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