Westlake Boys put themselves in the box seat to claim the remaining Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade semi-final place with a 100-84 home victory against St Kentigern College on Monday night.
Westlake’s victory was built around their ability to make perimeter shots. They set the tone for a fine shooting display by making six straight threes to open their scoring and in all made a mesmerizing 17 shots from beyond the arc.
Tom Cowie, Josh Kooiman and Dylan Wilkie combined for those first 18 points from deep as the hosts grabbed a 32-20 quarter time lead – 8 points for Shalom Broughton for the visitors.
Tom Chester, Alex McNaught and Zac Chan demonstrated that they could also score from deep but Kooiman knocked down his third treble of the second period to extend the Westlake advantage to 51-33.
Kooiman was forced to the bench after logging his third foul but it did little to slow the Lake scoring momentum, more threes from Wilkie, an And-1 play from Joe Wuthrich and a floater from Cowie sent the hosts into a decisive 63-37 half-time lead.
Broughton in transition, Levic Kerr in the low post and the slashing Alex Shorter edged St Kent’s a little closer in the third stanza but they were still in a big hole at the three-quarter mark trailing 83-57.
Shorter and Chan combined for thirteen straight points and at 87-67 with 6:30 to play Lake coach Zac Fitzgerald needed a timeout.
Cowie and Wilkie responded immediately – from the three point line of course – this time it was St Kent’s coach Aaron Young that needed a timeout.
The ever improving Kerr made a couple of neat inside baskets but Cowie and the outstanding Wilkie who made a season best 29 points, including seven triples, put the result beyond doubt.
St Kentigern look as if they will now have to defeat both Avondale College (on Wednesday) and Rosmini College (on Friday) in their remaining two games to pip Westlake for the fourth play-off spot.
Westlake now prepare for a North Shore derby against Rangitoto.
Westlake 100 – D Wilkie 29, T Cowie 18, P Winitana 17, J Kooiman 15, J Wuthrich 11
St Kentigern 84 – M Shorter 29, S Broughton 18, L Kerr 18, Z Chan 9
After the excitement of their victory against Westlake on Friday, Avondale College were brought crashing back to earth at Rangitoto College beaten 112-68.
Games aren’t won in the first quarter but trailing 34-11 at the first break meant Avondale had a lot to do to redress the balance after Harry Payne had dropped 19 points in those first ten minutes.
Rangitoto continued the charge in the second period with Obadaiah Paea joining Payne in double figures as they established a 57-30 half-time lead. Jaga Mete led the Avondale effort with ten points at the break.
Ethan Mandeno and Ben Spencer-Powell got in on the scoring act in the third period as the lead ballooned out to 82-49.
Michael Reddy and Jack Childs gave the Avondale score a degree of respectability in the final quarter but Rangitoto cruised to their third win of the season ahead of their trip to Westlake on Friday.
The defeat means that Avondale will have to win their final two games to have any chance of avoiding finishing the season with the wooden spoon.
Rangitoto 112 – H Payne 33, O Paea 22, E Skelton 17, E Mandeno 16, T Te Puni 13
Avondale 68 – J Mete 22, T Toyer 10, P Karatau 9, M Reddy 6, J Childs 6
12-1 Mt Albert, Rosmini
8-5 Auckland Grammar
6-6 St Kentigern
3-10 St Peter’s
In the Girls Premier competition St Mary’s won the battle of the Saints against St Kentigern 71-34.