Takapuna Grammar claim Girls Senior A title

Takapuna Grammar School defeated Northcote College 78-61 in the Auckland Secondary Schools Girls Senior A Grand Final at Eventfinda Stadium.

Paced by 33 points from guard Bailey Flavell Takapuna led at every quarter but Northcote showed commendable resilience – their challenge only overcome in the final quarter.

Qaizden Stephano opened the scoring with a trademark inside jumper – Lizzie May got Northcote on the board but they trailed 17-13 after quarter one.

Amy McKenzie scored 6 second quarter points but it was a ten minute period dominated by Grace Lai and Flavell. Lai scored 8 of her 9 points in the spell while Flavell buried three triples on her way to 11 points in the quarter and 17 at the half.

Takapuna ahead 36-26 at half-time.

With Stephano dominating the paint and Flavell controlling the backcourt Takapuna stretched their lead to 14 before Anna Dyachenko’s added a further three to the advantage.

To their credit Northcote weren’t about to throw the towel in. Triples from DJ Hannah and Lizzie May, plus inside baskets from Lily Morgan fuelled a 10-point run – the deficit trimmed to 8 points late in the spell. 

Amy McKenzie righted the ship for Takapuna with a brace of baskets – their lead 58-46 at three-quarter time.

Any thoughts of a fourth quarter Takapuna comeback were short lived as Flavell knocked down triple number eight and Manaia Watson connected from deep also.

Both teams will now set their sights on claiming a spot at the Secondary Schools National Champs. Their qualifying campaigns begins on Wednesday.

Takapuna 78 – Flavell 33 (8 made 3-pointers), Amy McKenzie 20, Qaizden Stephano 10, Anna Dyachenko 9

Northcote 61 – DJ Hannah 25, Lily Morgan 11, Grace Lai 9, Lizzie May 8

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