St Peter’s College and Baradene College will be playing Premier basketball in 2020.
Both were crowned Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A champions at Eventfinda Stadium on Thursday night and in doing so gain promotion to the elite eight of Auckland high school basketball.
For St Peter’s it is a swift return to the top flight after suffering relegation in 2018. In contrast it will be a first foray in the upper echelon for Baradene who will debut in the competition next year.
Baradene were 58-54 victors against Epsom Girls who suffered the disappointment of a Senior A Grand Final loss for the second successive year.
Baradene, paced by Lilly Parke’s 22 points, left their run late. They had trailed at every quarter break albeit by just a single point at the three-quarter mark (38-37).
Parke put Baradene ahead at the start of the fourth but Florence Dallow and Aria Todd-Pemerika combined to wrestle back the initiative for Epsom and with 4 minutes to play they led 47-45.
With Parke headed to the pine on five fouls it appeared to be Epsom’s opportunity to pounce put scores on consecutive plays from Deyna Topia, Charlotte Rattray and Ritorya Tamilo gave Baradene the upper hand.
Dallow’s And-1 play pulled Epsom within range, down 52-50 with under two minutes to play.
Tamilo was having a huge impact at the defensive end and another block by the Baradene centre prevented Epsom drawing level.
Te Aroha Kukuati-Wairau and Sarah-Joy Aruwa made free-throws for Epsom but Baradene point guard Topia calmly knocked down four straight freebies to ice the game much to the delight of her team mates and travelling Baradene supporters.
Baradene 58– L Parke 22, R Tamilo 12, D Topia 12, S Faleafa 6
Epsom 54– F Dallow 16, S Aruwa 14, A Todd-Pemerika 9, L Boxall-Hunt 6
Both teams enjoyed vociferous support in the Boy’s Final as Peter’s College earned a prompt return to Premier basketball with a 79-71 victory against Long Bay College.
A tight opening quarter was shaded by Long Bay 17-16, their lead a little larger at half-time, 36-30 – Sam Roberts led all scorers at that stage with 17 points.
Josh Brading’s basket extended the Long Bay lead to ten points before St Peter’s hit back through Boston Schuster and Luke Buckingham. When Schuster scored off a lovely assist from Oliver Arlove the scores were tied 44 points apiece.
A George De Felice three was the last scoring of the term with LBC 52-51 ahead.
St Peter’s began the final quarter strongly with a Jack Donnelly triple and successive free-throws taking them out to a 69-61 lead.
It was still a six point differential before a tumbling drive from Buckingham, who added the additional free-throw, gave St Peter’s a 72-63 lead with four to play.
A Tobeas Livock triple and freebies from Jacob Jones-Harvey had the Long Bay faithful in full voice but Buckingham, on his way to a game high 31 points, was calmness personified as he knocked down six straight from the charity stripe in the closing seconds to seal the win .
St Peter’s 79–L Buckingham 31, B Schuster 10, J Jones-Harvey 10, J Donnelly 8, I Franklin 7
Long Bay 71– S Roberts 21, J Brading 11, G De Felice 11, J Jones-Harvey 6