MAGS win a thriller and Russo-Nance scores 50!

The second round review of the Auckland Secondary Schools Boys Premier Grade games, brought to you by Dynamic Sport New Zealand, features wins for Mt Albert Grammar and the three North Shore teams.

The individual performance of the week undoubtedly belongs to Dontae Russo-Nance who scored 50 points in St Kentigern’s 95-71 loss to Rosmini College.

Named 2021 Young Player of the Year at the BBNZ Awards Dinner last weekend Russo-Nance exhibited his range of scoring options, from inside and out, in a performance that oozed class.

St Kent’s, again without the services of starters Merrick Rillstone and Frankie Groves, made an encouraging start as they trailed by just three points at quarter time (22-19).

Russo-Nance had reached a lazy 28 points by half-time but the triple threat of Charlie Dalton, Tom Beattie and Julius Halaifonua carried Rosmini to a 46-35 lead.

Max Johnson made a couple of scores either side of the interval but his next best (6 points) for St Kent’s emphasised the scoring load Russo-Nance was carrying.

That load began to creak in the third as Dalton, playing a strong hand at both ends of the court, scored 11 point in the period to extend the Rozza advantage to 70-54.

The lead was never threatened in the final stanza – Lucas Schnuriger’s corner three the cherry on the victory cake for the hosts.  

Rosmini 95 – Dalton 31, Beattie 25, Julius Halaifonua 22

St Kentigern 71 – Russo-Nance 50, Max Johnson 6

The game of the round was at Mt Albert Grammar where Dante Matakatea held his nerve at the foul line to carry the home team to a 62-61 victory against local rivals Auckland Grammar.

With the scores level at 61 apiece and only 0.3 seconds left on the clock Matakatea was awarded two free-throws – his first attempt hit the back of the iron but he calmly knocked down the second. AGS advanced the ball from the ensuing timeout but an inbounds pass aimed for Will Shortt was picked off and MAGS fans, of which there were many, could celebrate a notable win.

It didn’t have the makings of a thriller in the opening quarter when Mt Albert led by 11 points after Auckland had scored just 2 points!

Naturally things improved for AGS in the second as Josh Muggleston got the scoreboard moving. Will Leger scored six points for the hosts who led a low scoring first half 24-22.

Both teams more than doubled their scores in the third frame. Kade Cartwright and Leger were prominent for MAGS, Cody Brown and Ryan Hunt in the thick of the action for the visitors who trailed 49-45 at the last break.

A big three from Brown appeared to have secured an Auckland win but it was Dante Matakatea that would have the final say to the delight of the home fans.

MAGS 62 – Leger 16/10r, Matakatea 15, Cartwright 10, Harri Coker-Grey 9
AGS 61 – Brown 21, Shortt 13, Muggleston 9, Ryan Hunt 8

Westlake, with six players in double figures, ran out comfortable winners against Liston College (111-55).

Things looked good for the visitors early on as Sebastian Alan dropped a triple, Rasheed Ieremia earned visits to the charity stripe, Dhon Lao scored half a dozen, and after a promising opening ten minutes Liston trailed by just a single points (24-23).

However from there Westlake moved through the gears – Daniel Ottenhoff scored 10 of his 22 points in the second, Luke Don and Jonty Strawbridge added threes and the advantage was 56-35 in favour of the hosts at half-time.

The scoring tailed off slightly in the third but another 32-point outburst in the fourth – Hamza Zahran with 10 of those – means Westlake have rattled up 229 points and a pair of W’s in the opening two rounds.

Westlake 111 – Ottenhoff 22, Zahran 20, Strawbridge 19, Ned Shearer 14, Don 10, Rocco Chang 10

Liston 55 – Ieremia 14, Lao 11, Alan 9, Oliver Mclihinney 6

Rangitoto College won 102-77 at Sacred Heart with Tautoko Wynyard and Jacob Fotu again prominent.

Heart, outmatched in the paint, battled manfully but the Rangi front court were simply too big and too good. The revitalised Wynyard finished with 29 points and 14 rebounds while Fotu grabbed 10 boards to accompany 16 points.

Wynyard was into double figures in the opening period which was won 24-17 by the visitors.

Preston Tuaputa nailed a triple early in the second and Adam Davies converted on three occasions from the land of plenty but the hosts were making hay from distance also – a pair of treys apiece from  Jimmy Kim and Joel Brown meant Rangi led 54-41 at the break.

Matt Fautuaalii scored 10 points for Heart in the third but more damage from Fotu eased Rangi out to a 76-55 lead, with a second straight win comfortably confirmed in the closing minutes.

Sacred Heart 77 – Davies 15, Josh Stewart 15, Fautuaalii 12, Jerome Jakeman 11, Tuaputa 8

Rangitoto 102 – Wynyard 29, Fotu 16, Arnold Nam 12, Michael Ropotini 10 


2-0 Rangitoto, Westlake, Rosmini


0-2 Sacred Heart, Liston, St Kentigern

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