The two most consistent teams during the Auckland Secondary Schools Boys Premier League regular season will meet in the Grand Final next Thursday.
At Eventfinda Stadium on Friday night Rangitoto College defeated Rosmini College 79-73 and regular season champions St Kentigern College beat Auckland Grammar 95-77.
In a contest that had been tight throughout Rosmini College were left to rue a frigid spell in the middle of the fourth period when they failed to make a basket for four minutes.
After Marvin Williams-Dunn, the game’s leading scorer, gave Rosmini a 65-61 lead with six minutes to play it would be the two-minute mark before they scored again.
Rangitoto seized their opportunity during that time as Liam Judd dropped a triple, Zach Riley scored in transition, Ethan Mandeno converted from close range and Phoenix Leupolu dropped free throws – suddenly the regular season runners-up were out to a seven point lead (72-65) with just two minutes to play.
Williams-Dunn responded with a triple but Ethan Skelton replied immediately and although the rangy point guard had to be helped from the court with a leg injury soon after Rangi had little trouble holding on to the lead in the closing seconds.
Earlier there was little between the two sides as 18 points apiece at the quarter mark became 38-37 to Rangi at half-time – Tautoko Wynyard and Mandeno the major contributors for Rangi; William-Dunn and Cian Emery prominent for Rozza.
Rosmini shaded the third period courtesy of treys from Tyler Martin, Pita Maxwell-Topia and Thomas Morgan to take a 56-52 lead into the last break.
Reimar Cruz made it a six point lead with the first score of the fourth but thereafter it was Rangitoto that dominated as they moved through to the final for a showdown with St Kent’s.
Rangitoto 79– Z Riley 19, E Mandeno 17, E Skelton 11, T Wynyard 10/10r, L Judd 9
Rosmini 73– M Williams-Dunn 22, C Emery 13, T Martin 11, T Abdon 7
St Kentigern College earned the right to face Rangitoto in the final on Thursday with a solid 95-77 win against Auckland Grammar.
St Kent’s made the ideal start converting a 14-7 opening salvo into a 27-11 lead at quarter time – Kazlo Evans with 14 of the 27.
Luka Vea, Daniel Boyd and Jaga Mete consistently found routes to basket in the second frame for Grammar who won the period by four points but still trailed 50-38 at half-time.
The St Kent’s progress was dented early in the third period when Levick Kerr was forced to the bench after picking up his fourth foul and when Boyd and Vea converted from deep Grammar were back to within seven points (82-75).
Evans and Shalom Broughton had the final say in the period as St Kent’s headed into the fourth 68-57 ahead.
Mete and Broughton scored twice apiece early in the final frame for their respective teams before the reinstated Kerr made back to back baskets.
Boyd’s third triple of the game kept AGS well in contention trailing 82-75 with four minutes to play but St Kent’s bossed the closing minutes finishing with an 11-2 run to seal victory and a place in the grand-final.
St Kentigern 95– S Broughton 32, K Evans 29, L Kerr 17, E Watson 8
AGS 77– D Boyd 22, J Mete 20, L Vea 14, I Tela 12, C Landon 7
Both the Final and the 3rd/4thgame will be played at Eventfinda Stadium on Thursday August 22nd. Tip-off time for both games is 7.30pm.