The Round 8 roundup of the Auckland Secondary Schools Boys Premier competition, brought to you in conjunction with Dynamic Sport New Zealand saw wins for Mt Albert Grammar, Auckland Grammar, Rosmini College and a remarkable encounter between Westlake Boys and St Kentigern College.
With time expiring and the scoreboard showing the Westlake lead at 98-94 you could be forgiven thinking a high scoring thriller had finished. In fact, that was the three-quarter time score and another 69 points would be scored in a pulsating final ten minutes – St Kentigern College winning an epic dual 132-129.
It’s a scoreline usually reserved for All-Star games and for much of the contest that is what the game resembled. Questionable defence possibly – but eye catching shot making definitely!
Rocco Chang, Hamza Zahran and Daniel Ottenhoff for the hosts, Merrick Rillstone and Hunter Te Ratana, for the visitors drilled shots from all angles but nothing quite matched the efforts of Dontae Russo-Nance as he racked up a staggering 57 points.
Step-backs, put backs, fadeaways, the St Kent’s guard displayed his full arsenal of scoring options – the most absurd a three-quarter court Hail-Mary on the half-time buzzer that didn’t appear to travel more than 10 feet off the ground until it found the net.
The score at that stage favoured St Kent’s (70-66), little did we know the pace wasn’t to slacken.
Westlake’s ploy to double-team Russo-Nance paid dividends for a while – they regained the initiative to lead 87-78 in the middle of the third and 98-94 at its conclusion.
A Ned Shearer put back followed by a Chang drive gave the home side a 127-119 lead with just over two minutes to play but within a flash Rillstone and Russo-Nance trimmed the margin to two points with 1:13 on the clock.
A heads up play saw Te Ratana tie the scores at 129 apiece with 50 seconds to play.
Westlake failed to score on the next possession enabling Russo-Nance to draw a foul and score the go-ahead points from the foul-line.
Westlake still had 6 seconds to tie or win the game but a botched in-bounds play allowed Rillstone to garner a rebound and convert a following a foul.
A remarkable 261 points scored – Prems basketball’s version of T20 cricket could catch on!!
Westlake 129 – Zahran 35, Chang 31, Ottenhoff 23, Ned Shearer 18, Jonty Strawbridge 13
St Kentigern 132 – Russo-Nance 57, Rillstone 34, Te Ratana 18, Max Johnson 10, Cooper Lepou 8
Kade Cartwright produced a career best 30 points to catapult Mount Albert Grammar to a 66-62 home win against Rangitoto College.
Eight points from Tautoko Wynyard enabled Rangitoto to jump out to a 17-13 lead in the first ten minutes but with MAGS edging a low scoring second by the same margin the scores were tied at 24 points each at half-time.
The scoring picked up after the break – Baxter Riley made 9 third quarter points for Rangi.
However, the MAGS shooters began to find their range – Harri Coker-Grey dropped a triple in a prelude to Cartwright making a trio of treys as the home team edged the third frame 20-16 in a spell that would prove decisive.
Wynyard scored a further ten points in the fourth but another barrage of threes from Cartwright, with assistance from Louis Uri, saw MAGS home.
The result means that MAGS join Rangitoto in fourth spot on the Prems ladder with an identical 4-3 record.
MAGS 66 – Cartwright 30 (7/16 3PG), Coker-Grey 14/7assists, Uri 7, Will Leger 6/8rebs
Rangitoto 62 – T Wynyard 20, Jimmy Kim 10, Riley 9, Michael Ropotini 9, Jed Barlow 6
A customary slow start hindered Sacred Heart College as they fell behind 20-10 at quarter time against Rosmini College.
Zion Anderson, on his way to a season best 20 points, was in double digits by the second quarter. A pair of threes from Tom Beattie, and a single from Charlie Dalton helped the visitors kick on to a 45-29 half-time advantage.
Six straight points from Josh Tengblad, and a pair of scores from Dalton Dennis, highlighted an improved showing from Sacred Heart in the third quarter although they still trailed 63-46 ahead of the fourth after Josh Batty had landed a triple for Rozza.
Beattie an Anderson converted from beyond the arc before the consistent Josh Stewart took his personal haul past 20 as Heart made a small, but not match defining, dent in the Rosmini lead.
Sacred Heart 66 – Stewart 24, Tengblad 13, Dennis 12, Matt Fautuaalii 10
Rosmini 79 – Beattie 24, Anderson 20, Dalton 15, Kane Murphy 9, Jameer Reed 6
Sebastian Alan made a couple of early scores for Liston College before Cody Brown and Josh Muggleston took charge of proceedings for Grammar.
Rasheed Ieremie and Jackson Kiss provided double figure contributions for their respective teams – Mikaere Tait’s brace of threes putting the finishing touches to a solid Grammar victory.
Liston 37 – Alan 12, Rasheed Ieremie 10, Dhon Lao 6
AGGS 84 – Muggleston 30, Jackson Kiss 17, Cody Brown 8, Mikaere Tait 6
Congratulations to Aucklanders Julius Halaifonua (Rosmini College), Dante Matakatea (Mt Albert Grammar), William Passi (Manurewa High School), Brody Perry (Pukekohe High), George Turner (St Kentigern College), Kalid Petzer and Will Shortt (both Auckland Grammar)
All are members of the New Zealand U17 Men’s National Team that won a bronze medal at the Asian Champs in Doha. In addition, the team have qualified for the U17 Men’s FIBA World Cup to be played in Spain in July.
4-3 MAGS, Rangitoto
3-4 St Kentigern
1-7 Sacred Heart
*The Rangitoto v AGS and St Kentigern v MAGS fixtures will be played at a later date.