Auckland Grammar School visited Westlake Boys High in arguably the game of the round in Auckland Premier Grade basketball on Friday night as two of the top four sides from last season went head to head. Despite a second straight thirty points haul from Tom Higgins a more balanced home side scoring effort prevailed to record an 85-78 win in front of a good sized crowd at Westlake.
Campbell Green opened the scoring for Grammar but point guard Josh Hidalgo scored a couple of baskets worthy of a highlights reel and Reuben Fitzgerald knocked down a pair of jump shots as Westlake forged a handy 23-13 first quarter lead.
Green executed a couple of strong baseline drives to give AGS impetus but a dunk and then a left handed put back from Thabo Manyere put a stop to that.
Lake led 33-24 with Grammar coach Dave Mackay needing a time out.
An Anzac Risetto tip in got Grammar on the move again, Manyere scored in transition but play was interrupted by a spate of fouls at the back end of the first half, one the hosts were content with as they led 38-28. Fitzgerald, with 10 points, led all scorers at the break.
Manyere showed his versatility by landing a triple to open the second half but five quick points from the tireless Tom Higgins and a reverse lay up from Leroy Brown kept Grammar in contention.
Westlake coach Zac Fitzgerald wasn’t happy with his team’s start to the half and called a timeout with offensive turnovers high on his agenda.
A Matthew Cairns-Hita three helped their cause, as did Malinga’s transition points.
Teancum McCarthy defied the tall timber to grab an offensive rebound and put back and when Brown scored on the break the scores were level 55 apiece, Lake protecting the slimmest of leads at three-quarter-time 60-59.
A Moors three followed by a mid range jumper from the same player moved Westlake 67-61 ahead.
A Cairns-Hita transition basket took Lake further ahead 73-61 before
Grammar became more and more dependent on their go-to man Higgins (he had 27 points in the second half alone) but despite his best efforts Lake was always able to retain close to a ten points buffer in the final stanza.
That lead was 81-69 after a score from Ethan Martin, who had a fine game, and despite late baskets from McCarthy, Higgins and Brown the hosts controlled the closing minutes to record a second straight win.
Score: Westlake 85 – Manyere 17pts/13rebs, Moors 15pts/6 blocks, Hidalgo 14, Cairns-Hita 12. Auckland Grammar 78 – Higgins 33, Brown 10, McCarthy 9
Rangitoto College and Rosmini College didn’t play last week as Rangitoto were in Croatia attending the Secondary Schools Basketball World Championships. Both teams opened their accounts with victories this week.
Rangitoto entertained new boys St Kentigern College, fresh off a first up win against Kelston last week, and it was the hosts that prevailed 71-58 despite 26 points from Max Shorter for St Kent’s
Cam Stone and Alex Anslow scored threes to give Rangi the early lead (19-13) and despite a brace of treys from Shorter the defending champs were well clear at half-time leading 38-21.
St Kentigern coach Aaron Young, returning to his old school, must have said the correct things in the locker room at the break as his team produced a much better showing in the third as Connor Mills and Shorter began to eat into the Rangi advantage. Logan Anderson, Zac Te Puni and Harry Clarke ensured the home team still had control at three-quarter time, ahead 56-41.
The outstanding Shorter landed a couple more triples in the fourth but Rangitoto ensured they made a winning start to the season.
Score: Rangitoto 71 – Te Puni 16, Anderson 11, Clarke 10. St Kentigern 58 – Shorter 26, Mills 10, Kyle Robb 6
Rosmini also got their season off to a winning start crossing the bridge to inflict a 71-58 defeat on Mt Albert.
Kruz Perrott-Hunt connected with an early three and Will Heather then scored 11 straight points as Rosmini forged a 22-14 first quarter lead.
MAGS guard Mandela Baledrokadroka had logged double figures before half-time courtesy of some penetrative drives but 11 points in the quarter from Marvin Williams-Dunn, including three triples, ensured Rozza were in control at the interval leading 45-26.
The third quarter was shared with Te Akau Pumipi and Clarke Aiono prominent for the hosts and Heather and Mitch Dance keeping the score moving for Rozza.
Any thoughts of a MAGS comeback in the fourth were extinguished by a balanced Rosmini offence that featured all ten players in the scoring column.
Score: Mt Albert 64 – Baledrokadroka 21, Pumipi 10, Xjana Luamanuvae-Su’a 9. Rosmini 89 – Heather 20, Williams-Dunn 16, Dance 12, Perrott-Hunt 12
Macleans College snatched a dramatic 59-58 win in the dying moments against Kelston Boys High. Trailing by a point in the closing seconds Macleans missed a couple of scoring opportunities on the final play but fortunately for them secured offensive rebounds. Finally, with two seconds left on the clock, Alec Lafotanoa put up a speculative shot that found the net much to the delight of his teammates.
Earlier Macleans had established a position of strength at the half-time break leading 29-16 with Alex Arthur, Sai Kuvelkar and Blake van Uden leading the way.
Kelston were much improved in the third period as Kale Lawson and Sam Brooking led something of a revival although they still trailed 45-38 at the third break.
Andrew Fei and van Uden appeared to be carrying Macleans to a reasonably comfortable win but they got a dose of the jitters in the closing minutes as Kelston, led by Lawson, mounted a charge.
Late points from Liam Milne, Matangi Prescott and Solomon Faapoi seemed to have clinched a comeback win for Kelston.
However it was Lafotanoa that had the final say and presented Adrian Boyd and his team with their first Premier win. Score: Macleans 59 – Arthur 17, van Uden 13, Kuvelkar 11, Fei 11. Kelston 58 – Lawson 17, Brooking 11, Denrick Arellano 9
Premier Grade Standings
1-1 Auckland Grammar, St Kentigern, Macleans
1-0 Rangitoto, Rosmini
0-2 Kelston, Mt Albert
Senior A Results
Manurewa 68 Pakuranga 64
Western Springs 65 Avondale 59
Liston 73 Massey 76
Northcote 76 (Jack Burton 23, Miggy Falqueza 22, Oliver Hayward 13)
St Peters 98 (Gerrard Boerson 31, Christian Fromont 16, Finlay Morris 12)
Senior A Standings
2-0 St Peters, Manurewa
1-1 Western Springs, Pakuranga, Avondale, Massey
0-2 Northcote, Liston