Rangitoto College are the only unbeaten team after the first three rounds of the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier League competition with St Peter’s College the sole team looking to register a win.
Rangitoto beat Rosmini, Westlake Boys defeated Mt Albert Grammar whilst Auckland Grammar and St Kentigern College were too strong for Liston College and St Peter’s respectively.
Rosmini College, having trailed by 16 at one stage, eventually went down 87-82 to Rangitoto College with Zach Riley proving to be the difference maker in the closing seconds.
With Rosmini pushing for a comeback win the Rangitoto guard scored in transition to give his team an 85-82 lead with 43 seconds remaining. Rosmini couldn’t score on the next possession but neither could Rangi. With Rosmini once again with the ball Riley came up with a steal and calmly sunk the ensuing free-throws to seal a hard fought win.
It was a game in which four players dominated proceedings. Riley (35 points) and Lucas Payne (30 points) scored 76% of the Rangi points with Zeke Priest (10 points) the only other player to score more than four.
For Rosmini the Murphy brothers, Sean (scored a game high 39 points) and Kane (16 points), notched (67%) of the Saints points – Tom Beattie’s 9 points the next best.
After an even opening quarter the game went without a field goal for four minutes until Murphy, of the Kane variety, knocked down a three. Rangi went on to dominate the rest of the quarter (28-14) to lead 51-40 at half-time.
Kaia Dryden joined in the scoring action as Rangi enjoyed a period of dominance to lead 68-52 four minutes into the second half.
Sean Murphy then proceeded to reel off three triples leaving Rosmini down by five (70-65) at the last break.
Both teams were missing players through injuries and when Levi Fotu and Charlie Dalton both departed after picking up their fifth fouls the resources of both teams were being tested.
It was nip and tuck throughout the fourth, the scores tied at 78 points apiece with 3:30 to play after a Beattie And-1 play.
A neat finish from Payne restored the Rangi lead, Riley and Priest made free-throws but with Leo Wenham making a tumbling finish in traffic and Sean Murphy adding two more Rosmini were a point down with 90 seconds left on the clock.
That was the signal for Riley to put the seal on an outstanding individual display and a tight Rangitoto win.
Rosmini 82 – S Murphy 39, K Murphy 16, T Beattie 9
Rangitoto 87 – Z Riley 35, L Payne 30, Priest 10
A game high 23 points from Sataan Tawera wasn’t enough to get Mt Albert Grammar a road win at Westlake Boys. After two straight losses Westlake were in need of a win and were well served by Reuben Natusch (22 points) and Jett Thompson (21 points) as they registered the W.
Dakota Stephens had his eye-in early on making three treys for the visitors but a Ben Lewis strike from deep ensured Westlake has a 25-22 lead at quarter time.
The tempo slowed in the second but MAGS were well in contention at half-time just 42-37 behind.
Jett Thompson and Natusch featured strongly in the third as Westlake wrestled control. Tawera and Phoenix Sorensen kept MAGS in the contest but they faced a twelve points deficit in the final ten minutes trailing 67-55.
Stephens, Tawera and Morgan Aiono did their best to knock dents in the Westlake lead but Antonio Luetich, Josh Kooiman and Thompson held MAGS at bay to ensure a deserved win for Lake in front of a good sized crowd.
Westlake 88 – Natusch 22, Thompson 21, Spencer 12, Kooiman 11, Luetich 8
MAGS 73 – Tawera 23, Stephens 18, Aiono 12, Sorensen 9
Auckland Grammar defeated Liston College 92-55 in a game that was pretty much decided in the opening quarter which the hosts won 30-3; only Troy Lee Baker scoring from the field for Liston in the opening ten minutes.
Caleb Landon, on his way to a game high 21 points, scored seven of those in the opening frame with Josh Muggleston and Connor Ngan making five triples between them as Grammar put an iron grip on the contest.
Liston improved sufficiently enough in the second to take the quarter 22-17, with eight players contributing to the revival. Desmond Helu and Rasheed Tahiru, with triples, were amongst those eight but there was still a mountain to climb for the visitors at the break with Grammar ahead 47-25.
Langton and Muggleston pushed on with the job in the third – a triple from Helu late in the period making little impression on the AGS 68-39 lead.
Grammar were in cruise mode in the fourth as Blake Manning, Luka Vea and that man Landon extended the advantage even further.
AGS 92 – Landon 23, Muggleston 14, Ngan 11, Gibson 11, Bigio 9
Liston 55 – Ma’afu 9, Helu 8, Prasad 7, Tahiru 7
In the other game St Kentigern College took care of business against St Peter’s College winning 114-63. More details to follow.