Monthly Archives: December 2017

Former Harbour players playing at elite level in USA

Jack Salt

Of the seven former Harbour representatives (Men) playing college hoops in the States five are at Division 1 universities.

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Mixed results for our Tall Blacks in Europe to close out 2017

Tai Webster copy

In Germany Tai Webster and Frankfurt Skyliners had a loss and a win sandwiched in between Xmas and the New Year.

Webster scored 20 points, including a perfect three from three from beyond the arc, as the Skyliners took care of Walter Tigers 90-63 on Boxing Day.

Three days later they went down 81-64 against Wurzburg – for the second game running Webster recorded 5 assists and also added 10 points.

Ratiopharm Ulm only had one game in the same period but it was against German League leaders Bayern Munich. Bayern have only lost one game this season and proved too strong for Ulm winning 89-75. Isaac Fotu had his quietest game of the season attempting just one shot in 18 minutes of action an finished on zero points, a single rebound and one steal.

The Skyliners sit sixth on the Bundesliga ladder with a 10-6 record and Ulm one place back with 9 wins and 6 losses.

In Israel there is a break in the competition with Corey Webster not due back on court until early January.

Dion Prewster is averaging 9 points per game for Paderborn who have a 6-10 record and sit 12th of 16 teams on the German second division ladder.

In the Spanish second division Mike Karena scored a season best 18 points for Forca Lieda in their 95-80 win against Melilla. Lieda are mid-table with a 7-8 record.

Kiwis shine in Australian WNBL plus news on Fotu and Webster in Germany

Micaela cockzs_n

Micaela Cocks a perfect six from six shooting


In Germany Tai Webster and Isaac Fotu wrapped up their pre-Xmas programmes in differing fashions while in Australia the WNBL is already approaching the business end of the season and Tall Ferns Micaela Cocks, Toni Farnworth, Rebecca Ott and Kalani Purcell are all heavily involved.

Webster had an eye catching 13 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists for Frankfurt Skyliners but they were humbled 83-59 at Giessen 46ers.

In contrast Ratiopharm Ulm beat Oettinger Rockets 78-62 with Fotu claiming 11 points. Both Ulm and Frankfurt have identical 9-5 records and sit comfortably inside the Bundesliga top 8 bracket.

In the Australia WNBL the top four play-off positions have been decided with a round to spare with four of five Kiwis playing in the league to feature in post-season play.

Perth Lynx (14-4) have extended their winning sequence to an incredible 15 games after beating Melbourne Boomers 84-66. Toni Farnworth made a useful contribution of 5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals as Perth sealed top spot and home advantage during the play-offs.

For Melbourne Rebecca Ott scored 8 points and Kalani Purcell garnered a game high 13 rebounds.

The fourth Kiwi lined up to play in the semi-finals is Micaela Cocks who on Thursday had a perfect shooting night as Townsville Fire dealt to Canberra Capitals winning 99-66.

The Tall Ferns guard was, excuse the pun, on Fire as she didn’t miss a shot in her 18 points outing – 6 from 6 from the field, knocking down all five shots from beyond the arc, and also adding a free-throw.

Cocks followed that with 10 points on Saturday as Townsville demolished Bendigo Spirit 120-62.

As a result The Fire will take on defending champions Sydney University Flames in one semi-final with Perth to meet Melbourne in the other match-up.

These games will take place in early January.

Pre-Xmas wrap on Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks in Div 1 colleges

Jack Salt

As we near Xmas the American College basketball season is still in full swing and a number of Kiwi internationals have produced impressive numbers of late.

Virginia Cavaliers are ranked a lofty 13th in the nation after a conclusive 78-47 win against Savannah State. Jack Salt was perfect from the field converting all four scoring attempts and added two from four from the charity stripe – eventually finishing with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks as Virginia now boast a 10-1 record.

Sam Timmins, but for missing 6 of 9 free throws, would have had a double-double in Washington Huskies narrow 80-70 win at Loyola Marymount. The Tall Blacks centre came up with 9 points and 11 rebounds. This was followed a couple of days later by a 106-55 frying of Bethune-Cookman with Timmins registering game high blocks (3) and rebounds (7) in the rout.

Matt Freeman and the Oklahoma Sooners are 9-1 for the season after defeating Northwestern State 105-68. Freeman had 6 points (2/3 3PG), 3 rebounds and 2 blocks in a game in which the Sooners outstanding Freshman guard Trae Young dished a record 22 assists.

It’s rather unusual to find a point guard leading the rebounding count but that’s what Izayah Le’afa accomplished as Sacramento State Hornets beat CSUN 66-61. Le’afa finished just shy of a double-double registering 9 boards and 10 points as the Hornets registered their fourth win of the year.

It’s been a tough schedule recently for Isaac Letoa and his Dartmouth teammates. Playing their fifth consecutive game on the road the Big Green were defeated 97-87 at Notre Dame – Letoa played 8 minutes dishing a brace of assists and grabbing a rebound.

And the Tall Ferns …………..

Stella Beck scored 16 points as St Mary’s Gaels beat Eastern Washington. The former Hutt Valley guard also snared 6 rebounds as the Gaels improve their record this season to 7-3.

Jacinta Beckley came up with a game high 4 steals in addition to 9 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists but Seattle Redhawks slipped up against Pacific going down 85-73.

Brooke Blair scored 7 points and snared a couple of steals as Idaho State Bengals beat Utah Valley 70-58 on the road for their seventh win of the season.

The Bengals have a ten day break before they open Big Sky Conference play on December 28th and Blair will take the opportunity to return to Auckland for a few days ahead of an intense second half of the season.

Tessa Boagni accumulated a game high 21 points even though, due to foul trouble, she only played 19 minutes as California State Northridge Matadors defeated Northern Arizona. The Matadors centre was a perfect 3 from 3 from beyond the arc.

Penina Davidson had 9 points and 8 rebounds as Cal Berkeley Golden Bears defeated BYU 70-45 on Saturday.

For BYU 2016 NZ Select representative Shalae Salmon scored 8 points (4/5FG) and captured 6 rebounds.

Krystal Leger-Walker dished 8 assists and chipped in with 5 points as Northern Colorado Bears bit Missouri-Kansas 88-73.

Plenty of festive cheer in the States

tiarna clarke copy

If you are a Harbour basketball fan there is a lot to like about the performances of American college players that used to wear the maroon singlet.

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Tai Webster, Fotu, Harmon and Farnworth all in double figures


Once again the NZ based players in Europe were in fine form at the weekend.

Tai Webster was outstanding for Frankfurt Skyliners scoring 29 points, two shy of his season best, in the 90-84 win against Alba Berlin. Webster’s shooting numbers were impressive connecting with 9 from 12 from the field and an identical 9 from 12 freebies – he also contributed 5 assists

Also in good form was Isaac Fotu as Ratiopharm Ulm beat Wuerzburg 72-69. Fotu scored 16 points on 6 from 9 shooting. After a poor start to the season Ulm have found good form of late, this their sixth straight win.

In Italy Napoli (6-5) slipped back to fifth on the Serie A ladder after going down 76-60 to second placed Venezia. Jillian Harmon played all 40 minutes for Napoli and registered her fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds – also adding 5 assists and 3 steals.

In Australia WNBL Perth Lynx (14-4) have extended their winning sequence to an amazing 13 games after wins against Adelaide Lightning (99-82) and Melbourne Boomers (92-89) in the latest round of games. Cantabrian Toni Farnworth (nee Edmondson) made her biggest contribution since returning from injury scoring 13 points against Adelaide.

In the battle of first v third against Melbourne Farnworth was less prolific but still managed 8 points. For Melbourne Kalani Purcell had 5 rebounds and 5 assists pus a brace of points and steals.

Townsville Fire (11-6) are second on the table after beating Dandenong 83-71 with Micaela Cocks scoring five points.

Chevannah Paalvast scored three points in both of Canberra Capital’s wins at the weekend – the victories against Bendigo (91-80) and Adelaide (88-87) lifted Canberra above Bendigo at the bottom of the table.

Povey and Franklin take Storm to Mexicali title


The combined scoring power of Tall Fern forward Deena Franklin and young Massey High shooting guard Shauna Povey carried Storm to a convincing 99-70 win against Suns in the Women’s 2017 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam final at Atlas Place on Saturday.

The pair combined for 61 points with shooting splits that Suns were unable to match – 20/32 field goals, 6/9 threes and 15 from 20 freebies.

Povey set the tone in the first quarter connecting with her first three scoring attempts – all dropping from behind the arc – to help Storm to an early 26-20 lead.

The lead became 48-36 at the interval with Millie Nathan complimenting the work of Franklin in the paint.

Olivia Berry and Franklin combined well in some pick and roll action early in the third but three straight scores from Luye Murphy and a drive from Tabitha Jenkins pulled Sun to within three points (51-48).

Jazz and Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu were working hard under the boards and they helped keep the Suns in touch before a late surge courtesy of Allahna Hughes and Bella Elgar took Storm to a 70-55 three-quarter time lead.

The final frame was dominated by Storm as Povey landed her fifth triple of the game, Stevee-Rose Theyers chimed in with a couple from long range and Franklin continued to dominate in the paint. 29 points from Storm in the fourth put paid to any ray of hope Suns had of a bright final quarter finish.

Storm 99 – Povey 33, Franklin 28, Berry 14, Theyers 6, Nathan 6

Suns 70 – Murphy 16, J Kailahi-Fulu 13, Z Kailahi-Fulu 13, T Jenkins 10

Braswell takes Birdmen to Mexicali title


IMG_5113.jpgKevin Braswell scored a game high 42 points to lead Birdmen to the 2017 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam title with an ultimately convincing 123-107 victory against Railsplitters.

Birdmen led at every quarter-time break but Railsplitters, with Jaylen Gerrand, Judson Seumanu and Samson Aruwa in good form, only trailed 103-95 with four minutes to play.

At that point the former Southlands Sharks and Breakers standout put the hammer down, or put more accurately put on a shooting clinic.

He reeled off 11 straight points including a couple of trademark threes buried off the dribble. An assist for a Brandon Lucas dunk sealed the deal as a tight single digit advantage was blown out to a twenty points lead in a little over two minutes.

Earlier Juan Cruz Colla, Tinashe Matambanadzo, Dom Kelman-Poto, back from representing New Zealand Maori against the Australian Indigenous team in Cairns last week, held sway in the opening half to help Birdmen to a 63-51 half-time lead.

Another NZ Maori representative Judson Seumanu along with Gerrand kept Railsplitters in touch at the last break – down 90-81.

Birdmen stretched the lead to 103-86 early in the fourth but Gerrand, Will Heather, the Aruwa brothers and Zack Te Puni responded to pull Railsplitters back to that 103-95 margin.

From then on it was all Braswell who ruled the roost as he scored 16 of Birdmen’s last twenty points.

Birdmen 123 – Braswell 42, Matambanadzo 31, Colla 19, Lucas 17, Kelman-Poto 10

Railsplitters 107 – Gerrand 24, Samson Aruwa 21, Seumanu 18, Heather 14, Sam Aruwa 12

Harbour players continue to do good things in college hoops



Heading towards half-way in the American college season Harbour players continue to make a good impression.

Division 1 colleges begin conference action around the end of the year but Division II and Junior Colleges have already embarked on conference play.

Here is a wrap on what some of the Harbour players have been up to in the last few days.

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Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam finalists found


The Grand Finals of the 2017 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam will feature Railsplitters and the Birdmen in the Men’s competition with Suns taking on Storm in the Women’s showpiece.

It took Railsplitters an overtime period, which they dominated 22-3, to overcome a stubborn 68A Nelson Street outfit 123-104 in the late semi-final.

Nelson Street were quickest out of the blocks as Liam Thornton, Mitch Newton, Derone Raukawa and Judson Seumanu all connected from deep to spring a 30-18 advantage.

11 points in the second from Jaylen Gerrand trimmed the deficit slightly but Nelson St still held a 58-49 lead at the break.

Newton piled in 12 third quarter points for Nelson St but Ryan Laumatia and Sam Aruwa answered for Railsplitters as the lead was cut to 80-75 with ten minutes to play.

Raukawa paced the Nelson St effort in the fourth but Railsplitters finished strong to force overtime after the scores were locked at 101 apiece in regulation.

The extra five minutes belonged to Railsplitters as five different scorers contributed to a dominating finishing spell.

Railsplitters 123 – Gerrand 29, Harris 25, Laumatia 19, Sam Aruwa 16, Jenkins 10

68A Nelson Street 104 – Newton 31, Raukawa 26, Fesolai 15, Thornton 13, Seumanu 10

Birdmen convincingly defeated Breakers Development 102-64 in the first semi-final.

Six early points from Thomas Whyte gave Breakers the early lead but the inside presence of Dominique Kelman-Poto and some three-point ammunition from Kevin Braswell carried Railsplitters to a 45-37 half-time lead.

Zack Te Puni put up some resistance for the Breakers but it was largely one-way traffic in the third as Railsplitters rattled in 36 points as multiple players registered points.

Breakers Development – Te Puni 20, Whyte 15, Williams-Dunne 12, Langridge 9

Birdmen 102– Kelman-Poto 28, Colla 16, Matambanadzo 16, Braswell 14, Barrow 10, Clinton 10,

In the first women’s semi-final Sparks were no match for Storm going down 115-55.

Storm raced to a 27-13 first quarter lead and were never challenged thereafter.

Sharne Pupuke-Robati accumulated 23 points for Sparks but Shauna Povey, Olivia Berry, Emme Shearer and Stevee-Rose Theyers each cooked up twenty points or more for Storm.

Storm 115 – Povey 26, Berry 24, Theyers 21, Shearer 20

Sparks 55 – Pupuke-Robati 23, Schuster 9, Fiatau 8, S Dil 6

Suns, led by 20 points from Luye Murphy, eventually prevailed 95-61 against Sky after a close first half.

Hannah Wentworth and Keeley Tini scored consistently for Sky as they trailed 46-36 at half-time.

The outside shooting of Murphy and Anna Lacey coupled with the inside work of Annabelle Jenkins and Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu was working well for Sun as they stretched out to a 68-50 three-quarter time lead.

Amanda Buck was tireless for Sky but it will be Suns that will face Storm in the final on Saturday.

Sky 61 – Buck 19, Wentworth 14, Tini 14, Te Huia 8

Suns 95 – Murphy 20, A Jenkins 12, Z Kailahi-Fulu 11, Lacey 9, T Jenkins 9