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