Monthly Archives: July 2017

Girls Premier Grade wrap

Tayla Dalton

The Auckland Secondary Schools Girls Premier Grade resumed last Friday after the July vacation.

Auckland Girls Grammar School avenged its loss to Massey High School earlier in the season winning the game of the round 71-54. Unfortunately I don’t have further details of the game as my pigeon carrying the scoresheet has gone missing.

In perhaps the most significant result of the round Carmel College defeated Orewa College 91-60. With Carmel now holding a 2-0 head to head record against their North Shore rivals it means that Orewa will have to win two of their last three games and hope Carmel lose all three in order to preserve their Premier Grade status.

Tayla Dalton continued her good form, the Under 17 Nationals MVP, finishing with 42 points for Carmel.

Despite Janke Pretorius scoring 11 straight points for Orewa either side of the quarter time break Dalton racked up 26 points in the first half and with Millie Simpson nabbing 15 points they had sealed the deal in the opening twenty minutes boasting a 55-28 lead.

Hannah Wentworth and Megan Hoare kept pegging away for Orewa, who gave an improved showing in the second half, but Georgia Green and Simpson gave Dalton plenty of support as Carmel romped to a convincing win.

Carmel 91 – Dalton 42, Simpson 23, Green 10, Broomfield 8

Orewa 60 – Wentworth 20, Pretorius 15, Hoare 9, Henare 6


Rangitoto College have the toughest draw of all teams during the last four weeks of the season as they face the top four teams on the ladder.

It didn’t start too well on Friday going down 92-55 at home to Mt Albert Grammar.

Bella Elgar scored 6 first quarter points for Rangitoto but Rikki Fiatau was in sparkling form for the visitors scoring 13 points as MAGS sped to a 26-14 fist quarter lead.

A couple of threes from Ella Moore spearheaded a positive response from Rangi in the second but six straight points from Trinity Paeu in the shadows of half-time ensured a 47-31 lead for MAGS at the break.

Fiatau and Jada Manase stretched the lead beyond thirty points in the third. Moore and Elgar kept the MAGS defence busy but with few other scoring options Rangi struggled to keep pace with their opponents.

In contrast the joint League leaders had a variety of scoring options – one of those options Tessa Talo-Tomokino capped off a fine victory with a late triple.

Rangitoto 55 – Moore 21, Elgar 19, Noon-Duckworth 6

Mt Albert 92 – Fiatau 27, Paeu 20, Talo-Tomokino 16, Manase 14


In the fourth game of the round Westlake Girls moved into equal third spot on the ladder with a resounding 93-39 victory at Avondale College.

Westlake lost the services of Kristin Talma in the warm up and soon after the start Emme Shearer with a head knock. However with NZ U18 forward Keeley Tini dominating the early proceedings Westlake sped to a 33-13 lead.

Jordyn Maddix joined in the scoring frenzy with customary triples and with a less than 100% fit Sophie Dil also in good touch the game was over at half-time with Westlake 49-21 to the good.

Maclani Michael was massive for Avondale scoring 27 of her team’s 39 points but with little support Westlake cruised to the win.

The Westlake – Massey encounter next week will almost certainly decide third spot on the table.

Avondale 39 – Michael 27

Westlake 93 – Tini 18, Maddix 17, Dil 16, Moors 13

Girls Premier Grade Standings

10-1 AGGS, Mt Albert

7-4 Massey, Westlake

5-6 Rangitoto

3-8 Carmel

2-9 Orewa

0-11 Avondale

In Senior A Grade action St Mary’s remain top of the table after beating Pakuranga College 93-32.

Disappointing finish for Tall Ferns at Asia Cup


New Team shotThe Tall Ferns had a game to forget to conclude their programme at the Asia Cup in India on Saturday. The Kiwis went down 65-45 to Chinese Taipei in the 5th/6th play off game.

Japan won a third consecutive Asia Cup Final holding on to beat Australia 74-73.

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Game highlights

Roundup of latest Auckland Prem action including important win for MAGS




The Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade competition resumed on Friday after the school holiday break.

Rangitoto College have been used to managing with a depleted roster this season due to a succession of injuries but this week there were more crosses in the absent column than ticks on the present register.

No fewer than six regulars were missing due to injury and representative duty and with coach Kenny Stone also absent Angela Perrott-Hunt was required to call on four debutants to bolster the Rangitoto ranks.

Ryan Laumatia scored a couple of early baskets for Mt Albert but a corner three from New Zealand U16 guard Obadaiah Paea kept Rangitoto in touch at quarter time – 16-14 to MAGS.

An And-1 play from Ethan Mandeno tied proceedings at 19 points each – the Rangi guard then scored again to move his team ahead.

Te Akau Pumipi scored 7 straight points for MAGS but they trailed 26-23 with 5:40 left in the second following a Mandeno three – Daryl Cartwright, back on board after Junior Tall Blacks duty, needed a timeout.

Xjana Luamanuvae-Su’a scored on the resumption, as did Jack Morrison, MAGS ahead 34-32 at the interval.

Mandeno led all scorers at the break with 17 points, Pumipi not far behind with 13.

MAGS, helped by triples from Sataan Tawera and Luamanuvae-Su’a began the second half with a 24-4 run to blow the game open at 58-36 with 5 minutes left in the third.

Harry Payne and Tommy Te Puni ended the run but Rangi had plenty to do at three-quarter time trailing 66-47.

Pumipi continued his impressive showing by opening the fourth quarter scoring, his inside presence a constant source of production for MAGS. At the other end Mandeno moved past the twenty points mark but a valuable MAGS win was never threatened.

Rangitoto 57 – Mandeno 27, Payne 9, Thornton 8, Paea 7

MAGS 81 – Pumipi 22, Luamanuvae-Su’a 17, Laumatia 10, Morrison 10



Rosmini College were also a little shorthanded, down three starters, for their visit to Macleans College but still had enough resources to come away with a 69-58 win

Sai Kuvelkar and Blake van Uden got Macleans underway but Kruz Perrott-Hunt, back from NZ Under 18 duty in Guam, nailed 11 first quarter points to give Rosmini the early advantage – 16-12 at quarter time.

That lead blossomed in the second with Reihana Maxwell-Topia claiming 9 points in the period to extend the Rozza lead to 37-23 at the interval.

The hosts got the better of the third period restricting Rosmini to eight points while van Uden and Alex Arthur shared 13 points to close the gap to eight points – 47-39.

Kuvelkar dropped his third triple of the game and van Uden added to his tally as Macleans threatened a come from behind victory in the opening stages of the fourth. However Jenkins (also a NZ U18 representative) steadied the ship with six points and Sean Murphy and Perrott-Hunt hit timely triples as Rozza kept their regular season title quest on track.

Macleans 58 – van Uden 25, Kuvelkar 18, Arthur 11

Rosmini 69 – Perrott-Hunt 19, Maxwell-Topia 11, Murphy 10, Jenkins 8

Kelston Boys now have one foot in the relegation cellar after being outgunned 87-30 at Auckland Grammar.

Grammar were missing Anzac Rissetto, on NZ U17 duty in the Philippines, but more significantly Kelston were without their talisman Kale Lawson and suffered as a result.

Matangi Prescott and Solomon Faapoi were the only real scoring threats for Kelston and they accounted for 13 of their team’s 18 points in the first half – a half in which they trailed 39-18.

It was a balanced Grammar effort with nine different scorers in the half led by Samson Aruwa with 9 points and Teancum McCarthy with half a dozen.

McCarthy and Thomas Whyte landed threes in the third and Tom Higgins scored 8 straight points as Grammar completely dominated the frame to lead 63-24 at the last break.

The final stanza was equally one sided as Grammar eased to a comfortable victory no doubt looking forward to a showdown with Rangitoto College next Friday in what promises to be one of the games of the season.

AGS 87 – McCarthy 19, Higgins 17, Aruwa 15, Andrews 9

Kelston 30 – Prescott 14, Faapoi 7

The Westlake Boys versus St Kentigern College game was postponed as both head coaches, Aaron Young (St Kentigern) and Zac Fitzgerald (Westlake), along with some players are overseas this week.

Boys Premier Grade Standings

9-2 Rosmini

8-2 Westlake

8-3 Auckland Grammar

7-4 Rangitoto

4-7 Mt Albert

3-7 St Kentigern

3-8 Macleans

1-10 Kelston

* Westlake and St Kentigern have a game in hand

In the Senior A competition the top two teams continued their winning ways. St Peter’s College got the better of Massey High (97-68) and Avondale College were too good for Northcote College winning 102-73.

St Peter’s got plenty of production out of Finlay Morris (32pts), Christian Fromont (25pts) and Gerard Boersen (16pts) but it was only in the final quarter, won 29-16, that they shook off a hard working Massey outfit.

Massey were led by Jason Cullen’s 15 points.

Tall Ferns beat North Korea at Asia Cup


image-1The Tall Ferns put their collective foot down in the first quarter and it was plain sailing after that. 5th/6th play-off game tomorrow will round out the Kiwis Asia Cup campaign.

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Cal Berkley Golden Bears are only 17 days away

Coach Lori McDaniel says the New Zealand Premier team is looking forward to the challenge of facing the University of California Berkeley Golden Bears when they touchdown in Auckland early next month. And they better be, because there is no doubt NZ Premier are in for a tough match.

The UC Berkeley Golden Bears are one of the top women’s college teams in the US, boasting nine appearances at the NCAA tournament and playing in the prestigious Pac 12 Conference.

New Zealand Tall Fern Penina Davison will headline the Cal challenge. Davidson will be lining up for Cal’ where she attends College. Now in her fourth and final year the formidably talented 21 year old has made 98 appearances for the Golden Bears. This is her first time playing in Auckland since the start of her college career.

“This is a great opportunity for New Zealand youth to see what it takes to play at a large Division One College,” says Lori McDaniel.
“We’re ready to show them what New Zealand has got.”

The game tips-off at 4pm on 13 August, at North Shore Events Centre. Tickets at

New Zealand Premier Team

Georgia Agnew (Harbour Breeze)

Deena Franklin (Harbour Breeze)

Hayley Gray (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)

Alyssa Hirawani (Waikato Wizards)

Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Wizards)

Esra McGoldrick (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)

Sariah Penese (Capital Swish)

Connie Poletti (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)

Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Aucland Lady Rangers)

Darcy Rose (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)

Nicole Ruske (Site Weld Otago Goldrush)

Sapphire Wairau (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)

Coaches – Jody Cameron and Lori McDaniel

Tall Ferns World Cup qualification quashed

J Harmon

The Tall Ferns let slip a golden opportunity to not only advance to the Asia Cup semi-finals but also a place in the 2018 Fiba World Cup.

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Girls Prem Grade – who will be the winners and losers this season?

18664178_46083Orewa Girls

The Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade gets back underway again on Friday July 28th with a number of intriguing Girls grade ties in prospect.

Massey High, one of the form teams in the competition, travel to Auckland Girls Grammar. Massey upset AGGS the last time the two teams met inflicting the only defeat of the season on the defending Premiers.

Whatever the result on Friday both teams will progress through to the semi-finals when the remaining four rounds are completed next month.

Shauna Povey and senior Sylvia Wieczorek have been leading the way for Massey but Grammar have greater depth this season with the addition of Zhanay Hettig, and the Ropati sisters Mariah and Teneva.

Mt Albert Grammar share the same 9-1 record as AGGS with the meeting between the two in the last regular season game of the season likely to decide the minor premiership. Sharne Pupuke-Robati, recently selected in the New Zealand Premier team to play touring University of California, Berkley, will be a key figure in that encounter.


Westlake Girls appear likely to nail the fourth semi-final spot ahead of Rangitoto College. Rangitoto (5-5) are only one win behind Westlake (6-4) but face each of the top four teams to complete the regular season. They will need plenty of scoring from Mania Spooner, Kaitlin Burgess and Bella Elgar to chalk up more victories.

In contrast Westlake only face one top four team – their meeting with Massey possibly determining which of the two secures third spot. Lake had Keeley Tini, Emme Shearer, Jordyn Maddix, Jess Moors and Mareta Davidson all on international duty in recent weeks. The experience gained at the higher level of competition can’t help but improve Westlake’s play-off chances.

That leaves three teams attempting to avoid the drop although Avondale College (0-10) look doomed already.

That leaves North Shore rivals Orewa College and Carmel College, with an identical 2-8 record, are scrapping to avoid relegation and the challenge of going through a qualifying tournament at the beginning of next year.

Both have to play Avondale plus two top four teams so their meeting on Friday has major significance. Carmel won the first encounter between the two 71-46 – the match up between Harbour U17 representative teammates Hannah Wentworth (Orewa) and Tayla Dalton (Carmel) could be key in that one.

Girls Premier Grade Standings

9-1 AGGS, Mt Albert

7-3 Massey

6-4 Westlake

5-5 Rangitoto

2-8 Carmel, Orewa

0-10 Avondale

Plenty to play for in Secondary Schools Premier Grade


Rozza v Maga

The Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade competition gets underway again on Friday July 28th with everything still to play for in the final four rounds of the regular season.

In the Boys competition there is definitely a top four and bottom four divide with Kelston Boys, sitting at the foot of the ladder, certain to be heading for the 2018 qualifying tournament. With only one win in ten and the top four teams to play again the wooden soon is heading West.

Which team will be demoted with them is difficult to pick as St Kentigern College, Macleans College and Mt Albert Grammar each has an identical 3-7 record.

MAGS had a bit of momentum prior to the school holidays having won two straight and with coach Daryl Cartwright back at the helm following his Junior Tall Blacks commitments they may be favoured to stay up.

If that eventuates it would mean one of the two ‘new boys’ Macleans and St Kent’s would be in a shoot out.

Both teams won promotion at the start of the year but it looks likely one will be faced with re-qualifying in 2018.

The two teams meet in the final game of the season on August 11th in what could be a mini grand final. When the two teams met in round seven MacLeans took the honours 70-59. Next time around St Kent’s will have home advantage and may need a win by 12 points or more to stay up.

The top four teams, Auckland Grammar, Rangitoto, Rosmini and Westlake Boys are only separated by one win and each have similar run-in to the play-offs with the bulk of games against bottom four teams.

Westlake made the early running winning their opening seven games – there final game of the regular season, a local derby against Rangitoto, will be worth watching. The defeats coincided with the absence of James Moors and Thabo Manyere – a couple of key players that Westlake need healthy and firing.

As well as that game against Westlake, Rangitoto must travel to Auckland Grammar and will likely need to win both to clinch the regular season title. Boosted by the return of Dan Fotu that is a distinct possibility.

In addition to the Rangitoto game AGS face a tricky tie with perennial rivals Mount Albert as well as a trip over the bridge to face Rosmini. However with Sam Aruwa working his way back to full fitness AGS have a backcourt to trouble all teams.


Thabo Manyere_n

Other than hosting Grammar, Rosmini play three bottom four teams to conclude their regular season campaign. With Will Heather and Joseph Hylton sidelined for the medium term they won’t want any more injuries to hamper their progress.

All four teams have had key players missing at different times due to injury. It might just be that the healthiest team finish top of the ladder.

Whatever happens four very even teams will produce a couple of classic matches come semi-finals time next month.

Boys Premier Grade Standings

8-2 Rosmini, Westlake

7-3 Rangitoto, Auckland Grammar

3-7 St Kentigern, Macleans, Mt Albert

1-9 Kelston

We will take a look at the Girls Grade tomorrow.

Fotu finishes his reign in Spain


Fotu won’t be seen in Zaragoza colours next season

As expected Isaac Fotu has parted ways with Spanish club Zaragoza and signed with Ratiopharm Ulm in the German Bundesliga for the next two seasons.

Currently enjoying a reasonable break from the game, after being excused Tall Blacks duty during the current international campaign, Fotu will link up with Ulm after spending the past three seasons in Spain.

After leaving the University of Hawaii in November 2014 Fotu was snapped up by Zaragoza but initially loaned out to La Bruixa d’Or Manresa for the remainder of the 2014-15 Liga Endesa season.

Returning to Zaragoza the following season the former Rangitoto College standout averaged 7.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in League action across 34 games. In addition he played 18 Eurocup games averaging 9.1 points per outing.

Last season the power forward averaged 9.1 points per game in 32 games for Zaragoza.

His three seasons in Spain have largely involved fighting relegation battles but the prospects are brighter in Germany as Ratiopharm went 30-2 last season to take out the Bundesliga regular season title before being eliminated in the semi-finals of the play-offs.

Tall Ferns come from 17 points down to win


The Tall Ferns recorded a thrilling 59-53 come from behind victory against Chinese Taipei at the FIBA Asia Cup on Tuesday.

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