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
2-8 Carmel, Orewa