Auckland Schools Senior A semi-finals review

The Senior A Boys Grand Final will feature Macleans College and Liston College, the top two finishers in the regular season, next Friday at NSEC.

Macleans are one win away from an automatic return to the Premier competition after winning a high scoring semi-final against Massey High 108-94.

Michael Babaran and Sai Kuvelkar were outstanding for Macleans amassing 43 points and 30 points respectively.

A high octane opening quarter saw Macleans out to a 40-27 lead and despite the best efforts of Cullen Tamihana (26 points) Massey were unable to overhaul the deficit.

Tamihana scored ten points in the second as the Macleans lead was trimmed to 62-55 at the interval.

Harry Smith posted nine third quarter points for Macleans, eight straight points from Tamihana keeping Massey in the hunt at 84-73.

A couple of threes from Babaran plus scores from Tyson Kempton and Smith stretched the Macleans lead to 101-83.

Robert Matakatea, Lueki Fusitua and Maxwell Hinton responded with one last effort for Massey but it wasn’t enough to unsettle Macleans.

Macleans College 108 – M Babaran 43, S Kuvelkar 30, H Smith 17, T Kempton 11

Massey High 94 – C Tamihana 26, R Matakatea 14, L Fusitua 10, B Leslie 9, C Taulapiu 9

 

The Liston College versus Northcote College semi-final was a contest full of momentum swings with the outcome only decided in the final two minutes.

With six minutes to play the scores were locked at 72 points apiece. An 8-0 Liston run via scores from Shawn Hickey, Kiani Saxon and Edward Maagdenburg tilted the contest in their favour.

However a Reihana Miller-Tohu triple and further counter punches from Ollie Hayward dragged Northcote to within a point (80-79) with two minutes on the clock.

The final swing went in favour of Liston as Maagdenburg, Lev Prokov and John Fabian helped them reel off an 11-0 finish to seal the win in an entertaining game.

Earlier Northcote had made the more encouraging start a trio of threes from Calvin Webster gave them a 21-16 first quarter lead.

Prokov and Saxon responded with half a dozen points apiece in the second as the two teams went to the break with the scores level at thirty-six points apiece.

Northcote shaded the third (26-23) as Sebastian Vivian, Miller-Tohu and Miggy Falqueza all made triples.

More threes from Miller-Tohu and Webster pleased the local supporters but Saxon and Maagdenburg steadied the Liston ship ahead of the final successful surge.

Liston College 91 – L Prokov 20, E Maagdenburg 18, K Saxon 18, J Fabian 11

Northcote College 79 – R Miller-Tohu 22, C Webster 21, O Hayward 15, M Falqueza 12

 

Epsom Girls Grammar and Botany Downs College, after finishing first and second on the ladder in the regular season will face each other in the Senior A Grand Final on Friday.

Epsom defeated Birkenhead College and Botany beat Mt Roskill Grammar in the semi-finals.

The Herewini sisters Sophia (24 points), Ngapipi (20 points) and Tiana (11 points) took care of business for Botany.

The trio scored all of the Botany points as they jumped out to an early 24-6 lead against Mt Roskill and steadily built on that early advantage to lead 35-10 at half-time.

Akaysha Cordtz and Aquilla Toala made early scores in the third for Mt Roskill but ten points in the period from Sophia Herewini kept Botany ahead 61-28.

Jasmine Paul scored eight fourth quarter points for Roskill but Botany were always in control and recorded a convincing win.

Botany Downs 65 – Sophia H 24, Ngapipi H 20, Tiana H 11

Mt Roskill 47 – J Paul 10, M Malu 7, R Toala 7, A Toala 6

 

Birkenhead made a good start against undefeated Epsom Girls leading 15-12 after the first quarter – Rashaan Smith (24 points) with nine of those points.

Epsom quickly hauled in the deficit as they dominated the second quarter. Florence Dallow (24 points) made ten points in the period but Epsom enjoyed scoring contributions across the board as they led 35-25 at half-time.

Smith, Marta Bolognini and Eleanor Mahutangi ensured the Epsom lead didn’t become unmanageable, Birkenhead still in the contest at the last break trailing 49-40.

The same trio of players scored all of Birkenhead’s fifteen points in the last quarter but Dallow, Akita Papara-Welch, Sarah-Joy Aruwa and Aria Todd-Pemeric ensured there would be no upset.

Epsom head to the final with a perfect 15-0 record.

Epsom 67 – F Dallow 24, S Aruwa 8, A Papara-Welch 8, A Todd-Pemeric 7

Birkenhead 55 – R Smith 24, M Bolognini 14, E Mahutangi 11

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