Fittingly before the Auckland Grammar versus Rosmini College encounter began players and supporters from both teams observed a few moments silence in memory of the late Sir John Graham.
What ensued was a low scoring defence dominated affair won by Grammar 62-53.
Tom Higgins and Kruz Perrott-Hunt, teammates 24 hours earlier against Oklahoma University Sooners, opened the scoring for their respective teams.
Anzac Rissetto made a trio of inside baskets to take Grammar 13-7 ahead but a second foul benched the NZ Under 17 centre.
Sam Aruwa is not a bad replacement and he signaled his intentions with a forceful inside move – Matt Sokol did the same at the other end – Grammar ahead 18-12 at quarter time.
Rissetto picked up an untimely third foul early in the second – his replacement Aruwa keeping Grammar ahead 22-17.
Higgins and Elijah Andrews scored in transition to stretch the visitors advantage although a triple from Dance kept Rozza in touch – 30-24 with three minutes to play in the half.
Thomas Whyte had the last say in the half draining a corner three to give Grammar a 37-30 interval lead.
The score froze in the opening 3 minutes of the second half as turnovers dominated proceedings. Aruwa was the first to get the scoreboard moving before his block and that of Rehana Maxwell-Topia on consecutive possessions getting the crowd involved.
Rissetto returned to the game but in an instant was benched with a fourth foul. Peter Jenkins finally found the basket for Rosmini and with Sokol landing a triple the hosts were only down 40-35.
Campbell Green went coast-to-coast and with Aruwa dominating in the paint Grammar stretched out to 45-35.
Sokol landed a corner three – Rozza trailed 49-41 at three-quarter time.
An Aruwa tip-in stretched the Grammar lead to a dozen – a Higgins left hander a further two.
Rozza guard Terrence Abdon connected from afar – 55-44 with 6:30 on the clock.
The smaller Rozza lineup were struggling to contain the Grammar forwards and Rissetto took advantage from the foul line but clocked out with five minutes to play after incurring a fifth foul.
Abdon landed a floater and Grammar coach Dave Mackay needed a timeout with 4:50 to play but Grammar still 9 points ahead.
Whyte and Andrews continued their excellent defence on the Rosmini guards and Aruwa his fine work inside thus ensuring Rosmini were unable to make a telling run in the final quarter.
Sir John would have given good marks for effort and commitment but perhaps given extra homework for precision and execution – Grammar deserved victors 62-53.
The win moved Grammar ahead of Rosmini into second place on the ladder – the points differential between the pair just four points.
Rosmini 53 – Sokol 14, Dance 14, Jenkins 9, Abdon 7
AGS 62 – Higgins 16, Aruwa 15, Rissetto 11, Whyte 6, Green 6
Mt Albert Grammar wrapped up fifth place on the table with a solid 75-57 victory against St Kentigern College.
A couple of Jonty Vink baskets gave Mt Albert an early 5-0 lead and they were never headed thereafter.
Vink scored ten points in the first half to counter the eight from Max Shorter as MAGS led 30-23 at half-time.
MAGS dominated the third period (27-15) with multiple scorers led by Ryan Laumatia and Manu Dorcil inflicting damage on the St Kent’s defence.
In the fourth stanza Shorter and Zac Chan both converted their third triples of the game but 11 straight points from Xjana Luamanuvae-Su’a snuffed out any remote chance of a St Kent’s comeback
MAGS 75 – Luamanuvae-Su’a 15, Laumatia 14, Vink 12, Morrison 10, Pumipi 10
St Kentigern 57 – Shorter 22, Hyland 11, Chan 9, Jones 7
Westlake Boys proved too strong for Macleans College winning 92-68 with Reuben Fitzgerald scoring 23 points for the hosts ahead of a showdown with Rangitoto College on Friday.
An even opening period favoured Westlake 25-21 with that advantage extended to 50-39 by the interval. Matt Cairns-Hita lit up the scoreboard in the second quarter nailing four treys for hosts Westlake – Harrison Roper and Alex Arthur prominent for Macleans.
Blake van Uden scored 9 points either side of the half-time interval but inside points from Thabo Manyere and yet another three from Cairns-Hita made it 71-48 in favour of Lake at the last break.
Michael Babaran score 8 final quarter points but Jackson Port and Reuben Fitzgerald landed more triples and there was just time for Cairns-Hita to hit(a) his sixth triple of the night to seal a comfortable win.
Westlake 92 – Fitzgerald 23, Cairns-Hita 20, Manyere 12, Hidalgo 9
Macleans 68 – van Uden 16, Babaran 15, Arthur 13, Roper 10
Also comfortable winners were Rangitoto College who accounted for Kelston Boys 77-51 out west.
Harry Clarke led the Rangitoto effort with 20 points, Logan McIntosh (14pts), Caleb Langridge (11pts) and 8 points each from Jarrod Thornton and Joon Back did the bulk of the damage. Unfortunately no other details about the game have been received.
There is still plenty to play for in the final round of games on Friday. St Kentigern College and Macleans College will battle it out for 6th/7th place with the loser facing a play-off game to avoid relegation to the Senior A competition.
The regular season title is also still up for grabs with the top three teams Rosmini, Westlake and Auckland Grammar all still in contention.
Boys Premier Grade Standings
10-3 Auckland Grammar
6-7 Mt Albert
3-9 St Kentigern
* The outstanding Westlake v St Kentigern fixture will be played on Monday August 14th.