The Girls 2023 Premier season tipped-off on Friday with Mt Albert Grammar, Epsom Girls Grammar, St Kentigern College and Westlake Girls High recording wins although Northcote College came very close to causing an upset.
In a game where 200 points were scored newcomers Northcote College gave defending champions Westlake Girls High all they could handle before going down 105-95.
In a game with extreme changes in momentum the opening swing favoured Westlake. After Lily Fotu opened the scoring Amy Pateman ran up 14 points to propel the visitors to a 31-21 lead. However in a sign of things to come Westlake were pinged for 11 first quarter fouls.
Pateman continued on her merry way in the second quarter before Northcote Head Coach Gareth Teahan called a halt to proceedings with his team trailing 50-34.
Whatever was said in the timeout worked a treat as his team scored 19 of the next 23 points. Lily Morgan and Nikki Gear were in the thick of the action and with Lizzy May and Lisa Gear dropping threes the Westlake lead was whittled down to just one point at half-time (54-53).
On the resumption Nikki Gear and DJ Hannah continued to ride the home team’s momentum propelling Northcote to a 64-54 lead. This time it was Westlake Head Coach Bronwen Davidson (named 2022 Women’s Coach of the Year at the BBNZ Awards ceremony on Saturday) that needed the timeout.
Her words steadied the Lake ship – an Emma Schroeder triple and 6 points from Fotu set up a likely tight finish with Westlake trailing 77-76 with a quarter to play.
That tight finish didn’t eventuate as Westlake opened the fourth period with 17 unanswered points as Rebecca Moors, Elin Vincent, Schroeder and Fotu bossed proceedings.
Hannah and May provided the necessary spark for Northcote but it was too big a deficit to claw back in the closing minutes.
It was Northcote’s first game in Prems since 2007 and they can take great heart from the performance despite the defeat.
Northcote 95 – N Gear 27, Hannah 22, Morgan 18, May 14, L Gear 11
Westlake 105 – Pateman 29, Moors 24, Fotu 20, Schroeder 13, Vincent 11
Fellow newcomers Takapuna Grammar, Senior A champions in 2022, also suffered defeat going down 72-57 at St Kentigern College.
Ash Tuumaialu scored the first 10 points for the hosts and had 18 of St Kent’s 24 as they led by 15 at the first break.
Kilani Tuineau became the second St Kent’s player in double figures as the hosts stretched out to a 38-19 half-time lead.
Takapuna improved after the break as they found their Premier League legs – a triple from Bailey Flavell and other scores from Amy Mckenzie and Manaia Watson got the scoreboard moving.
However St Kent’s weren’t going to give up their advantage – Sophie Jones and Tuumaialu knocked down threes to increase the margin to 24 points (57-33) at three-quarter time.
Takapuna had the better of the final frame to reduce the deficit but it remained a comfortable victory for St Kent’s.
St Kentigern 72 – Tuumaialu 22, Tuineau 18, Jones 11, Anamaia Rangihaeata 7
Takapuna 57 – Flavell 20, Watson 12, McKenzie 12, Mackenzie MacKereth 6
Mt Albert Grammar, Premier Girls beaten finalists in 2022, won every quarter in defeating visitors Baradene College 84-46.
Deyna Topia and Ritorya Tamilo scored all 15 of Baradene’s first quarter points but that was trumped by 23 points from MAGS with 12 of those courtesy of Waimanu Clarken.
Clarken added another 10 points in the second and with Jorjia Fiu and Te Arina Roberts chiming in with scores the home team’s advantage was 48-31 at half-time.
Tamilo added to her tally in the third but more points from Clarken and Fiu sealed the deal for MAGS who led 62-42 at the last break.
The fourth period was all MAGS with Gezreyal Maiu‘u producing a nice 7-point cameo.
MAGS 84 – Clarken 28, Fiu 19, Maiulu 7, Roberts 7, Emina Tiatia 6
Baradene 46 – Tamilo 20, Topia 12, Amelia Nathen 6, Poppy Cavanagh 5
Epsom College made the short trip over to College Hill to face St Mary’s College and completely dominated proceedings winning 84-33.
Epsom rattled in 23 first quarter points to lead by 14 points with Talia Vea in fine scoring touch. The advantage was a healthy 36-13 at half-time.
India Nash played a strong hand for St Mary’s with 12 points but Draun Forbes and Leah Patuwairua bossed proceedings in the second half as Epsom cruised to victory.
Epsom 84 – Forbes 24, Patuwairua 23, Vea 14, Ivy Tino 7
St Mary’s 33 – Nash 12, Felolina To’ua-Kalava 6, Olive Maling 4
The Lowdown acknowledges the support of Northern Kāhu. The Kāhu season begins in July with memberships and game tickets available shortly at https://www.kahu.basketball