The good players score points when it matters and that’s what St Kentigern College guard Dontae Russo-Nance did on as his team prevailed 78-73 at Rosmini College on Monday night.
Russo-Nance scored 19 of his game high 40 points in the final period to ensure St Kent’s overcame a determined Rosmini in an entertaining contest that wasn’t decided until the final 90 seconds.
When Kane Murphy and Charlie Dalton scored back to back threes with less than three minutes to play the hosts had stolen the lead and momentum, 71-67 ahead .
That momentum swing was stopped in its tracks as St Kent’s scored 11 of the final 13 points to seal the win. Kazlo Evans scored in transition, Kaea Rangihaeata made an inside basket and Russo-Nance did the rest with a couple of buckets and a brace of free-throws.
Earlier Rosmini had held a three point advantage at quarter-time with Tom Beattie (28 points on the night) quickly into double figures.
Evans and Caleb Mattison got in on the scoring in the second although Cole Johns provided Rosmini with a couple of handy buckets and proceedings were tied 35 points apiece at half-time
The third frame became a grind with neither side able to gain the ascendancy – an Evans triple gave St Kent’s a narrow 49-48 lead at the last break.
Rosmini began the fourth term with a 10-2 run courtesy of the impressive Beattie and Matt Drury. However that was quickly cancelled out by the visitors as Evans and Russo-Nance wrestled control.
Murphy tied proceedings with 3:30 to play and when he and Dalton scored consecutive baskets from beyond the arc a Rosmini victory looked a distinct possibility.
The good players assert their authority when it matters – Russo Nance did just that in the closing minutes.
Rosmini 73 – Beattie 28, Dalton 12, Murphy 12, Drury 8, Johns 8
St Kent’s 78 – Russo-Nance 40, Evans 20, Rangihaeata 8
Premier League Standings
3-0 Rangitoto, Westlake, St Kentigern
1-2 AGS, MAGS, Rosmini
0-3 St Peter’s, Liston