Category Archives: Age Group Basketball

Tauranga City representative trials begin this weekend.


Excitement is building ahead of the trials to find next year’s Tauranga City Basketball representative teams.

Four weeks of trials will be held at Aquinas College over four consecutive Sundays from November 18 through to December 9.

Tauranga City Basketball are hoping to build on the successes enjoyed in 2018 the U15 Girls team finished runners-up to Capital at the National Championships.

In addition both the U13 A Boys and A Girls finished runners-up to Waikato at the U13 Northern Regional Championships. To cap off a successful tournament the U13B Boys won the B Boys title.

The Under-15’s, Under 17’s and Under-19 boys’ and girls’ teams will be selected from the four trials.

Tauranga City Basketball General Manager, Mark Rogers, says competition for places is stronger than it ever has been.

“We have gone with four weeks of trials to ensure everyone gets seen multiple times and we can assess everyone to a high level before selecting teams,” Mark says.

“Last year we had 22 rep teams, which was up from 10 teams in 2010. We have multiple teams in each grade and last year had B teams qualify for the national finals tournament for the first time at under-15 level.”

Players are expected to attend all four trials.

If you can’t make all four dates or for further information, please email Director of Development, Rachel Gwerder, at or phone 578 0405 before the first trial.

The cost to take part in all four trials is just $15 per player if pre-registered or $20 per player registered at the first trial.

To register go to If you have already registered use your existing login and password.

The final date to pre-register is Friday November 16 at 5pm.

Good luck to everyone trialling for the teams.


Trial age groups/ trial times all four weeks Aquinas College

Under-15 boys, born 2005 or 2006, 10am – 12.30pm

Under-15 girls, born 2005 or 2006, 12.30pm – 3pm

Under-17 boys, born 2003 or 2004, 3pm – 5.30pm

Under-17 girls, born 2003 or 2004, 12.30pm – 3pm

Under-19 boys, born 2001 or 2002, 12.30pm – 3pm

Under-19 girls, born 2001 or 2002, 3pm – 5.30pm



NZ fall to Philippines on final day at U17 World Cup


The efforts of the previous day’s hard fought victory against China took it’s toll as the New Zealand U17 Men lost 73-51 to the Philippines in Argentina today.

The result means that the Kiwis finished fourteenth at the sixteen team Fiba U17 World Cup.

Having beaten the Philippines 76-60 at the Asian Championship back in April to claim bronze at that tournament New Zealand would have been hoping to achieve a similar result in Santa Fe.

However it wasn’t to be with the Philippines winning every quarter on their way to a comfortable victory. Mitch Dance was once again the leading scorer with 12 points, Shalom Broughton the only other Kiwi in double figures with ten points.

Thanks to Anzac Rissetto, Haven Dixon and Dance New Zealand comfortably won the rebounding count 60-43 but some of the other statistical categories were not so positive.

The Kiwis gave up 18 turnovers, ten more than their opponents. Neither team shot the ball well from beyond the arc but inside and mid-rand the Philippines were a reasonably efficient 44% (33/75). In comparison the Kiwis connected with just 20 from 79 at 25%.

The team finished the tournament a very respectable eighth in the rebounding statistical category but last in shooting percentages.

Dance was the team’s leading scorer averaging 15.6 points a game with Marvin Williams-Dunn (7.9) and Kainoa Lepou (7.2) the next best.

Anzac Rissetto was a top ten rebounder at the tournament collecting 8.9 boards a game. Dance demonstrated his value with 6.6 rebounds per outing and Haven Dixon corralled 5.9 per game.

Philippines 73

NZ 51 – M Dance 12/11r, S Broughton 10, T Cowie 6, M Williams-Dunn 6, H Dixon 5/9r, E Vaigafa 5, A Rissetto 4/12r, J Mckinlay 3

Title defences still on track at U19 Nationals

Manawatu Men

Manawatu Men and Harbour Women stand in the way of Canterbury and Waikato repeating their 2017 success at Under 19 Nationals.

read more

Under 19 Nationals – Day 2 wrap


Men’s semi-finalists are all sorted at U19 Nationals.

Women’s Championship still has one round of pool games still to play but three of the semi-final spots are already decided.

Read more

JTB’s beat Egypt to finish 11th


Photos courtesy of Jolene Cartwright

The Anchor Junior Tall Blacks have ended their FIBA U19 World Cup on a high, thrashing hosts Egypt 85-69 to finish 11th at the tournament, on the first occasion New Zealand has ever qualified a team to play at this level.

The win was earned on a strong performance across the board, the team dominated rebounds as they have through most of the tournament, cut down turnovers and shot the ball at a good clip throughout.

Head Coach Daryl Cartwright spoke of the atmosphere playing the hosts and the way his team handled that pressure.

“The crowd built over the game, there was a delay at halftime and the crowd seemed to double before the second half started and it spurred them on to come back at us but we gathered, made some good plays and finished strongly.

“Our starting group has been pretty consistent for the most part, Taane has been up there in our scoring and I think Tai ended up leading the team for scoring and rebounding. Quinn has provided great leadership to the team as well. But the bench too has provided good production at times, but the starting group has played a big part in our tournament.”

Cartwright acknowledged the contribution from Isaac Letoa in the assist column tonight, as he again went close to double figures.

“Isaac has had two games with nine assists now and does a good job when he plays under control and has our systems running and gets guys the right looks. There have been some areas we have struggled with, notably turnovers, and we got that ratio right tonight for sure.”


Cartwright also referenced the commitment from everyone involved in the team and the programme, most notably the families and players themselves.

“I am proud of the team, the staff and everyone’s families in what we have achieved. It has been a tough six months with our preparation, trying to get all the guys together, with Sam based in Miami and not part of our build up at all really. Our isolation makes it difficult too, trying to play other U19 teams in the buildup to get a feel for the style of basketball that we would come up against.”

While disappointed not to have gone deeper into the tournament and earned a top ten ranking, Cartwright reflected on a team that never threw in the towel and always gave 100%.

“I spoke about it in the locker room today, in virtually every game we were within four or five points in the final moments. A couple of those results blew out as we were fouling at the end trying to get back in. But we showed we are a competitive side and found a way even when losing badly in the number of possessions for each team on the back of our turnover issues.

“There are some learnings for our guys, hopefully this experience is a positive one to motivate them to continue to develop, work hard and one day be in the Tall Blacks. This group of young men can be the core of the Tall Blacks for a few years to come, if they continue their development wherever they end up over the next few years.”

Cartwright says the game is in rude good health, with a depth and level of talent being produced like never before, but the challenges are significant for a sport that has multiple national teams and programmes in action at any one time – all largely 100% funded by the sport or the players and their families.

“The game is going from strength to strength, as our local associations and coaches improve their knowledge and systems. We are seeing more and more young people choose basketball as their sport of choice instead of a second sport. I hope that growth continues, but it needs financial support to match it.

“One of the areas is the possibility of long-term government funding to support this programme and filter down to the junior teams. One of the challenges is we are athlete funded, sometimes that can exclude some of our best athletes. I know we are the only team here at the World Cup that is athlete funded, that is the reality of what we are going up against.”

Anchor Junior Tall Blacks 85
Wynyard 17/10r, Samuel 17, Clinton 12/5r/4a, Waardenburg 97r, Letoa 7/9a,F Cameron 6,  McDonald 5, Aitcheson 4, McRae 4, T Cameron 3, McWilliam 1

Egypt 69

Highlights link here

U19 National Finals go down to the wire


Two exciting finals, two deserving MVP’s and a host of fine individual performances.

Read how Canterbury and Waikato secured national titles link


Finalists found at Under 19 Nationals

There will be a couple of blockbuster Finals at the Under 19 National Championships tomorrow.

Canterbury Combined will contest both finals at North Shore Events Centre tomorrow.

They will take on Auckland in the Men’s Final and Waikato in the Women’s Final.

Read how the teams made it through the semi-finals link


A Good Day for Canterbury Women


Saturday was a good day for Canterbury Women’s basketball.

Not only did the Canterbury Women’s  team win both games at Under 19 Nationals but the Wildcats registered a win also.

A couple of weeks ago the Wildcats were upset by Harbour Breeze but on Saturday they had no trouble disposing of Taranaki Thunder.

For a full report click here link

Waikato win Women’s Under 23 Championship

Dominating performances from Kelcy Ballantyne and Kendell Heremaia, both forwards recording double doubles, carried Waikato to a 64-50 victory over Otago in the Women’s Under 23 Championship game in Tauranga on Saturday.

Threes on consecutive offences from Brittany Richards and Aleisha Ruske gave Otago an early 6 points advantage.

A Chelsea Savage triple plus a Heremaia reverse layup cut into the advantage but Otago led 14-12 at quarter time.

Eight points from Stirling Walker-Pitman and a brace of put backs from Ballantyne propelled Waikato to a 24-20 lead – Otago coach Natalie Visger deciding a timeout was prudent.

Richards made a deep two on the resumption but Walker-Pitman sunk her second triple of the game to keep Waikato ahead. Jeanie Pattison penetrated for a basket and Nicole Ruske made a triple as a free flowing half ended with Waikato 31-29 to the good.

The hard working Heremaia began to exert domination on the boards at both ends taking her rebound tally into double figures. Her efforts set up Ballantyne for an easy basket to take Waikato to a double digit lead.

Ballantyne made it three straight baskets to extend the lead to 45-33 and when Heremaia demonstrated her all round ability with a three Waikato were in total control.

Pattison broke an 8-0 Waikato run with a trey but the Heremaia /Ballantyne combination worked again as Waikato led 54-39 at the conclusion of the third period.

Otago needed early points in the final quarter and Aleisha Ruske obliged with a three but points were becoming hard to come by for the Blue and Gold’s. Krystal Leger-Walker, departing for the University of Northern Colorado on Monday, showed her qualities with a basket, block and assist on consecutive plays to extend the Waikato lead to 60-41 with 4:37 to play.

Otago never gave up trying, despite being without injured forward Zoe Richards, and Nicole Ruske and Brittany Richards made long shots count but the strong Waikato perimeter defence limited Otago’s opportunities and played a major part in carrying them to a deserved victory.

Waikato coach Anthony Corban was pleased with his team’s defensive effort.

“It’s the focal point of our rep programme and you saw today that we really just wore them down. It took us three-quarters of the game but eventually we just ran them off the court.”

Corban also complimented the performance of his captain Krystal Leger-Walker who claimed her fourth national title in the past 18 months.

“I have always thought she was Tall Ferns material from the first time I saw her play. Today it wasn’t so much the scoring it was the assists, the defensive rebounds and we know Northern Colorado are getting a very good player,” he said.

Leger-Walker modestly pointed out that Kendell Heremaia was a huge influence in the game.

“She was awesome, she always comes out to play, she is a beast, you can’t stop her. We’ve played together for the last two years and we work well together. She knows where I will be and I know exactly where she will be – she’s just so nice to play with and she was probably the difference that got us over the line today.”

Final Score: Otago 50 – Nicole Ruske 20, Richards 11, Aleisha Ruske 8, Pattison 9 Waikato 64 – Ballantyne 17/10, Heremaia 12/15, Walker-Pitman 10, Leger-Walker 8/14

In the Women’s 3rd/4th play-off game North Harbour defeated Tauranga City 91-55.

Referees – Apai Apai (Hawkes Bay), Rhys Hamilton (Auckland), Tayla Ammunson (Auckland)

Harbour clinch U23 Men’s championship


Fuelled by 20 points performances from Liam Thornton and Ana Haku North Harbour were able to defeat Canterbury in the Men’s Final at the 2016 Under 23 National Championships in Tauranga on Saturday.

James Cawthorn opened the scoring for Canterbury but Liam Thornton and Ana Haku drives gave Harbour an early 13-10 lead. A brace of Jordy Jamieson threes were matched by Nathan Campbell but Harbour led 25-17 at quarter-time.

Nathan Curran and Nick Brophy took Harbour into a double figure lead but Canterbury responded through Taylor Britt, sensational in the semi-final against Waikato, and James Levings.

Sam Smith scored in transition and Derek Albertsen landed a corner three to cancel out an identical effort from Thornton.

A fast paced opening half ended with Harbour ahead 45-35, Smith leading all scorers with 15 points.

A brace of Britt jump shots were followed by a couple of Thornton drives as the Harbour lead remained at 10 points. A Thornton put back dunk increased the Harbour advantage although back to back Nathan Campbell baskets excited the sizeable Canterbury supporters club.

Albertsen made a banked jumper but Harbour led 68-55 at the three-quarter mark.

Albertsen then made 9 straight points to open the final quarter proceedings before Haku scored twice for Harbour.

Impressive Junior Tall Black squad member Thornton was sent hobbling to the sideline with an ankle injury but Brophy helped the Harbour effort with a triple, 75-66, with 5:30 to play.

Daniel Mulder countered a Brophy transition basket as Harbour maintained a ten point lead with 3:30 to play and a Haku drive made it 81-69.

Free throws from Smith reduced the advantage to 8 points but the influential Matt Lacey landed a trey that took Harbour to 84-73 with less than two to play.

Levings made it 84-75 but a foul sent Haku to the foul line on consecutive offenses.

Taylor made a basket but with time running out Canterbury were forced to foul and Tournament MVP Haku completed the victory with a series of free throws.

Harbour coach Mitch Richmond stepped in at short notice for original coach Tony Webster (unavailable due to work commitments) and he was delighted with his team’s performance.

“It was a complete team effort from our veterans Jordy Jamieson, Matt Lacey and Ana

Haku, who were hugely influential, through to our younger players like Nathan Curran and Liam Thornton,” said the Harbour coach.

Richmond won the U23 title as a player in 2013 but he found coaching to be a lot more intense. “It is definitely more pressure but I felt with the experience I have gained as a player and coach and the back up of Jaylen (assistant coach Jaylen Gerrand) and the senior players held me in good stead,” he said.

Final Score: Harbour 93 – Thornton 21, Haku 20/12, Jamieson 12, Brophy 11, Curran 7/8, Lacey 7  Canterbury 81 – Smith 21/10, Albertsen 16, Britt 15, Campbell 11, Levings 7

Hutt Valley defeated Waikato 82-67 in the 3rd/4th play-off game.

Referees – Leon Demetriades (Canterbury), Oceen Reed (North Harbour), Sam Pan (Wellington)