Monthly Archives: December 2020

Latest college review headlined by Tera Reed

After a break of eight days Virginia Commonwealth University were back on court against Vanderbilt. In a high scoring encounter Akienne-Tera Reed scored 21 points as VCU went down 90-81. Reed made 8 from 12 from the field whilst also contributing 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. 

Reed followed that with an accomplished performance, as VCU opened Atlantic-10 Conference play with a solid 73-49 win against Richmond, putting together 9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Also playing in the Atlantic 10 Conference are Fordham University. The 2018 champions completed pre-season games with a solid 72-58 home win against Hofstra. Kendell Heremaia picked up from where she finished last season with 15 points (5/11 3PG) and 9 rebounds.

Krystal and Charlisse Leger-Walker were both prominent as Washington State made it three wins from three outings with a notable 61-55 win against #21 Oregon State.

Charlisse played all 40 minutes to finish with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Krystal also had 2 assists and 3 steals to go with 6 points and 5 rebounds.

Tayla Dalton scored 8 points as St Mary’s College, California edged UC Irvine 67-64 to grab their first win of the season. Dalton made a couple of threes in the game, her trey from the corner with 1:19 to play proving to be the match winner. The former Junior Tall Fern also contributed 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block.

Jade Kirisome has scored double figures in four of her five outings this season. Against Irvine she scored 13 points and also snared 5 rebounds.

2019 Tall Fern Amy West has missed the last couple of games for the Gaels with a shoulder injury.

Charlotte Whittaker contributed 4 points and 2 rebounds as Colorado Buffaloes gave #6 ranked Arizona the hurry-up before eventually going down 62-59. Colorado led 51-42 at three-quarter time but were restricted to just 8 points in the final period by the Pac-12 Conference leaders.

Tegan Graham played 31 minutes for BYU in their 84-74 win at Southern Utah. The graduate transfer from Colgate University contributed 4 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists – Kaylee Smiler added 3 points for BYU.

Lauryn Mapusua played a season high 23 minutes as Central Arkansas suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of #16 University of Arkansas. Mapusua came up with 2 points and 2 rebounds in the 105-58 mauling.

Wofford College were outclassed by the University of Kentucky going down 98-37. Amongst the carnage Helen Matthews came up with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.

California State University Fullerton have put its programme on hold until the first week of January due to an athlete testing positive for Covid. Amiee Book and her colleagues will self-isolate for 10 days with the team unable to gather as a group until December 30 at the earliest.

The same fate has befallen Joellen How and the Wagner University Seahawks. The Seahawks have played just one game this season, their scheduled double-header against Bryant postponed and the programme on hold until January.

Steven Adams Invitational brings curtain down on high school year.

Some of the best high school talent assembled at Mount Albert Grammar School in Auckland for the 2020 Steven Adams High School Invitational on Thursday.

Both the girl’s and boy’s encounters were shown live on Sky Sport with the girls first to showcase their talents.

The American college bound pair of Raquel Sampson (Auburn University at Montgomery) and Jayzelee Waihi (Wichita State) ensured Team Black (TB) prevailed against Team White (TW) 75-64 in the Girl’s game.

Sampson (22 points) scored 8 points in the opening quarter which was tied 20 points apiece. Aria Cowley knocked down a pair of threes in support of Sampson whilst Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu bagged 6 points for Team White.

TW had six different scorers in the second quarter, Flo Dallow the only one to score a brace, as they forged a 35-26 half-time lead.

The tables were turned in the third quarter as TB bossed proceedings. Waihi (17 points) had been held scoreless in the opening half but she sprung to life in the third and along with Sampson, Jyordanna Davey and Safena Tenana-Williams they put together a 25-point period to lead 51-50 at the three-quarter mark.

TW were dealt a blow at the back-end of the third when live-wire point guard Alana Paewai went down with a knee injury and had to be helped from the court. Phoenix Patea revived TW’s spirits with a pair of threes, the second a Hail-Mary buzzer beater.

Waihi made the first two baskets of the third period and when Makenzee Boucher made back-to back buckets TB had enjoyed a 12-4 run. Vitolia Tuilave and Kailahi-Fulu tried to redress the momentum swing but without Paewai’s presence they couldn’t close the gap.

Cowley put the icing on a TB win with her third triple of the game.

Team Black 74:

Raquel Sampson (Sacred Heart, New Plymouth) 22, Jayzelee Waihi (Nga Taiatea) 17, Aria Cowley (Fraser HS) 9, Jyordanna Davey (Sacred Heart, Lower Hutt) 8, Makenzee Boucher (Westlake) 6, Safena Tenana-Williams (St Mary’s Ponsonby) 6, Ramona Fuaiva’a (Massey HS) 4, Melika Samia (Mount Maunganui Coll) 2, Lilly Parke (Baradene), Sarah-Joy Aruwa (Epsom Girls)

Team White 64:

Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu (St Mary’s Ponsonby) 14, Leata Tenana-Williams (St Mary’s Ponsonby) 10, Vitolia Tuilave (Mount Maunganui Coll) 8, Phoenix Patea (Wellington East Coll) 7, Savannah Cook (One Tree Hill Coll) 7, Alana Paewai (St Peter’s, Cambridge) 6, Odessa Lawson (Rutherford HS) 4, Jess Moors (Westlake) 4, Flo Dallow (Epsom Girls) 4, Kataleena Leslie (St Mary’s, Ponsonby) 

Team White (TW) turned the tables in a hotly contested Boy’s game winning 80-72 against Team Black (TB) with Carlin Davison’s 17 points the eye-catching performance.

Josh Book and Zach Riley opened the scores for their respective sides in one of the individual battles within the game that kept spectators entertained. Also providing entertainment, courtesy of some aerial extravagancies, was  New Plymouth Boys High swingman Davison who had eight points in the opening stanza as TW carved out a 27-13 lead.

The second period was a much more even affair. Sataan Tawera and Ben Gold landed a pair of threes apiece to cancel out the work of Levick Kerr, Kael Robinson and Malachi Collins as TB narrowed the deficit to 46-35 at half-time.

Aidan Tonge and Tafara Gapare reduced the arrears further after the interval. TW stopped that mini-run in its tracks with a 10-0 surge courtesy of Alex McNaught, Davison and Robinson.

KC Nwafor and Tawera combined for 11 points but an And-1 play from Collins ensured TW had a healthy 67-53 lead at three-quarter time.

Another run from TB cut the TW lead to eight (69-61) as things got a little testy between Nwafor and Kerr. Gapare made back-to back scores and with four minutes to play a grandstand finish looked on the cards.

The St John’s College pair of Akiva McBirney-Griffin and Robinson snuffed that out with TW able to withstand the TB endeavours in the closing minutes to close out an 8-point victory.

Team White 80:

Carlin Davison (New Plymouth Boys) 17, Akiva McBirney-Griffin (St John’s Coll) 13, Malachi Collins (Tawa Coll) 11, Kael Robinson (St John’s Coll) 9, Alex McNaught (St Kentigern Coll) 8, Josh Book (Christ’s Coll) 7, Ezekiel Stallworth (Scots Coll) 5, Clifton Bush III (Napier Boys HS) 5, Levick Kerr (St Kentigern Coll) 5, Tommy Ferguson (Napier Boys HS)

Team Black 72:

Sataan Tawera (Mt Albert GS) 19, Sam Gold (Tawa Coll) 12, KC Nwafor (Rotorua Boys HS) 11, Zach Riley (Rangitoto Coll) 10, Tafara Gapare (Scots Coll) 6, Kazlo Evans (St Kentigern Coll) 4, Sean Murphy (Rosmini Coll) 4, Finn Lally (St John’s Coll) 4, Aidan Tonge (Rotorua Boys HS) 2, Ezra Smiler (Fraser HS)

49 points for Charlisse L-W in her first two college games

How’s this for some numbers?

49 points, 15 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 blocks and 7 steals.

That’s what Charlisse Leger-Walker has rattled up in her first two NCAA Division I games for Washington State University.

Washington State have started the season in style defeating Washington 60-52 and Idaho 74-55 where Charlisse bagged 29 points.

Older sister Krystal hasn’t put up such eye watering numbers but a two-game tally of 14 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 steals and a block plus big minutes in the playmaking role were significant in the Cougars two victories. 

California State University Fullerton have unfortunately lost three straight games to begin the season but it hasn’t been through lack of effort from Amiee Book.

Now in her third season with the Titans, Book has scored 50 points across the three games (twice as many points as any other Titan) and is shooting the three-ball at a highly respectable 47% (7/15). The former Waimea College standout is also the second highest rebounder on the team with 16 boards to date.

Jade Kirisome scored a career high 18 points (4/9 3PG) and Tayla Dalton tallied 11 points (3/7 3PG) but it didn’t prevent St Mary’s College, California falling to a fourth straight loss, going down 90-71 at Fresno State.

Dalton’s former Harbour teammate, also a freshman, Emme Shearer scored 13 points (5/8FG) and racked up 5 steals as Portland University Pilots had little trouble navigating past Northwest winning 93-54.

It was a different story 48 hours later as Portland were defeated by Washington University Washington recovered from the defeat against Washington State to win 83-56 – Shearer scored 7 points in that one on 3 from 5 shooting.

Kaylee Smiler and Tegan Graham scored 9 points each as BYU eased past Montana State 72-58, the pair playing 20 minutes apiece off the bench as the Cougars improved to 3-1.

Tsubasa Nisbett scored 4 points and added 3 rebounds as Georgia Southern pasted Coastal Georgia 118-48 to improve to 2-2 on the season.

Wofford College couldn’t quite make it three road wins on the bounce going down 70-64 in Cincinnati to Xavier University.

Helen Matthews has started all five games for Wofford (3-2) producing 4 points, a brace of rebounds, two assists and a steal in 21 minutes.  

Taranaki guard Eva Langton and Texas A&M International have made a good start to Lone Star Conference in NCAA Division II play with a brace of wins against Oklahoma Christian. Across the two games she tallied 13 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and a pair of steals.

In NAIA action Michelle Nicholls is going well for the 5-3 Central Methodist University. With seven starts under her belt the former Waitakere rep is averaging 11.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Latest American college wrap including a double-double for Dan Fotu

As reported last week Quinn Clinton’s star is on the rise at St Mary’s College Gaels.  

In the win against University of Texas at El Paso (73-61) he looked very comfortable shooting 3 from 4 for 8 points adding 5 rebounds and a pair of steals. 

A couple of days later it was Dan Fotu’s turn to shine for the Gaels. The Tall Black forward put together his first college double-double (15 points and 10 rebounds) in a 96-61 win against San Jose State.

Flynn Cameron put together a 6 points, 4 rebounds and game high 5 assists as University of California Riverside comfortably beat Northern Arizona 74-50.

Sam Mennenga helped Davidson College to an easy 77-45 win against Georgia Southern University. The former Westlake man posted 7 points, 4 rebounds and a block.

Anzac Rissetto had 4 points, a block and a rebound as North Carolina Charlotte 49ers were defeated 61-57 by Appalachian State. The 49ers led 49-42 with 9 minutes to play but were outscored 19-8 in the closing minutes.

James Moors made a quiet, efficient start to his Colorado State University career. Moors grabbed a couple of rebounds and made his only shot as the Rams beat Colorado State-Pueblo 89-77.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt and South Dakota will be thankful to get a win on the board after five straight losses. Perrott-Hunt didn’t score but he did contribute 4 assists and 3 rebounds as the Yotes defeated South Dakota State 91-78.

University of St Francis made it three straight wins in getting the better of Missouri Baptist, 82-75. Reihana Maxwell-Topia was again busy for the Fighting Saints filling the stats line with 2 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists and a steal.

Another former Rosmini College forward got his season off to a good start. Dallas Baptist University big man Will Heather had a productive game as DBU secured the double over Angelo State winning 93-86. Heather finished with 16 points (5/9FG, 4/4FT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks.

Charlisse Leger-Walker begins college career in style

It’s been a while coming but finally we got to see Krystal and Charlisse Leger-Walker make their Washington State University debuts.

Covid has wreaked havoc with many college basketball programmes but the Cougars schedule has been hit harder than many.

Multiple pre-season games were cancelled. Then last week scheduled meetings with Cal Berkeley and Stanford were called off making Friday’s (local time) meeting with cross-state rival Washington the latest start to a WSU season in 44 years.

The game began with both L-W’s in the Washington State starting five – Charlisse needed a couple of early sighters before her first NCAA points came courtesy of an And-1 play.

She had 9 points in the opening quarter with Krystal a busy 4 rebounds and 2 assists as WSU opened up a 19-8 lead.

Krystal finished with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists a block and a steal in 35 minutes. Younger sister Charlisse finished with a game high 20 points (5/17FG), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks as the Cougars began their Pac-12 programme with a 60-52 win against Washington.

Krystal stepped onto the court for the first time for the Cougs having sat out last season, in accordance with NCAA rules, having transferred from Northern Colorado University Bears.

In her three seasons with the Bears she started 87 games, scoring 564 career points and 378 career assists. She helped guide the Bears to the Big Sky Tournament Conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018.

Krystal once again links up with Coach Kamie Ethridge who was her mentor at Northern Colorado.

The Cougars play in the tough Pac-12 Conference and will be delighted with the win given the team had not have played a game before Friday’s fixture – CL-W will surelty be a front runner for Pac-12 Rookie of the Week.

The strong showing from Charlisse follows on from the fine Div I debuts enjoyed by Tayla Dalton (St Mary’s College, California), Helen Matthews (Wofford University) and Emme Shearer (University of Portland) last month.

Tall Ferns laden Melbourne Boomers WNBL play-offs bound

It doesn’t pay to give your opponent a 19 points start in any game of basketball but when you are winless, bottom of the ladder and playing the second on the table it becomes more problematic.

That’s exactly what Bendigo Spirit did on Friday night against the high flying Melbourne Boomers in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).

To their credit Bendigo’s spirit wasn’t dented and with Mary Goulding to the fore they made a couple of good runs at the Boomers before going down 91-70.

It was the second clash of the season between the two teams that total seven New Zealand Tall Ferns on their rosters. In the first encounter earlier in the month, also won by the Boomers, all but Toni Farnworth contributed to the scoring column but in this one Farnworth joined the other six with a scoring contribution.

Stella Beck had a fine night steering the Boomers offence, the point guard scoring a season high 17 points (7/11FG) to accompany 4 assists.

Penina Davidson was also in double figures with 10 points to go with four rebounds. The Boomers came up with six steals in the contest, four of those going the way of Kalani Purcell who added 4 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in a typically robust performance. Farnworth finished with three points and Ash Karaitiana two.

For the Spirit Goulding, the only WNBL rookie out of the seven Kiwis, scored 12 points (4/7FG) off the bench with Chev Paalvast knocking down her only shot of the game for three points.

The Spirit are done and dusted, a disappointing season seeing them finish with an 0-13 record.

The Boomers (9-3) travel to Townsville for their final regular season game on Sunday against the Fire (tip-off 3.05pm NZ time). A win could see them move up to second on the WNBL league table – a more favourable position than third ahead of next week’s play-offs.

You can view the Townsville game and the play-offs on FIBA YouTube. 

Is Quinn Clinton finally getting some love from the Gaels coaching staff?

Is Quinn Clinton finally finding his mojo at St Mary’s College, California?

Or it may be more accurate to ask, are the Gaels coaching staff finally giving the classy shooting guard appropriate court time to display his talent?

Clinton got reasonable minutes in St Mary’s 73-50 win against Nicholls State University. The Cantabrian sored 6 points (2/3 3PG) in 17 minutes – in the same game Dan Fotu posted 10 points and 5 rebounds.  

In the 82-70 win against Texas Southern Clinton scored 15 points (4/8 3PG), dished 3 assists and snared 4 rebounds, playing 30 minutes. All are career highs at the Gaels which is hardly surprising given he hardly played in his freshman year and redshirted the 2019-20 season. 

Hopefully this good form is a sign of things to come.

Kruz Perrott-Hunt made his third start for South Dakota (0-3) tallying 8 points and 4 rebounds in 33 minutes.

Flynn Cameron, a former Junior Tall Black colleague of Perrott-Hunt, transferred from De Paul University in the off-season. He came up with 9 points and  rebounds as University of California Riverside proved too good for Denver winning 83-63.

Thomas Webley played 33 minutes in his first outing for University of Hartford and has started all five games for the Hawks.

The freshman is averaging 5.4 points and 4.6 rebounds across his first five collegiate games.

Takki Fahrensohn scored 7 points (3/3FG) as Portland overcame Northeastern 74-69.

Anzac Rissetto tallied 4 points and 2 rebounds as North Carolina Charlotte 49ersbeat Georgia State 76-65. Next week Anzac and the 49ers will take on Sam Mennenga’s Davidson University.

Reihana Maxwell-Topia’s first taste of college basketball was a double-overtime loss. Playing for St Francis, Illinois, the Fighting Saints went down 77-71 to Bellevue University with RM-T scoring 5 points on debut.

The former Rosmini College standout followed that with an enterprising stats line (8 points/5rebounds/1assist/1block/1steal) in a 77-68 victory over East-West University.

Book and Reed shine as American college hoops splutters back into action.

California State University Fullerton dropped their home opener to University of Nevada Las Vegas going down 81-67. Amiee Book, in her third season with the Titans, top scored for Fullerton with 16 points on 6 from 13 shooting.

Having missed three games due to injury Akienne Tera-Reed made a welcome return for Virginia Commonwealth University but couldn’t prevent the Rams going down 81-76 to Old Dominion University. Reed totaled 15 points (4/11FG) and 4 rebounds in just her second game of the season. 

Already into conference play is Charlotte Whittaker and the Colorado University Buffaloes, the Buffs dropping Pac-12 games to Oregon and Oregon State. 

Both opponents are ranked Top-20 in NCAA Division I with Whittaker putting together handy performances against both – 10 points versus Oregon and nine against Oregon State.

Brigham Young University (BYU) have begun their season with a win and loss. Graduate transfer, from Colgate University, Tegan Graham posted 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in the season opening win against LSU. The following day BYU were well beaten by Washington (77-48) with Graham scoring 8 points (2/5 3PG) and Kaylee Smiler scoring 7.

St Mary’s College, California dropped a third straight game going down 62-53 against Arizona State. 2019 Tall Fern Amy West added 5 rebounds to her 9 points (4/5FG). Tayla Dalton was 2 from 3 from the field for her 4 points.

Kendell Heremaia was troubled by the foul count as Fordham University went down 62-58 to Quinnipiac. Heremaia fouled out in just 17 minutes finishing with a quiet 5 points and a couple of steals.

Washington State University’s season opener has been deferred to December 11. The much anticipated debut of Charlisse Leger-Walker, playing alongside sister Krystal, has twice been pushed back due to Covid with games against Cal and Stanford postponed.

In contrast Helen Matthews and Wofford University (3-1) have already played four games with their latest victory against UNC Asheville 76-50. Matthews, a freshman, has started in all four games averaging 29 minutes, 8 points and 4 rebounds.

Lauryn Mapusa, in her first year at Central Arkansas after a successful two years at Hutchinson Community College, tallied 5 points and 6 rebounds as the Bears beat Arkansas – Pine Bluff 74-70. It was the second start of the season for Mapusa.