Here is a look at the winners and losers on Day 1 of the 2017 Schick Secondary Schools National Championships.
The defending champions in both the AA Boys and Girls competitions made solid starts. Rangitoto College defeated Middleton Grange 104-46 and St Peter’s Cambridge proved far too strong for Palmerston North Girls High winning 86-50 and later defeated Western Heights High 102-68.
AA Championships – Boys
Pool A: Rosmini Coll 2-0, Mt Albert GS 2-0, St Peter’s Coll 0-2, Fraser High 1-1, St John’s Coll 0-2, Napier Boys 1-1
Rosmini College and Mt Albert Grammar took a firm grip of Pool A with both teams comfortably winning their opening two games. The only minor surprise was the defeat of the third seeded Fraser High at the hands of Napier Boys High, 92-88.
Pool B: Palmerston North BHS 2-0, Christ’s Coll 2-0, Wellington Coll 1-1, New Plymouth BHS 1-1, Cashmere High 0-2, Kelston BHS 0-2
Christ’s College beat Cashmere 79-68 in a critical opening round game in Pool B. The teams had shared the silverware down south with Cashmere winning the Canterbury title but Christ’s claiming the Zone 4 Premiership trophy, however it was Christ’s that prevailed in this one.
Christ’s followed that with a 77-53 win against Wellington College while Cashmere appear to be eliminated from the quarter-finals after being downed by Palmerston North Boys 80-52. The win was the second in the day for the 2016 beaten finalists as they smacked Kelston Boys 94-43 in the morning round.
Pool C: Rongotai Coll 1-0, Westlake BHS 1-0, Hastings BHS 1-0, St Peter’s Cambridge 0-1, Shirley BHS 0-1, Burnside High 0-1
Westlake were dealt a severe blow in the week before the tournament with captain James Moors sustaining a broken hand in a training game. In their only game on Day 1 Westlake defeated Shirley High 76-65. There were also wins for Rongotai and Hastings Boys High.
Pool D: Rangitoto Coll 1-0, Auckland Grammar 1-0, Hamilton BHS 1-0, Melville High 0-1, Waimea Coll 0-1, Middleton Grange 0-1
There were comfortable first up wins for the top three seeds in this pool – the narrowest margin being 25 points as Hamilton Boys won the Waikato derby 74-49 against Melville – the result a repeat of the Zone 2 Premiership Final and the margin almost identical.
AA Championship – Girls
Pool A: St Peter’s Cambridge 2-0, St Hilda’s Coll 1-1, Hutt Valley HS 2-0, Napier GHS 0-2, Western Heights HS 0-2, Palmerston North GHS 1-1
As expected St Peter’s made a solid start in defence of their title with big wins over Palmy North and Western Heights. They were joined on a brace of wins by Hutt Valley High who gained a crucial 76-57 win against Zone 4 champions St Hilda’s College and also defeated Napier Girls High.
Pool B: Auckland Girls GS 2-0, Hamilton GHS, 1-1 Massey HS 2-0, Christchurch Girls HS 1-1, Middleton Grange 0-2, Ashburton Coll 0-2
Pool B was the most competitive group on Day I with Massey High defeating Zone 4 Premiership runners-up Christchurch Girls High 63-61. In another tight affair Hamilton Girls prevailed 75-70 against Middleton Grange but fell 54-51 to Massey in the late game.
Zone 1 champions Auckland Girls Grammar made it two from two with victories against Middleton Grange and Ashburton. In yet another close encounter Christchurch Girls High beat Ashburton 66-65 in a Canterbury derby.
Pool C: Westlake Girls HS 1-1, St Mary’s Coll 2-0, Rotorua Girls HS 1-1, Sacred Heart New Plymouth 1-1, Rangi Ruru 1-1, Carmel Coll 0-2
St Mary’s College Wellington, the Zone 4 Premiership champions made a statement of intent hammering Rangi Ruru 61-30. They followed that with an 85-60 defeat of Rotorua Girls High.
Rangi Ruru recovered well and downed Westlake 75-68 after being down 68-67 with 30 seconds to play in the late game – the Canterbury champions kept its quarter-finals chances alive with the win.
Pool D Mt Albert GS 1-0, Melville HS 1-0, Hastings Girls HS 1-0, New Plymouth Girls HS 0-1, Rangitoto College 0-1, St Andrew’s Coll 0-1
There were few dramas in this pool with the top three seeds each winning their only game on Day 1. The tightest fixture saw Hastings Girls High defeat New Plymouth Girls High 64-59.
A Championship – Boys
Pool A: Hillmorton High 2-0, Te Aroha Coll 2-0, Catholic Cathedral Coll 0-2, Otaki Coll 0-2, St Kevin’s Coll 1-1
Hillmorton High, the South Island Premiership champions, made a strong start to its campaign with resounding wins against Otaki College and St Kevin’s College.
St Kevin’s, the 2016 Schick A Champions bounced back later in the day beating Catholic Cathedral College 88-56.
Te Aroha joined Hillmorton on two wins with success against Cathedral and Otaki.
Pool B: Stratford HS 2-0, Manukura 1-1, Nga Taiatea Wharekura 1-1, Onewhero Area School 0-1, Greymouth HS 1-1, Te Kuiti HS 0-2
Manukura, the 2016 beaten finalists dropped its opening game to Greymouth 88-81. Stratford finished third last year and look set to emerge as a top four challenger after completing Day 1 as the only unbeaten team in Pool B.
Manukura bounced back in the later game defeating Nga Taiatea Wharekura 83-61.
A Championship – Girls
Pool A: Opunake HS 1-1, Te Wharekura o Mauao 1-1, Buller HS 1-1, Aquinas Coll 0-2, Te Aroha Coll 2-0
Defending champions Opunake High were beaten 67-59 by Te Aroha in the opening game of the A Championships. Te Aroha followed that with a nail biter against Buller High winning 60-58. Opunake got its title defence back on track later in the day defeating Aquinas College 74-46. Buller put the disappointment of a narrow defeat behind them to beat Te Wharekura o Mauao 82-42 in the late game.
Pool B: Stratford HS 2-0, Manukura 1-1, Te Kura Kokiri 2-0, Ellesmere Coll 0-2, Hillmorton HS 0-2
Stratford High was beaten semi-finalists last year and aiming to go one better in 2017 began its campaign with big wins against Ellesmere College and Hillmorton High. The game of the day in Pool A saw Te Kura Kokiri grab its second win of the day with a 61-60 defeat of Hillmorton.