Monthly Archives: August 2020

Tall Ferns in action in QBL

Ashleigh Karairiana has scored 59 points in two games for the RedCity Roar

It’s pleasing to be able to report that some Kiwis are back on the basketball court – the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) got underway a couple of weeks ago. Tall Ferns Natalie Taylor, Ashleigh Karaitiana, Chevannah Paalvast and Kalani Purcell have all been in action.

Kalani Purcell posted a rare triple double (14 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists) as Southern District Spartans obliterated South West Metro Pirates 124-47 in the opening round. Sister Natalie Taylor chimed in with 27 points for the Spartans.

In another first round game Chevannah Paalvast faced off against Ashleigh Karaitiana as Logan Thunder got the better of RedCity Roar winning 94-81. Both players were in fine form with Paalvast recording 19 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists for the Thunder and Karaitiana top scoring for the Roar with 27 points whilst also corralling 9 rebounds. Former Canterbury Wildcats guard Ajiah-Liric Siosiua-Pepe scored 8 points for RedCity.

On Sunday Southern District Spartans made it two wins from two outings with an 85-78 win against Gold Coast Rollers. Taylor was again in good form scoring 22 points and dishing 5 assists.

RedCity Roar eased back to winning ways with a narrow 85-81 win against Northside Wizards on Saturday. Ashleigh Karaitiana had another big game claiming 11 boards to accompany a game high 32 points.

Kayla Kiriau, who won a WBC championship medal with Auckland Dream last year, chipped in with 8 points and 5 rebounds.

Maxwell-Topia Lands in Chicago

REIHANAReihana Maxwell-Topia has this week headed to the USA on a 4-year basketball scholarship.

Reihana will be a student athlete at the University of St Francis, Illinois. He was recruited by Head Coach Ryan Marks now in his eighth season at the helm of the Fighting Saints.

Coach Marks boasts a 114-76 record during his previous seven seasons, the Fighting Saints twice being Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season champions in addition to being Tournament Champions (2018—19) under his watch.

Reihana played on the Rosmini Premier team for four consecutive years and was an integral part of the team that won back to back New Zealand Secondary Schools National Championships in 2017 and 2018. Rosmini were runners-up in 2019 with the rangy power forward scoring 15 points in the Grand Final and also named to the Tournament Team.

He is a multiple representative championship winner having also won an U15 National Title representing Hibiscus Coast and in 2019 the U19 National Title with North Harbour.

2019 was a busy year for Reihana – in April he played a pivotal role in helping Rosmini finish a highly creditable sixth at the ISF Basketball World Schools Championship in Greece.

In July he was a member of the Harbour U19 team that travelled to the USA to participate in tournaments in Phoenix and Dallas and capped off his globe-trotting year representing New Zealand at the FIBA U17 Oceania Championships in New Caledonia where the team claimed a silver medal.

He is the fourth Rosminian currently on a basketball scholarship in the States. Marvin Williams-Dunn is a fellow freshman at Ouachita Baptist University, Arkansas whilst William Heather (Dallas Baptist University) and Kruz Perrott-Hunt (University of South Dakota) are both sophomores.

All at Rosmini College and the wider New Zealand basketball community wish Reihana well on the next stage of his journey.

Westlake Girls and St Mary’s Nationals bound


Westlake Girls High and St Mary’s College remain unbeaten in the Auckland Schools Premier Competition. Both have a 5-0 record and with it a place at Secondary School Nationals guaranteed. The other three spots at Nationals will come from the quartet of Baradene College, Epsom Girls Grammar, Rangitoto College and Massey High.

A disappointing week for Carmel College finished with Westlake demolishing the hosts 132-22.

In a one-sided contest Mackenzie Boucher led the way for Westlake with 26 points. Also in double figures were Emma Pugh (17 points), Jess Moors (16 points), Simone Barnard (13 points) and Rosie Dil (13 points).

Jemma Cammell worked tirelessly scoring ten points as well as having to undertake the ball handling duties but her team were overwhelmed on the night.

Carmel 22 – Cammell 10, McCasey 4

Westlake 132 – Boucher 26, Pugh 17, Moors 16, Barnard 13, Dil 13


Once again St Mary’s College were pushed all the way before securing the win. Two weeks after beating Massey High by one point they repeated the feat, this time at the expense of Baradene College winning 70-69.

The scores were all tied at 15 points apiece at quarter time and still even (30-30) at half-time.

Baradene had much the better of the third quarter as Deyna Topia, Ritorya Tamilo and Charlotte Rattray helped them pile on 29 points to lead 59-52 at the end of the period.

Safena Tenana-Williams and Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu led the St Mary’s fightback in the fourth. Tamilo did her best to keep the Baradene score moving but they were eventually run down by the defending champions – Kat Leslie and Poppy Cavanagh-Briggs making the telling scores at the death.

St Mary’s 70 – S Tenana-Williams 16, Kailahi-Fulu 14, Leslie 14, Robertson 6, Ualika 6

Baradene 59 – Tamilo 17, Parke 13, Topia 13, Faleafa 7, Cavanagh-Briggs 7, Rattray 7


In another close encounter Epsom Girls Grammar had just enough in the tank to hold off Rangitoto College to win 80-76.

Rangitoto actually led by three (55-52) at three-quarter time but a couple of threes from Maya Fowler and a bunch of points from Flo Dallow propelled Epsom into the lead  in the fourth.

Ella Moore made four triples (7 made threes in the game) in the final period, Centaine Noom-Duckworth and Waiaria Riley also weighed in with points in an arm wrestle that was eventually claimed by Epsom.

Sarah Joy Aruwa was in double figures by quarter time with Epsom ahead 15-12 at the quarter break.

Waiaria Riley, on her way to a game high 29 points, scored a dozen of those in the second to help Rangi to a narrow 36-35 half-time lead.

Aruwa and Fowler paced the Epsom effort in the third but with Moore finding her range and Waiaria in fine form Rangi were still ahead at the end of the third.

In a tense last quarter Epsom held their nerve to move into the top four and keep their hopes of a spot at Nationals alive.

Epsom 80 – Aruwa 24, Dallow 19, Fowler 13, Boxall-Hunt 12, Dickens 6

Rangitoto 76 – W Riley 29/11r, Moore 25, Noom-Duckworth 12/8r, A Riley 8/13r/7a


Massey High kept their hopes of a top five finish intact with a deserved 85-63 win against Mt Albert Grammar.

21 points from Ramona Fuaivaa paced the Massey effort and there were other telling contributions from Shazaleah Henry (18 points), Maya Taingahue (17 points) and Tahliya Waikiki (15 points).

MAGS were still in contention at three-quarter time trailing 61-48 but a scoring blitz in the fourth from the hosts did the trick.

Henry knocked down a couple of threes, Waiikiki added another and with Zhoey Tilby-Woods weighing in with 6 points as Massey won the fourth frame 24-15.

Things went well for MAGS early on as 8 points from Kayla Tenana meant they trailed by just two points (20-18) at the quarter mark.

Massey extended their lead to 41-30 at half-time but MAGS fought back in the third. Tenana, Shekinah Kuresa and Monica Kelly made a pair of baskets apiece to keep the visitors in touch with ten minutes to play.

From there Massey took charge of proceedings to recorded win number two for the season.

Massey 85 – Fuaivaa 21, Henry 18, Taingahue 17, Waikiki 15, Tilby-Woods 11

MAGS 63 – Tenana 14, Kelly 12, Tait 11, Leger 8, Kuresa 8

Premier Table after 4 Rounds

5-0 St Mary’s, Westlake

3-2 Baradene, Epsom

2-3 Rangitoto, Massey

0-5 Carmel, Mt Albert

Three qualifiers for Nationals found after 5 rounds of Boys Premier Grade


With the first half of the Premier Grade season (7 games) doubling as Secondary Schools National Championship Qualifiers wins on Friday to Rangitoto College, Auckland Grammar and St Kentigern College guaranteed the three safe passage to Palmerston North in October.

The fourth automatic qualifying spot will likely not be decided until Round 7 fixtures. Teams placed 5-7 will then join Whangarei Boys to battle for the two remaining spots at the National Championships.

Westlake Boys High led from start to finish but had to stave off a Pita Maxwell-Topia inspired Rosmini College comeback before closing out a solid 82-74 win.

When the impressive Hamza Zahran, playing just his second game for the premier team, knocked down a deep three with 5:30 to play Westlake appeared to be cruising to victory, ahead 75-57.

Signal a Maxwell-Topia onslaught with the Rosmini wing scoring 13 straight points for his team. Josh Kooiman  and Zahran made scores for Westlake but when Maxwell-Topia made his third trey of the quarter Rosmini were just eight behind (72-80) with two to play.

They failed with some good looks in the closing seconds allowing Kooiman and Jett Thompson to seal the win from the foul line.

Earlier Westlake made a dream start scoring the first 14 points of the game through good work from Reuben Natusch and Liam Spencer.

Zahran signaled his intentions with a couple of his six made triples in the game coming in the opening quarter that Westlake claimed 24-13.

Sean Murphy, on his way to a game high 31 points, scored 10 of those in the second for Rosmini but a three on the half-time buzzer from Kooiman gave Lake a healthy 43-31 lead.

Thompson’s sniping cuts to the hoop kept the Rosmini defence honest but Murphy, Charlie Dalton and Maxwell-Topia ensured the home team had the better of the third – down 59-54 with ten to play.

Westlake started the third quarter at pace with Thompson and Kooiman doing the damage as they stretched out to that 18-point lead.

The Maxwell-Topia charge caused them some anxious moments down the stretch but Kooiman and young Zahran held their nerve to close out a second win of the season for The Swans and keep their top four hopes alive.

Rosmini 74 – Murphy 31, Maxwell-Topia 28, Dalton 6

Westlake 82 – Zahran 21, Thompson 19, Kooiman 18, Natusch 7


Auckland Grammar made it four straight wins with a 67-53 home victory over traditional rivals Mt Albert Grammar School.

Down 56-34 at three-quarter time Mt Albert had the better of the closing stages as Phoenix Sorensen and Morgon Aiono went to work. By then however AGS had taken a strong grip on proceedings and MAGS were in catch up mode.

Earlier a couple of triples from Toby Caldwell helped AGS to a 17-12 lead after the opening ten.

Despite threes from Sorensen and Dakota Stephens MAGS were under the pump in the second frame outscored 22-11 to trail 39-22 at the break.

Josh Muggleston provided some impetus at the back end of the half scoring 8 of AGS last 10 points.

AGS dealt almost exclusively in threes in the third frame. Connor Ngan knocked down three from deep, Luka Vea and Stefan Bigio chimed in with one apiece and the hosts were well clear at three-quarter time leading 56-34.

To their credit MAGS showed their fighting spirit in the final quarter but by then AGS had done enough to claim the points ahead of a tasty looking clash at Rangitoto College next Friday.

AGS 67 – Ngan 14, Caldwell 14, Vea 12, Muggleston 8, Landon 8

MAGS 53 – Sorensen 15, Aiono 10/10r, Stephens 8, Tawera 7, Tapula’aia 7


As has been their trait of late Rangitoto College made a fast start and it was St Peter’s on the receiving end on this occasion. David Jovanovic, appropriately wearing the No 8 singlet, had 8 points in the opening period that ended 21-10 in favour of the visitors.

Jack Donnelly failed to score in the opening spell but thereafter he was in fabulous form. The St Peter’s guard scored 13 points in the second quarter and went on to amass a mighty 36 points scoring over half of his team’s points in one of the best individual  performances of the season.

Scott Errey was the only other St Peter’s player close to double figures contributing 9 points.

Rangitoto led 42-25 at half-time, 73-49 at the three-quarter mark to eventually win 92-69. Zack Riley threatened a triple double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists and there were also significant contributions from Jovanovic (23 points), Zeke Priest (18 points) and Lucas Payne (13 points and 7 assists).

St Peter’s 69 – Donnelly 36, Errey 9, Arlove 7, Manio 6

Rangitoto 92 – Jovanovic 23, Riley 23, Priest 18, Payne 13, Powell 7


It was one way traffic at Liston College where the hosts were overpowered as they fell 116-33 to St Kentigern College.

It was 28-6 after 10 minutes and 55-17 by half-time affording St Kent’s Head Coach Aaron Young plenty of opportunity to give his bench payers extended minutes – James Chester took the opportunity to score his first points of the season.

Levick Kerr produced a huge double-double of 38 points and 20 rebounds, pounding the offensive glass for 11 ‘O’ boards.

Also enjoying a free scoring night were Alex McNaught (19 points), Dontae Nance (18 points), George Turner (17 points) and Kazlo Evans (15 points).

On an occasion when not much went right for Liston, Ryan Fabian top scored with 8 points.

Liston 33 – Fabian 8, Helu 6, Prasad 5

St Kentigern 116 – Kerr 38, McNaught 19, Nance 18, Turner 17, Evans 15, Gan 2/7a


Premier Table after 5 Rounds

5-0 Rangitoto

4-1 AGS, St Kentigern

3-2 Rosmini

2-3 Westlake

1-4 MAGS, Liston

0-5 St Peter’s

Girl’s Prems – Round 4 Wrap

Baradene pic

There were wins for the unbeaten Westlake Girls High School and St Mary’s College in Round 4 of the Auckland Secondary Schools Girls Premier Division.

Also on the victory dais were the two promoted teams Epsom Girls Grammar School and Baradene College.

In a low scoring opener Baradene College edged Mt Albert Grammar 10-7.

Baradene picked the pace up in the second as Lilly Parke and Ritorya Tamilo moved their personal contributions into double figures and pushed the advantage out to 27-15 at the half.

Tamilo was putting on a shot blocking exhibition for Baradene although Danae Tait and Tiger-Lily Cocker-Lemalie did find the net with a couple of baskets apiece for MAGS. However they were in a hole at the three-quarter mark trailing 43-27.

A triple from Tait and back-to-back scores from Abbie Leger raised MAGS hopes but they were quickly quashed. Deyna Topia sunk a three and then Parke reeled off 11 straight points on her way to a game high 26 to secure a third win for Baradene.

Baradene 64 – Parke 26, Tamilo 11, Topia 9, Faleafa 5

MAGS 39 – Tait 14, Waka 8, Cocker-Lemalie 6


The previous week Massey High went within a whisker of beating St Mary’s College, the joint leaders of the Premier Division. Fellow leaders Westlake, Massey’s opponents on Friday, were given far less trouble by the girls from out West.

Having said that at the end of the first half Massey were hanging tough down just 41-28.

Guard Shazaleah Henry scored 13 of the Massey points and Maya Taingahue had half a dozen at that stage. Jess Moors and Rosie Dil did most of the damage for Westlake in the opening term.

Dil carried on her merry-way and when Jelah Clayton rounded out the third quarter scoring Lake were twenty points clear (62-42).

Ramona Fuaivaa offered some resistance in the final ten minutes but Moors and Amiya Fotu posted 8 points apiece as Westlake moved to a comfortable 89-52 victory.

Westlake 89 – J Moors 22 R Dil 17, Boucher 11, Williams 8, Fotu 8

Massey 52 – Fuaivaa 17, Henry 14, M Taingahue 10, Waikiki 9


Last week St Mary’s were forced to come from behind in the closing seconds to beat Massey. This week the comeback was a second half effort as they fought back from 34-28 down to eventually prevail 67-59.

Rangitoto’s half-time lead was built around double digit scoring efforts from Ella Moore and Centaine Noom-Duckworth.

St Mary’s coach Tui Matiseni, standing in for Jody Cameron away on Tall Ferns duty, obviously came up with the right message during the interval as they dominated the third quarter taking it 17-8. Kat Leslie’s six points in the period were an important contribution as were the same number from Aroha Riley for the visitors.

Saints guard Tyla Tevaga and Rangi’s Ella Moore were in good shooting form. Tevaga’s fifth triple of the game kept her team in the ascendancy but Moore nailed her fourth from behind the arc to keep Rangitoto in touch.

Noom Duckworth was a tower of strength for Rangi but key contributions from Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu and Safena Tenana-Williams got St Mary’s over the line.

St Mary’s 67 – Tevaga 17, Kailahi-Fulu 14, Leslie 14, S Tenana-Williams 14

Rangitoto 59 – Noom-Duckworth 16, Moore 14, A Riley 11, Tawhiao 9


Epsom Girls got off to a good start at Carmel leading 21-8 at quarter time.

Katie Linstrom knocked down a three for Carmel as they narrowed to within four points but Maya Fowler answered from deep, and with Mihi Tangihaere doing good work Epsom were up 30-20. An 11-1 Epsom run wrapped up the first half action.

Livewire guard Kalea Norton came off the bench to provide some spark to the Carmel effort. However Flo Dallow and Sarah-Joy Aruwa had all the answers as the Epsom lead grew to 61-41 at three-quarter time.

Qaizden Stephano and Lani Rawle ensured Carmel had the better of the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough to inconvenience Epsom as they recorded a second win of the 2020 campaign.

Carmel 59 – Stephano 15, Cammell 11, Norton 8, Rawle 7

Epsom 77 – Dallow 30, Aruwa 19, Fowler 13, Kukutai-Wairau 8

Premier Table after 4 Rounds

4-0 St Mary’s, Westlake

3-1 Baradene

2-2 Epsom, Rangitoto

1-3 Massey

0-4 Carmel, Mt Albert

Boy’s Prems – Round 4 Wrap

Levick copy

Levick Kerr in action earlier in the season

Rangitoto College remain the only unbeaten team in the Auckland Secondary Schools Boy’s Premier Division after a convincing 106-63 win against Liston College. Other winners were Auckland Grammar, Rosmini  College and St Kentigern College.

Mt Albert Grammar School were left to rue a slow start at St Kentigern College. St Kent’s piled on 24 points in the opening ten minutes courtesy of 10 points from Levick Kerr and half a dozen from Dontae Nance. In response MAGS could make just 11 points.

The remaining three-quarters were remarkably close with just a single point separating the two teams over the final 30 minutes.

The second quarter was a low scoring grind with just 21 points scored in total allowing St Kent’s to carry a 35-21 lead into the interval.

Nance and Kazlo Evans carried the scoring load in the third for St Kent’s – Kuresu Tapula’aia and Sataan Tawera doing likewise for MAGS. St Kent’s were ahead by the same margin (52-38) after the two teams slit 34 points in the stanza.

The highest scoring quarter of the game ensued. Kerr, Evans and Kaea Rangiehaeata (8 points in the quarter) kept the score moving for the hosts. Tawera and Dakota Stephens knocked down threes and Morgan Aiono chipped in with handy points but MAGS couldn’t reel in the early lead they had given up and went down 73-61.

St Kentigern 73 – Evans 21, Kerr 16, Nance 11, Rangiehaeata 10

MAGS 61 – Tapula’aia 16, Tawera 14, Aiono 14, Sorensen 9


Auckland Grammar came away with the spoils after their trip to Westlake Boys but the outcome of the contest wasn’t decided until the closing minutes.

At the three-quarter mark Westlake trailed 60-53 but AGS held sway in the fourth with their relentless rebounding earning them some valuable additional possessions.

Connor Ngan and Stefan Bigio gave Grammar the perfect start to the final period with a couple of threes before Josh Kooiman produced his sixth three of the game to keep Lake in touch.

An athletic finish by Luka Vea followed by a put back from Blake Manning gave AGS a 73-61 lead with five minutes to play. More points from Vea helped Grammar on an 11-0 run that effectively decided the contest.

Reuben Natusch ended the Grammar surge but Lake found themselves 79-61 behind with three minutes to play. Liam Spencer and Kooiman added to their tallies but there was no way back for the hosts.

Earlier it was Westlake that bossed proceedings winning the opening frame 22-15 on the back of Kooiman draining three from deep.

Jett Thompson, in front of his Otago Nuggets NBL teammates, enjoyed a productive second quarter but Caleb Landon and Vea shared 15 points to propel Grammar to a 40-38 half-time lead.

Grammar built on their lead after the interval – Toby Caldwell and Ngan prominent as they carried a 60-53 advantage into the final ten minutes.

You couldn’t fault the Westlake effort in the closing minutes but Grammar were in no mood to relinquish their lead and improve their record to 3-1 ahead of the local derby against MAGS next Friday.

Westlake 71 – Kooiman 25, Spencer 16, Thompson 12,

AGS 84 – Vea 20, Ngan 19, Landon 12, Bigio 9


It wasn’t the most convincing of performances from Rosmini College but they eventually proved too good for St Peter’s College winning 84-50.

Jack Donnelly scored a game high 28 points for St Peter’s, the energetic guard knocking down a couple of threes in the opening quarter. Forward Dorian Sula also scored half a dozen points in that initial period but Charlie Dalton bettered both with 11 points as Rosmini forged a 27-17 lead.

Sam Wooley made a couple of baskets at the outset of the second frame to the delight of the visiting fans but Cian Emery was in good touch – three consecutive triples from him  propelled Rosmini to a 45-30 half-time lead.

Sula and Donnelly were the only scorers for St Peter’s in the third as they fell further behind – Tom Beattie, Kane and Sean Murphy doing most the damage in a period won 18-11 by the home side.

Matt Drury rattled up some quick points early in the fourth, Scott Errey replied with a couple before Cyrus Grafil rounded out the scoring for Rosmini.

Rosmini 84 – S Murphy 20, Dalton 14, Emery 14, Drury 13, Beattie 9

St Peter’s 50 – Donnelly 28, Sula 12


Rangitoto College dominated Liston College to record a 106-63 win. Zach Riley scored 23 points whilst David Jovanovic (21 points), Daniel Powell (15 points), Zeke Priest (13 points) and Lucas Payne (11 points) weighed in with double figure offerings for Rangitoto.

A big first half from Rangi decided the contest as they raced to a 28-14 lead at the quarter break and a massive 64-30 advantage by the interval.

Troy Lee Baker was outstanding in a losing cause scoring a game high 24 points whilst  Sefa Prasad (17 points), Desmond Helu (9 points) and James Hickey (6 points)  were the other main contributors for Liston.

Premier Table after 4 Rounds

4-0 Rangitoto

3-1 AGS, Rosmini, St Kentigern

1-3 MAGS, Liston, Westlake

0-4 St Peter’s