Author Archives: laceylowdown

Week 2 Girl’s Premier Wrap – Big wins for Baradene and Epsom

Baradene pic

Two notable wins highlighted Week 2 of the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Girls competition.

Pride of place goes to Baradene College who recorded their first ever win in the top echelon of Auckland School’s basketball. The other promoted team Epsom Girls Grammar School also grabbed their first win of the season whilst Westlake Girls and St Mary’s were the other victorious teams.

Baradene College and Massey High School played out an entertaining contest at Trusts Arena on Saturday afternoon prior to the Sal’s NBL game.

The score-line doesn’t tell the full story as it was only in the last quarter that Baradene were able to pull away and enjoy their inaugural Premier victory.

Ahead of that fourth quarter the Baradene lead was just seven point (62-55) but the final period would prove to be largely one-way traffic in their favour.

A 12-0 Baradene run at the start of the fourth was halted by a Ramona Fuaivaa two and a Shazaleah Henry triple but with Lily Parke, Ritorya Tamilo, Charlotte Rattray and Poppy Cavanagh-Briggs each scoring a brace of baskets the Baradene lead soon ballooned out to twenty points.

The Baradene supporters could relax and enjoy the closing stages with their team going on to win 90-66.

Early on things had looked a little ominous for Baradene as Fuaivaa knocked down three triples in the opening quarter. Another triple, this time from Parke, gave Baradene a one point quarter- time lead.

Tahlya Waikiki and Maya Taingahue each scored six points in the second frame for Massey but Deyna Topia matched that to help Baradene to a 39-35 half-time lead.

It was basket for basket in a hectic third period but 7 points apiece from Lily Parke and Tamilo tipped the scales slightly in favour of Baradene.

With the defensive qualities of Rattray and Tamilo shining through it was all Baradene in the final quarter.

Baradene 90 – L Parke 24, Tamilo 21, Rattray 15, Topia 14, Cavanagh-Briggs 8

Massey 66 – Fuaivaa 21, Henry 16, Taingahue 14, Tahlya Waikiki 12


Despite having just six players Epsom Girls Grammar were able to secure an 82-68 win at Mt Albert Grammar School.

It was tight most of the way at Epsom Girls as the home team eventually got the better of Mt Albert Grammar School to win 82-68.

Newly promoted EGGS only had six players but still managed to outlast MAGS, thanks largely to the efforts of Flow Dallow (31 points) and Sarah-Joy Aruwa (25 points).

There was little to choose between the two sides in the first half, EGGS leading 23-22 after 10 minutes and 44-42 after 20 minutes.

Monica Kelly and Kayla Tenana made a couple of baskets apiece for MAGS in the third period although Dallow and Aruwa shared 15 points to extend the Epsom advantage to 60-54.

Kelly and Danae Tait did their best to wrestle the initiative but Epsom, with Te Ataiti Armstrong and Te Aroha Kukutai-Wairau making key contributions, were not to be denied their first win of the season.

MAGS 68 – Tait 12, Kelly 10, Foster 10, Cocker-Lemalie 9, Pupuke-Robati 6, Tenana 6

Epson 82 – Dallow 31, Aruwa 25, Armstrong 13, Kukutai-Wairau 9


Westlake Girls visited Rangitoto College and it took last season’s Grand Finalists thirty-five minutes to wear down the hosts resistance.

When the game’s leading scorer Aroha Riley (28 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists) scored on the three-quarter time buzzer Rangitoto were only 5 points adrift (52-47) and an upset was a possibility.

Mackenzie Chatfield scored five quick points at the start of the fourth but after landing awkwardly had to be helped from the court and took no further part in the game.

Makenzie Boucher and Emma Pugh took over the scoring load and suddenly the Westlake lead was out to a match winning 68-52.

Aroha Riley and Ella Moore tried to peg back the deficit but Jess Moors ensured that Westlake would claim their second straight win to begin the season.

Earlier Rosie Dil ensured that Westlake were ahead 17-11 at quarter time. Rangi edged the second period 16-14 to trail at the break by four points (31-27) with the Riley sisters scoring 15 of the Rangi points.

Jess Moors stamped her authority on proceedings in the third grabbing numerous defensive rebounds and immediately initiating the offense to produce scoring opportunities for herself or her teammates.

Rangitoto hung in tough – with Aroha Riley in great scoring touch,  Moore, Emily Blythe and Kellie Tawhiao offering strong support the fourth quarter promised to be a dog fight.

Unfortunately that didn’t eventuate as Westlake put their foot down to move to 2-0 on the season.


Rangitoto 68 – A Riley 28, Moore 12, Tawhiao 8/16r, Blythe 6/9r

Westlake 83 – J Moors 18, Dil 13, Chatfield 13, Pugh 11, Boucher 9, Fotu 8

Kat Leslie scored 19 points and Leata Tenana-Williams added 16 points as St Mary’s College beat Carmel College for their second win of the season.

It was a third quarter demolition job by St Mary’s that clinched the contest as they outscored Carmel 22-5 in that period. Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu, Tenana-Williams and Leslie did most of the damage to swing the contest firmly in favour of St Mary’s.

Up to that point Qaizden Stephan (15 points), Lily Morgan and Kalea Norton had ensured Carmel were well in the contest, down 35-27 at half-time.

Parity was restored in the fourth quarter with the two teams splitting 34 points but from Carmel’s perspective the horse, or more accurately St Mary’s, had already bolted.

St Mary’s 74 – Leslie 19, L Tenana-Williams 15, Kailahi-Fulu 12, Robertson 9, Schmid 6

Carmel 48 – Qaizden 15, Cammell 9, Norton 9

The competition now takes a break during the school holidays with the third round to be played on Friday July 24th.

Auckland Premiers – Boys Week 2 Wrap

AGS Huddle

The  second week of the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier League saw wins for Rangitoto, Rosmini, Mt Albert and Auckland Grammar meaning a fortnight into the season only Rangitoto and Rosmini are unbeaten.

Most pundits would probably have picked St Kentigern College to beat Auckland Grammar School but it wasn’t to be. Grammar had six players with 9 points or more as they bounced back, after a first round loss, to record a confidence building 86-81 victory.

Connor Ngan made three triples for AGS on his way to a team high 19 points – he was ably supported by Jamal Todd and Oliver Gibson with 16 points apiece whilst Caleb Landon and Toby Caldwell both had 13.

For St Kent’s Dontae Russo, in just his second Premier League outing, led all scorers with 24 points and Kazlo Evans was also in good form with 22 points.

Grammar forged an 18-14 first quarter lead and extended that to 41-34 by half-time.  Caldwell earned himself some profitable trips to the foul line and with Landon active, the hosts were in charge at half time. Points late in the half from Russo prevented the margin from being greater.

Ngan and Caldwell scored a pair of threes apiece in an even third period – Russo, Alex McNaught and Martin Gan landing from deep for St Kent’s who trailed 67-61 at three-quarter time.

Evans scored 10 points in the final period for St Kent’s but Grammar weren’t going to let this one slip – Todd, Landon and Ngan getting the job done in the fourth to seal a notable win for AGS.

St Kentigern 81 – Russo 24, Evans 22, Kerr 12, NcNaught 10, Gan 10

AGS 86 – Ngan 19, Todd 16, Gibson 16, Landon 13, Caldwell 13, Vea 9


Rangitoto College scored the first 11 points of the game and were 33-20 to the good at quarter time. Westlake battled away bravely but conceding such a lead proved too difficult to overcome – the hosts holding the lead throughout to win 101-84.

A full gym, with plenty of travelling support for Westlake Boys, were warmed by a fast paced encounter.

In the early stages of the final quarter it appeared as if Westlake might make a charge as Josh Kooiman, Jett Thompson and Antonio Leutich made scores – with 5 minutes to play Lake trailed by just nine points (77-86).

Critically Lucas Payne scored on the next possession and with Zeke Priest, Ethan Skelton and Zach Riley also adding to their personal tallies Rangitoto controlled the dying stages with a 15-7 finish.

Earlier Zach Riley nailed a triple on the opening possession to set the tone for Rangi, as they quickly established an 11 point lead before Christian Martin gave the Lake fans something to cheer about. The Chang brothers Zane and Rocco combined neatly for a score to help Westlake but Riley scored a dozen points in an opening quarter dominated by the hosts.

The two teams exchanged baskets in the second frame but when Rangitoto gave up possession for Leutich and Reuben Natusch to score easy baskets coach Kenny Stone needed a timeout.

Kala Dryden and Skelton settled things down for Rangi and with Riley throwing down an athletic dunk they were ahead 55-42 at the interval.

Westlake settled on a 1-2-2 zone in the third and for a while it paid dividends as the Rangitoto scoring slowed.

Priest landed a deep three but Kooiman and Boston Caldwell went back-to back from long range for the visitors. Payne then scored off a lovely heads-up pass from Priest and with 10 to go Rangi led by 10 (77-67).

Jacob Fotu scored on the resumption before the brief Westlake run but it was Rangitoto that prevailed, recording a second straight Premier League win.

Rangitoto 101 – Riley 31, Priest 16/12r, Ethan Skelton 20/8a  Payne 14, Powell 7, Jovanovic 7

Westlake 84 – Martin 14, Caldwell 13, Kooiman 12, Z Chang 12, Leutich 9


Liston College made the slightly better start forging a 19-15 lead – James Hickey, Safa Prasad and forward Troy Lee Baker causing Rosmini some problems.

A little sluggish in the opening period Rosmini had the best of the second quarter with Leo Wenham and Charlie Dalton to the fore. Des Helu knocked down a three-pointer close to half-time but Liston trailed 40-35 at the break.

Helu was again on the scoresheet early in the third but Taine Murray and Sean Murphy began to boss proceedings. With Cyrus Grafil contributing a couple of baskets Rosmini were sitting comfortable at three-quarter time leading 67-48.

Baker and Prasad posted points for Liston but it was Tom Beattie and Murphy that had the final say in an eventually comfortable Rosmini win.

Liston 67 – Prasad 18, Helu 14, Hickey 12, Baker 10

Rosmini 89 – Murray 20, S Murphy 20, Dalton 10, Beattie 8, K Murphy 8


Sataan Tawera, with 29 points, was the star of the show for Mt Albert Grammar as they recorded a convincing 87-57 win against St Peter’s College.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for MAGS as St Peter’s were well in touch at half-time only trailing 36-29.

Tawera and Denvor Elia were already in double figures for MAGS at that point, with Jack Donnelly the leading scorer for St Peter’s who must have liked their chances at that stage.

The third period was all MAGS.  Kuresa Tapula’aia posted three quick baskets at the start of the quarter, Tawera maintained the momentum and when Dakota Stephens converted from long range MAGS had outscored their opposition 25-7 in the frame and with a lead of 61-36 assured themselves of victory.

Mitch Lancaster and Donnelly posted points for St Peter’s in the fourth but Morgan Aiono, on his way to a massive double-double, and Mondray Fiatau helped cap off a fine MAGS performance.

MAGS 87 – Tawera 29, Aiono 13/17r, Elia 11, Fiatau 11, Tapula’aia 9

St Peter’s 57 – Donnelly 20, Lancaster 8, Sula 7, Arlove 7, Errey 7

Teams will now take a break during the school holidays with fixtures to resume on July 24th.

Wrap on Week 1 of Auck Secondary Schools Premier Action.

Massey huddle

Ramona Fuaivaa had the distinction of scoring the first point in Auckland Secondary School’s Premier Basketball on the North Shore in 2020 as she gave Massey High School the lead at Carmel College on Friday night.

The Massey captain would go on to score a game high equaling 26 points to lead her team to an 89-85 victory.

Carmel guard Jemma Cammell also notched 26 points in an end-to-end, entertaining encounter that could have gone either way but eventually fell the way of the visitors.

Massey got off to a fast start opening up a 9-1 lead but that was quickly erased as Qaizden Stephano scored inside and Lily Morgan and Katea Norton struck from deep to give the home side a 17-11 lead at the first break.

Carmel had seven different scorers in the second quarter but Massey weren’t going away and trailed by just two points, 34-36, at half-time.

The third quarter told the story of the game. Maya Taingahue and Tahlya Waikiki sprung Massey into a lead before Mackenzie MacKereth obliterated that advantage. Cammell put Carmel ahead but Fuaivaa put a stop to that with a pair of threes. The lead kept changing in a period that produced 67 points – Massey ahead by the narrowest of margins (69-68) at the three-quarter mark.

Izzy MacGregor converted a long three but it was Cammell carrying the scoring load for Carmel. She notched a dozen of her team’s 17 points in the final period but it wasn’t quite enough to see off the efforts of Shazaleah Henry, Fuaivaa, Taingahue and Waikiki.

Carmel 85 – Cammell 26, Stephano 16, MacKereth 8, Morgan 8

Massey 89 – Fuaivaa 26, Taingahue 19, Waikiki 17, Henry 17


Double-doubles from Aroha Riley (15 points/13 rebounds) and Kellie Tawhiao (13 points/16rebounds) propelled Rangitoto College to a 20-point win at Mt Albert Grammar School.

MAGS made the better start – a couple of baskets apiece from Danae Tait (18 points) and Breanna Waka helped the home team to an 18-10 lead after 10 minutes.

That lead was quickly erased in the second quarter as Rangi guard Ella Moore dropped 10 points in the period – her team 37-26 ahead at the interval.

Scoring continued to be a struggle for MAGS in the third and Rangi took full advantage. Riley and Emily Blythe both struck from long range as the visitors put up 21 points in the period to lead 58-37 at three-quarter time.

Exchanges were even in the final quarter with Monica Kelly, Letiara Foster and Tait advancing the MAGS score. Moore capped off the Rangitoto win with her fourth triple of the game.

Rangitoto Coach Josh Davis was happy with his team’s first up effort “I was pleased with our toughness in a physical game, particularly Maddy Smith on her Premier debut.”

MAGS 52 – Tait 18, Foster 16, Waka 6, Kelly 6

Rangitoto 72 – A Riley 15/13r, Moore 15, Tawhiao 13/16r, Noom-Duckworth 9, Blythe 8


Baradene College, promoted as 2019 Senior A Champions, made a promising start to the Premier season but eventually went down 65-50 at home to Westlake Girls High School.

“It was not a bad effort, but we ran out of steam,” reflected Baradene Head Coach Andrew Parke.

His team made a promising start with Deyna Topia putting the finishing touches to a 15-14 quarter-time lead.

Holly Williams knocked down a three for Westlake and the ‘Mac-Attack of Mackenzie Chatfield and Makenzee Boucher were prominent as the visitors built a 32-25 lead by half-time.

Lily Parke and Ritorya Tamilo amassed 42 of Baradene’s 50 points and despite their best efforts Westlake were 49-32 to the good at three-quarter time.

Jess Moores and Rosalie Dil ensured there would be no late comeback from the hosts – Westlake off to a solid start with a first up win.

Baradene 50 – Parke 22, Tamilo 20

Westlake 65 – J Moors 20, Dil 11, Boucher 8, Chatfield 8


St Mary’s College got their 2020 campaign off to a good start with a 73-49 win against newly promoted Epsom Girls Grammar School.

It was a balanced performance from the defending champions with seven players contributing six points or more.

A tight opening frame, won 11-7 by St Mary’s, preceded a scoring rush in the second as both teams scored over twenty points.

Florence Dallow scored 8 points for Epsom and on the other side of the ledger Kodee Sefo, Leata Tenana-Williams, Zaliyah Kailahi-Fulu, Faith Ualika , Safena Tenana-Williams all scored multiple baskets as St Mary’s built a 39-27 half-time lead.

Sarah-Joy Aruwa kept the score ticking over for Epsom after the break but St Mary’s added another 20 points to be 59-36 ahead with ten minutes to play.

Te Aroha Kukutai-Wairau posted 6 points for Epsom in the final term, a tally matched by Sefo as St Mary’s eased to a comfortable victory.

Epsom 49 – Dallow 16, Aruwa 12, Kukutai-Wairau 8, Roy 5

St Mary’s 73 – Sefo 14, L Tenana-Williams 14, Kailahi-Fulu 9, Ualika 9, S Tenana-Williams 7

A dominant third quarter eases St Kentigern past Westlake Boys.

St Kent's huddle g

In possibly the first ever Auckland Secondary Schools Premier game played on a Saturday, St Kentigern College eventually proved too good for Westlake Boys High School winning 107-82 at Trusts Arena.

The two teams split 54 points in the opening quarter with the scoring almost as high, and even, in the second frame – Westlake trailing by a single point (50-49) at half-time.

The opposing coaches, Westlake’s Tony Webster and St Kentigern’s Aaron Young, will feature in NBL Showdown on Sunday with the pair assistant coaches for Franklin Bulls and Auckland Huskies respectively.

In the Saturday showdown it was Young who found the winning formula in the third quarter with his team dominating Westlake in the period to lead 80-65 at three-quarter time. With Levick Kerr (26 points) a handful inside and a plethora of threats on the perimeter Young’s charges moved through the offensive gears scoring 30 points in the period.

Kazlo Evans was at the heart of the good things happening for St Kent’s, the shooting guard knocking down six three’s on his way to a game high 29 points.

Westlake were unable to make any impression on St Kent’s advantage in the fourth quarter, the 2019 national champions easing to a comfortable victory. Josh Kooiman, Liam Spencer, Antonio Leutich and Jett Thompson all made double digit contributions for Westlake but the Swans could do little to quell St Kent’s second half charge.

Much interest surrounded the Premier debut of St Kentigern’s Dontea Russo. The promising Year 11 guard made an encouraging start to his career for the ‘Blue and Whites’ contributing 20 points and showing commendable poise.

With Russo, Evans, Alex McNaught, Martin Gan and Kaea Rangiehaeata combining to make 14 threes in the game St Kentigern’s have served notice that they are likely to be the team to beat in 2020.

St Kentigern 107 – Evans 29, Kerr 26, Russo 20, Gan 13, McNaught 8

Westlake 82 – Thompson 21, Kooiman 18, Spencer 13, Leutich 11, Martin 7

Auckland Prems Basketball returns


Rozza Huddle

Live Secondary Schools Premier Basketball returned to Auckland on Friday night. Defending champions Rangitoto College narrowly avoided defeat beating Mt Albert Grammar School 73-66, Liston College held off the challenge of St Peter’s College to win 90-76 and Rosmini College got a road win at Auckland Grammar winning 86-66.

The Westlake Boys versus St Kentigern College game is being played at Trusts Stadium, Waitakere on Saturday, tip-off 2.15pm.

In an encounter that looked as if it would go down to the wire Rosmini College kept Auckland Grammar scoreless for five-minutes in the fourth quarter enabling them to pull away for a decisive 86-66 victory.

Early on it was all AGS as they attacked the boards with glee, troubled Rosmini with their transition play and penetrative driving.

Caleb Landon scored six quick points and when Stefan Bigio dropped a three late in the opening frame the hosts led 22-15.

Threes from Cian Emery and Pita Maxwell-Topia quickly erased the deficit, Toby Caldwell struck from deep for AGS but it was a quarter that belonged to Rosmini as they led 45-35 at half-time.

Taine Murray had been well marshalled by the home defence but he peeled off three straight baskets to keep Rosmini ahead. However AGS’ enthusiasm on the offensive boards was paying dividends, the work of Christian Ward, Oliver Gibson and Luka Vea earning Grammar extra possessions and reward on the scoreboard – Rosmini’s lead a narrow 61-56 with ten minutes remaining.

That lead was down to three when Vea opened the fourth quarter. Sean Murphy scored six straight points for the visitors but Gibson and Jamal Todd countered for the hosts and with 5:30 to play the Rosmini lead was still five points (68-63).

From there it was all Rosmini – some starch was applied to their defence and at the offensive end Murray, Emery, Murphy and Maxwell-Topia prospered. Maxwell-Topia’s fourth three of the game meant Rosmini had strung together a 15-0 run. It was a run that stretched the score line to a margin that didn’t reflect the Grammar effort but it was one that did please the many former Rosmini senior players in the good sized crowd.

AGS 66 – Landon 16, Ngan 10, Vea 10, Caldwell 7, Todd 7

Rosmini 86 – Murray 21, Murphy 19, Emery 15, Maxwell-Topia 13

AGS Huddle

A third quarter dominated by home side Mt Albert Grammar School appeared to give them a springboard to topple Rangitoto College on Friday. However the experience pair of Zach Riley and Ethan Skelton scored 10 points apiece in the final quarter as Rangitoto composed themselves to overcome a six-point deficit and win an entertaining contest 73-66.

An even first quarter was shaded by Rangitoto 16-14 before the second period became a grind. That was particularly so for hosts MAGS who managed just one field goal in the quarter, courtesy of Phoenix Sorensen, to trail 27-20 after a low scoring first half. David Jovanovic had 6 points at the break for Rangi, Ben Skelton 5 points for MAGS.

The second quarter scoring famine was replaced with a feast in the third – MAGS consuming the greater portions. Tucking in the most was Dakota Stephens (three triples) with Sataan Tawera and Morgan Aiono also grabbing healthy portions.Riley didn’t leave the table empty handed – his 11 points keeping the visitors in touch, down 49-43 at three-quarter time.

The intensity went up a notch in the fourth and again MAGS found their scoring touch elusive. Stephens scored his fourth triple of the night but it was Rangi gaining momentum.

Lucas Payne scored from beyond the arc and when Riley did the same on two occasions the visitors had wrestled the lead.

Tawera and Sorensen fired a couple of late shots but it was Skelton and Kaia Dryden putting the finishing touches to a hard fought victory for the defending champions.

MAGS 66 – Tawera 19/10r, Stephens 12, Aiono 11, Sorensen 10

Rangitoto 73 – Riley 27/11r, Skelton 13/7a, Payne 10, Jovanovich 8



Liston College have made a good start to the season. After comfortably disposing of Long Bay College in the promotion/relegation tie last week they travelled to St Peter’s College and came away with a 90-76 win on Friday night.

They made a solid start winning a quiet opening quarter 12-9 then stretching that advantage to 36-27 by half-time.

Centre Troy Lee Baker did most of the damage, dominating inside with 18 first half points. Jack Donnelly was in good form for St Peter’s and he came close to matching Baker, notching 15 points before the interval.

Donnelly continued to shine for St Peters, as did Mitch Lancaster. The pair tallied 18 points between them in the third period but it wasn’t enough to prevent Liston pulling further ahead.

Safa Prasad enjoyed a 14 points haul in ten minutes and with James Hickey and Desmond Helu in good form the Liston advantage was 68-54 at the three-quarter mark.

The two teams exchanged baskets in the fourth, St Peter’s unable to threaten the visitors lead.

St Peter’s 75 – Donnelly 32, Lancaster 13, Manio 12, Wooley 5

Liston 90 – Baker 26, Prasad 21, Helu 19, Hickey 16

Girls Prems reports published tomorrow.


Liston College beat Long Bay College to retain Premier status

Liston Colleg

Liston College retained their place in the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier competition with a comfortable 67-50 victory over Long Bay College at a packed St Dominic’s Gymnasium on Friday night.

It looked anything but comfortable in the opening quarter as George DeFelice scored seven early points for Long Bay. A couple of triples from rangy forward Keegan Hall gave the travelling Long Bay supporters plenty more to cheer as their team ended the first quarter 19-12 ahead.

From there it began to slide downhill for ‘The Boys from the Bays’. A three from Desmond Helu was followed by buckets from Troy Lee Baker and Sefa Prasad meant that the scores were tied two minutes into the second period and Long Bay Coach Justin Bailey needed a timeout.

The stoppage failed to halt Liston’s progress. Although DeFelice landed a much needed three-pointer for Long Bay, an 8-2 run from Liston swung momentum firmly in their favour – they led 31-25 at half-time.

James Hickey and Desmond Helu with transition baskets and Troy Lee Baker and Evangel Lo Tam with inside scores continued to stretch the Liston advantage. Luca Becker made a deep three for Long Bay but they had their backs to the wall at three-quarter time trailing 57-35.

Clifford scored six points for the visitors in the final stanza but Liston Head Coach Kaea Samson had the luxury of giving his bench players significant minutes in the closing stages with the victory secured.

The result means Long Bay remain in Senior A whilst Liston retain their Premier Division status in the Auckland Secondary Schools competition and will strive to improve on their seventh place finish in 2019.

The regular season for both leagues starts on Friday June 26.

Liston 67 – Baker 16, Lo Tam 14 Prasad 9, Hickey 8

Long Bay 50 – De Felice 12, Hall 10, Clifford 8, Becker 7

Third Time Lucky For Epsom Girls Grammar


Epsom Girls Grammar School (EGGS) finally overcame their play-off hoodoo by beating Auckland Girls Grammar School (AGGS) 78-52 on Thursday evening.

The victory means that it is third time lucky for Epsom who had tripped over at the same promotion/relegation stage in the previous two years.

It was fitting that Sarah-Joy (28 points) and Flo Dallow (22 points) were the main architects of the win given both had suffered the agony of defeat in 2018 and 2019.

Epsom coach Wayne Fowler admitted that, “It was nerve wracking prior to the game.”

Those nerves would have been calmed in the first quarter as threes from  Te Aroha Kukutai-Wairau and Maya Fowler helped propel Epsom to a 24-11 lead.

Auckland’s Imogene Noble score 10 second-quarter points but first half double figure contributions from Dallow and Aruwa ensured Epsom entered the break with a solid 42-25 lead.

Teesha Tuaiti and Leah Patuwairua kept the score ticking over for Auckland in the third and although they shaded the period by a point it was Epsom who were in the box seat, ahead 56-40.

Aruwa’s 12 points in the final frame snuffed out any chance of an Auckland comeback and soon after Alice Roy put the icing on the cake with the final Epsom score of the game the victors were mobbed by their excited supporters.

The result means AGGS drop down to Senior A from the Premier Division of the Auckland Secondary Schools competition while EGGS travel in the opposite direction.

The regular season for both leagues starts on Friday June 26.

EGGS 78 – Aruwa 28, Dallow 22, Fowler 12, Kukutai-Wairau 5

AGGS 52 – Noble 25, Tuaiti 13, Patuwairua 6

Epsom beat Carmel in pre-season encounter


Epsom Girls Grammar enjoyed a morale boosting win on Friday night at Carmel College defeating the hosts 81-72. 

EGGS face Auckland Grammar next Thursday in the Prems Play-off game and having come close to gaining promotion from the Senior A Grade in each of the last two-years will be eager for success this time around.

The win was built around the experienced duo of Florence Dallow (21 points) and Sarah Joy Aruwa (38 points) – Carmel having difficulty in stopping the powerful drives of Aruwa.

EGGS also had useful contributions from Lauren Boxall-Hunt (10 points) and Te Ataiti Kukutai-Wairau (6 points).

Leading the scoring for Carmel were Jemma Cammell and Isobel MacGregor with 14 points apiece, Katie Linstrom notched 10 points whilst Mac MacKereth and Qaizden Stephano each had 9.

Despite the loss Carmel will be content with the performance as they prepare for the 2020 Premier campaign. Having lost five year 13’s from last season there will be opportunities galore for their young players to make their mark in the coming weeks. 

Sal’s NBL ’20 Draft – What do we know?



We are less than a week away from the Sal’s NBL naming its Top 14 players for the upcoming 2020 season.

The independent Panel will sit down next Friday and Saturday to pick those 14 players ahead of the inaugural NBL Draft on Thursday 11 June.

Player Registration doesn’t close until Friday June 5 so expect more names to reach the public domain in the coming days.

For now the Lowdown has sifted through the players named to date and come up with the following that will form the nucleus of the 14 to be chosen by Messers Boucher, Flavell, Beynon and Nelson.

We’ve also attempted to list the clubs that these players will be eligible to be pre-selected by given the four criteria that apply – apologies if this is not 100% accurate:

1) The player has lived in the team’s allocated region for no less than 10 years at any one time.
2) The player has attended school in the team’s allocated region for no less than 4 years.
3) The player has previously played the bulk of their NBL minutes for the team.
4) The player had previously signed for the team for the 2020 Sal’s NBL season.

1 Mika Vukona (Nelson Giants)

2 Jarrod Kenny (Auckland Huskies and Franklin Bulls)

3 Jack Salt (Canterbury Rams, Bulls and Huskies)

4 Tohi Smith-Milner (Giants, Bulls and Huskies)

5 Tom Vodanovich (None of criteria apply therefore a Free Agent)

6 Hyrum Harris (Free Agent)

7 Taylor Britt (Canterbury Rams)

8 Sam Timmins ( Otago Nuggets, Rams and Bulls)

9 Derone Raukawa (Free Agent)

10 Taane Samuel (Manawatu Jets)

11 Joe Cook-Green (Rams and Nuggets)

12 Everard Bartlett (Free Agent)

13 Mike Karena (Giants and Rams)

14 Dane Brooks (Taranaki Mountain Airs)

Bubbling Under

Dom Kelman-Poto (Bulls and Huskies), Tai Wynyard (Bulls and Huskies), Alex Talma (Rams, Bulls and Huskies), Shane Temara (Jets), Tom Ingham (Giants), Jackson Stubbins (Jets)

Additional US College returnees

Isaac Davidson (Bulls and Huskies), Kane Keil (Bulls and Huskies), Jayden Bezzant (Free Agent), Jordan Hunt (Free Agent).

At this stage you would imagine Tom Vodanovich would be the No 1 Free Agent with Hyrum Harris a close second.

The Giants will obviously select Mika Vukona as there No 1 pick but with options on Mike Karena (attended Nelson College) and Tohi Smith-Milner (played bulk of his NBL minutes with the Giants) and Tom Ingham who will be their second pick from the Top 14 players.

Equally intriguing will be the Rams top two choices – Salt and Britt you would imagine but Cook-Green’s return from the States makes him an intriguing proposition.

The Huskies and Bulls are new kids on the block and the Nuggets are an old kid returning. Bet the Nuggets would love to have Timmins and Cook-Green at the top of their playing roster but they may have to go for a draft pick or two if they are stymied by the Bulls and Rams.

More names will be released this week from the list of over 400 players that have registered for Sal’s NBL 20 to date.

For now it’s fun to speculate.

1980 Tall Ferns

1980 Team

Researching the past Tall Ferns teams I was sent this photo of the 198O team. I hadn’t realised that Keith Mair had been involved with the Women’s international programme before taking on the Men’s Head Coach role.

The 1980 team hosted Kentucky State University in a four game series before heading to Taiwan for the William Jones Cup.

Please share this photo with those you know will be interested and let me know if you are able to add value to the short player bios below.

Ann McLouglin – Hutt Valley and Whangarei representative Ann McLoughlin played almost 80 games for the National Team between 1979 and 1988. she appeared at the William Jones Cup in 1980 and 1981, the 1983 Commonwealth Championships in New Zealand and at two FIBA Qualifying Tournaments.

Corrina Poto – Averaging 9.6 points per game, Corrina was New Zealand’s second highest scorer at the 1988 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Corina Cordzt had a scoring explosion at the 1994 FIBA World Championship in Australia scoring 25 points against Kenya. Made over 50 appearances in an international career that stretched from 1979 to 1994. In her senior year at Utah State University in 1982 she dished a record 14 assists in one game – a school record that still stands. One of the premier players of her era, with terrific ball handling skills – reportedly she played for the Auckland senior team as a 12-year-old. Mother Agnes Poto was Women’s National assistant Coach in 1983.

Sharon Rennell – Hutt Valley and Canterbury representative Sharon Rennell played five seasons on the national team between 1969 and 1980.

Di Robertson – Hawkes Bay representative Diane Robertson played over 40 games for the Tall Ferns from 1978-1984, the point guard captaining the team in the final year. Won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Tournament in 1983. She won seven national titles captaining the Hawkes Bay and Napier teams between 1978 and 1987. Her mother Dot Leitch was also a former New Zealand representative who was capped in 1949 and 1955. In 2010, she became the first basketballer, male or female, to be inducted into the Hawkes Bay Sports Hall of Fame.

Ann Robertson – Ann ‘Robbie’ Robertson holds the unique distinction of playing (1979-80) and coaching (1988-89) the Tall Ferns. The astute small forward began her career on the West Coast before winning multiple titles with Auckland as both a player and a coach. Her Auckland coaching tenure saw the team win 8 national titles in 12 years.

Lynne Gillies (Pugh) – Guard Lynn Gillies, out of Napier, appeared in 35 games for New Zealand, 1978-1982.

Debbie Smith – The 1980 season was Rotorua representative Debbie Smith’s  only season  in the international programme.

Carolyn Grey – One of the true legends of the game in New Zealand Carolyn had a thirty-year representative career and played for the Waikato WBC team as recently as 2012 at the age of 58! A terrific athlete and tenacious competitor Carolyn represented New Zealand from 1977-1985, selected to the All-Star 5 at the William Jones Cup in both the 1980 and 1981.  She made 70 appearances in the black singlet and was inducted into the BBNZ Hall of Fame in 2016 and a Legend Award in 2017.

Maree Brunton – Wellington representative Maree Brunton. She was comfortable playing any position from point guard to the three spot. She played close to 30 games for the National Team in three campaigns. Later she went on to coach the Wellington team.

Christine Heremaia – Christine Heremaia was a Canterbury representative.

Jenny Mather – A long serving representative player, Jenny played for both Hutt Valley and Napier. Jenny captained the Tall Ferns in 1979 and 1980.

Heather Grayburn (van Siekke) – Heather Grayburn played representative basketball for North Harbour and Otago. She played almost 50 games for the national team over 5 seasons between 1977 and 1981 captaining the side in 1981.