Monthly Archives: March 2017

3×3 Nationals play-off action looms


Rangitoto College is aiming for a three-peat in the Senior Boys section of the Secondary Schools 3×3 National Slam being held in Tauranga. However Rongotai College, having qualified both teams for the quarter-finals, looks the biggest threat to this ambition.

Rongotai Gold beat the Dan Fotu led Rangitoto Blue 21-18 on day two although Palmerston North Boys High topped Pool A courtesy of a crucial 14-10 win against Rongotai. All three teams ended pool play with an 8-1 record but the points scoring record favoured PNBHS.

In Pool B the top two teams were Rongotai Blue and Westlake Boys High School, both with 8-1 records. Rongotai head the pool courtesy of a 15-13 victory over last year’s finalists. Long Bay College (7-2) upset Rongotai 18-12 to clinch third spot with Fielding High School rounding out the top four. Westlake’s James Moors finished day two in a moon boot and his non availability will cause Lake some serious problems in the play-offs.

St Peter’s College Cambridge Red remains favourites in the Senior Girls competition. Led by Charlisse Leger-Walker, Ella Bradley and Jayzelee Waihi, they dominated all opposition in Pool B inflicting a 15-7 defeat on closest rivals Melville High (6-1). Westlake Girls (5-2) and Rotorua Girls High (4-3) also qualify for the quarters.

Massey High School Teams One (6-1) and Three (5-2) advanced from Pool A along with Hamilton Girls High School (6-1) and local favourites Aquinas College (5-2). HGHS beat Massey High 1 14-9 in the final pool game to clinch top spot in the section having surprisingly lost 9-8 to Massey 3 earlier.

Rosmini College and St John’s College both remain unbeaten in the Junior Boys competition.

St John’s (6-0) top Pool A followed by defending champions Rongotai College (5-1); they are followed by Te Aroha College (4-2) and St Kentigern’s (2-4).

Pool B is headed by Rosmini Blue (7-0) closely followed by the handy Rotorua Boys High School team (6-1) who went down narrowly to Rozza 13-11. St Thomas of Canterbury College (5-2) and St Peter’s Cambridge (4-3) also progressed to the last eight.

The Junior Girls competition is already at the semi-final stage. In the quarters Melville High School beat Westake Girls High Green 15-9, whilst Hamilton Girls High was defeated by Westlake Red 8-5.

On the other side of the draw St Mary’s College Ponsonby accounted for Rangitoto College 11-4 and Kavanagh College outlasted Rotorua Girls High 9-4.

Erin Rooney into Polish League semi-finals


The starters played the bulk of the minutes but Erin Rooney still chipped in for ten minutes off the bench as Artego Bydgoszcz won an epic five game series in Polish League quarter-final action. With the series locked at 2-2 Artego beat Energa Torun 86-80 on the road in the decisive fifth game on Wednesday.

Rooney dished off one of the team’s 26 assists but otherwise had a quiet night statistically.

The Tall Ferns point guard is working her way back to full fitness after an injury ravaged 2015. Since joining Artego in January the Cantabrian has played 15 games averaging 20 minutes of court time and accruing 3.4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal per game.

Artego begin a semi-final series at the weekend against TS Wisla. When the teams met in the regular season Wisla won both encounters although the margins were just 6 points and 7 points.

Rooney in a tussle, Fotu and Abbo in sticky situations.

Tom Abercrombie and Isaac Fotu are fighting rearguard actions in Europe but it is better news for Erin Rooney, Jillian Harmon and Mike Karena.


Erin Rooney and Artego Bydgoszcz are locked at 2-2 in a five game dual in the Polish League quarter-final play-off series – Artego beat Energa Torun 61-60 in an exciting game three. Rooney played a steady hand scoring 7 points on 3 from 5 shooting in 26 minutes.

Torun bounced back in game four on Sunday to win 65-55 – Rooney had a quiet night in that one getting just 3 rebounds and a steal.

Le Mura Lucca relinquished top spot on the Italian League ladder in the very last game of the regular season going down 70-65 at fourth placed San Martino on Sunday. Jillian Harmon was busy with 18 points, 4 rebounds and a brace of steals but Lucca’s opening quarter of just 5 points proved to be their undoing.

Lucca will now face the winner of the Ubertide v Broni tie at home in the quarter-finals.

Zaragoza are having a tough time in the lower reaches of the Spanish League but a home loss by 45 points must be the low point of the season. Defeated 102-57 by sixth placed Gran Canaria, Zaragoza slipped one place to 15th on the 17 team Liga Endesa table. Tall Blacks forward Isaac Fotu was used sparingly scoring just 6 points in 18 minutes of action.

Mike Karena stacked the stats sheet with 14 points (4/11FG), 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals as Sammic ISB beat Valladolid 88-84 to remain at the top of the LEB Silver league table – the Spanish third division. Sammic appeared to be cruising at the three-quarter mark leading 77-61 but were given a scare by their mid table rivals in the fourth period before securing a sixth straight win

In Turkey it’s now 10 straight defeats for Demir IBB and Tom Abercrombie has been involved in half of the losses since arriving in Istanbul. At the weekend Abercrombie managed 9 points (3/6FG) and 3 rebounds as Demir fell 84-67 to third placed Besiktas.

Preview of National Secondary Schools 3×3



Sixty-three teams will compete at the 2017 Secondary Schools 3×3 National Slam being played in Tauranga over three days this week, beginning on Thursday.

In all four grades the 2016 champions will be defending their titles. Who might challenge the holders click here








Tall Ferns shine in Oz

A number of Australian State competitions are underway and some of the 2016 Tall Ferns are already making a mark.

Toni Edmondson, fresh from a fine Australian WNBL season with Perth Lynx, put a dominating 19 points performance together as Perry Lakes Hawks beat Kalamunda Eastern Suns 84-59 in the second week of the Western Australian State League. Edmondson added 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals for good measure.

Basketball - Tall Ferns v Japan, 27 August 2009

Also in Perth forward Lisa Wallbutton went scoreless for Perth Redbacks but she did secure a team high 12 rebounds. Unfortunately the Redbacks fell 69-58 to Southwest Slammers.

Over in Melbourne Jess Bygate scored 14 points on debut for Sandringham Sabres in their 66-60 SEABL first round win against Canberra Capitals. Bygate also snared 5 rebounds for the Sabres.

Sunbury Jets made it three from three in the Victorian Big V League with an 89-72 home win against Ringwood Hawks. Tall Ferns coach Kennedy Kereama is in his second season with the Jets and he is yet to lose a game after Sunbury went unbeaten last season when gaining promotion from Division 1 to the Championship.

Former Colgate University stand-out Josie Stockill was in fine form for the Jets scoring 25 points (8/17FG) in addition to securing 9 rebounds and dishing a couple of assists. 2016 New Zealand Select point guard Shea Crotty scored three points for Sunbury knocking down her only shot of the game – a typical arching three.


Josie Stockill

Jordan Hunter, based in Adelaide, is expected to make her debut for Sturt Sabres when they begin their season next weekend.

Harmon and Lucca lose important game


Le Mura Lucca are in danger of relinquishing top spot on the Italian League table after suffering a 74-61 defeat at the hands of defending champions Famila Schio on Wednesday night. Lucca lost to Schio in the Italian Cup final last month and a win against their arch rivals would have secured the regular season title for Lucca. However they trailed at every interval in the game falling to just their third league defeat of the season.

Jillian Harmon was forced to spend time on the bench in the second half after picking up a fourth foul but still mustered 20 points, 8 points and a brace of assists in 31 minutes.

The Tall Ferns forward was one of just two Lucca players in double figures on the night.

The top four teams will play each other at the weekend in the final regular season fixtures. Lucca (18-3) will travel to fourth placed San Martino (15-6) whilst Schio (17-4) entertain Venezia who have the same (17-4) win/loss record.

The top three spots are still up for grabs ahead of the play-offs. By my reckoning Lucca hold the head to head over Venezia but not Schio. Therefore they need to topple San Martino at the weekend and hope Venezia can overturn Schio in order to take the number one ranking into the play-offs.

A mixed bag in Europe this week

Despite a change of coach a couple of games ago Zaragoza, with another loss, are flirting with the Liga Endesa relegation zone after a 100-92 loss at Andorra. Former Rangitoto College favourite Isaac Fotu finished the game with 10 points (5/8FG) and 5 rebounds. Zaragoza now has an 8-16 record, just one win above the drop zone.

In contrast Mike Karena and Sammic ISB are flying high. Sammic head the LEB Silver ladder, the Spanish third division, with a 19-6 record. Karena put together another strong performance nabbing 21 points (8/12FG) and 6 rebounds in the latest Sammic success – an 89-82 win against mid-table Zornotza.

In Turkey Thomas Abercrombie’s club Demir IBB continue to struggle slipping to a ninth straight league defeat. Up against defending champions Fenerbache in Istanbul Demir was well beaten 89-68.

In his fourth game for Demir Abercrombie scored 7 points (3/8FG) and also totaled 3 rebounds and a block.


Erin Rooney scored 9 points for Artego Bydgoszcz in Polish League quarter-finals play-off action. Artego went down 75-61 at Energa Torun in the first game in the best of three tie on Saturday.

48 hours later Artego leveled the series with a nail biting 68-67 victory in game two. Rooney enjoyed 30 minutes of court time in that one producing 5 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.

The deciding game is on Saturday.

In Italy top of the table Le Mura Lucca thumped Umbertide 87-46 to improve to 18-3 for the season. Starting forward Jillian Harmon was only required for 18 minutes but still scored 17 points on 8 from 9 shooting. Harmon has amassed 352 points this season averaging 17.6 points per game.

Rangitoto host invitation tournament and win


The final of the Rangitoto College Invitational Tournament (RIT), that involved eight Auckland high school teams, was won by the hosts Rangitoto beating Rosmini College 74-66 in the final on Sunday at NSEC.

The scores were locked at 35 apiece at half-time but Rangi quickly opened a double-digit lead early in the second and were able to hold off their local rivals for a deserved win.

Leading Scorers in the final:

Rangitoto 74 – Zack Te Puni 20, Dan Fotu 15, Logan Anderson 12, Jared Thornton 11

Rosmini 66 – Will Heather 20, Marvin Williams-Dunne 13, Mitch Dance 12

Earlier in the semi-finals Rosmini comfortably accounted for St Peter’s 81-32. The other semi was a much tighter affair with Rangitoto winning 66-61 against Westlake after the scores were tied 61-61 with 2:07 to play.

Leading scorers in the semi-finals:

Rosmini 81 – Mitch Dance 17, Will Heather 16, Peter Jenkins 12, Kruz Perrott-Hunt 10

St Peter’s 32 – Gerard Boersen 11, Toffer Espinosa 8

Rangitoto 66 – Zack Te Puni 13, Logan McIntosh 11, Dan Fotu 11, Cam Stone 8

Westlake 61 – James Moors 32, Reuben Fitzgerald 11, Jesse Winter 7

For a number of the teams it was a perfect build up towards the 20 team Premier Qualifying Tournament being played early next month (April 8-11). NB there will be an 11 team Girls Qualifying tournament held at the same time.

St Peter’s College is one of the teams with high hopes of gaining qualification to Premier Grade.

Coach Leyton Haddleton felt his team had made progress at the RIT.

“The players have had a tough week with school commitments and two pre-season friendly games earlier in the week. However this has given us a good opportunity to build combinations against tough opposition. We ran Westlake close, before losing 73-68 on day one – the last time we played them we lost by over 50 points.

“It’s also given us an opportunity to test players resolve when tired and under pressure,” Haddleton added.

Haddleton believes there are a number of teams with a real opportunity of joining Rangitoto, Rosmini, Auckland Grammar, Westlake, Mt Albert and Kelston in the top echelon of Auckland Secondary Schools boy’s basketball.

“St Kentigern College, MacLeans College and Massey High are all looking strong and we are yet to find out what the relegated teams from last year, Liston College and Onehunga High, will look like,” said Haddleton.

Despite being without some starters due to other commitments St Kentigern second year coach Aaron Young also thought the Rangitoto Invitational was of value.

“The experience against top quality players gives us great prep for the RIT.”

Young agreed with Haddleton that there are a number of schools with a good chance of playing Prem’s in 2017.

“Liston will have a good chance of qualifying with their experience from last year and a solid junior programme.

“I would like to think our chances are also good especially with home court advantage. I’m hoping the five seniors in our team and much the same group as last year will stand us in good stead,” said Young.

St Kent’s fell one game short of qualifying in 2016 losing to MAGS in the semi-final. They will be hoping 2017 is their year.

But then again so will 19 other teams.

Rangitoto Invitational Final Standings

1 Rangitoto College

2 Rosmini College

3 Westlake Boys

4 St Peter’s College

5 St Kentigern

6 Macleans College

7 Avondale College

8 Rosmini Senior A

Goulding Gone


Mary Goulding could not repeat her Women’s National Invitation Tournament first round scoring heroics for Fordham University as the Rams bowed out at Penn State beaten 70-51 on Monday (NZ time).

48 hours earlier the former Rangiora High School stand out posted a career-best 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the win over Georgetown.

Unfortunately the scoring touch deserted Goulding in the second round against Penn as she collected just three points on 1 from 7 shooting. However she once again demonstrated her rebounding prowess collecting 10 boards – her third straight double figure haul.

The season ending defeat brings the curtain down on Goulding’s sophomore season that has seen her gain increased court time in the second half of the campaign.

Salt best not enough but Wynyard, Davidson and Goulding winners

After beating North Carolina Wilmington in the first round at the NCAA Tournament Virginia was held to a season-low 17 points in the first half and 30.2 percent shooting on the night as the Cavaliers went down 65-39 to Florida. The turning point came late in the first half,when Florida started a 21-0 run that was their most lopsided of the season.

Jack Salt was one of the better performers for Virginia securing a collegiate career high 10 rebounds whilst also scoring 8 points.


Also exiting was Sam Waardenburg and the Miami Hurricanes beaten in the first round by Michigan State. Waardenburg, a redshirt freshman, will hope Miami can return to the Big Dance next season when he will be eligible to play.

The Kentucky Wildcats beat state rivals Northern Kentucky 79-70 in the first round but Tai Wynyard didn’t take the floor.

Also in the winner’s circle was the University of California Berkeley who defeated Louisiana State University 55-52 in the first round of the Women’s Tournament. Cal’s starting forward Penina Davidson scored with her only shot and also collected 3 rebounds in the win.

Sunday’s victory marked the seventh straight time the Golden Bears have won at least their first-round game in the NCAA Tournament. They will play top seed Baylor in the second round, for the second time in three years, on Tuesday (NZ time).


Also worthy of mention is the performance of Mary Goulding who played a big part in Fordham University Rams overcoming Georgetown, 60-49 in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

The Cantabrian forward posted a career-best 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting with 10 rebounds, five on the offensive glass, in 37 minutes and also added three assists.

Fordham next face Penn State on Monday.