Just two teams remain unbeaten after three rounds of the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Boys League. Both St Kentigern College and Rangitoto College made it three wins from three outings with victories against Westlake Boys and Mt Albert Grammar respectively.
It was an emotional occasion up in the Bays on Friday as Rangitoto played out a 76-69 win against Mt Albert Grammar, the victory dedicated to Mark Mandeno who sadly passed away late last week.
A pretty even first quarter ended with Rangitoto 21-18 in the ascendancy. Nate Wilson was in good form for Mt Albert, the power forward accumulating 16 points by half time. However Rangi guard Harry Payne went one better and his 17 points helped the home team to a 47-30 interval lead.
Wilson continued with the hot hands in the third as MAGS closed to ten points (59-49).
Josh Leger and Morgan Aiona helped ease the scoring burden being carried by Wilson as MAGS ate further into the deficit but nine final quarter points from Phoenix Leupolu, boards and points from Jared Thornton, plus a captains knock from Payne ensured a Rangitoto victory on a night when the occasion was more important than the result.
Rangitoto 76– H Payne 24, J Thornton 12, P Leupolu 9, Z Riley 7
MAGS 69– Nate Wilson 35p/14r, M Aiono 11, J Leger 9
The game of the round was the Westlake Boys high versus St Kentigern College encounter with the result not decided until the last possession of the game.
Inside the last two minutes St Kentigern forward Levic Kerr tied proceedings with a lay-up out of a broken play. Westlake failed to score on the next possession but from the ensuing play Martin Gan knocked down a crucial three to give St Kent’s a 74-71 lead. Sam Mennenga trimmed the Westlake deficit to a single point before Alex McNaught kept his nerve at the foul line to nail a pair of free throws.
Westlake coach Zac Fitzgerald drew up an out of bounds play with 4 seconds left on the shot clock but the potential game levelling shot wouldn’t drop and St Kent’s prevailed 76-73.
An even first quarter was punctuated by threes from Josh Kooiman and Dylan Wilkie for the hosts and Kazlo Evans and Gan for St Kent’s.
The visitors had marginally the better of the second to lead 38-32 at half-time.
St Kent’s appeared to be running away with the game in the third as they established an eighteen points advantage courtesy of Evans, McNaught and Kerr.
10 points in the final quarter from Mennenga plus triples from Antonio Luetich, Willkie and Kooiman had the home support on its feet as a Westlake come-back win looked on the cards. However it was St Kent’s who would have the final say in a pulsating finish.
Westlake 73– J Kooiman 23, S Mennenga 19, D Wilkie 11, C Atkinson 6, A Luetich 6
St Kentigern 76– A McNaught 20, K Evans 19, L Kerr 12, J Childs 8, S Broughton 8
A dominant second half performance carried Rosmini College to an 88-55 victory against Liston College after the scores were tied 36 all at half-time.
Kiani Saxon and Shawn Hickey were prominent for Liston as they went toe to toe with the defending champions in the opening period – 9 points from Sean Murphy the highest individual tally.
The scoring virtually ground to a halt in the second spell – just four points scored by each team in the quarter.
Saxon scored half a dozen points in the third but it was a period dominated by Rosmini as Taine Murray and Reimar Cruz found their scoring touch. Terence Abdon and Thomas Morgan knocked down threes and with ten minutes to play Rozza had stretched out to a 62- 48 lead.
Ten points in the last period from Murphy preceded four points for Jett Marshall on his premier debut as Rosmini returned to winning ways after the loss to St Kentigern last week.
Liston 55– K Saxon 13, S Hickey 11, S Prasad 7, D Helu 7
Rosmini 88– S Murphy 21, T Murray 21, R Cruz 10, R Maxwell-Topia 6, J Boucher 6
A couple of threes from Connor Ngan and additional scores from beyond the arc from Stefan Bigio and Jaga Mete took Auckland Grammar out to an early 23-11 lead against Macleans College.
Harry Smith scored a dozen first half points for Macleans but further scoring damage from Ngan, Blake Manning and Daniel Boyd stretched the Grammar lead to 73-46 at the last break.
MacLean’s’ Shawn Hickey took his tally into double figures but Ngan took his personal three-point tally to seven, collectively Grammar made 18 triples, as they eased away in the fourth for a comfortable win – Josh Muggleston helping himself to 11 late points.
Macleans 56– H Smith 19, M Babaran 18, R Dio 6
Auckland Grammar 101– C Ngan 22, J Mete 20, S Bigio 11, J Muggleston 11
Premier League Standings after 3 rounds:
3-0 St Kentigern, Rangitoto
2-1 Rosmini, Westlake
1-2 Auckland Grammar, Liston
0-3, Macleans, Mt Albert