Rosmini College won the 2018 Auckland Secondary Schools Premier title by defeating Mt Albert Grammar 80-48 in front of 1,500 strong crowd at North Shore Events Centre on Friday night.
The two teams had identical 15-1 records heading into the contest but it was Rosmini that made the brighter opening with Mitch Dance and Kruz Perrott-Hunt combining for their three opening scores as Rosmini forged an early 9-0 lead.
Clarke Aiono got Mt Albert on the scoreboard but threes from Dance and Marvin Williams-Dunn gave Rosmini an 18-8 quarter-time lead.
More threes from Jayden Boucher and Perrott-Hunt pushed the Rosmini advantage beyond twenty before MAGS struck back through an And-1 play from Nate Wilson and points from Chayse Pinono, making a welcome return to the team after injury.
Dance led all scorers at half-time with thirteen points – Rosmini ahead 38-20.
MAGS point guard Sataan Tawera, who was to play all fourty minutes, dropped a triple but the early stages of the third became an arm wrestle as both defence dominated for both teams, highlighted by an athletic block from Wilson that impressed the travelling Lions supporters.
Ryan Laumatia knocked down a couple of trademark elbow jump shots but midway through the period the MAGS captain had to be helped from the court with a nasty looking knee injury – it’s to be hoped not a season ending one.
A Tom Seuren basket off a deft Perrott-Hunt pass and an And-1 play from Thomas Morgan pushed the Rosmini advantage out to 55-34 at three-quarter time.
MAGS had hauled back a sixteen point three-quarter time deficit in their semi-final against St Kentigern last week but any chance of a similar feat was snuffed out as Kainoa Lepou and Taine Murray stretched the Rozza lead beyond thirty.
The hard working Wilson, close to a double-double with 13 points and 9 rebounds, and the guard duo of Pinono and Tawera ensured the regular season champions finished on the front foot but they couldn’t deny Rosmini their second title in three years.
Rosmini 80 – M Dance 24, K Perrott-Hunt 17, M Williams-Dunn 11, T Murray 8
MAGS 48 – N Wilson 13, S Tawera 11, C Pinono 9, R Laumatia 8