St Mary’s College, Ponsonby completed the double of Auckland Premier League and Zone 1 Premiership titles with a 78-70 win against Westlake Girls High at Bruce Pulman Arena on Saturday.
The game began at a brisk pace with St Mary’s forward Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu nabbing 9 first quarter points. However aided by a three from Jordyn Maddix Westlake carried a narrow 21-20 lead into the first break.
Westlake’s scoring dried up in the second, a ten minute spell in which they managed just 8 points – half of those to Rosie Dil. St Mary’s capitalised with their top scorer Kat Leslie (21 points) and Riana Matiseni helping them to a 37-29 lead.
Jazz Kailahi-Fulu piled on 14 third quarter points but Jess Moors equalled that tally as Westlake closed to within four points at three-quarter time (57-53).
Soon after the resumption Maddix and Emme Shearer, recently named to the Tall Ferns squad, combined to tie proceedings at 57 points apiece.
St Mary’s then made a 12-4 run courtesy of Matiseni and Leslie but when Shearer scored in transition it was a three-point game with a little more than four minutes to play (64-61).
Another run from St Mary’s, this time 10 points to 4 proved to be decisive despite Moors scoring Westlake’s last 7 points.
Westlake were forced to foul to stop the clock in the closing couple of minutes – the Kailahi-Fulu sisters making no mistake from the foul line.
St Mary’s now 22-0 this season ahead of the Schick National Championships in Palmerston North next month.
St Mary’s 78 – K Leslie 21, J Kailahi-Fulu 18, Z Kailahi-Fulu 17, R Matiseni 11, S Te Nana-Williams 6
Westlake 70– J Moors 23, E Shearer 21, R Dil 6, I Pugh 5, J Maddix 5
The other qualifiers for Nationals from Zone I were Rangitoto College, Massey High, Carmel College and surprise package One Tree Hill College who played the regular season in Open Grade.
3rd/4th Carmel 92 Rangitoto 60
5th/6th One Tree Hill 69 Massey 63
7th/8th Baradene 56 MAGS 52
11th St Kentigern