Monthly Archives: September 2017

The Fotu’s have something special going on


At some stage in mid 2018 Daniel Fotu will head to San Francisco to link up with the players and coaching staff at St Mary’s College.

The St Mary’s play in the NCAA Division 1 West Coast Conference and the Rangitoto College senior this week signed a letter of intent to suit up for the Randy Bennett coached Gaels for the 2018-19 season and beyond.

There is nothing new of course about Kiwi’s heading to college in the States, after all over thirty young New Zealand players are at Division 1 universities heading into the new season that begins at the end of October.

However what may be unique is that three siblings from the same family have gained basketball scholarships to the USA.


The first Fotu to dip his toes in the US was Isaac who headed to the University of Hawaii in 2012 playing two seasons with the Warriors before turning pro.

The 23-year-old Tall Black regular has recently signed with leading German club Ratiopharm Ulm for the 2017-18 European season. The power forward has spent the last three seasons playing in Spain firstly for La Bruixa d’Or Manresa and for the past two seasons CAI Zaragoza.

Sister Gabriella (Ella) had a less than happy time at Boise State in 2015-16 but enjoyed a successful 2016-17 campaign at Hawaii Pacific. The 21-year-old guard averaged 7.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists last season for the Sharks earning an honourable mention in the All-PacWest Conference. Ella scored a season high 19 points at Notre Dame de Namur in January.

ella fotu

18 year-old Daniel, was a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team that recorded an historic win against Australia at the 2016 Oceania Championships in Fiji last December. Dan averaged 7.5 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in the tournament but injury ruled him out of the subsequent 2017 U19 World Cup in Cairo last July

All three Fotu’s have attended Rangitoto College on Auckland’s north shore. A school that has produced, in addition to Isaac, full internationals Penina Davidson, Brooke Blair, Tai Wynyard and most famously Sean Marks.

Dan already has two Schick New Zealand Secondary Schools National Championships winner’s medals to his name and heads to Palmerston North next week hoping to make it a trifecta.

Neither Ella nor Isaac enjoyed the thrill of winning a Secondary Schools championship but both picked up national titles playing for North Harbour. In fact the pair received the unusual distinction of claiming the MVP title at the same tournament – the Under 23 National Championships in Tauranga in 2013. Ella led Harbour to the Women’s title against Waikato and Isaac the men’s as they defeated Counties Manukau to claim gold.


All three have turned out for Harbour whenever possible, with Ella giving up part of her recent summer break from Hawaii to play for Harbour Breeze in the Women’s Basketball Championship. She made an immediate impact on her return averaging a team high 18 points per game as the Breeze clinched the Plate title in Christchurch back in July.

Perhaps basketball in New Zealand can bottle the genetics of the Fotu seniors Manu and Jenny because whatever they have seems to be a potent potion.

Oh, and the Fotu’s may not be finished yet – 13 year old Jacob, a budding hoopster, is in year 9 at Rangitoto – watch this space.

New Zealand U17 Women’s team named

New Zealand U17 Basketball Headshots & Team Photos- Christchurch, 12th May 2017

Basketball New Zealand has named the Aon New Zealand Under 17 girls team, ahead of the FIBA Under 16 Girls’ Asia Cup, which will be played in Bangalore 22-28 October.

Head Coach Lori McDaniel, who has a strong coaching resume with two Women’s Basketball Championship titles to her name with the Canterbury Wildcats, says the Asia Cup is this young team’s pinnacle event for 2017 and their training has been focused on this event.

“We have had multiple camps during the year to gel as a group and become familiar with our systems and expectations. We have put the girls through some ‘outside the box’ activities in order to prepare them to be adaptable and embrace adversity,” says Coach McDaniel.

There’s no doubt that adversity will come in a number of ways, with Bangalore presenting conditions similar to those the Tall Ferns battled in July this year when they played in the Women’s Asia Cup. The Tall Ferns not only had strong opponents to contend with, but they were hindered by food poisoning, and hot and humid playing conditions. Coach McDaniel says these conditions might not change much for this young age-group team, especially when it comes to the opposition teams.

“The Asian teams play very fast and aggressively, and we all know how skilled and disciplined the Australian players are. Most of the teams we encounter will play a style similar to their women’s teams, which we saw in July when the Tall Ferns played. So we expect a high level of competition with some very fit and skilled athletes.

“It’s a big tournament in a big country, but travel and heat are factors all the teams have to contend with.”
Coach McDaniel says the team will travel to Bangalore early, to allow four days to adjust and finish off their preparation ahead of stepping into their very first Asia Cup.
“We have a talented group of young ladies who are in the unique situation of being the first New Zealand age-group to play in the Asia Zone. We will strive to embrace this opportunity to showcase our skillset on such a large stage.”

As for how this event will test McDaniel as a coach, she says that too is a team effort, alongside Assistant Coaches Jody Cameron and Gina Farmer.
“I am fortunate in my coaching role to be supported by two former Tall Ferns who have a great deal of experience in international travel within the Basketball New Zealand system.”

Aon New Zealand Under 17 Women:
· Ella Bradley (Waikato Basketball Council)
· Isabelle Cook (Taranaki Country Basketball Association)
· Tayla Dalton (North Harbour Basketball)
· Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Basketball Council)
· Paris Lokotui (Wellington Basketball Association)
· Jordyn Maddix (North Harbour Basketball)
· Helen Matthews (North Canterbury Basketball Association)
· Kyra Paniora (Brisbane, Australia)
· Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Auckland Counties Manukau)
· Briarley Rogers (Tauranga City Basketball Association)
· Rosalia Samia (Basketball Hawkes Bay)
· Tessalonia Talo-Tomokino (North Harbour Basketball)

· Head Coach – Lori McDaniel
· Assistant Coach – Gina Farmer
· Assistant Coach – Jody Cameron
· Manager – Ushma Shah

Team Schedule:
· October 15 Assemble
· October 15-16 Preparation Camp – Auckland, New Zealand
· October 17 Travel to India
· October 18-21 Preparation Camp – Bangalore, India
· October 22-28 U16 FIBA Asia Championships – Bangalore, India

Photo caption – U17 squad photo:
· Back row: Kyra Paniora, Brairley Rogers, Rosalia Samia, Helen Matthews, Charlisse Leger-Walker, Jordyn Maddix, Tessalonia Tomokino-Talo
· Front row: Isabelle Cook, Rikki Fiatau (not in team travelling to India), Rashaan Smith (not in team travelling to India), Tayla Dalton, Sharne Pupuke-Robati, Ella Bradley.

Paalvast signs for Canberra Capitals


And then there were five.

News that Chevannah Paalvast has signed a one-year deal with the University of Canberra Capitals takes the number of New Zealand internationals that will play in the 2017-18 Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season to five.

Paalvast has joined the Capitals after a two-year stint with Townsville Fire winning a championship with the North Queensland club in 2016.

During the WNBL off-season Paalvast played alongside fellow Tall Fern Micaela Cocks in the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) for Mackay Meteorettes. The Meteorettes reached the QBL grand final series before going down to the Brisbane Spartans in the best of three series. The former Waitakere standout averaged 12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for Mackay.

The 26 year old Kiwi guard told the WNBL website, “I have heard nothing but positive stories about the Capitals and this was reinforced by the way they have welcomed me in.”

Canberra coach Paul Gorris is delighted with the signing, “What always stood out for me was her defensive ability and her athleticism.”

“For me, it was about personal development as I wanted to keep playing and I had heard so many wonderful things about Gorrie. I thought he would be a really good coach for my development,” said Paalvast.

The signing is also good news for the Tall Ferns programme with five players that recently featured in the Asia Cup campaign now signed with WNBL clubs. The quintet are likely to form the backbone of the New Zealand team when the Commonwealth Games are played on the Gold Coast and in Cairns next April.

In addition to Paalvast, Micaela Cocks (Townsville Fire), Toni Farnworth (Perth Lynx), Kalani Purcell and Rebecca Ott (both Melbourne Boomers) will be on duty when the new season tips-off on October 5th.

Carmel College heading to Nationals


Carmel College will be heading to the Schick Secondary Schools National Championships after all.

Carmel was disappointed to finish eighth at the Zone 1 Premierships tournament in Auckland last week and with only seven teams qualifying thought their bid for a trip to the major event on the Secondary Schools basketball calendar had been thwarted.

Carmel lost 90-60 to St Mary’s Ponsonby in the critical 7th/8th play-off game at North Shore Events Centre last Saturday. However they have since been thrown a lifeline with St Mary’s opting to withdraw from the National Championships.

Carmel’s qualifying campaign was thrown into disarray with the unavailability of a number of players. A total of six players missed all or part of the Premierships including influential Harbour U19 representative Millie Simpson.

Tayla Dalton had an outstanding tournament but even she only played in half of the games. Her scoring feats were well documented in a nice article in the Sunday Star Times last weekend. read story here

Carmel coach Gareth Teahan is pleased his team has the opportunity to appear on the national stage. “The team is delighted to attend Nationals. We will have a full strength squad available and hope to make a strong showing at the tournament.”

Carmel finished sixth in the Auckland Premier Grade in the recently completed season and will be hoping that first foray in top flight basketball for a number of years will stand them in good stead next month.

With the majority of players only in Year 11 2017 may just be a reconnaissance mission with bigger things anticipated in 2018 and 2019.

The other six girls teams that have qualified for Nationals from Zone 1 are Auckland Girls Grammar, Westlake Girls High, Mt Albert Grammar, Massey High, Rangitoto College and St Kentigern College.

The Schick National Championships will be held in Palmerston North from October 2nd to 7th.

Summary of 72 qualifiers for Secondary Schools Nationals


24 boys and 24 girls teams have qualified for the Schick AA Secondary Schools Nationals to be played in Palmerston North next month.

In addition12 teams from each gender will contest the Schick A Secondary Schools Tournament.

It has been confirmed that Zone 1 qualifiers St Mary’s College, Ponsonby have withdrawn  despite finishing seventh in the Girl’s Zone 1 qualifying tournament. It is yet to be established if they will be replaced by Carmel College, the eighth placed team in Zone 1.

Check out the qualifiers


Auckland Girls Grammar hold off Westlake to complete double


Auckland Girls Grammar completed the double of Zone 1 Premierships and Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade titles after withstanding a spirited Westlake Girls High challenge to win 70-66 at NSEC on Saturday.

Grammar, benefitting from double figure contributions from Mele Latu and Elianna Tuaiti, appeared to be heading for a comfortable victory when they led 57-43 at the three-quarter mark.

However Westlake produced a string of baskets courtesy of Jess Moors and Emme Shearer to reel in the Grammar lead and when Shearer, who scored a game high 32 points, knocked down her fourth triple of the game the scores were tied at 59 points apiece with 4 minutes to play.

Rionne Papa restored the Grammar lead but a Moors And-1 play reversed the advantage with 2:05 to play.

The two teams exchanged free throws on the next couple of possessions before Papa scored again to open a three points margin (67-64) in favour of Grammar inside the final 60 seconds.

Jordyn Maddix, a key contributor for Lake, dragged the lead back to two but Grammar and Elianna Tuaiti in particular held their nerve.

There was plenty of support from south of the bridge and they were able to breathe a little easier and cheer a little louder as Tuaiti made crucial free throws to clinch a hard earned win.

Auckland Girls 70 – E Tuaiti 22, Latu 17, Papa 11, Skilton-Roberts 9, Hettig 9

Westlake 66 – Shearer 32, Moors 13, Maddix 12, Davidson 4

Mt Albert Grammar beat Massey High 97-61 to claim third spot and Rangitoto College claimed fifth place with a 67-51 win against St Kentigern College.

St Mary’s College Ponsonby clinched the seventh spot at Nationals after a convincing 90-60 win against Carmel College although there is some speculation that St Mary’s may opt out of the trip to Palmerston North next month. If that were the case Gareth Teahan’s charges may yet get an opportunity to perform on the national stage.

Rosmini defeat Rangitoto in Zone 1 Premierships Final


Rosmini College turned the tables on local rivals Rangitoto College to win the Schick Zone I Premierships Final 70-67 at NSEC on Saturday.

The result is a reversal of the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier final and will give Rosmini number one seeding at the Schick National Championships in October.

The result of a closely fought encounter was in doubt until the final play of the game.

Rehana Maxwell-Topia was presented with a couple of free throws with 7 seconds remaining on the clock and his team ahead 68-67. The Rosmini forward chose an unorthodox method to seal the win missing both freebies but somehow emerging, after a scramble under the hoop, with the ball and passing to the ever reliable Marvin Williams-Dunn who after being fouled took the more conventional route and iced the game from the foul line.

Rosmini had made the early running, a couple of Williams-Dunn threes helping them to a 16-13 first quarter lead.

That lead was obliterated in the back end of the first half as a Dan Fotu fade away jumper took Rangitoto into a 28-27 lead. Caleb Langridge and Logan Anderson added points to stretch the margin to 36-31 at half-time.

Langridge extended the lead further before Kruz Perrott-Hunt unleashed a slashing drive sandwiched between a pair of threes to edge Rozza back into the lead.

Fotu nailed a triple but Maxwell-Topia responded to take Rosmini to a 54-49 three-quarter time lead.

Logan McIntosh scored from his own steal as Rangitoto mounted a 14-3 run and with Fotu, back to his best form after a long injury lay-off, Rangi were ahead 63-57 with 3:40 to play.

However Perrott-Hunt and Williams-Dunn led the Rosmini reply aided by a Terence Abdon corner three that trimmed the Rangi advantage to a single point (65-64) with a minute to play.

Two possessions later Perrott-Hunt created a steal and converted the lay-up himself to edge his team ahead. Another Rosmini possession and this time KP-H drew the foul and landed the resulting free-throws – 68-65 with 21 seconds to play.

Rangi, befitting National champions, weren’t finished as Harry Clarke pierced the defence to cut the lead back to one point with 8 seconds left.

Forced to foul they sent Maxwell-Topia to the foul line and but for his determination under the boards may have come up with a final possession and an opportunity to win the game.

Watching Texas Christian University head coach Jamie Dixon will have taken special note of Fotu’s performance, the Rangitoto powerhouse capping a fine tournament with a game high 28 points. He may also have jotted down the names of Rosmini guards Perrott-Hunt (21 points) and William-Dunn (24 points) for future reference.

Rangitoto 67 – Fotu 28, Langridge 12, Anderson 7, Clarke 7, McIntosh 6

Rosmini 70 –Williams-Dunn 24, Perrott-Hunt 21, Abdon 7, Heather 6, Maxwell-Topia 6

23 teams began the week hoping to secure a place at Nationals but in the end the cream rose to the top as six Auckland Premier teams and the Senior A champions prevailed.

The other five teams heading to Palmerston North from Zone 1 are Auckland Grammar that came from behind to beat Westlake 81-77 for third place.

Mt Albert Grammar finished fifth after cruising past St Peter’s College 86-52 and Kelston Boys secured the seventh and final spot defeating St Kentigern College 73-71 in a nail biter.

Zone 4 Premierships Preview


We conclude the four part preview of the Schick AA Secondary Schools Premierships that take place this week by taking a look at the Zone 4 hopefuls. The tournament will be played at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin over four days beginning Wednesday September 6th.

Zone 4 Boys

Pool makeup will once again plays a major part in which teams have a very tough road to qualify for the Schick National Tournament and which ones have a chance to finish higher up the South Island ladder than they probably expected at the start of the year.

Pool A looks to be wide open, with the three Canterbury teams all placing near the bottom of the regular season table. Rangiora (7th) will probably be the most likely team to make some noise here, as a quarter-final upset over Burnside saw them reach the semi-finals of the McDonald’s Thompson Trophy Competition. Noa Price is still relatively young, but along with Jack Exeter, will be the players to watch in this team. Christchurch Boys’ Kurt Feneon, and St. Bede’s Tom Hughes will help their teams be competitive in pool play, but will be hard pressed to pull their teams into the top six. Waitaki Boys will fancy their chances of a top two spot in the pool.

Pool B is a different story – Burnside has had some injury issues recently, but should be relatively healthy with the sharp shooting perimeter duo of Liam Reekie and John Quitiong spreading the offence for their point guard Isaiah Morris. Middleton Grange will be far tougher than their record would indicate – claiming the scalp of Christ’s College earlier in the year – and will have TCU commit and Tall-Blacks Trialist, Angus McWilliam available. Ashburton is no slouch either, with a good inside outside game in effect for Fletcher Arnold and Joshua Lowe. Papanui rounds out the Canterbury representation in this pool (Finalist in Division II), and will make use of the calm leadership of Ben Hussey to maximise Sam Archibald’s talents.

Canterbury Champions, Cashmere and Otago Boys High headline Pool C. Otago, perhaps the main threat to Cashmere’s top seeding in the section will be led by Taiaroa Porima Flavell.

Canterbury Finals MVP Connor McLaughlin will control the tempo for Ben Sheat’s extremely deep roster, with Louis Oskam being a likely starter for most other teams, usually coming off the bench for Tom Russ-Hofmans. The Shirley Boys’  have the potential to challenge for a spot at nationals, but will need to put together a run of consistent games to do so. Sean Kelly will run the Spartan offence, with a well-balanced roster of wings such as Saint Porter and Hamsa Shire, and bigs (Joel Jeffrey and Josh Thomson) capable of helping make sure of a win. St. Thomas has also struggled with consistency throughout the season, but have plenty of young players who have improved rapidly over the season. Izaac Beever will be the main determinant of how far this team goes. Kaiapoi is the final Canterbury entry in this pool, with Cameron Wilson being their player to watch.

Pool D’s Christ’s College (Finalist) will be many people’s pick as a team to win the Tournament outright, with Max De Geest being the premier perimeter shooting threat, while his namesake Max Darling can play above the rim, or outside with equal ease. St. Andrew’s (9th) is also in this pool, but without a whole lot of experience surrounding the sweet shooting duo of Will Hollings and Sam Jenkins, they will need to catch fire in multiple games to qualify for nationals. Nelson College are perrenial threats and with top seeding in the group but third seeded Waimea led by Tyler Marsh may actually be a bigger threat to Christ’s aspirations.

In summary – 24 teams – 8 progress to the quarter-finals – Quarter final winners progress to semi’s and an automatic place at Nationals – the losing quarter final teams battle for last 2 spots at Nationals.

Pool A – Christchurch Boys, Rangiora, Waitaki, James Hargest, St Bede’s, Central Southland

Pool B – Kings, Burnside, Middleton Grange, Ashburton College, Papanui, Marlborough

Pool C – Cashmere, Otago, Nayland, Shirley, St Thomas, Kaipoi

Pool D – Nelson, Christ’s, Waimea, St Andrew’s, John McGlashan, Timaru

Zone 4 Girls

Zone 4 boasts the largest number of entries (16) in the Girl’s competition.

The Pool A draw has done nobody any favours with Canterbury champions Rangi Ruru expected to be the most likely to progress due to the full court dominance of Esra McGoldrick. St. Andrew’s had a tight semi-final loss to Rangi Ruru two weeks ago, and can use fellow Junior Tall-Fern Charlotte Whittaker to nullify McGoldrick’s production. Ashburton boasts Ashlee Strawbridge and Sophie Adams so would not be a surprise if they knocked out one of the higher seeds from progressing to the Quarter-Final round. James Hargest are seeded second in the pool but it will be something of a surprise if they make it out of pool play.

In Pool B beaten Canterbury finalists Christchurch Girls’ are favoured to make it through, with Sapphire Wairau able to draw defenders away from the rim, in order for Olivia McIntryre to do her work. Cashmere is considerably smaller in stature, but will utilise a similar gameplan, with Sammy Irvine and Emma Robinson outside, and Rachel Pullan on the interior.

Craighead Diocesan School, Timaru are seeded second and they will be looking to deny a Canterbury 0ne-two in the pool.

Likewise in Pool C Otago Girls High, with NZ U16 representative Hannah Matehaere at the helm will be looking to dent some Canterbury pride. Middleton Grange carry top seed in the group with the Wildcat duo of Lauryn Hippolite and Amiee Book, along with scoring machine Megan Ellis expected to lead the Gators effort. Tsubasa Nisbet and Paige Willman will provide the experience for a relatively young Burnside side that are capable of getting through if things fall their way, as proven in 2016.

2016 Junior Tall Fern will lead St Hilda’s as they do battle with three Canterbury teams in Pool D. Rangiora has the strongest pedigree of the three with Keneisha Bond leading the team. St. Margaret’s has plenty of height, and Enselina Pale a lot of skill around the basket, while Avonside’s fast-paced attack is led by Molly Cockburn.

In summary – 16 teams – 8 progress to the quarter-finals – Quarter final winners progress to semi’s and an automatic place at Nationals – the losing quarter final teams battle for last 2 spots at Nationals.

Pool A – Rangi Ruru, James Hargest, Ashburton, St Andrews

Pool B – Christchurch, Craighead, Cashmere, Columba

Pool C – Middleton Grange, Burnside, Otago, Timaru

Pool D – Rangiora, St Hilda’s, Avonside, St Margaret’s

Tall Ferns strike Gold



The Australian based Tall Ferns have figured strongly in the recent State Championships Grand Finals.

read more

Zone 3 Premierships Preview


In our third AA Secondary Schools Premierships preview we take a look at the Zone 3 contenders.

The tournament will be played in Palmerston North (September 6-9). The top six teams in each gender will qualify for the Schick National Championships in October.

Zone 3 Boys

Palmerston North Boys the runners-up in the outstanding 2016 National Final will almost certainly take top spot in Pool A – Junior Tall Black centre Callum McRae will lead their championship pursuit.

NZ U18 representative guard Joe Ahie will lead Onslow’s quest for second spot in the group and they should prove too strong for Upper Hutt College who are in something of a rebuilding phase and will take to the court with a fairly young side. The same can be said of St John’s College Hastings that is seeded third in this section.

Pool B looks a very open section with all five teams fancying their chances of a top two spot and a spot in the quarter-finals.

NZ U18 rep Oscar Robertson will head the New Plymouth Boys High effort. NPBH carry the top seed mantle but will take nothing for granted.

St Patrick’s Silverstream will call on brothers Eddie and Piripi Korent for some scoring punch likewise Hutt International will look to the scoring prowess of guard Kyle Owen. Tawa College were top four performers in Wellington Division 1 basketball this season alongside Hutt and will be hoping to cause an upset or two during the week.

Aotea College have played top eight basketball in Wellington this season but have struggled to put wins on the board and that trend may continue in Palmerston North. In contrast Tawa College have enjoyed a winning season, albeit in the Bill Eldred Cup (Division 1) but that taste of success could well stand them, and Hutt International, in good stead over the coming days.

In Pool C St Patrick’s College will be hoping their two point loss to Wellington College in the Wellington Schools Premier final is just a minor blip – certainly Donnie Joyce and Matt Brian will be looking to rectify matters on their behalf.

Rongotai team with Jaylin Trego-To’o in the backcourt look highly capable of a top two finish although Napier Boys High, fresh off a victory in the Hawkes Bay final will be thinking the same thing – Tyrese Davies was in sensational form in that one.

Rongotai have acquired Fijian guard Junior Waqabaca to bolster their already handy backcourt.

NZ Under 18 point guard Matt O’Connell will carry the load for Francis Douglas Memorial College.

In Pool D, the only pool with six teams, Hastings Boys will be smarting from their defeat against Napier – NZ 3×3 international Isaiah Jones will be leading their effort.

Wellington College will be buoyed by their Wellington Schools Championship success last week – Billy Tompkinson, Lelei Tautau and Sione Helu will be looking to maintain that momentum as they strive for top spot in the pool.

Scots College are seeded second in the group but with a very young group 2017 may not be their year although coach Troy McLean will have his troops, led by senior Harry Wall, ready for a tilt at a qualifying spot.

In summary – 21 teams – 8 progress to the quarter-finals – 4 winners of quarters move on to Nationals plus the top 2 teams from the 5-8 classification games.

Pool A – Palmerston North Boys, Onslow, St John’s Hastings, Upper Hutt, Hawera

Pool B – New Plymouth Boys, St Pat’s Silverstream, Tawa, Hutt International, Aotea

Pool C – St Pat’s Kilbirnie, Hutt Valley, Napier, Rongotai, Francis Douglas

Pool D – Hastings Boys, Scots, Fielding, Wellington, St Bernard’s, Freyberg

Zone 3 Girls

Wiser minds than mine pick Sacred Heart New Plymouth, St Mary’s College, Wellington and Hutt Valley as the top three finishers in the Girls competition.

It would be a brave man to bet against St Mary’s, with the NZ representative guard duo of Sariah Penese and Grace Hunter to call on, not topping Pool B

Sacred Heart will be paced by Caitlin O’Connell and will need to see off ‘The Bay’ threat from Napier and Hastings to progress directly to the semi-finals and an automatic Nationals berth.

New Zealand U18 swingman Leah Mafua will be at the heart of Hutt Valley’s quest to head Pool A. Chasing second spot will be New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Wellington College.

In summary – 10 teams – Top 2 teams in each pool progress to the semi-finals and automatic qualification for Nationals. The 3rd and 4th in each pool play classification games, the top 2 of the 4 teams move on to Nationals.

Pool A – New Plymouth, Hutt Valley, Wellington College, Palmerston North, Feilding

Pool B – St Mary’s Wellington, Napier, Hastings, Sacred Heart New Plymouth, Havelock North