Photo courtesy of Kelly Vivian from Spinnerchild Photography.
A full round of Auckland Secondary School Premier Grade games were played on Monday night.
With wins for all four 2016 top four finishers early signs are that it will be Auckland Grammar, Rangitoto, Rosmini and Westlake fighting over the silverware again in 2017.
Rosmini College, paced by a super efficient 38 points from Mitch Dance, bounced back in style from the defeat at Westlake three days earlier to beat Macleans College 97-88.
Macleans were well served by Alex Arthur and Blake van Uden who combined for 51 points but the greater depth of the Rosmini lineup was the telling factor.
Jayden Boucher and Dance took Rosmini out to 8-2 early on then Joseph Hylton drove through traffic to push the lead into double figures.
A string of fouls presented Macleans with plenty of opportunities from the foul line, chances van Uden and Sai Kuvelkar were happy to accept.
Marvin Williams-Dunne closed the quarter with a long three to extend the Rozza lead to 33-18 at quarter time.
Van Uden opened the scoring in the second and a back door score from Michael Babaran bookended a pair of Dance inside baskets.
Arthur and van Uden kept the score ticking over for Macleans and when the latter converted from yet another trip to the foul line, the home team lead was back to single figures – 45-36.
Taine Murray dropped a triple on the half-time buzzer with Rosmini 52-41 to the good.
Kuvelkar opened the Macleans scoring in the third but Reihana Maxwell-Topia, who had a fine game, made two quick baskets and Dance then landed his second triple.
Kruz Perrott-Hunt found his scoring rhythm and in a flash Rosmini were twenty points ahead, extended to 78-53 at the last break.
The workaholic Arthur scored a couple of times early in the third but when Boucher landed a baseline jumper to take Rozza 86-62 ahead the only concern for the hosts was three players sitting on four fouls.
Terrific ball movement presented Terence Abdon with an open three, which he duly knocked down, as Rosmini were able to run their young bench players in the closing stages.
Score: Rosmini 97 – Dance 38, Hylton 20, Perrott-Hunt 8, Williams-Dunn 8
Macleans 81 – van Uden 27, Arthur 24, Kuvelkar 12, Babaran 7
A poor second quarter proved costly for Mt Albert Grammar as they attempted to upset unbeaten Rangitoto College.
It was 17 points apiece at quarter time before Rangitoto led Zac Te Puni, Harry Payne and Harry Clarke put the foot down in the second to stretch out to 44-25 at half-time.
Forwards Jonty Vink and Te Akau Pumipi helped the hosts recover in the third, one it won in convincing style, to reduce the arrears to 55-46.
Ryan Laumatia kept the chances of an unlikely comeback alive but the experienced Cam Stone and Te Puni helped Rangi to a fourth straight win.
Score: Mt Albert 62 – Laumatia 14, Luamanuvae-Su’a 11, Vink 11p/11r, Baledrokadroka 9
Rangitoto 70 – Te Puni 15, Clarke 12, Payne 11., Stone 11
It was only in the final quarter that Auckland Grammar were able to shake off persistent Kelston Boys.
Grammar made the better start with six straight points from Leroy Brown carrying his team to a 19-11 lead.
Matangi Prescott – 10 points in the quarter – and Kale Lawson led the Kelston revival in the second period. But for a strong showing by Anzac Rissetto Grammar could have fallen behind but instead shared the spoils at the break, 34 points apiece.
Forward Tom Higgins scored 12 straight points either side of the break as Grammar eased ahead and he found a useful accomplice in Thomas Whyte who landed a couple of threes. However Prescott had another double figure quarter and Kelston remained well in the contest at three-quarter time trailing 61-57.
Grammar put the clamps on the Kelston offence in the fourth and cleared away to run out comfortable winners as they racked up 30 points in the period.
Score: Kelston 65 – Prescott 25, Lawson 12, Mase 10, Milne 9
Grammar – Higgins 23, Rissetto 22, Whyte 10, Winitana 8
Westlake remain unbeaten after something of a topsy-turvy encounter at home against St Kentigern College.
Josh Hidalgo connected early from beyond the arc, one of three he landed on the night, but a combined 14 points from Max Shorter and Tom Chester took St Kentigern out to a 21-13 first stanza lead.
It was a different story in the second as Mark Malinga made his presence felt with 11 points – Jackson Port added half a dozen an the advantage was with Westlake, 46-40 at half time.
Momentum was firmly with the hosts after the break – Malinga and Matt Cairns-Hita dropped triples, Manyere added inside points and the lead was out to 67-49 at the three-quarter break.
A stroll in the last quarter looked on the cards for Westlake but St Kent’s had other ideas. Zac Chan knocked down a triple, Max Shorter, on his way to a game high 30 points did the same and suddenly Westlake were looking over their shoulders.
Kyle Robb chipped in with points to keep the momentum with the visitors but Reuben Fitzgerald steadied things with nine final quarter points as Lake stumbled across the finishing line.
Score: Westlake 84 – Malinga 23, Fitzgerald 18, Manyere 12, Hidalgo 11
St Kentigern 76 – Shorter 30, Chester 16, Robb 12, Chan 9
Premier Grade Standings
3-2 Auckland Grammar
2-3 St Kentigern,
1-4 Macleans, Mt Albert