Westlake Girls High School underlined their status as the number on basketball team in the region with an emphatic 87-54 victory against Mt Albert Grammar School in the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grand Final on Thursday night.
The early signs were encouraging for MAGS as they went toe-to-toe with the unbeaten regular season champions – Waimanu Clarken and April Liu ensuring it was only a one point deficit at quarter-time (16-15).
Points became harder to come by in the second period for MAGS whereas Westlake gave it the full throttle to rack up 29 as their lead climbed to 46-26 by half-time.
Mackenzie Chatfield orchestrated affairs with deft touch assists for teammates or scoring makes of her own. Amy Pateman and Rebecca Moors were beneficiaries of Chatfield assists and when Sarah Moors knocked down an arching three the lead was twenty points and MAGS were clinging on.
Any prospect of a MAGS comeback were put to bed immediately after the break as Westlake opened with an 11-2 run – Pateman with five of those.
Danae Tait nailed a deep three for MAGS but Chatfield sunk a couple from beyond the arc in response – the Westlake lead 73-45 at three-quarter time.
Waimanu Clarken worked tirelessly for MAGS with the NZ U17 representative tallying 23 points but the offensive prowess of Westlake was just too potent on the night.
Both team will now prepare for the National Champs Qualifying Tournament commencing on Wednesday although Westlake will have to do so without Chatfield who will be with the New Zealand U18 team preparing for a trip to India for the upcoming FIBA Asia Championships.
Westlake 87 – Chatfield 25, Pateman 16, R Moors 15, Amiya Fotu 9, Jaelah Clayton 9, S Moors 8
MAGS 54 – Clarken 23, Liu 10, D Tait 9