Auckland Grammar School and Westlake Boys High found the going tough without their respective Junior Tall Blacks in Round 8 of the Auckland Secondary Schools Boy’s Premier League on Friday.
Jaga Mete (Grammar) and Sam Mennenga (Westlake) are in France with the New Zealand team preparing for the upcoming FIBA U19 World Cup and their presence was understandably missed by their respective teams. Westlake lost at North Shore rivals Rangitoto College (93-65) and Auckland lost the battle of the ‘Grammars’ going down 74-57 at Mt Albert.
Despite 11 points in the opening quarter from Auckland point guard Connor Ngan it was hosts Mt Albert, capitalizing on a 16-0 run, that led at quarter time (25-15) with forward Josh Leger picking up 12 points.
A low scoring second period was edged 11-8 by the visitors – Luka Vea making a couple of timely baskets for Auckland.
MAGS had begun the season with five straight losses and it’s no coincidence that their fortunes have improved with the return from injury of Sataan Tawera (22 points). The influential guard lit up proceedings early in the third with 11 straight points including three scores from beyond the arc.
Further baskets from Leger and Phil Mengistie carried MAGS to a position of dominance at three-quarter time – ahead 58-39.
Ngan and Caleb Landon combined for 11 points in the fourth but Tawera and Leger, on his way to a double-double of 21 points and 16 rebounds, took MAGS to a second straight win ahead of the rearranged game against Liston College on Monday.
MAGS 74– S Tawera 22 (5/10 3PG), J Leger 21/16r, N Wilson 10/19r, P Mengistie 8
AGS 57– C Ngan 22, C Landon 12, L Vea 8, I Tela 5
At Rangitoto College Jett Thompson, with a couple of slicing drives, gave Westlake the early lead but consecutive threes from Obadaiah Paea tied proceedings at quarter time – 20 points each.
Rangitoto gained some ascendancy making a 15-3 run to open the second frame with Paea and Zach Riley at the heart of the action. Antonio Luetich and Caton Silbiger responded for Westlake but a bucket from Liam Judd and a corner three from Ethan Skelton on the stroke of half-time meant that Lake had been outscored 27-9 in the period and trailed 47-29 at the break.
Skelton started the second half as he finished the first with a corner three. Another three, this time from Tommy Te Puni, was proceeded by a trey from Thompson to open the Lake response after the interval.
When Skelton scored consecutive layups off turnovers Westlake Head Coach Zac Fitzgerald needed a timeout with his team 58-34 in arrears.
Joe Wuthrich scored on the resumption but Te Puni and Skelton had all the answers – the hosts ahead 74-45 at the last break to the delight of the vociferous home supporters.
Rangitoto forward Dallas Clayton had the satisfaction of scoring against his former teammates with a neat left handed finish before Paora Winitana, making a welcome return following six months on the sideline with injury, put some points on the board for Westlake. However it was little consolation as the Swans slipped to a third straight loss.
Rangitoto 93– O Paea 24, E Skelton 18, Z Riley 13, H Payne 6
Westlake 65– J Thompson 21, A Luetich 15, P Winitana 8, J Kooiman 5
Rosmini College were made to work hard by an injury depleted Macleans College before eventually running out winners 105-83.
Visitors Macleans could only field six fit players but despite that handicap only trailed 26-21 at quarter time. Kraus Reyes scored their first six points and but for missed free-throws Macleans could well have led after ten minutes.
Tyler Martin and Terence Abdon hit a pair of threes apiece but Macleans, or more precisely Jesse Manuel and Harry Smith, kept in touch trailing 54-43 at half-time.
Smith and Manuel would go on to score an impressive 32 points apiece but they could do little to stop Rosmini dominating the third period.
Martin, Abdon and Taine Murray shared seven threes in the quarter (12 in the match) as the Rosmini lead climbed to 85-59 by the three-quarter mark.
Marvin Williams-Dunn, Jett Marshall and Thomas Morgan continued Rozzas three-point barrage butthe highlight of the game came in the closing minutes and belonged to big man Jack McGregor.
Picking up the ball on the elbow of the key the Macleans forward threw down a rim rattling two handed dunk much to the delight of the Macleans bench. Their obvious delight and togetherness epitomised the effort of coach Adrian Boyd’s charges.
Rosmini 105– T Murray 31, T Martin 18, T Abdon 16, B Robb 10, M Williams-Dunn 7
Macleans 83– J Manuel 32, H Smith 32, K Reyes 14
Shalom Broughton with a game high 30 points and Alex McNaught with 21 points on his birthday led St Kentigern College to a 100- 83 home win against Liston College to stay level with Rangitoto College at the top of the Prems ladder.
Desmond Helu knocked down three triples in the opening quarter but despite Sefa Prasad also landing from deep Liston trailed 26-17 at the ten minute mark – all five St Kent’s starters on the scoresheet.
The hosts reeled off 34 points in the second quarter to take a stranglehold on the game. Levic Kerr was at his dominant best and with Broughton and McNaught in support St Kent’s forged a 62-28 half-time advantage.
Elliot Watson scored 8 third quarter points but with Kerr in foul trouble it meant Liston, with parity on the boards, were able to stage a recovery led by Shawn Hickey and Preston Karatau.
Down 82-58 at three-quarter time Liston continued to battle away and again won the last quarter (25-18) as Kiani Saxon, Karatau and Hickey picked holes in the St Kent’s defence.
St Kentigern 100– S Broughton 30, A McNaught 21, L Kerr 18, E Watson 14
Liston 83– P Karatau 17, S Hickey 17, S Prasad 15, D Helu 13, K Saxon 9
7-1 Rangitoto, St Kentigern
4-4 AGS, Westlake
2-5 Liston, MAGS