Monthly Archives: April 2019

Tall Ferns Training Squad includes three players still at school

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Many of the leading contenders for the Tall Ferns assemble in Auckland this week, for a high performance selection camp that will help Head Coach Guy Molloy put names in ink for upcoming tours and tournaments in July and September this year, all of which leads into the ultimate goal of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The squad of players assembled includes three players still at school – Tayla Dalton (Carmel College), Jazz Kalahi-Fulu (St Mary’s, Ponsonby) and Charlisse Leger-Walker (St Peter’s, Cambridge).

Molloy described the camp as a vital stepping stone to unearth the increasing number of players putting their names in the hat for national team selection.

“This is the only real chance that we have resource wise and funding wise to assemble the squad in New Zealand ahead of a very busy second half of the year. We have eight or nine with previous Tall Ferns experience and maybe six or seven new kids coming in for the first time at this level.”

The timing is a little awkward for Molloy in that eight US College players were invited, but because of exams only three could attend.

“We will use this camp for two purposes, an ID camp first and foremost, but it will also go a long way to selection for the team to travel to Japan and the William Jones tournament in July.”

Molloy takes a ‘roll the sleeves up’ approach to any opportunity he has to work with the wider group of players, as he continues to build on the success of the William Jones tournament title in July last year and the bronze medal won at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games – all of which is achieved after again being denied any funding from High Performance New Zealand.

“In our environment and with the challenges we face, you have to be great at prioritizing what you want to do. You get used to doing more with less, we have become very adept at this and need to continue to be clever within the current model.”

On the playing front, Molloy continues to be delighted at the increasing number of quality players putting their hand up for team selection, especially when players are also tied in with other commitments such as club-contracts, college commitments or work commitments for those more semi-professional to amateur players.

“Last year we struggled to assemble a squad for the Commonwealth Games, but since then we have increased the depth chart to a legitimate 30 or so names. To more than double that depth chart in that time has been a really worthwhile and rewarding exercise. The success we had at the William Jones Cup last year really has been the catalyst for much of that.”

The camp is a reflection of the truly global nature of the game and the increasing opportunities for New Zealand’s leading players to secure overseas contracts, with six players returning from Australia and a further three making the trip from their American College teams to get in front of Molloy and assistant coaches Jody Cameron and Aik Ho.

Included in the group at Pulman Arena this week are established Tall Ferns stars Toni Farnworth (nee Edmondson), Jessica Bygate, Penina Davidson, Kalani Purcell, Chevannah Paalvast and Josie Stockill, along with Stella Beck who finished second highest scorer at the 2018 William Jones Cup.

Among the newcomers are American College trio Amiee Book (18 years old and daughter of former Tall Black Ed Book), Mary Golding and Tara Manumaleuga, while Jazzmyne Kailahi-Fulu is selected from the Harbour U19 team for her first shot at Tall Ferns selection and teamate Tayla Dalton gets her first shot. Both Dalton and Sharne Pupuke-Robati were part of the New Zealand team at the FIBA U17 World Cup in Belarus last year.

There are some notable basketball family traditions being continued in this group, among them as mentioned Amiee Book (daughter of Tall Black Ed Book), Tessa Boagni (daughter of former Tall Fern Jane McMeeken-Ruscoe, sister of Tall Fern Kate McMeeken-Ruscoe and daughter of former NZ NBL import star Kerry Boagni), Charlisse Leger-Walker (daughter of NZ legend Leanne Walker and sister of Tall Fern Krystal) and Ella Fotu (sister of Tall Blacks Isaac and Dan Fotu).

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St Peter’s finish 5th and Rosmini 6th at World Champs

 

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St Peter’s School, Cambridge finished fifth, and Rosmini College sixth, at the ISF World Schools Basketball Championship in Greece after contrasting results on the final day of action.

St Peter’s saw off the challenge of Chile winning 50-42 on the back of 17 points from Ella Bradley and ten points from Charlisse Leger-Walker – a couple of baskets from Waiata Jennings late in the fourth helping seal the victory. Tall Fern guard Leger-Walker was named to the Tournament All-Star Five after guiding the team to six victories in seven games – their only loss a quarter-final defeat against Greece.

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Rosmini couldn’t quite emulate the effort of St Peter’s as they were run down 71-70 by Greece in an exciting climax to their campaign. Rosmini led by as many as 17 points early in the third quarter but, hampered by the loss of Reihana Maxwell-Topia due to a first half injury, couldn’t quite hold off the fast finishing hosts.

28 points from Taine Murray and 14 points from Sean Murphy (the pair made four triples apiece) were the main contributors for Rosmini. A Jayden Boucher basket gave the visitors a one point buffer in the final seconds but a couple of foul calls later Greece were able to claim the lead from the foul line and deny Rosmini who had a game winning attempt rim out on the buzzer.

Both St Peter’s and Rosmini can reflect on successful tournaments representing their schools and New Zealand with distinction at a World Championship event.

Israel claimed the Boy’s gold medal beating Greece 79-78 in the final and Finland beat Turkey 70-60 to top the podium in the Girl’s Final.

 

St Peter’s win opening game at Schools World Champs.

St P's v Greece

St Peter’s School Cambridge Girls opened their account at theISF Basketball World Schools Championship in Greece with a 58-41 win in a physical encounter with Greece.

Despite afew handling errors from St Peter’s in what Head Coach Leanne Walker described as a “nervous start,” the Schick National Champs were still able to forge a 15-8 opening quarter lead.

The momentum stayed with St Peter’s in the second quarter – they led 27-18 at half time and would go on to win all four periods.

Walker commented that there was some adjustments to be made as the games consisted of 4×8 minute quarters.

“It was a physical encounter with Greece adopting a determined pressing effort. This was overcome by some slick passing and good ball movement. Greece then dropped back into a zone but a corner three after some excellent inside-out action meant they switched out of that pretty quickly,” added Walker.

Unfortunately we do not have the individual scorers from the game.

St Peter’s are drawn in Group E of the girl’s competition alongside teams from Israel, Latvia as well as the Greek team and face Israel on Sunday at 5pm local time.

Team:

Charlisse-Leger Walker, Megan Bradley, Grace McGirr, Alana Paewai, Ella Bradley, Jayze’Lee Waihi, Toha Kemp, Ahi Williams, Dominique Stephens, Emma Baker, Waiata Jennings

Head Coach- Leanne Walker, Assistant Coach – Anthony Corban

Rosmini open World Schools Championship with victory

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Rosmini College has made a successful start to their campaign at the ISFBasketball World Schools Championship in Crete.

Rosmini playing in Group F, defeated their Bulgarian opponents 74-47 on Saturday, a feature being that all twelve players scored points in the convincing win. Only Taine Murray (10 points) went into double figures although three players scored 8 points (Kainoa Lepou, Reihana Maxwell-Topia and Marvin Williams-Dunn) and Sean Murphy scored 9 points.

After winning the opening quarter 20-10, Rosmini increased its advantage to 37-23 at half-time and 60-32 at the three-quarter mark.

Rozza will face the other two teams in Group F on Sunday facing China in the afternoon preceded by North Macedonia in the morning. Macedonia defeated China 52-44 on Saturday.

Rosmini Head Coach was pleased with the opening performance.

“It was good to get a win but both China and Macedonia will be tougher opponents tomorrow.”

“China is the same team from Beijing that we played last January when they visited Auckland.”

In other news St Peter’s School Cambridge made a winning start in the girls tournament beating Greece 2 58-41.

Rosmini College

Marvin William-Dunn, Jason Mittef, Jayden Boucher, Taine Murray, Thomas Morgan, Tyler Martin, Kainoa Lepou, Cian Emery, Reihana Maxwell-Topia, Sean Murphy, Terence Abdon, Tom Seuren

Head Coach – Matt Lacey, Assistant Coach – Sonny Tuaputa

St Peter’s and Rosmini on the eve of debuting at Schools World Champs

The Rosmini College Boys’ team and the St Peter’s School Cambridge Girls’ team have arrived in Greece ahead of the International School Sport Federation (ISF) 25th Basketball World Schools Championship.

The ISF Tournament, contested every two years, is being held in Heraklion on the island of Crete beginning tomorrow (Saturday).

St Peter’s will take onoe of the two teams from hosts Greece whilst Rosmini will be up against a team from Bulgaria. More details below.

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Carmel crunch Epsom to keep Premier status for 2019

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Carmel College saw off the challenge of Epsom Girls Grammar to secure its berth in the 2019 Auckland Secondary School Premier competition on Monday night. After some even early exchanges Carmel pulled away to win convincingly 95-57 in front of a good crowd on its home court.

Carmel were paced by 36 points from Tayla Dalton who was ably supported by Emily Broomfield (11pts), Estelle Davidson (10pts), Izzy Cattermole and Qaizden Stephano. Aria Todd-Pemerika and Sarah-Joy Aruwa led the way for Epsom with 14 points apiece and Florence Dallow was also in double figures with a dozen points.

From the outset Epsom coach Keith Langley employed a rarely seen triangle and two defensive strategy with a pair of guards detailed to play full court defence on Dalton whether she was in possession or not. The ploy worked initially as Dallow and Aruwa gave Epsom an early lead.

It was rather bizarre observing a passive Dalton allowing her teammates to play a 4 on 3 game. However Carmel made its numerical supremacy in the half court count as Cattermole, Broomfield and Stephano picked holes in the Epsom defence to give the hosts a 21-11 quarter time lead.

Todd-Pemerika made the first two baskets of the second period before a corner three from Mackenzie Makereth initiated another scoring surge from the hosts. Dalton countered the double teaming by regularly picking up possession deep in her own half and using her superior foot speed to outstrip the Epsom defence. The Junior Tall Fern reeled off ten points at the back end of the quarter to give her team a comfortable 42-21 half-time advantage.

The third quarter was a free scoring affair – Aruwa provided some joy for the Epsom followers with ten points and Alice Roy and Todd-Pemerika also made multiple scores.

Carmel shaded the stanza by a point (23-22) thanks to a balanced offensive effort.

Scores early in the fourth from Georgia Green, Davidson and Dalton, plus a deep three from Broomfield, ensured there would be no late charge from Epsom Girls who will now look to win the 2019 Senior A competition to secure automatic Premier status the next year.

For Carmel, developing nicely under coach Gareth Teahan, a spot in the Premier Grade top four looks a realistic goal ahead of the 2019 season.

Jack Salt and Virginia make history

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Jack Salt and Virginia University Cavaliers have made history after advancing to the NCAA Championship game, defeating Auburn 63-62 in a dramatic semi-final.

Virginia have made the championship game for the first time and Salt has made a little bit of New Zealand sporting history for himself.

Salt had become only the second Kiwi after Kirk Penney (Wisconsin in 1999-2000 season) to play at the NCAA Men’s Division I Tournament Final Four but the victory means he now becomes the first New Zealander to play in a National Championship game (Tuesday 1.20pm NZT).

The Cavs had led by double figures late in the second half but needed three made free-throws from Kyle Guy with 0.6 of a second to play after the sophomore guard was fouled attempting a triple from the corner, to clinch the victory.

Auburn enjoyed a 14-0 run to lead 61-57 with 17 seconds to go. Guy hit an off balance three with 7.4 to play – Virginia fouled quickly to send Auburn to the line where it hit one from two to lead 62-60.

Following an Auburn foul the resulting in-bounds pass found Guy who launched the potential game winning three-point attempt. The shot hit the ring and bounced away but he was clearly fouled in attempting the shot and appeared to have ice in his veins as he sunk all three resulting freebies.

Salt had a relatively quiet afternoon pulling down a couple of rebounds in 9 minutes of action. That will matter little as he now prepares, with his teammates, for the biggest game in their relatively short careers, for many of the players the biggest game they will ever play in. Virginia will take on Texas Tech in the final after they beat Michigan State 61-51 in the other semi-final.

One incredible statistic for Kiwis to get their heads around was that the crowd at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis was just under 72,000 – not bad for a game of college basketball. Expect there to be as many for the final on Tuesday.

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