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