Monthly Archives: August 2017

Canterbury Schools titles decided


From James Lissaman

Cowles Stadium was packed from beginning to end in a shining example of the explosion in popularity basketball has experienced, with extra seating needing to be brought out for the two Division I finals in order to accommodate the interested spectators. DJ Justone once again came down and entertained the crowd during breaks in the action, and there was an awful lot of action on display!

Both the Whelan and Thompson Division II finals tipped off at 4pm, with a very loud group of supporters for each of the four schools coming in. In the Thompson Division II Final, a dream start for Papanui saw them race ahead of Hillmorton 13-0. Some exceptional defence from the Tigers was needed, as they managed to hold Papanui to only one point in the first five minutes of the second quarter, closing the gap to only three points. Papanui responded, moving ahead to be up comfortably 32-20 at the half. A massive third quarter for Hillmorton (18-8) gave all the fans what they wanted – plenty of drama heading into the fourth quarter! The tide had definitely turned here, Papanui’s Sam Archibald (13 points) was sent to the bench after picking up his fifth foul, and Ihaia Kendrew, who had struggled with his shot earlier, went on a tear, scoring 11 of his game high 23 points in the period. Mahonri Tauiliili-Pau started to flex his defensive muscle, turning steals into open court opportunities (18p), and Rhys Kershaw began hitting his patented short corner jumper (10p) whenever a half court set was needed for Hillmorton. Ben Hussey (16 points) fought to keep Papanui in the game, but every time he gave the ball up, the Hillmorton Defence stiffened and Hussey was only able to get five shot attempts up in the final quarter. An ecstatic Hillmorton, playing for long-time Assistant Coach Andrea Kendrew, pulled off the win this time, after only just falling short in 2016, 56-51.

St. Margaret’s and Avonside Girls’ met for the third time this year, after splitting their first two games, and knowing they would also face each other in the Southern Premiership in a week’s time. This game illustrated just how far the two teams had come under the expert coaching of Ashley Gayle and Pina Lissaman. The Lady Eagles had an early lead, but then went through a very long patch of scoring struggles, as St. Margaret’s went on a 20-0 run to close out the first quarter. Molly Cockburn and Bella Digby began the Avonside fight back (16p each). Cockburn picked up her fifth foul early in the fourth quarter, significantly reducing the scoring ability of the Avonside team. Megan Shannon came on and helped with 11p, but the superior size of St Margaret’s, especially Eniselina Pale (20p), kept them clear. Both teams could look at their performance from the free throw line (Avonside 13/40, St. Margaret’s 19/39) as what ended up being the difference between the teams, as St. Margaret’s finished off with a tough 65-56 win in Division II of the #McDsWT.

Division I of the Whelan Trophy featured a rematch of the 2016 finalists, as Rangi Ruru again faced Christchurch Girls’. Both teams started off quite nervy, with neither making it to double figures in the first ten minutes (5-9 in Girls’ High favour), and only managing 13 and 15 points by the time we hit half time. Christchurch Girls’ managed to keep their nose slightly ahead of Rangi Ruru in the third, as both teams began to score: Sapphire Wairau hitting two threes (9p) in the quarter, with Bailey Chamberlain (9p) and Alida Pohatu-Barnes scoring what looked to be the last five points of the quarter, before an Alex Bennett heave from half way dropped for CGHS. This sent both teams into the final quarter locked in a one-point game 34-35. This is when Esra McGoldrick (20p 17r) and Finals MVP Alice Sproat (9p 15r) went to work – sparking a 17-2 quarter which made this game look far more one-sided than it actually was. Rangi Ruru, going back to back after a 51-37 win.


The Thompson Trophy’s Division I final pitted the two pre-season favourites against each other, as well as the Canterbury Rams Head and Assistant Coaches (Mark Dickel and Ben Sheat respectively). A thrilling game unfolded, with the largest lead for Cashmere over the whole game being only five points, and Christ’s College’s seven. As you would expect in a game this tight, 14 ties or lead-changes occurred. Cashmere’s depth was tested early on as Tom Russ-Hofmans was forced to the bench after collecting three fouls in the first 12 minutes of the game. Mitch Mahon (8p 7r) and Nic Wenmoth (10p 8r 4s) the two players who stepped up, and battled hard against the daunting size advantage Christ’s College had.

Christ’s Max De Geest showed his class (16p) but was only given a few open looks from the three point line, while Maxwell Darling was almost unstoppable around the rim (9p 14r) – grabbing a Tom Crutchley miss to push Christ’s ahead 46-53 early in the fourth quarter. Sheat’s faith in his team paid off, with Ruben Stanley (11p) hitting two straight threes to quickly get the lead back for Cashmere. Darling answered the call for Christ’s, as a great spin move inside saw him clang a dunk home – tying the game at 60-60. Finals MVP Connor McLaughlin (19p 7a) had one more play up his sleeve – getting into the lane and finding Mahon for the go-ahead basket at the rim. Will Harrison (13p) had the chance to be the hero as the final seconds ticked down, but his shot bounced off the rim, handing Cashmere a thrilling 62-60 win in front of an absolutely ecstatic crowd!

Thompson DI Final:

Cashmere 62-60

Thompson DII Final:

Hillmorton 56-51 Papanui

Whelan DI Final:

Rangi Ruru 51-37 Christchurch Girls

Whelan DII Final:

St. Margaret’s 65-56 Avonside

Isaac Letoa reflects on sensational past twelve months


Isaac Letoa

The teenage Tall Black has had a year he will never forget. He reflects on his full international debut, epic campaign with the Junior Tall Blacks and of course securing a scholarship at prestigious Ivy League School, Dartmouth College. I spoke with Isaac before he left for the USA.

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St Kentigern beat St Mary’s to claim Senior A title


St Kent's

In the battle of the Saints it was St Kentigern College that prevailed beating St Mary’s College 68-55 in the Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A Girl’s Final at North Shore Events Centre on Friday night.

The St Kentigern effort was paced by the composed performance of point guard Summer-Jean Motufoua who notched a game high 24 points.

The early signs were promising for St Mary’s as they established a 24-15 lead by the middle of the second period – Tyla Tevaga, following her eight three points barrage last week, landed a couple more and it looked as If a long night was in store for St Kent’s.

However a 17-3 St Kent’s run propelled them to a 32-27 half-time lead as Kayla Robertson-Tekil, Courtney Griffiths and Motufoua ran down the St Mary’s lead.

A triple from Riana Matiseni and scores from the Kailahi-Fulu sisters Jazzmyne and Zaaliyah helped the St Mary’s cause but another run from St Kent’s (11-3) at the back end of the third stanza took them to a 52-39 lead.

An 8-2 run in favour of St Mary’s at the beginning of the fourth prompted St Kent’s coach Michael Aitken to call a timeout. Matiseni cut the deficit to 7 points (56-49) with four minutes to play but the St Mary’s cause was hindered when Zazz Kailahi-Fulu exited after incurring a fifth foul.

Griffiths and Robertson-Tekil restored the St Kent’s double figure buffer – Natasha Leishman and Motufoua held their composure at the free throw line – and St Mary’s were able to celebrate the win.

The result means St Kentigern gain automatic entry into the Premier Competition in 2018 whilst St Mary’s will battle for the last spot in a play-off game against Orewa College.

St Kentigern 68 – Motufoua 24, Griffiths 15, Robertson-Tekil 15, Leishman 7

St Mary’s 55 – Z Kailahi-Fulu 16, J Kailahi-Fulu 11, Matiseni 10, L Te Nana-Williams 8

St Peter’s beat Avondale in Senior A Final


As they had been for their semi-final victory the previous week, St Peter’s College were spurred on by a large group of vocal supporters for the Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A 114-93 Final victory against Avondale College at North Shore Events Centre on Friday.

The game began at a frantic pace with both teams peeling off transition baskets by the plenty. 59 points in the opening stanza were a sign of things to come as Tauhir Toyer and Jaga Mete constantly threatened the St Peter’s defence whilst Christian Fromont and Gerrard Boersen did the same at the opposite end.

The pace dropped very little in the second frame as the two teams wrestled for control of a high tempo encounter. Kennedy Nikolaison scored 34 points in Avondale’s semi-final win last week and he was in good touch again leading all scorers with 17 points at the break. However a Boersen three on the half time buzzer took St Peter’s to a 56-50 lead at the interval.

St Peter’s made the defining moves early in the third as Whititera Parata pushed the lead into double figures. Threes from Finlay Morris and Phoenix Leupolu soon followed and suddenly the lead was over 20 points.

Nikolaison made a sweet one handed fade away but his Avondale team had given up 33 points in the quarter and trailed 89-70 at the last break.

Although the impressive Mete scored 10 points in the final quarter for Avondale and Jack Childs and Amand-Assante Donaldson chipped in with useful contributions the regular season champions were in no mood to blow their lead.

Kean Hernandez scored after excellent Saints ball movement andthe same player followed that with a score from beyond the arc. Further triples from Morris, Leupolu and Liam Watters followed to send the travelling fans into raptures.

The result means St Peter’s are promoted to the Premier Grade for the 2018 season. Avondale can still win promotion if they defeat Macleans College in a play-off game.

St Peter’s 114 – Morris 28, Fromont 22, Boersen 20, Parata 14, Leupolu 13

Avondale 93 – Nikolaison 26, Mete 22, Toyer 15, Donaldson 15, Childs 13

Auckland Girls Grammar beat Mt Albert in cracking Premier Final


The Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Girls competition at North Shore Events Centre on Friday night was a match up between traditional foes Auckland Girls Grammar School and Mt Albert Grammar.

With Auckland having won both regular season tussles it was something of a surprise scoreline at quarter time with Mt Albert ahead 22-10.

A trey from Riana Rangi-Brown and half a dozen points from Jodeci Joseph did most the damage for MAGS.

The regular season champions responded via 7 straight points from Rionne Papa and a triple from Mele Latu.

Not to be outdone Moanekah Va’ai nailed a three for Mt Albert as they closed out a fine first half leading 39-26.

Auckland upped the defensive pressure in the third keeping Mt Albert to just 9 points in the period and charged back into contention. Latu, Papa and Laetitia Tuaiti found holes in the MAGS defence to close to within a point (48-47) at three-quarter time.

Early in the fourth stanza Zhanay Hettig scored inside and Auckland had the lead for the first time in the game 51-50.

When Elianna Tuaiti stretched the AGGS lead to six points (57-51) Mt Albert coach Julie Kelman-Poto needed a timeout.

A long three from Karma Skilton-Roberts with 3:30 to play looked to be the dagger to break the MAGS resistance but back they came as Manase scored in transition followed by a three from Tessa Talo-Tomokino to level the scores at 60 points apiece with 2:15 to play.

The large crowd was provided with an exciting finish as Talo-Tomokino scored again from beyond the arc to more than cancel out Latu’s put-back.

Joseph made a free throw for MAGS but Latu did the job again to tie the scores – 64 apiece with 1:15 to play.

Clutch free throws from Elianna Tuaiti with 51 seconds to play had the AGGS fans on their feet only for Moanekah Va’ai to drop a triple to put MAGS ahead 67-66 with two possessions left.

Skilton-Roberts kept her head when presented with an open look and although MAGS had another scoring opportunity they could not capitalize and slipped to an agonising 68-67 defeat.

Both teams now move on to the Nationals Qualifying Tournament with another meeting between these two fine teams a distinct possibility in the final of that event – it will be worth watching if it eventuates.

Auckland Girls 67 – Latu 20, Papa 19, Skilton-Roberts 9, E Tuaiti 6

Mt Albert 66 – Joseph 15, Manase 14, Talo-Tomokino 10, Va’ai 10, Rangi-Brown 10

Rangitoto hold off Rosmini to claim Premier title


By their lofty standard a 9-5 regular season effort in the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier competition was nothing to write home about for Rangitoto College.

However those following the fortunes of the National Champions know that the team has been plagued by injuries this season. All the leading Premier teams have had to cope without key players at various stages but Rangi have probably been the hardest hit.

Comfortably securing the fourth play-off spot they took care of business in the semi-final last week against Auckland Grammar School to book a spot in the final against North Shore rivals Rosmini College.

Played in front of another bumper crowd at the NSEC Rangi had the better of the early skirmishes and despite a Kruz Perrott-Hunt long three led 21-14 at quarter time.

Rangi dealt in three’s to open the second quarter as Dan Fotu converted an And-1 play and point guard Harry Clarke knocked down a pair of triples – 30-14 the lead.

Marvin-Williams-Dunn, four minutes into the stanza, finally got the scoreboard ticking again for Rosmini and Matt Sokol chipped in with a bucket. Mitch Dance had the last say in the first half but Rangi were still handily placed at the interval with a 38-29 lead.

Rangi, much to the delight of their boisterous fans, threatened to take the game away from Rosmini at the outset of the third frame going on a 16-2 run.

Fotu, initiated the run, Logan Anderson solidified it with 7 straight points and Jared Thornton capped it with a sweeping left-hander.

When Harry Payne converted the Rangi lead was over 20 points (57-36) and for the first time on the night the Rosmini Faithful fell silent.

Dance was forced to the bench after picking up a fourth foul but the introduction of Terrence Abdon sparked a Rosmini revival. The livewire guard scored back-to –back baskets and when Peter Jenkins scored in the shadows of three-quarter time the Rosmini deficit had been reduced to a more manageable 59-51.

Caleb Langridge emphasized what a good addition he has been to the Rangi squad this season with a trio of baskets as Rangi maintained a double digit buffer.

All that changed in the middle of the fourth as some Rosmini full court pressure resulted in consecutive scores from Dance (twice), Williams-Dunn and Jenkins – suddenly the Rangi lead was just four points (69-65) and The Faithful were in full voice.

Fotu made plays on repeat possessions but when Abdon converted a seemingly impossible drive it was 71-67 with 2:30 to play and memories of 2016 came flooding back – in last year’s final Rangitoto were run down in the final minutes by a fast finishing Rosmini.

On this occasion the Rangitoto senior’s put paid to that notion – the cool, calm Anderson converted a drive, Langridge and Fotu engineered a nice inside basket and although Rosmini had a couple of good looks their late surge petered out.

Clarke and Fotu iced the game from the free-throw line – the 79-68 win signaling a crowd invasion from jubilant Rangi supporters.

Rangitoto 79 – Anderson 19, Fotu 17, Clarke 16, Langridge 13

Rosmini 68 – Dance 25, Williams-Dunn 12, Perrott-Hunt 10, Abdon 9

daniel fotu

Fotu’s return has helped Rangitoto

Finalists of Canterbury High Schools competition found


By James Lissaman

Semi-Final week started off with an excellent game between Ellesmere and St. Margaret’s, with Josh Thompson’s team racing out to an early ten point lead. This was largely due to the defensive prowess of Kersha Timpson – scoring six straight points (19p total) after harassing the home team into turnovers. The margin stayed consistent through the first three quarters, before St. Margaret’s was able to pull ahead late in the fourth, with Emily Stewart (17p) and Madison Eder (11p) being the main catalysts. St. Margaret’s found themselves up six with only a few minutes remaining in regulation, but this lead shrank and Ellesmere’s Paris Nurse (17p) got sent to the Free Throw line with only five seconds remaining – and tied the game at 55-55. Despite missing the second, nurse had a chance to win it after an offensive rebound bounced back to her. Overtime belonged to St. Margaret’s though – with Lina Pale scoring four of her 16 points, and a spot in the finals after a 67-57 win.

Avonside Girls’ had an early ten-point lead, with Molly Cockburn hitting on tough shot after tough shot in the first half. Villa Maria was still facing a deficit in the fourth quarter, but closed the gap all the way to three points with only a few minutes to play. Avonside’s defensive resolve stiffened here, and they managed to keep their noses just ahead of Villa Maria, booking a Division II finals match against St. Margaret’s in what will be a preview of their game against each other in the BBNZ South Island Premiership.

Division One of the McDonald’s Whelan Trophy Competition was just as tight as Division II, with both games being decided on the final possession. Rangi Ruru and St. Andrew’s had a thrilling head-to-head matchup between Junior Tall Ferns Esra McGoldrick (28p) and Charlotte Whittaker (27p). Each team struggled with the pressure of the moment on the fourth – with a turnover for one team almost always being repaid in kind by their opponent. Lose Faingaanuku had 10p for St. Andrew’s in support of Whittaker, but it was Rangi Ruru’s Alida Pohatu-Barnes who came through in the clutch – hitting a big two as part of her 11p, including making three straight free throws. Whittaker almost had a miracle finish for StAC, banking in a three, and getting fouled on another attempt, but just ran out of time to finish off the comeback, as StAC fell 61-59.

Despite being the higher seed, Middleton Grange came out tentatively against last year’s other finalist – Christchurch Girls’. Amiee Book had a huge haul of 32p, and Megan Ellis had 21p, but fellow star Lauryn Hippolite faced excellent defence and could only muster three points herself. Christchurch Girls’ faced a similar conundrum, as their star guard (Sapphire Wairau) was held to only eight points, but Alana Wouters (19p) and Bella Luhetoa (17p) kept Phil Burns’ team rolling. It looked like all was lost heading into the last quarter for the Gators, as a ten-point buffer was between them and the lead. A gradual comeback was completed, as Megan Ellis hit a clutch three to tie the game at 59-59, before a Wairua bucket in the lane after a beautiful step-through immediately gave Girls’ High the lead back, as they hung on to win 64-62.


In Division I of the Thompson Trophy, a full strength Christ’s College team easily ran away from Rangiora High 105-70, as the dynamic duo of namesakes Max (De Geest and Darling) were too tough inside and out for the young Rangiora team. Cashmere and Shirley Boys’ had the best crowd of the night, with an almost constant chant of defence being heard in the first half, no matter which team had the ball! Both teams were locked at 30-30 at half time, with Sean Kelly (15p) keeping the visitors close. A strong third quarter run saw Cashmere pull ahead 52-36 at the final break, eventually going on to win 77-52.


Papanui overcame an extremely loud crowd at Cathedral College, as they utilised their superior size advantage to win 71-52, despite an early scare when Cathedral was able to speed the game up with a few half-court steals. Hillmorton had nowhere near as easy a path, with two key players out due to injury (Jibraan Safi – ACL, and Joshua Nickel – fracture). St. Thomas and Hillmorton traded baskets throughout the first three quarters, and it looked like Neville Brooker’s team was going to claim a spot in the final, pulling ahead by nine points late in the fourth. Three Ihaia Kendrew threes (46p total) quickly erased this lead, along with 15p from Mahonri Tauiliili-Pau, and allowed the Tigers to escape with a tight 84-82 win, despite Ben Ruffles (21p), Jacob Sue (21p) and Izaac Beever (18p) all scoring well for STC.

#McDsTT and #McDsWT Finals’ Night Schedule

Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 – Cowles Stadium (Free Entry, Shop and Live Music from DJ Justone for Division I Finals)

Date/Time Cowles 1 Cowles 2
4:00 PM McDsTT DII Final
Hillmorton vs


McDsWT DII Final
St Margaret’s vs

Avonside Lady Eagles

5:45 PM McDsWT DI Final
Rangi Ruru vs


7:30 PM McDsTT DI Final
Cashmere vs

Christ’s College



Thompson DI Results:

Christ’s 105-70 Rangiora

Cashmere 77-52 Shirley


Thompson DII Results:

Hillmorton 84-82 St. Thomas

Papanui 71-52 Cathedral


Whelan DI Results:

Rangi Ruru 61-59 St. Andrew’s

Christchurch Girls’ 64-62 Middleton


Whelan DII Results:

St. Margaret’s 67-57 Ellesmere (overtime)

Avonside 53-50 Villa Maria

Mike Karena Remains in Spain


Canterbury Rams centre Mike Karena has become the third New Zealand player to join a new club in Europe for the 2017-18 season.

Karena has signed on with Actel Forca Lleida in the Spanish LEB Gold Division. This is a step up for Karena who last season averaged 14 points and 6 rebounds per game for ISB Sammic in the LEB Silver Division.

The LEB Gold Division is the Spanish second tier competition nestling under Liga Endesa the competition Isaac Fotu played in for the past three seasons. Liga Endesa is widely regarded as the strongest club competition outside the NBA.

Fotu has of course moved to Germany and signed for Ratiopharm Ulm and Corey Webster, after initially signing for Perth Wildcats, has joined Israeli club Ironi Nahariya.

It is anticipated that Tai Webster, recently graduated from the University of Nebraska, will become the fourth Tall Black to play in Europe during the upcoming season.

Saints x 3 plus Avondale progress to Senior A Finals


The Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A semi-finals at North Shore Events Centre on Friday night were, in three of the four cases, comfortably won by the higher ranked teams.

In the Girls competition St Mary’s College and St Kentigern College easily won through to next Friday’s final.

In the Boys grade it is St Peter’s College and Avondale College that will clash at the North Shore Events Centre on Friday.

The Avondale College versus Liston College Boy’s semi-final was the exception. Whilst Avondale was in control for the majority of the game Liston, led by Dru-leo Leusogi (20 points) and Tyronne McClennan (21 points), were competitive throughout before eventually going down 97-87.

The Doe Williams coached Avondale side leaned heavily on Kennedy Nikolaison who paced the team with a game high 34 points.

Nikolaison was well supported by Jaga Mete (19 points) and Jack Childs (15 points).

 Avondale 97 – Nikolaison34, Mete 19, Childs 15, Toyer 9, Donaldson 8

Liston 87 – McClennan 21, Leusogi 20, Prokofyev 13, Fabian 12, Maagdenberg 8

St Peter’s College, urged on by a bus load of travelling fans, were quickly into their stride against Northcote College – a pair of Phoenix Leupolu treys helping them to a 29-18 quarter time advantage.

Miggey Falqueza rattled off 8 straight points as Northcote got things going in the second to narrow to within 5 points.

However a decisive run from St Peter’s, fuelled by Finlay Morris and Christian Fromont, took the lead out to 45-28.

As usual Northcote captain Sam Hadley was at the heart of the Northcote effort but his team were in a spot of bother at half-time trailing 54-41.

Leupolu landed his fourth triple of the game and when Joseph Dickey, much to the delight of team bench, scored with an off balance left handed drive the St Peter’s lead was out to 20 points 70-50 with four minutesto play in third.

The impressive Gerard Boersen – the game’s leading scorer with 29 points – chipped in with half a dozen third quarter points as the lead increased to 82-58 at three-quarter time.

Northcote guard Jack Burton kept asking questions of the St Kent’s defence but more problems were being posed at the other end of the court as Boersen created his own shot or dished for others to score.

Expect even more Saints support on Friday for the grand-final clash with Avondale.

St Peter’s 100 – Boersen 29, Fromont 21, Morris 16, Leupolu 14

Northcote 65 – Falqueza 21, Hadley 14, Burton 14, Hayward 7

In the Girl’s Grade semi-final St Kentigern College moved to a useful 20-14 first quarter lead against Epsom Girls with Courtney Griffiths and Summer-Jean Motufoua scoring all but three of the St Kent’s points.

Aria Todd-Pemerika scored 10 first half points for Epsom but St Kent’s, still led at the interval 38-29.

St Kent’s, paced by Motufoua (33 points), took the game away from Epsom in the third winning the frame 27-10. Kayla Robertson-Tekil got in on the scoring action, as did Aimee Johnson, as St Kent’s stretched the advantage to a game winning 65-39 at the third break.

Todd-Pemerika, Florence Dallow and Siniva Setoga kept plugging away but a majot Epsom revival didn’t eventuate – St Kent’s advancing to a showdown with St Mary’s on Friday.

St Kentigern 82 – Motufoua 33, Griffiths 18, Robertson-Tekil 12, Leishman 9, Johnson 7

Epsom 60 – Todd-Pemerika 17, Dallow 9, Benitez 7, Scouler 6


In the second Girl’s semi-final St Mary’s College proved much too strong for Birkenhead College winning 98-64 with Tyla Tevaga (26 points) in red hot shooting form.

A first quarter scoring burst from St Mary’s took them out to a significant 33-15 first quarter lead. Tevaga connected with three triples in the period before going on to land a school record eight treys on the night.

The second period was a much more even contest as Rashan Smith (29 points) and Rieko Tui’inukuafe led a spirited Birkenhead response – 55-35 at half-time.

Smith rattled in 11 consecutive points for Birkenhead at the start of the second half.

However Jazz Kailahi-Fulu scored the first six points in the quarter for St Mary’s and Safenunuivao Te Nana-Williams the last six as they thwarted any thoughts of a Birkenhead revival – 73-52 at three-quarter time.

Tevaga kept up her record of landing triples in every quarter by landing a couple in the fourth. Jazz Kailahi-Fulu joined in the fun by also landing from beyond the arc to cap a decisive victory and a place in the final against St Kent’s on Friday.

St Mary’s 98 – Tevaga 26, J Kailahi-Fulu 15, S Te Nana-Williams 13, Matiseni 12, L Te Nana-Williams 10, Z Kailahi-Fulu 10

Birkenhead 64 – Smith 29, Tui’inukuafe 11, B Marshall 8, Kashkari 6

AGGS and MAGS win Premier semi-finals


Auckland Girls Grammar School lived up to its top billing by defeating Massey High School 79-38 in the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier competition at North Shore Events Centre on Friday night.

Despite triples from Massey guards Shauna Povey and Terina Aratangi Grammar went to the quarter time break with a 20-8 lead with Karma Skilton-Roberts the main contributor in the period.

Kataleena Leslie dropped a couple of treys for Massey as they closed to 31-21 at the mid point of the second term however Mele Latu and Laetitia Tuaiti closed out the scoring in the half with Grammar ahead 38-21.

Latu knocked down her second triple of the game and Zhaney Hettig made a couple of inside baskets as Grammar dominated the third frame to carry a 54-28 lead into the final quarter.

With seven players scoring eight points or more Grammar cruised through the final stanza and now look forward to a match up with archrivals Mt Albert Grammar in the final next Friday in what promises to be a much closer game.

Grammar 79 –Latu 18, Skilton-Roberts 14, M Ropati 11, Papa 9

Massey 38 – Povey 12, Aratangi 11, Leslie 8

In the other semi-final Westlake Girls made a disastrous start against Mt Albert Grammar falling behind 25-8 at quarter time. Sharne Pupuke-Robati and Jada Manase shared 17 points as the MAGS ball movement created plenty of easy scoring opportunities.

If it was ugly for Westlake at quarter time it was soon a horror show as Tessa Talo-Tomokino converted from beyond the arc to extend the MAGS lead to 35-8.

Mareta Davidson did eventually move Lake into double figures. Keeley Tini scored three baskets in quick succession but points were generally proving hard to come by for Westlake as MAGS upped the defensive effort.

That effort produced transition baskets by the plenty for Riana Rangi-Brown and Trinity Paeu – the game over as a contest at half-time with MAGS ahead 57-27.

Pupuke-Robati demonstrated her scoring ability with baskets from long range and inside – as did Talo-Tomokino – 84-38 at three-quarter time.

Jess Moors, Emme Shearer and Jordyn Maddix prevented the scoreline blowing out any further in the fourth quarter but on a night when they were blown away by a dominant MAGS display it was too little too late.

MAGS 106 – Rangi-Brown 18, Pupuke-Robati 16, Paeu 16, Talo Tomokino 16, Manase 15

Westlake 61 – Maddix 13, Moors 8, Shearer 8, R Dil 7