Dontae Russo-Nance posted his second 50-point game of the week, and his third of the season, but it wasn’t quite enough to secure St Kentigern College the win, beaten 98-96 in overtime by Mt Albert Grammar School.
In a Round 5 Auckland Prems makeup game MAGS looked destined to secure the win in regulatory time as they held an 88-82 lead with a shade under a minute to play. However a turnoves and missed scoring opportunities opened the door for the hosts. Merrick Rillstone drilled a couple of free-throws before Russo-Nance scored in traffic and then unleashed a pass to give Rillstone an open layup to tie the ball game.
A similar scenario ensued in overtime. Luke Matthews only scored four points in the game but critically they were scored in the extra five minutes, his two free-throws giving MAGS a 98-91 lead. When a Will Leger put back found the net MAGS were 7 points ahead with 1:07 to play and surely the win assured.
Not conceding defeat without a fight Rillstone made a triple to reduce the margin and when Russo-Nance scored his 54th and 55th points there were 38 seconds to play and the margin just two points (98-96).
MAGS sensibly ran down the clock on the next possession but couldn’t add to their lead giving the St Kent’s time to conjure up a game winner.
They almost succeeded getting off two attempts in the closing seconds but both hit the back of the ring to deny the hosts a second get out of jail performance.
Earlier MAGS had won a high scoring opening quarter 28-24 with three triples from Victor Keil helping them to a 47-43 half-time lead.
Harri Coker-Grey and Kade Cartwright combined for 18 points in the third as MAGS stretched their advantage to 72-61.
Jack Foley scored the first points of the final quarter for St Kent’s but thereafter it was the Rillstone & Russo-Nance show as they combined for the host’s remaining 33 points and very nearly steal the win.
St Kentigern 96 – Russo-Nance 55, Rillstone 28, Foley 6, Cooper Lepou 5
MAGS 98 – Coker-Grey 28/6assists, Keil 24, Cartwright 17/10rebs, Leger 11/19rebs, Louis Uri 10
Current Premier Grade Standings:
3-5 St Kentigern
1-7 Sacred Heart
*The Rangitoto v AGS fixture will be played at a later date.