Epsom Girls Grammar School (EGGS) finally overcame their play-off hoodoo by beating Auckland Girls Grammar School (AGGS) 78-52 on Thursday evening.
The victory means that it is third time lucky for Epsom who had tripped over at the same promotion/relegation stage in the previous two years.
It was fitting that Sarah-Joy (28 points) and Flo Dallow (22 points) were the main architects of the win given both had suffered the agony of defeat in 2018 and 2019.
Epsom coach Wayne Fowler admitted that, “It was nerve wracking prior to the game.”
Those nerves would have been calmed in the first quarter as threes from Te Aroha Kukutai-Wairau and Maya Fowler helped propel Epsom to a 24-11 lead.
Auckland’s Imogene Noble score 10 second-quarter points but first half double figure contributions from Dallow and Aruwa ensured Epsom entered the break with a solid 42-25 lead.
Teesha Tuaiti and Leah Patuwairua kept the score ticking over for Auckland in the third and although they shaded the period by a point it was Epsom who were in the box seat, ahead 56-40.
Aruwa’s 12 points in the final frame snuffed out any chance of an Auckland comeback and soon after Alice Roy put the icing on the cake with the final Epsom score of the game the victors were mobbed by their excited supporters.
The result means AGGS drop down to Senior A from the Premier Division of the Auckland Secondary Schools competition while EGGS travel in the opposite direction.
The regular season for both leagues starts on Friday June 26.
EGGS 78 – Aruwa 28, Dallow 22, Fowler 12, Kukutai-Wairau 5
AGGS 52 – Noble 25, Tuaiti 13, Patuwairua 6