St Kentigern College made up for the disappointment of losing the Auckland Premier League Grand Final a couple of weeks ago by claiming the Zone 1 Premiership crown with an 88-79 win against defending Schick National Champions Rosmini College at Bruce Pulman Arena on Saturday.
The St Kent’s front court pairing of Shalom Broughton and Levick Kerr (21 points) proved tough to handle for Rosmini throughout. Broughton was absent on New Zealand U18 3×3 duties when St Kent’s were defeated by Rangitoto College in the Auckland Prem’s Final last month but he was at his rampaging best in this one. The power forward pulled down countless rebounds in addition to compiling a game high 32 points.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Aaron Young and his charges who after carrying a 64-59 lead into the last quarter only led by two after a Taine Murray trey with three minutes to play (76-74).
Kerr replied immediately but the St Kent’s lead was narrowed to one when Sean Murphy (30 points) nailed his fifth triple of the game with 2:30 on the clock.
Rosmini had chances to take the lead but St Kent’s held firm – Kazlo Evans and Kerr made free throws before a steal and break away dunk from that man Broughton sealed the win.
Earlier, as they had in their semi-final win against Auckland Grammar, St Kent’s made a fast start and were quickly out to a 17-5 lead although Rosmini had cut that back to 24-16 by quarter time.
A quick five points from Cian Emery late in the first half helped the Rosmini cause before a long three from Elliot Watson ensured St Kent’s headed to the half-time break with a 41-34 advantage.
Term three was another tight one as the two teams traded blows. Six points apiece from Alex McNaught and Broughton plus threes from Evans and Martin Gan were key for St Kent’s although triples from Murphy, Murray and Terence Abdon meant Rosmini were well in contention with ten minutes to play trailing by five (64-59).
It remained tight throughout the fourth spell but it was Broughton that proved the difference in an entertaining Grand Final. The win will give St Kent’s top seeding at Nationals next month.
St Kentigern 88– S Broughton 32, L Kerr 21, A McNaught 14, K Evans 8, M Gan 7
Rosmini 79– S Murphy 30, T Murray 20, M Williams-Dunn 10, C Emery 5
The other qualifiers for Nationals from Zone I were Auckland Grammar, Westlake Boys, Rangitoto College, Mt Albert Grammar and Whangarei Boys High – congrats to the Northland boys who return to Nationals for the first time since 2010.
Placings and results:
3rd/4th– AGS 68 Westlake 66
5th/6thRangitoto 82 MAGS 40
7th/8th – Whangarei 89 Liston 74
9th/10th– Aorere College 71 Mt Roskill 65
11th/12thSt Peter’s 90 Rosehill 75
13th/14thLong Bay 82 Sacred Heart 76
15th/16thMacleans 98 Northcote 86
17th/18thPukekohe 95 Kings 92
19th/20thManurewa 61 Pakuranga 45
21st/22ndAvondale 101 Selwyn 73
23rd/24thSancta Maria 79 Orewa 50