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.