Monthly Archives: January 2018

Webster brothers in good form in Europe

corey webster

The Webster brothers led the scoring for their respective club teams in Europe at the weekend but there was a contrast in the outcomes of their games.

Older brother Corey made 18 points – including four from seven threes – but Ironi Nahariya were defeated 72-69 by Bnei Hertzeliya. Nahariya have slipped to eighth in the Israeli League with a 6-9 record.

Tai Webster scored a game high 21 points (6/13FG, 8/8FT) and also posted 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals for German side Frankfurt Skyliners. The Skyliners struggled against bottom club Walter Tigers before eventually winning 65-57 to improve to 11-8 and eighth spot on the Bundesliga table.

One place above the Skyliners are Ratiopharm Ulm (11-7) after an 87-72 victory over Jena. Isaac Fotu produced 11 points (5/9FG), 6 rebounds and 4 assists as Ulm secured a second straight win.

In Italy Jillian Harmon came up with a big double-double of 28 points (12/25FG) and 14 rebounds to lead Napoli to a 71-67 win against Broni. The victory pushes Napoli up to fourth on the Italian League ladder with a 9-7 record.


College hoops weekly wrap – Salt and Virginia vying for No 1 ranking


It was another busy week of college action with plenty of strong performances from our top players in the States. Many are playing at an elite level including Jack Salt at Virginia University.

Salt, the Cavaliers co-captain, made 7 points (3/3FG, 1/1FT) and snared 3 rebounds and a pair of blocks as the Cavaliers held off No 4 ranked Duke to win 65-63.

The win further strengthens the Cavaliers No 2 ranking and they are now unbeaten in the Atlantic Coast Conference with eight straight victories and overall have won 12 on the bounce – they are breathing down the neck of No 1 ranked Villanova.

Stella Beck, fresh from being named West Coast Conference Player of the Week following her career best 31 point last week, posted a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds but St Mary’s Gaels are now 6-4 in West Coast Conference play after a narrow 68-65 defeat at Portland.

Brooke Blair scored 19 points (7/13FG) but Idaho State Bengals fell 84-73 at Weber State and are now 4-4 in the Big Sky Conference.

Tessa Boagni scored 8 points and grabbed 12 boards as Cal State Northridge Matadors went down 56-47 at UC Irvine. The Matadors were outscored 17-7 in the last quarter as a three game winning streak came to an end – now 4-3 in Big West Conference fixtures.

Penina Davidson dropped 10 points and collected 7 rebounds as No 23 ranked Cal Berkeley Golden Bears thumped Arizona 63-39 but were then held to just 42 points by Arizona State losing 57-42. Davidson had 5 points and 8 rebounds in that one with the Bears now 6-4 in the Pac 12 Conference.

Mary Goulding, appearing to be fully recovered from a recent hand injury produced 15 points and 10 rebounds as Fordham Rams had a convincing 72-48 victory against St Bonaventure – the win was 600th career win for Fordham coach Stephanie Gaitley. Fordham are now 8-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Izayah Le’afa came up with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal as Sacramento State Hornets finished a three game road stretch with a 71-61 win at Portland State. The victory improves the Hornets Big Sky Conference record to 3-5.

 Krystal Leger-Walker hit all three of her shots from beyond the arc but on her way to 11 points for Northern Colorado in the 79-71 loss to Idaho. However the Bears improved to 6-3 in Big Sky Conference play with a 68-62 victory against Eastern Washington – Leger Walker was busy in that one with 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals.

Katelin Noyer came off the bench to post 7 points for Fresno State Bulldogs in a dramatic 74-72 come from behind victory at Las Vegas – it doesn’t get much more dramatic than two threes being scored in the final 6.6 seconds to turn a four points deficit into a two points win. The Bulldogs have a 5-4 record in the Mountain West Conference after going down 60-52 at Utah State on Saturday – a couple of points and blocks plus a team high 6 rebounds for Noyer in the loss.



Harbour Players in college – weekly wrap

Jack Salt

Harbour players enjoyed another good week in college basketball.

Brooke Blair and Tera Reed keep on scoring and Jack Salt and Matt Freeman keep Cavaliers and Sooners amongst the nations best.

read more

Talma helps Biola University make history

alex talma

There was triple delight for former Westlake forward Alex Talma in his latest outing for Biola University Eagles.

Firstly it was Talma’s 50th game for the Eagles and secondly he nailed a game winning free throw, with just 2.2 seconds left on the clock, to clinch a 68-67 win against Holy Names University.

It is nice to make the winning shot in any game but it was a significant result for Biola. Not only was it their first win in the PacWest Conference this season but it was also Biola’s first ever win in NCAA Division 11 having previously played in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Talma, who finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds and an assist, will now have his name etched in Eagles history for eternity.

Salmon and BYU too good for Beck and St Mary’s


SMC Women's Basketball vs Gonzags

In the latest edition of Kiwi versus Kiwi the Wellington pair of Stella Beck (St Mary’s College Gaels) and Shalae Salmon (Brigham Young University Cougars) faced off in West Coast Conference action.

With both teams holding a 6-2 record the tie was a contest to determine second spot on the WCC standings at the mid point of the season and it was BYU that emerged the winners 63-54. BYU led by 20 points with four minutes to play and pretty much dominated proceedings throughout.

Beck, fresh from being named West Coast Conference Player of the Week scored the first points of the game for the Gaels and eventually finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds. Beck also added a brace of blocks and steals but her 6 turnovers contributed to the 22 that plagued the St Mary’s effort.

Salmon played important minutes – 23 in total – off the bench for BYU and contributed 4 points (2/4FG), 3 rebounds, a block and an assist.


Kiwis key contributors in Europe

Fotu .jpg

It was a last gasp effort but Ratiopharm Ulm, with a score on the buzzer, beat Oettinger Rockets 81-79. Isaac Fotu was outstanding for Ulm racking up 25 points (10/15FG, 5/6FT) to accompany 3 rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal.

Fotu’s third twenty points haul of the season helped lift Ulm to eighth on the German League ladder with a 10-7 record.

Also in Germany Tai Webster scored 15 points (7/10FG) as Frankfurt Skyliners suffered a heavy 96-74 loss to Bayreuth to slip to 10-8 for the season and a spot behind Ulm on the Bundesliga table. Webster added 5 rebounds and 6 assists but it was the Skyliners third loss on the bounce.

Webster sits 8th on the German League scoring list averaging 15.0 points per game and is 4th on the assists slate with 5.0 dimes per outing.

In Italy Napoli got back to winning ways comfortably beating Battipaglias 95-61. Napoli are fifth on the Serie A ladder with a 7-6 record. Jillian Harmon produced her sixth double-double of the season (20 points and 10 rebounds) shooting a perfect ten of ten from the foul line in the process.

The Tall Ferns forward leads the Italian League scoring averaging 18.9 points per game and is third on the rebounding chart with 9.1 boards per outing. To emphasise her all court game she is also fifth on the assists list averaging 3.6 per game.

College wrap includes career high’s for Beck and Beckley

SMC Women's Basketball vs Gonzags

There were a number of five star performances from our Kiwis in college this week but top billing belongs jointly to Jacinta Beckley and Stella Beck. Beckley and Beck sounds like it could be the company name of a law firm and the two certainly bossed the games they were involved in at the weekend.

Beck was named West Coast Conference Player of the week after averaging 27.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 85% from the field across the two games played by St Mary’s Gaels last week.

In the top of the table Conference clash on Thursday Gonzaga proved too good for St Mary’s Gaels despite 23 points from Beck. The Gaels bounced back on Saturday beating Pacific 96-88 with Beck piling in a career best 31 points. Those 31 points were gathered via some impressive shooting percentages – 10/12FG (83%) and 9/11FT (81%). For good measure the former Hutt Valley star added 7 rebounds, 7 assists.

The Gaels are now 6-2 in conference games.

Jacinta beckleyg

Beckley was in equally impressive form scoring a career high 25 points (9/19FG, 6/8FT) as Seattle Redhawks beat New Mexico State 69-59. That was followed by 17 points and 6 rebounds as Seattle beat Texas Rio Grande Valley 64-56 for a 4-1 record in the Western Athletic Conference and a tie for top spot on the conference ladder.

Brooke Blair ran up her fourth twenty points effort of the season as Idaho State Bengals accounted for Portland State 88-59. Blair had a fine all-round game adding a game high 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Fourty-eight hours later the Bengals swept their road double header with an 85-71 win at Sacramento State. Once again Blair filled the stats sheet with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists a block and a steal.

Blair sits tenth amongst the NCAA Division 1 three-point shooters this season and enhanced that standing with five from ten from beyond the arc across the two games. The Bengals are now 3-3 in the Big Sky Conference.

For the men 19 points from former St Pat’s guard Izayah Le’afa was exceptional even if Sacramento State Hornets did fall 80-64 at Weber State. Le’afa converted five of his six three point efforts and also added 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Two days later Le’afa again scored in double figures for the ninth time in the last thirteen games – he scored 17 points, including 3 from 7 from beyond the arc, but once again the Hornets went down losing 71-65 to Idaho State and now 2-5 in Big Sky Conference games.

Jack Salt and the Virginia Cavaliers are travelling nicely recording a seventh straight Atlantic Coast Conference win at Wake Forrest. Salt had 4 rebounds; a couple of points and a block in a solid 59-47 win for the Cavaliers. With an overall 18-1 record they are in elite company ranked No 2 in NCAA Division 1 Men’s basketball.

Sam Timmins added a couple of points to 8 rebounds (four offensive boards) and a block as Washington Huskies beat Colorado 72-62 to improve to 4-3 in Pac 12 play.

To the women again and a nice double of 8 points and 8 rebounds from Tessa Boagni helped Cal State Northridge Matadors to a comfortable 65-41 victory over Cal State Fullerton. The win gives the Matadors a 2-2 record in the big West Conference.

After four weeks absence recovering from a hand injury Mary Goulding scored 7 points and amassed 13 rebounds on her return to the Fordham Rams lineup. Zara Jillings also played her part in the low scoring 43-38 win at Richmond posting a team high 3 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 points and a block.

Fordham are 6-1 in Atlantic 10 Conference play.

Penina Davidson secured 10 rebounds and added 4 points and a block as Cal Berkeley scored an important road win with a 62-59 win at USC to move to 5-3 in Pac-12 play. Averaging 7.4 rebounds per game it was Davidson’s fourth double figure rebounding effort of the season.

In an unusual turn of events the Fresno State fixture against Air Force was cancelled leaving Katelin Noyer and her teammates without a game on Saturday. The fixture was cancelled due to the US government shutdown of services effecting thousands of federal workers including Air Force personnel.

North Harbour players in college – weekly wrap

alex talma

North Harbour players are performing well in college hoops. Here is the latest weekly wrap with Brooke Blair, Katie Diakhaby, Tera Reed and Alex Talma all top scoring for their respective teams.

read more

Micaela Cocks wins third WNBL Championship



Tall Ferns guard Micaela Cocks has added a third Australian WNBL title to her already impressive CV.

She had won championships with Townsville in 2015 and 2016, collecting the Grand-Final MVP Award that year, and finished runner-up in 2013 and 2014.

Cocks enjoyed a standout four year career at the University of Oregon and has represented the Tall Ferns for over a decade winning a Commonwealth Games silver medal in 2006 and being a member of the NZ team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

“It may be the third but it never gets old,” said Cocks.

read more

Career high from Beckley plus more top performances from Blair, Beck and Le’afa

Jacinta beckleyg.jpg

The college wrap normally appears on Monday after the weekend games have been completed in the States. However four performances on Friday (Thursday in the States) warrant a weekend edition of the wrap.

Jacinta Beckley  produced a career best as Seattle Redhawks beat New Mexico State 69-59 for a 3-1 record in the Western Athletic Conference.  The Paraparaumu College alumni  came up with a game high 25 points (9/19FG, 6/8FT) for Seattle.

Brooke Blair ran up her fourth twenty points effort of the season as Idaho State Bengals accounted for Portland State 88-59 to move to 3-3 in the Big Sky Conference. Blair had a fine all-round game adding a game high 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

In the top of the table West Coast Conference clash Gonzaga proved too good for St Mary’s Gaels despite 23 points from Stella Beck. Gonzaga remain unbeaten with St Mary’s slipping to 5-2. Like Blair this was also a fourth twenty points haul for Beck whi is averaging 13.4 points per game.

19 points from former St Pat’s guard Izayah Le’afa was exceptional even if Sacramento State Hornets did fall 80-64 at Weber State. Le’afa converted five of his six three point efforts as he scored in double figures for the eighth time in the last twelve games – he also added 4 rebounds and 4 assists as the Hornets slipped to 2-4 in Big Sky Conference games.