Two Auckland Secondary Schools Boy’s Premier games were played on Monday night. Mt Albert Grammar won at Liston College 81-74 and St Kentigern College defended home territory against Westlake Boys winning 89-78.
In the catch up game from Round 7 Mt Albert Grammar led from start to finish at Liston College turning the tables on the hosts who had beaten them 70-59 when the teams last met in Round 2.
For large parts of the game MAGS appeared in total control but every time they threatened to bust the game open Liston, led by Kiani Saxon and Preston Karatau (29 points), would respond and narrow the gap.
When Karatau banked a three from NBA range with three minutes to play the Mt Albert lead, which moments earlier had been ten points, was suddenly trimmed to three (74-71).
Phoenix Sorensen then eased the MAGS nerves with a trey and when Josh Leger converted a neat turn-around jump shot it was 79-71 to the visitors with 90 seconds left.
Liston weren’t quite finished – the hard working Shawn Hickey scored off a neat pocket pass from Sefa Prasad and converted a free throw on the next trip down the floor.
However MAGS were in no mood to let this one slip as they managed the clock in the closing seconds to win 81-74.
Sataan Tawera and Leger dominated the early stages as MAGS built a 22-15 lead in front of a good crowd at St Dominic’s College.
Karatau lit up proceedings in the second scoring 17 points as Liston kept in touch – down 49-41 at half-time.
Saxon and Nate Wilson engaged in a personal dunking contest in the third frame – both players pulling out some athletic plays – 64-59 to the visitors with ten minutes to play.
It was basket for basket in the fourth before Leger and Sorensen made those vital baskets.
Three wins on the bounce for MAGS and a top four berth now within reach.
Liston 74– P Karatau 29, K Saxon 16 S Hickey 12, D Helu 9, S Prasad 8
MAGS 81– N Wilson 22, J Leger 20, S Tawera 19, P Sorensen 7, P Mengistie 7
Westlake guard Josh Kooiman knocked down nine threes at St Kentigern College in what may well be a Prems record three-point shooting performance. All 27 of his points were accumulated from beyond the arc but despite that effort Lake went down 89-78 to the league leaders.
Kooiman got busy early knocking down two first quarter threes but Levic Kerr’s seven points gave St Kent’s a 20-15 early lead.
Reuben Natusch joined in the three-point making for Westlake and Alex McNaught for the hosts. However Kerr and Kazlo Evans kept St Kent’s in the ascendancy, 41-35 ahead at half-time.
Point guards McNaught and Jett Thompson were the main architects of their team’s fortunes in the third both players scoring nine points as the St Kent’s lead narrowed to 57-55 with ten minutes to play.
Kooiman saved his best until last landing five triples in the closing quarter as Westlake tried desperately to snatch the win. However three scores apiece from Shalom Broughton, Evans, McNaught and Kerr, plus a late three from Sam Chan took St Kent’s to victory and maintained their place at the top of the table.
St Kent’s host MAGS on Friday while Westlake will want to arrest a four game losing streak when they visit Macleans College.
St Kentigern 89– L Kerr 21, A McNaught 20, K Evans 17, S Broughton 15, E Watson 9
Westlake 78– J Kooiman 27, J Thompson 19, A Luetich 8, J Wuthrich 6, P Winitana 6
8-1 St Kentigern