In the second round of the 2019 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam, held at HoopQuarters in New Lynn, Gauchos and Blue Chips recorded wins.
Gauchos enjoyed a strong start and finish to outlast Railsplitters winning 101-89 with Sam Mennenga (39 points) and Ryan Laumatia (27 points) leading the way.
Tinashe Matambanadzo and Dru Leo Leusage-Ape scored early points for Railsplitters but they trailed 25-14 to the Dillon Boucher led Gauchos.
Casey Frank and Shalom Broughton were to the fore in the second as Railsplitters closed to within three (46-43) at half-time.
A trio of triples from Matambanadzo and a couple of athletic finishes from Broughton cancelled out triples from Matt Lacey, Kevin Gan and Laumatia – Railsplitters only two points behind (74-72) with ten minutes to play.
Mennenga, the Davidson College commit, was the go-to man in the fourth as he totalled 39 points for the second week running. With Laumatia a more than capable ally Gauchos opened up a ten point advantage early in the final period and comfortably controlled proceedings in the closing minutes to win 101-89.
Gauchos 101– S Mennenga 39, R Laumatia 27, M Lacey 13
Railsplitters 89– D Leusage-Ape 20, S Broughton 18, T Matambanadzo 17, Z Te Puni 11
In the later game Blue Chips claimed a 124-114 win against Birdmen despite trailing 73-53 at half-time.
Blue Chips unleashed a withering 23-4 run to open the second half as Alex McNaught, on his way to 32 points, Kevin Braswell, Sean Murphy and Dom Kelman-Poto wreaked havoc on the Birdmen defence.
Outscored 40-11 in the frame Birdmen did arrest the slide in the fourth courtesy of Taine Murray, Jaga Mete and Joel Vaiagina but the damage had already been done and Blue Chips maintained a double-digit lead down the stretch.
In the first half Birdmen had given a fine exhibition of team basketball as led by Jaylen Gerrand and Conor Ngan they continually found the open man to stretch the Blue Chips defence and give themselves a significant lead.
The second half was a different story.
Blue Chips 124 A McNaught 32, K Braswell 24, S Murphy 15, L Kerr 13, Z Riley 11
Birdmen 114– T Murray 33, J Mete 16, C Ngan 15, J Gerrand 14, J Vaiagina 12
The Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam is supported by HoopQuarters, SAS and ABSL.