The Auckland Secondary Schools Girls Premier regular season title was decided last month but there was still plenty at stake in the final round of games on Friday.
Summarising the final four games:
Auckland Girls Grammar completed an unbeaten regular season winning 14 straight games.
Westlake Girls secured the runners-up spot.
Rangitioto College, despites a loss, gained the fourth semi-final place at the expense of Massey High (who also lost). Rangitoto lost their round five game to Massey 80-69 (-11) but beat them 69-53 (+16) in the return clash giving them a +5 differential after both teams finished with a 6-8 record.
St Kentigern College have the less desirable wooden spoon ‘title’.
The closest finish of the round was at St Kentigern College where the hosts took on Carmel College in the quest to avoid that wooden spoon.
Carmel looked destined for the basement spot when they found themselves 17 points down (60-43) with 1:30 left in the third period. However eight points in the closing 90 seconds of the quarter – seven of those to Tayla Dalton – propelled Carmel back into contention – 60-51 down with a quarter to play.
Kayla Robertson-Tekki restored St Kent’s double digit lead before Carmel reeled off a 11-2 run to tie the scores at 64 points apiece with five minutes to play.
Natasha Leishman went coast-to-coast for St Kent’s but Dalton with a left hander in traffic tied the scores again.
With four minutes to play Dalton picked up a controversial fifth foul – Carmel coach Gareth Teahan needing a timeout to discuss strategy with his leading scorer sidelined.
Courtney Griffiths put St Kent’s ahead but Broomfield tied proceedings again.
Robertson-Tekki gave the hosts a 70-68 advantage but Broomfield leveled the scores for the fourth time in the quarter.
Izzy Cattermole then made the crucial go-ahead basket for Carmel (72-70) with 2:30 to play – time for both teams to have a number of scoring opportunities but none would drop until Broomfield stepped to the free-throw line with two seconds on the clock – she made one to give Carmel an exciting 73-70 win.
St Kentigern 70
(Individual scorers details not available).
Westlake secured the runners-up spot on the table with a solid 85-75 win at home to North Shore neighbours Rangitoto College – despite the result Rangitoto edged Massey out of fourth spot on points differential to book a place in the semi-finals.
Westlake point guard Tabatha Leyson scored the first five points before a Hannah Wentworth three made it 11-6 to the hosts.
Centaine Duckworth-Noon and Emma Pugh were enjoying an inside battle as a Rosie Dil three on the quarter-time buzzer took Lake to a 24-16 lead.
Leyson, as she had in the first, made early scores in the second period before Rangi closed to within two points (31-29) via scores from Robyn Blackstock and Gracie Hasler-Ewins.
Six points late in the period from Jess Moors meant Westlake carried a 44-31 half-time lead into the interval.
Wentworth, on her way to a season best equaling 28 points, made three triples in the third frame although Leyson, Moors and Makenzee Boucher matched that output collectively for Westlake
A Bella Elgar And-1 play kept Rangi in the hunt, trailing 63-55 at three-quarter time.
The two teams traded baskets in the final quarter – the closest Rangi got was within six points (79-73) after an Aroha Rogers score with two minutes to play.
However baskets down the stretch from the Dil’s, Rosie and Sophie, ensured the runners-up spot for Westlake.
Rangitoto 75 – H Wentworth 28, I Elgar 13, G Hasler-Ewins 10, R Blackstock 6
Westlake 85 – J Moors 21, T Leyson 15, R Dil 12, E Shearer 11, M Davidson 10
Massey High went down 57-44 against St Mary’s in a loss that cost them a top four finish and a place in the semi-finals.
A St Mary’s victory didn’t look on the cards in the early stages with Ramona Fuiavaa scoring seven early points to propel Massey to a 16-7 quarter time advantage.
Jazz Kailahi-Fulu, returning to the St Mary’s lineup after New Zealand duties, led a strong response in the second period – the scores locked at 25 points each at the interval.
Fuiavaav and Shauna Povey took their personal tallies into double figures but it was St Mary’s that dominated proceedings to lead 43-32 at the last break. Safena Te Nana-Williams and Riana Matiseni both made key baskets in the quarter.
Massey’s scoring output improved a little in the fourth but the Kailahi-Fulu sisters Jazz and Zaaliyah ensured that St Mary’s would finish their first season in Prem’s on a high.
St Mary’s 57 – J Kailahi-Fulu 18, R Matiseni 13, Z Kailahi-Fulu 11, S Te Nana-Williams 10
Massey 44 – S Povey 17, R Fuiavaa 11, A Schuster 8
Auckland Girls Grammar completed an unbeaten regular season with a 69-51 win against Mt Albert Grammar but unfortunately I haven’t received a scoresheet to provide additional details.
AGGS will take on Rangitoto in semi-final action on Friday at NSEC with Westlake matching up with MAGS.
Final Premier Standings at end of regular season.
5-9 St Mary’s
1-13 St Kentigern