Tuesday was another good day for the New Zealand age group teams playing abroad although the Men in Guam had to work hard for their success.
On Day 2 of the 2017 Fiba Under 17 Oceania Championships the New Zealand Men’s team was given an almighty scare by hosts Guam.
The guard orientated Guam team were a constant threat from the perimeter making 11 from 23 triples at a very respectable 48%.
NZ were far less efficient in that department making just 4 from 13 (31%). In contrast they bossed the boards to the tune of 47 to 28 with Auckland’s Tom Higgins securing 12 of them – plus 14 points.
Guam led early doors 19-16 and were still well in contention at three-quarter time only trailing 65-60. A strong fourth from the Kiwis did the trick – but it wasn’t easy
Isaac Faamausili led the scoring with 15 points (7/9FG) and he was ably assisted by Cooper Boyce-Towler (11pts), Oscar Oswald (10pts/8rebs) and Max De Geest (12pts).
It was a far more straight-forward outing for NZ Women defeating New Caledonia 110-31, having led 65-19 at half-time.
Olivia O’Neill had a unique double double scoring just 2 points but dishing 13 assists to compliment 18 rebounds in the win. Grace Hunter, Amiee Book, Tsubasa Nisbet, Charlotte Whittaker and the Lauryn’s, Mapusua and Hippolite, all managed double figures.
In Perth the NZ Under 16 Boys had a double assignment with the key match up being the morning encounter with Queensland North both teams boasting 3-0 records in Pool B at the Australian State Championships.
The Kiwis looked in control of proceedings with a 71-61 lead early in the fourth quarter but were forced to withstand a fierce Queensland onslaught in the closing stages.
Queensland edged ahead 78-77 with under 4 minutes to play but when point guard Ezrah Vaigafa gave the Kiwis an 84-80 lead with 58 seconds left all looked under control.
However Queensland scored on their next two possessions to tie the game at 84 apiece.
It was left to Rangitoto College and Harbour guard Harry Payne to seal the win connecting with a three with just 4 seconds left to secure a notable win.
Payne led the NZ scoring with 22 points and was ably supported by Vaiagafa (16/8r/4a) and 16 points apiece from Sam Jenkins and Mac Stodart. Southlander Stodart also secured a game high 15 rebounds.
In the late game on Tuesday NZ Boys encountered an over physical South Australia Metro and went down 83-65. Mac Stodart continued his good form with 24 points and 9 rebounds. Harry Payne was next best with 13 points, Ezrah Vaigafa contributed 10 points and Sam Jenkins produced a handy 9 points and 7 rebounds.
New Zealand U16 Girls improved to 2-2 with a 66-50 victory against Queensland North.
A 21-7 opening burst from the Kiwis proved the difference as only two points separated the two sides over the remaining three periods.
Westlake Girls guard Jess Moors led the effort with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Other notable performers included Jazz Kailahi-Fulu (12pts), Sophie Adams (13pts) and Dominique Stephens (6 points and 10 rebounds).