Jillings and Georgie Henare in the closing minutes, the pair scoring a collective 19 points in the fourth.

In an exciting finish Annabelle Jenkins had kept the Suns ahead with a minute to play but a Jillings drive leveled proceedings. A strong inside move from Jazz Kailahi gave the advantage to The Storm only for Blair once again to tie the scores with 30 seconds to play.

Following a timeout Henare nailed a sideline triple – The Suns unable to find an open shot to force overtime in the remaining 11 seconds.

Final score;

Storm 79 – Jillings 19, TeNana-Williams 11, Henare 7, Tini 6

Suns 59 – A Jenkins 11, T Jenkins 9, Lacey 8, Blair 7

Wins for Breakers and Nelson Street in Mexicali Fresh League

 

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Rusbatch and Tait in fine form

The opening game of round three of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam Men’s competition on Saturday featured The Birdmen and Breakers Development.

The Breakers were bolstered by the inclusion of Shea Ili – the point guard working his way back to full fitness as he recovers from a stress fracture in the lower back.

Some sloppy Breakers ball retention was seized on by Justin Bailey for the Birdmen before Ethan Rusbatch landed a couple of long threes and Thomas Whyte a reverse lay-up to take the Breakers to a 20-16 lead at quarter time.

The Breakers soon took their advantage into double figures and beyond as SKYCITY Breakers Number 91, Derone Raukawa racked up nine straight points – Raukawa debuted for the senior team the night before.Ili and Jaylen Gerrand exchanged threes but the Breakers lead was 53-36 by the half.

Only six players made up the Birdman flock in this one and those depleted numbers began to tell in the second half. Bailey, Tipene Friday and Brandon Lucas, the former East Central University Tiger guard soldiered on, but the youthful Breakers wave led by Dan Fotu and Kruz Perrott-Hunt prevailed.

Final score;

Breakers Development 112 – Rusbatch 23, Raukawa 21, Fotu 18, Perrott-Hunt 14, Ili 10, Whyte 7.

Birdmen 78 – Lucas 23, Bailey 18, Gerrand 17, Friday 9, Sampson Aruwa 8

In the second game Hayden Allen, making his first appearance of the season, was inserted into 68a Nelson Street’s starting lineup. He joined two other former Tall Blacks Dillon Boucher and Lindsay Tait in a potent squad.

Mai FM 88 Sixers also boasted a couple of former TB’s with Brook Ruscoe and Josh Bloxham bossing their backcourt. Both were prominent in a first quarter edged by Nelson St 26-25.

Nick Barrow and Johnny Fesolai were prominent in the Sixers front court and with Chris McIntosh knocking down a couple of threes in the shadows of half-time they trailed by just a half dozen, 56-50 at half-time.

A triple from Liam Thornton and regular forays into the key by Tait, Allen and Marco Alexander kept Nelson St ahead but a fine shooting display from Ruscoe (6 from 11 threes) kept the Sixers in contention – 83-74 down at half-time.

More threes from Bloxham and Ruscoe threatened an upset but Boucher set up Linus Jakzst and Hyrum Harris for inside opportunities to help inflict the first defeat of the season on the Sixers.

Final score;

68a Nelson St 119 – Tait 31, Allen 24, Harris 20, Alexander 17, Jakszt 8

Mai FM 88 Sixers 109 – Ruscoe 27, Haku 16, Bloxham 15, Fesolai 13, Barrow 12, Will Heather 12

Webster claims the Gong with a career high

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Tai Webster, on the back of a career high 23 points for Nebraska University, wins the Lowdown player of the week gong. Nebraska beat Louisiana Tech 65-54 to maintain an unbeaten start to the season (3-0).

Webster had a fine all round game as he added 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals on a night when he was almost perfect from the foul line (11/12FT) and went 5 from 11 from the field.

 Second spot went to Stella Beck as she produced a highly efficient 7 from 9 shooting performance as St Mary’s Gaels defeated Northeastern in Boston 77-53. The former Hutt Valley standout finished with a team high 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

Isaac Fotu gets the bronze this week after coming close to a double double as Zaragoza went down 101-92 in overtime at Baskonia. Fotu had 14 points, 9 rebounds and a couple of steals – Zaragoza slipped to 12th on the Spanish League ladder with a 3-6 record.

Despite a fine individual performance Kalani Purcell couldn’t prevent BYU fallingto a second consecutive defeat going down 68-61 to Oklahoma University. Purcell secured a team high 13 rebounds to go with 8 points, 3 assists and 4 steals. Fourth spot for the pugnacious Purcell this week.

Tessa Boagni continued her good early season form almost completing a double double (13 points and 9 rebounds) as Cal State Northridge accounted for Fresno Sate Bulldogs 61-57.

Moment of the week:

This belonged to Krystal Leger-Walker. The combo guard had a poor shooting night (2/9FG) for Northern Colorado Bears against Florida Gulf Coast but did connect with a critical three with one second left on the clock to tie the scores at 59 apiece in regulation. Leger-Walker managed just 5 points but that three provided the Bears with the opportunity to go on and win 77-74 in double overtime.

Bubbling under:

Jarrod Kenny made a welcome return to the Perth ranks as the Wildcats shared the spoils with the Sydney Kings over the weekend. The Cats won in Perth 93-80 where Kenny scored 5 points and dished 5 assists. His numbers were similar in Sydney (3 points and 5 assists) but the result was reversed as the Kings prevailed 83-72.

 It was a bad weekend for our Tall Ferns in the Australian WNBL. Micaela Cocks and Chev Paalvast (Townsville Fire), Jordan Hunter (Adelaide Lightning), Jess Bygate (Melbourne Boomers) and Toni Edmondson (Perth Lynx) all endured losses for their respective teams.

Edmondson was the only one of the five producing a significant contribution – 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists as Perth slip to joint second on the ladder with a 6-3 record.

In other News

 Jess Bygate will spend the Australian WNBL off-season with Sandringham Sabres in the SEABL competition. Currently playing in the WNBL with the Melbourne Boomers Bygate will remain in the Victorian capital. Last winter she teamed up with Tall Ferns coach Kennedy Kereama at Sunbury Jets but for the 2017 season has decided to switch from the Big V League to the South East Australian Basketball League.

Junior Tall Ferns and NZ Under 18 3×3 internationals Zara Jillings and Kendell Heremaia are the latest athletes to confirm they will be heading to the USA next year to pursue college careers. Both are off to Fordham University on four-year scholarships.

Meanwhile Junior Tall Black and Auckland Grammar swingman Taki Fahrensohn has signed on with the University of Portland.

Three Kiwis, three colleges, three wins

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On Wednesday afternoon, Tuesday in the States, three Tall Blacks were involved in college games with all three on winning teams.

Tai Wynyard found himself playing in the iconic Madison Square Garden for Kentucky Wildcats against Michigan State. The Wildcats were too good for Michigan winning 69-48 although Wynyard was only granted two minutes of action, just enough time to snare a couple of rebounds.

Jack Salt retained a starting berth for Virginia Cavaliers as they ran riot against St Francis Brooklyn winning 72-32. The sophomore centre went a perfect 3 from 3 shooting adding a brace of rebounds to 6 points in 16 minutes as coach Tony Bennett utilised 14 players.

Nebraska Huskers were also on the right side of a lop sided scoreline defeating University of Mary 70-38 with Tai Webster one of two Huskers in double figures. The point guard notched 10 points in addition to 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.

Four Tall Ferns in College – Four Fine Performances

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US College action in the last 48 hours has seen four of our Tall Ferns in action, all making major contributions for their respective teams.

Stella Beck nabbed 17 points as St Mary’s Gaels went down 85-69 to Washington State. The Hutt Valley guard shot 6 from 12 and also added three rebounds and two assists but the Gaels have started the season with two losses.

Waikato’s Krystal Leger-Walker and Northern Colorado Bears have begun the campaign 1-1 after losing at Denver 83-62. The shooting guard, obviously given the green light by the Bears coaching staff, put up 21 shots for NCB connecting with 5 as she produced 11 points to go with 5 assists and 3 boards.

California State Northridge Matadors are also 1-1 after going down to San Diego 76-67. Tessa Boagni was terrific with a double double of 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Matadors. The Cantabrian centre also produced 3 blocks and a steal.

Penina Davidson was the only winner of the four. The Rangitoto College alumni contributed 12 points (6/10 FG) and 6 rebounds as the Golden Bears mauled Santa Clara 73-58. Davidson also snared 3 steals for good measure.