Rosmini College wrapped up the Auckland Prems regular season title with a solid 80-54 victory at Auckland Grammar. In the penultimate round of the regular season here were also wins for Westlake, Mt Albert Grammar and Rangitoto College.
Grammar, missing the services of Will Shortt and Kalid Petzer attending the Basketball Without Borders camp in Canberra, got off to a dreadful start giving up 30 first quarter points to trail by 20.
Charlie Dalton (8 points) and Tom Beattie (13 points) did most the damage for Rosmini – a corner three from Noah Johns capping a dominant opening spell.
Julius Halaifonua made inside buckets either side of the break and with Beattie and Josh Batty knocking down triples the visitors lead was 47-24 at the interval.
Josh Muggleston had 8 points at the break although he and back court partner Cody Brown (7 points) had been well contained by the Rosmini defence.
Ryan Hunt and a couple of aerobatic plays from Jackson Kiss threatened a Grammar revival but that was snuffed out by Halaifonua and Beattie – the Rosmini advantage 64-39 ahead of the fourth.
Full court pressure defence from Grammar forced Rosmini into a number of turnovers but the hosts were unable sustain a significant scoring run.
Anton Seuseu’s inside bucket and Tim Sun’s long three were the scoring highlights of the closing minutes.
AGS 54 – Kiss 16, Muggleston 13, Brown 12, Hunt 6
Rosmini 80 – Beattie 32, Dalton 17, Halaifonua 12, Batty 7
Game report from Andrew Horrocks
In a game that would go a long way to helping paint the final picture of the Premier Boys competition, Rangitoto headed south of the Bridge to take on St Kentigern College. Without Dontae Russo-Nance (attending the Basketball Without Borders camp in Canberra) and Max Johnson St Kent’s were paced by Merrick Rillstone and George Turner, on the other side Rangitoto were held together by the nails and glue combination of the Tongan Tornado Jacob Fotu and Tautoko Wynyard.
After winning the opening tip, Rangi fed a steady diet of post ups between Fotu and Wynyard. Only a Turner triple could break up the early barrage and after 2:12 Aaron Young had seen enough to call a time out, Rangitoto with a 10-3 advantage. Rangitoto’s zone defence was doing a good job of preventing any penetration from St Kent’, forcing outside shots. Despite their smaller stature St Kent’s were making a nuisance of themselves on the offensive boards allowing for repeated Rillstone drives, to get his team back in the game. Kenny Stone felt the need to give his team a break with a 17-9 cushion midway through the first. Aaron Young moved to a zone defence out of the time out and Fotu took advantage, 14 first quarter points helping his team to a 29-14 lead. The only basket coming outside of the paint for the visitors was a late Kaia Dryden corner 3 courtesy of some good ball movement.
Both teams made a nervy start to the second quarter with ball handling and passing errors affecting each side. Rillstone took advantage of an errant pass to grab a runaway dunk to eventually get the scoring underway. After a 6-2 Rangitoto run Aaron Young decided another chat with his troops was required. Wynyard got his first dunk off the night, extending the Rangitoto lead to 22 off a beautifully executed Dryden pass. St Kent’s were finally able to answer and converted twice from beyond the arc via Turner and Jack Foley advancing the score to 40-24. Rillstone scored 7 straight for the hosts who were trying to keep Rangitoto within reach, a Cooper Lepou triple ignited the home crowd who could sense a momentum shift but with a Fotu spinning lay-up to end the quarter it was Rangitoto who were in the ascendancy 49-34.
The start of the second half mirrored the first, Wynyard with his second slam of the evening getting his team on the board. St Kent’s, buoyed by their fans, rattled off 6 straight via Hunter Te Ratana but had a tough time at the other end in trying to slow down Wynyard and Fotu. The two key cogs for Rangi scored all 13 points in the period through an array of nifty footwork and delightful high-low passing. A block from Wynyard on Rillstone made it appear as though the defensive anchor was going to close the door on St Kent’s but a triple on the resulting inbound, a well-timed block in transition and another three-pointer from the Waikato age group representative gave his team hope – the score back to 61-49 with 2:41 to play in the third. Defence was the phrase the rest of the period, Rangitoto going into the final stanza up 62-50 on the back of another Wynyard block.
Once again Rangitoto started the stronger of two sides with quick baskets but unruly play allowed St Kent’s to grab 8 straight points reigniting the crowd – Stone had seen enough, a timeout required with 6:38 to play – Rangitoto nursing a 66-58 lead. Fotu once again scored but on the other end Turners sixth triple of the evening cut the lead to 7. It wasn’t to be their night though, Wynyards final dunk of the night putting an exclamation mark on proceedings with 1:20 to go, Rangitoto victors 77-68, in the process keeping alive their chances of a semi-final berth.
St Kentigern 68 – Rillstone 30, Turner 20, Te Ratana 12
Rangitoto 77 – Fotu 26, Wynyard 25, Michael Ropotini 10
In front of a raucous crowd on seniors night Sacred Heart College produced one of their best performances of the season before going down to Westlake Boys High 75-67.
With Heart, led by Josh Stewart (26 points), ahead 55-53 at three-quarter time it required a captain’s performance from Rocco Chang to steer Westlake to victory.
Chang had been kept quiet to that point but he came up with 11 points in the fourth after Daniel Ottenhoff (26 points) had nabbed the first six of the period – Heart outscored 22-12 in the last ten minutes.
Stewart had 9 points in the opening frame – edged 17-16 by Westlake.
Hamza Zahran scored Westlake’s last 6 points of the opening half as Heart, via Stewart, Adam Davies, Jerome Jakeman and Matt Fautuaalii carved out a 36-34 half time lead.
The two teams went basket for basket in the third to set up a grandstand finish in the fourth – Chang and Westlake prevailing to confirm a top three finish on the Premier League ladder.
Sacred Heart 67 – Stewart 26, Davies 13, Jakeman 9
Westlake 75 – Ottenhoff 26, Zahran 21, Chang 13, Hadi Alashami 6
Liston College enjoyed their best spell of basketball in a number of weeks as they forged a 30-26 half-time lead against Mt Albert Grammar School.
Rasheed Ieremia posted 8 points and Adrian Fabian 6 for Liston who also enjoyed scoring contributions from six other players in an encouraging display.
Mt Albert set about gaining the initiative in style in the third period. Not only did they add starch at the defensive end keeping Liston to 9 points but reeled off 27 of their own.
Kade Cartwright scored 10 of his game high 21 points and Will Leger tallied 6 as MAGS enjoyed an 18-point swing in the period.
Dhon Lao and Manu Tuaere led a Liston mini revival in the final quarter but Leger capped a fine all round performance with 9 points in the fourth to see off the spirited Liston challenge.
Liston 60 – Rasheed Ieremia 13, Adrian Fabian 11, Dhon Lao 9, Manu Tuaere 7
MAGS 72 – Will Leger 21, Kade Cartwright 17, Stepan Kusenko 11, Denvor Elia 10, Ben Skelton 6
Current Standings (with one round to play)
7-6 St Kentigern
2-10 Sacred Heart