Round six of the Boys Premier grade pitched perennial rivals Rangitoto College and Westlake Boys, both teams with unbeaten records, against each other.
In an entertaining game it was Westlake that eventually prevailed hauling in a 14 points three-quarter time deficit to win 74-67.
Played in front of another bumper Friday night crowd it was Rangitoto that made the slightly better start to lead 12-7 after a corner three from Logan Anderson.
Alex Freeman scored with his first touch as did Jesse Winter, the scores 19 apiece at the first break.
Harry Clarke opened the scoring in the second with a brace of baskets and although it took almost four minutes for Westlake to score from the field – via Thabo Manyere – they only trailed 25-22.
James Moors, subdued early on, landed a three and Ethan Martin an inside basket but Clarke and Logan Mcintosh kept Rangi marginally ahead.
Jarred Thornton was battling hard under the boards for the short handed hosts but he could do nothing about a Manyere slam.
Arching threes from Moors and Freeman closed the scoring in the first half but Rangi led 39-37 at the break. Manyere and McIntosh each had 13 points in the half.
A Reuben Fitzgerald jumper opened the second half scoring and when the same player fed Moors for a transition dunk Westlake had their first lead of the game.
Just six points in five minutes of play (all to Westlake) illustrated that defences were dominating. Clarke eventually scored for Rangi but a thundering drive and dunk from Moors kept Lake marginally ahead.
That changed as an Anderson triple tied the game and another from Harry Payne took Rangi back in front – 51-48.
Further scores from the same two players brought the home support to their feet , a buzzer beating three from Etham Mandeno sending them into raptures. Rangi 62-48 ahead with ten to play and Westlake’s unbeaten record severely under threat.
Fitzgerald scored seven straight points for Westlake but the deficit was still ten points at the mid point of the final frame.
Mark Malingin trimmed the deficit, then Josh Hidalgo made it a four points game, 65-61, with 3:30 to play.
Turnovers from both teams followed until Hidalgo, off a Fitzgerald assist, scored again 65-63 with 2:20 on the clock.
The momentum was all with Westlake – a corner three from Winter edged Lake ahead, Moors followed with a jumper and Kenny Stone needed a timeout; 68-65 to Lake with 1:40 to play.
A Clarke jumper dragged Rangi to within one, 68-67, but Fitzgerald connected with a crucial three and with under a minute on the clock the visiting fans were in full voice with their team 71-67 to the good.
Rangi missed on their next possession, Hidalgo calmly added a brace of freebies from the foul line, and the Lake comeback was complete. A 26-5 last quarter points differential in their favour a telling statistic.
Score: Westlake 74 – Moors 19/12r, Fitzgerald 15, Manyere 13/19r, Hidalgo 11, Winter 7/6stls
Rangitoto 67 – Clarke 19, Anderson 18, McIntosh 12, Payne 8, Thornton 2/13r
In another close game Auckland Grammar shaded Mt Albert Grammar 69-62 at Mountain Road.
Thomas Whyte began the game in the same shooting form he displayed in the Under 19 National final last Tuesday, the Auckland guard reeling off seven straight points. Mandela Baledrokadroka scored all but two of the Mt Albert points as they trailed 19-10 at the first break.
Jonty Vink and Xjana Luamanuvae-Su’a kept chipping away for MAGS but three triples in the second period from Whyte and another from Elijah Andrews took the hosts out to a 39-31 lead at half-time.
Despite six points from Vink, Grammar extended its advantage in the third to 12 points as Tom Higgins and Winitana rattled in points.
Jack Morrison and Luamanuvae-Su’a earned trips to the foul line to reduce the Grammar advantage in the final period although Higgins, Whyte and Tony Solomoana held the visitors at bay – but only just.
Late threes from Ryan Laumatia and Luamanuvae-Su’a caused Grammar an anxious time as they led by just three points with 40 seconds to play. However they held on for the win denying MAGS coach Daryl Cartwright a going away present before he heads overseas with the Junior Tall Blacks for the Under 19 World Cup next week.
Score: AGS 69 – Whyte 24, Higgins 16, Rissetto 8, Winitana 8
MAGS 62 – Baledrokadroka 16, Vink 12p/10r, Luamanuvae-Su’a 12, Laumatia 11
In the battle between the two promoted teams Macleans eventually proved too good for St Kentigern winning at home 70-59.
Macleans made a racing start piling in 31 first quarter points to lead by sixteen as Sai Kuvelkar, Blake van Uden and Alex Arthur went to work.
A couple of threes from Zac Chan and one from Max Shorter clawed back some of the advantage. Then a couple of baskets late in the half from Kyle Robb reduced the St Kentigern deficit to six points, 39-33, as the Macleans scoring went from red hot in the first frame to ice cold in the second.
St Kent’s chipped away in the third, 9 points in the period from Robb and the advantage was down to 51-48 in favour of the hosts.
Macleans remained in front during the fourth but it was only in the last two minutes that they sealed the win. Thomas Hyland and Shorter were the only scorers for St Kent’s in the final quarter as in contrast Harrison Roper, Michael Babaran and the trusty trio of Kuvelkar, van Uden and Arthur all found ways to the basket for Macleans
Score: Macleans 70 – Kuvelkar 22, van Uden 21, Arthur 10, Babaran 7
St Kentigern 59 – Shorter 17, Robb 13, Hyland 8, Simpson 7, Chan 7
It was a less competitive affair at the Tom Gerrard Gym where Rosmini College dominated from the outset to defeat Kelston Boys 101-52.
Three triples from Kruz Perrott-Hunt powered a 30 points opening salvo from the hosts. More threes in the second from Mitch Dance and Jayden Boucher plus inside points from Will Heather took Rosmini to a 55-27 half-time lead. Matangi Prescott and To’o Mase shared 20 points for Kelston.
Matt Sokol scored nine straight points for Rosmini in the third period and when Perrott-Hunt drained his fifth triple of the contest Rosmini had an unassailable 76-38 lead.
Kelston kept pegging away in the final period but it wasn’t their night as Dance and Sokol put the finishing touches to an emphatic win.
Score: Rosmini 101 – Perrott-Hunt 22, Dance 18, Sokol 12, Williams-Dunn 11
Kelston 52 – Prescott 11, Mase 11, Milne 8, Brooking 8
Premier Grade Standings
4-1 Rangitoto, Rosmini
4-2 Auckland Grammar
2-4 St Kentigern, Macleans
1-5 Mt Albert
Senior A Results
St Peter’s 97 Pakuranga 71
Northcote 90 Western Springs 83
Liston beat Avondale
Massey 85 Manurewa 71
Senior A Standings
5-1 St Peter’s, Massey
3-3 Pakuranga, Northcote, Liston
2-4 Western Springs