Category Archives: Age Group Basketball

JTB’s beat Egypt to finish 11th

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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.”

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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

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U19 National Finals go down to the wire

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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

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A Good Day for Canterbury Women

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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

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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)

Canterbury to face Harbour in Men’s final

The second Men’s semi-final at the 2016 Under 23 National Championships in Tauranga featured Waikato and defending champions Canterbury A.

Canterbury connected with five three in the opening quarter as Sam Smith and Ollie Davies and Nathan Campbell (twice each) helped Canterbury to a 21-18 lead.

Nick Fee kept Waikato in contention with 11 early points.

Centre Alex Schipper and Josh Mckee made baskets early in the second as did Philip Borota-Angelich as Waikato edged ahead 30-29.

Fee and James Cawthorn exchanged triples before Waikato coach Alby Ellis called a timeout with his charges 39-36 to the good.

Derek Albertsen became the fifth Cantab to land a three as Waikato held a narrow 45-42 half-time advantage. Fee led all scorers with 19 points at the break, a more rounded Canterbury effort led by Davies and Campbell with 9 points each.

Taylor Britt made the opening basket of the second half for Canterbury although a banked three from Connor Johnston more than cancelled that out.

Britt then made a triple to edge Canterbury ahead- the shooting guard had 14 straight points for his team before Cawthorn broke the sequence.

Fee and Hamish Sheridan helped Waikato claw back into the lead but it was short lived the two teams constantly exchanging the lead.

A Schipper dunk excited the Waikato bench – a long Cawthorn three doing likewise for the Cantab followers.

Canterbury coach Dave Langrell was hit with a tech foul but his team were going blow for blow or more accurately basket for basket with their opponents in an exciting encounter. 73-72 to Waikato at the end of the third.

A 12-6 Canterbury run triggered the final quarter and a pair of Britt freebies gave Canterbury an 87-81 lead. Albertsen converted a neat banked shot and suddenly, with 3:30 to play Waikato were 92-81 in arrears and needing a timeout.

A three from Borota –Angelich helped as did a Fee drive but Canterbury were still 96-89 ahead with 2 minutes to play.

Albertsen was bossing the final minutes and his three maintained a double figure Canterbury advantage.

Nick Erwood sealed the deal for Canterbury with a deep three to take his team into the final.

Final Score: Canterbury 108 – Britt35, Campbell 18, Levings 13, Albertsen 11, Davies 10 Waikato 92 – Fee 28, Schipper 14, Borota-Angelich 14, Johnston 13, Sheridan 10

Harbour beat Hutt Valley in Men’s semi-final

The first Men’s semi-final at the 2016 Under 23 National Championships in Tauranga was between North Harbour and Hutt Valley.

Harbour made the better start leading 10-4 with Matt Lacey and Ana Haku prominent and the lead was extended to 27-11 at quarter time.

Liam Thornton made a couple of good looking plays for Harbour requiring Hutt coach George Le’afa to call a timeout to discuss tactics.

Jackson Stubbins got the score moving for Hutt with five straight freebies and a Keota Warren transition basket trimmed the advantage to 36-18 in favour of Harbour.

Thornton continued to punish Hutt as the lead extended to twenty points although a series of fouls sidelined Lacey, Haku and Nick Brophy.

Hutt were unable to take full advantage although Jordan Hunt, Jamal Mikaio and Stubbins made baskets but a pair of Chris McIntosh threes helped Harbour to a 52-30 half-time lead.

Thornton picked up fouls three and four in quick succession and Lacey and Haku were also charged with their fourth offences igniting a Hutt charge on the back of Nico Buckrell and Jackson Stubbins scores.

Denhym Brooke and Brophy combined for Harbour scores. Jordan Hunt’s fourth foul sent Hutt to small ball and something of a revival as they closed the gap by three-quarter time to 67-53.

Tom Kingsmill made a couple of scores as did Brophy before Keota Warren replied – Harbour up 75-59 with 5:30 to play and a Hutt timeout.

Mikaio and Dion Yee scored to bring it back to 12 with four to play.

Jackson Stubbins two free throws 76-65 and Nico Buckrell in transition 76-67 with 2:51 to play.

Stubbins three 76-70 with 2:20 to play

Nathan Curran for Harbour 78-70

Buckrell free throws 78-74 with 1:30 to play

Ketoa Warren fouled out sending Haku to the foul line – 79-74 with one minute to play.

Jack Stubbins in transition 79-76 with 22 seconds to play then Harbour fail to convert free throw opportunities but Hutt miss an opportunity to tie the game.

Haku free throws 81-76 to Harbour but a Buckrell three 81-79 with 13 seconds left makes it interesting. Brophy was fouled as the clock wound down and iced the game from the free throw line

Final score Harbour 83 – Haku 14, Brophy 13, Brooke 12, Thornton 11 Lacey 10 Hutt Valley 79 – Buckrell 25, J Stubbins 23, Mikaio 14, Hunt 8

Waikato secure second final’s berth at U23’s

The second Women’s semi-final at the 2016 Under 23 National Championships in Tauranga was between North Harbour and Waikato.

Krystal Leger-Walker and Tiarna Clarke exchanged triples and a spin drive from Alyssa Hirawani, with 6 points in the quarter, took Waikato to a 22-16 quarter time lead.

Forward Zhanay Hettig made the opening basket of the second for Waikato, Georgia Perrott-Hunt replicated for Harbour.

A third foul on Akiene Reed didn’t help the Harbour progress, coach Justine Reed needing a timeout with her team 29-23 behind.

An arching Hettig baseline two extended the Waikato advantage to double figures, 33-23. Back to back baskets from Chelsea Savage increased the Waikato advantage further to 37-25 at half-time.

Tall Fern Leger-Walker, heading to the University of Northern Colorado on Monday, led all scorers at the break with 13 points closely followed by Clarke (12 points).

A Clarke three brought the Otago lead back to ten but Waikato’s offensive rebounding, aggressive defence and Leger-Walker’s finishing were all troubling Harbour. A series of free throws, primarily from Reed, kept Harbour in the hunt but trailing 50-42 at three-quarter time they still had plenty to do.

Another Clarke three helped Harbour’s chances although a neat pass from Kendell Heremaia set up Hettig for a simple deuce.

A Savage three restored Waikato’s double-digit advantage and an easy Heremaia lay-up took the lead to 61-49 necessitating a Harbour timeout with 5:21 to play.

A falling lay up from Hirawani almost clinched the game but a pair of Clarke threes kept Harbour’s remote chances alive – 65-55 with under three to play.

Ella Fotu scored to take Harbour within 8 points followed by a Reed And 1 play 66-60 with just over a minute to play.

It became 66-62 after an Annabelle Jenkins transition basket but the nerves were settled on the Waikato bench by a Savage basket.

A Fotu three was too little too late as Waikato deservedly moved into the final.

Final Score: Waikato 69 – Leger Walker 21, Hirawani 16, Hettig 12, Savage 10

Harbour 65 – Clarke 26, Reed 16, Fotu 12,

Earlier in the first semi-final Otago, despite missing the services of Zoe Richards after breaking her leg in the final pool game against Waitakere on Thursday, proved too good for Tauranga City. The injury has occurred 6 days before Richards and twin sister Brittany return to Gillette Junior College in Wyoming.

Nicole Ruske opened the scoring for Otago with Mikayla Daysh replying immediately for Tauranga.

Daysh scored the first nine points for the hosts as they led 22-12 at quarter time.

A long three from Renee Bennett was sandwiched between triples from Brittany Richards and Aleisha Ruske as Otago closed to within 6 points, 27-21, – home coach Rachel Gwerder calling a timeout.

Courtney Wilson scored after the timeout but a couple of fouls by the experienced Tauranga guard presented Otago with a couple of visits to the charity stripe accepted by Richards and Aleisha Ruske.

Daysh led all scorers at half-time with 20 points but Otago had closed the gap trailing by a single point – 30-29.

An early second half trey from Richards propelled Otago into the lead for the first time in the game, 41-38. A tight third ensued with no more than a single basket separating the teams a floater from Aleisha Ruske keeping the southerners ahead 45-42 at the last break.

The Ruske sisters exchanged baskets with Kaatia Watene and Wilson but neither side could grasp a telling lead although an Aleisha R put back gave Otago a 60-55 lead with 4:30 tp play.

Cairyn-Marie Rogers made it a single possession game with a three but a finger roll basket from Olivia O’Neill forced a Tauranga timeout – the hosts trailing 58-53 with 3:20 to play.

The Tauranga cause was hampered with Daysh and Briarley Rogers fouling out on consecutive plays and with Jeanie Pattinson making a basket Tauranga were facing a challenge trailing 60-53 with 2 minutes to play.

Otago were able to snare a couple of important offensive rebounds to take time off the clock and when Cairyn-Marie Rogers fouled out Tauranga were forced to play the last 90 seconds with just four players.

Final Score: Tauranga 55 – M Daysh 32/12, C Wilson 7, K Watene 6 Otago 65 – A Ruske 24, N Ruske 15/11, B Richards 11, J Pattison 8

Otago beat Tauranga in U23 Women’s semi-final

The first Women’s semi-final at the 2016 Under 23 National Championships in Tauranga featured hosts Tauranga City and Otago.

Otago were missing the services of Zoe Richards after breaking her leg in the final pool game against Waitakere on Thursday. The injury has occurred 6 days before Richards and twin sister Brittany return to Gillette Junior College in Wyoming.

Nicole Ruske opened the scoring for Otago with Mikayla Daysh replying immediately for Tauranga.

Daysh scored the first nine points for the hosts as they led 22-12 at quarter time.

A long three from Renee Bennett was sandwiched between triples from Brittany Richards and Aleisha Ruske as Otago closed to within 6 points, 27-21, – home coach Rachel Gwerder calling a timeout.

Courtney Wilson scored after the timeout but a couple of fouls by the experienced Tauranga guard presented Otago with a couple of visits to the charity stripe accepted by Richards and Aleisha Ruske.

Daysh led all scorers at half-time with 20 points but Otago had closed the gap trailing by a single point – 30-29.

An early second half trey from Richards propelled Otago into the lead for the first time in the game, 41-38. A tight third ensued with no more than a single basket separating the teams a floater from Aleisha Ruske keeping the southerners ahead 45-42 at the last break.

The Ruske sisters exchanged baskets with Kaatia Watene and Wilson but neither side could grasp a telling lead although an Aleisha R put back gave Otago a 60-55 lead with 4:30 tp play.

Cairyn-Marie Rogers made it a single possession game with a three but a finger roll basket from Olivia O’Neill forced a Tauranga timeout – the hosts trailing 58-53 with 3:20 to play.

The Tauranga cause was hampered with Daysh and Briarley Rogers fouling out on consecutive plays and with Jeanie Pattinson making a basket Tauranga were facing a challenge trailing 60-53 with 2 minutes to play.

Otago were able to snare a couple of important offensive rebounds to take time off the clock and when Cairyn-Marie Rogers fouled out Tauranga were forced to play the last 90 seconds with just four players.

Final Score: Tauranga 55 – M Daysh 32/12, C Wilson 7, K Watene 6

Otago 65 – A Ruske 24, N Ruske 15/11, B Richards 11, J Pattison 8