Category Archives: College Hoops

Harbour players continue to do good things in college hoops



Heading towards half-way in the American college season Harbour players continue to make a good impression.

Division 1 colleges begin conference action around the end of the year but Division II and Junior Colleges have already embarked on conference play.

Here is a wrap on what some of the Harbour players have been up to in the last few days.

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Career high’s for Davison and Leger-Walker plus better news for Tai Wynyard

tai wynyard

In weekend college action in the States both Penina Davidson and Krystal Leger-Walker posted career best numbers. It was quiet on the men’s front although Tai Wynyard enjoyed a little more action than normal.

Davidson scored a career high as she posted a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds in Cal Berkeley’s 92-85 win against Pacific. Davidson’s points in the Golden Bears fourth straight win were punched at a very efficient 9 from 11 from the field and 4 from 5 free throws.

Leger-Walker was only one point shy of a double-double in Northern Colorado’s 55-44 loss to Colorado State – just the third loss of the season for the Bears. Her 10 assists were a career high and she added 9 points, 2 rebounds and a steal.

Brooke Blair top scored with 20 points (7/11FG) as Idaho State Bengals won an exciting 64-62 overtime encounter against Hawaii. The win snaps a two game losing streak and improves the Bengals to 6-3 for the season.

Dru Toleafoa logged 13 points and added 4 points and 13 rebounds as Santa Clara Broncos rode all over Menio to win 104-61.

The lack of opportunity afforded Tai Wynyard at Kentucky is evidenced by the game time afforded the former Rangitoto College standout in the Wildcats 93-76 win against Monmouth.

The game was played at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York where Wynyard, given 12 minutes of court time. The power forward responded with 4 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals as Kentucky improved to 8-1 for the season.

12 minutes doesn’t seem a great deal of playing time but it equals the most opportunity he has been granted by Coach Calipari in his season and a half at Kentucky.

In his freshman year he averaged 3.6 minutes across 15 games played. Things haven’t improved greatly in season two with Wynyard averaging 5 minutes in the seven games he has played.

Roundup of the week in college hoops includes career high for Beckley

Jacinta Becley

The highlight of the past week amongst Tall Ferns in Division 1 colleges was the performance of Jacinta Beckley. She posted a career high 22 points (9/13FG) as Seattle beat San Diego 80-73 making a highly respectable 9 from 13 shots.

Not far behind was the effort of Stella Beck – her double-double of 13 points and 10 assists helped St Mary’s Gaels to a fifth straight win as they came from behind to defeat Boise State 74-72. A couple of days later the Gaels went down 74-63 to Utah with Beck collecting 8 points and 3 steals in that one.

Tessa Boagni also produced a noteworthy double-double. The Cal State Northridge Matadors centre accumulated 12 points and 12 rebounds in the 76-59 win against San Diego State.

Idaho State Bengals slipped to a second successive defeat going down 61-53 at Wyoming. Brooke Blair was kept relatively quiet scoring 7 points and bagging 3 rebounds for the Bengals.

Penina Davidson knocked down 13 points (6/7FG) as Cal Berkeley Bears comfortably beat San Diego 89-64 to improve to 6-2 for the season.

Krystal Leger-Walker had a trio of four’s as Northern Colorado Bears improved to 6-2 with a commanding 80-55 victory against Pacific. The Waikato combo guard had 4 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds in the win.

On the men’s front there were also some handy performances from the Tall Blacks in college this week.

Starting centre Jack Salt was needed for just 20 minutes as Virginia Cavs dispatched Lehigh 75-54 for an eighth straight win. Salt scored 4 points and added block and a pair of rebounds.

A couple of days later Salt played just 9 minutes as the Cavs unbeaten run came to an end downed 68-61 by West Virginia.Sam Timmins stuffed the stats line as Washington Huskies beat Kennesaw State 85-71. The Tall Blacks centre produced 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks to a season high 13 points.

 The Huskies had a significant upset win three days later beating No 2 ranked Kansas 74-65. Timmins only scored 8 points but he was a major contributor at the heart of the Huskies zone defense.

 Sacramento State snapped a six game losing streak beating the attractively named Antelope Valley 97-74. Izayah Le’afa was once again a major facilitator dishing 9 assists to compliment 12 points and five rebounds.

Le’afa has totaled 30 assists in his last 4 outings whilst coughing up just 8 turnovers.

Plenty of good performances from Harbour players in the USA


Tera reedThere was plenty to like about the efforts of Harbour players in the US this week.

There was a double double from Katie Diakhaby, 14 points from Ella Fotu, 15 points from Olivia Bell and 14 points from Denhym Brooke.

However a career best from Tera Reed takes the biscuit this week.

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Another all Kiwi college battle


This time it’s two blokes going head to head. Three months ago they were facing off in the Harbour Premier competition at North Shore Events Centre. At the weekend they squared off in a PacWest Conference game.

Read who got the win link

Davidson v Beckley and Boagni v Noyer amongst Kiwi v Kiwi encounters


With record numbers of Kiwis playing college basketball in the States instances of New Zealand players taking the floor in direct opposition are becoming more and more common.

In the last three days there have been four editions of Mate v Mate, Kiwi v Kiwi, with Penina Davidson involved in two encounters – in total six Tall Ferns were in action.

First up Davidson and the Cal Berkeley Bears proved too good for Jacinta Beckley and Seattle Redhawks winning 87-67.

Beckley was in good form for the Redhawks nailing 15 points despite fouling out in 23 minutes.

Davidson contributed 3 points, 6 rebounds and a brace of assists in Cal’s fourth win of the season.

In the second episode it took an overtime period for Krystal Leger-Walker and Tiarna Clarke to edge Shalae Salmon and BYU Cougars 79-74.

For the Bears Leger-Walker, the only senior NZ international amongst the trio in this encounter, dished a team high 5 assists to go with 2 points and 3 rebounds. Freshman guard Tiarna Clarke chipped in with 6 points in the win.

Salmon continued her outstanding start to her sophmore season at BYU with 11 points and 6 rebounds.

In the third match up Davidson and Cal Berkeley prevailed once again this time smothering Santa Clara Broncos 79-41.

Dru Toleafoa, after an injury plagued spell, is enjoying some productive minutes for the Broncos and had 7 points, 4 rebounds and a block in a game in which they gave Cal a 16-0 start and never recovered.

It wasn’t the best of outings for Davidson who fouled out in just 16 minutes although in that time the former Rangitoto College standout produced 4 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals.

In the battle of two Kiwi centres Tessa Boagni and Cal State Northridge Matadors proved too good for Katelin Noyer and Fresno State Bulldogs winning 85-71 in the Matadome.

Boagni was outstanding with a career high 5 blocks to add to 10 points, 8 rebounds plus 2 steals for good measure.

Noyer dealt mainly in pairs having 2 points, 2 assists and 2 blocks for the Bulldogs.

Harbour players – wrap on performances in college in last seven days

Matt Freemanpg

There were some mighty fine performances by former Harbour players in college hoops recently.


Career bests for Beck, Beckley and Le’afa in American college action.

stella beck

Over the Thanksgiving holiday period there was plenty of action involving our Tall Ferns and Tall Blacks playing college basketball in the States.

It was quite a weekend for former Hutt Valley standout Stella Beck as she passed the 1,000 career points mark with 18 points as St Mary’s Gaels beat USC Santa Barbara 89-59 in the Hilton Concord Classic. In the same game she also matched a career best 6 steals.

“I didn’t really think about (scoring 1,000 career points) until someone mentioned last game that I was three points away from reaching the 1,000-point record. It’s funny because it makes me think about being a senior, which is sad, but it’s also really exciting,” said Beck.

24 hours later Beck took her tally for the weekend to 40 points, nailing 22 to help St Mary’s to a narrow 88-82 win against Idaho and with it the Hilton Concord Classic – not surprisingly Beck was made MVP.

It was also a good time for Jacinta Beckley who scored a career high 20 points for Seattle in the Redhawks 91-77 win against Portland State. The Kapiti native added 8 rebounds for good measure then followed up with a 15 points haul against UC Davis – a game dropped 70-54 by Seattle after three straight wins.

Brooke Blair posted a team high in points (12) and rebounds (7) as Idaho State Bengals improved to 5-1 for the season with a convincing 64-44 victory against Utah State. Blair is leading the Bengals in scoring over the first six games averaging 15.9 points per outing.

Krystal Leger-Walker and Northern Colorado Bears had a night to forget at Fordham University where in a New Zealand first FIVE Kiwis were in action. The Bears made their second lowest score in programme history going down 48-33. The Bears were awful from the three point line making just one from 26 attempts – that single triple made was from Leger-Walker in the final two minutes of the game. That was Leger-Walker’s only score of the night with teammate Tiarna Clarke quiet with just a couple of rebounds to her name.

The hosts featured three Kiwis in their line up led by Cantabrian forward Mary Goulding (6pts/7rebs). They also have the freshman pair of Kendell Heremaia (2pts/7rebs) and Tall Fern Zara Jillings (5pts/2rebs) on their roster.

Penina Davidson led the Cal Berkeley rebounding with 9 boards (plus 7 points) as the Bears beat Manhattan 87-66 in the Cal Classic.

Tessa Boagni and Cal State Northridge are in the winner’s circle at the sixth attempt after downing Arizona 66-63. Boagni collected a game high 12 rebounds and also added 9 points, 3 assists and a block.

Fresno State Bulldogs are in something of a slump going down 76-59 to Texas State. Katelin Noyer scored two points and secured 4 rebounds but it was a fourth straight loss for the Dogs.

On the men’s front there were good performances from the Tall Blacks in college this week.

Sam Timmins produced a strong performance as Washington Huskies beat cross-town rival Seattle 89-84. Timmins was an efficient 9 points (4/5FG), 8 rebounds and 1 block.

Izayah Le’afa didn’t have the best of shooting night’s (1/9FG) in Sacramento State’s 68-63 loss to Cal State Fullerton but he did dish a career high 11 assists with zero turnovers in 34 minutes. The Hornets point guard followed that with 7 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists but it was a fifth straight loss for Sacramento going down 74-69 to Saint Joseph’s.

Virginia Cavaliers won a seventh straight game with centre Jack Salt contributing 8 rebounds (for the second straight game) along with 4 points (2/2FG) in the low scoring 49-37 win against Wisconsin.

Tai Wynyard saw a small amount of action as Kentucky defeated University of Illinois-Chicago 107-73. Wynyard was only given 5 minutes playing time but it was enough for him to register 4 points and 3 rebounds.

Kiwis in College – Fordham trio beat Northern Colorado duo


In a first for New Zealand basketball five Kiwi players featured in the same NCAA Division 1 basketball game as Fordham University Rams beat University of Northern Colorado Bears, that endured a horror shooting night, 48-33 in a low scoring non-conference game.

The hosts featured three Kiwis in their line up led by Cantabrian forward Mary Goulding. They also have the freshman pair of Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings on their roster.

Northern Colorado entered the fixture boasting a 4-1 record with sophmore guard Krystal Leger-Walker and freshman guard Tiarna Clarke in their lineup but had a shooting night to forget making just one of 26 three point attempts – that single triple make from Leger-Walker in the final two minutes of the game.

Played on the Rams home court in the Bronx, New York, the hosts led by as many as nine points in the first half but had to settle for just a 21-18 advantage at the interval – both teams shooting around the 33% mark from the field.

UNC closed to within two points (22-20) early in the second half but a 13 – 1 run from Fordham including an inside bucket from Goulding and a corner three from Jillings moved them to a 35-21 lead.

All three Kiwis were on the board for Fordham when Heremaia converted a left-handed drive to take the Rams to a formidable 40-23 three-quarter time advantage.

Little was going right for UNC and a late rally failed to materialize as Fordham eased to a second regular season win of the season and relegated the Bears to its second lowest score in programme history.

All five Kiwis enjoyed sizeable court time putting up the following numbers:

Fordham Rams 48

Goulding – 22 minutes, 6 points, 7 rebounds

Jillings – 24 mins, 5 pts, 2 rebs, 1 assist, I steal

Heremaia – 20 mins, 2 pts, 7 rebs, 3 assists

Northern Colorado Bears 33

Leger-Walker – 35 mins, 3 pts, 4 rebs, 2 assists, 1 steal

Clarke – 0 pts, 2 rebs, 1 assist

L-W v Heremaia

Mate v Mate as Kiwi Women make a little bit of history

tiarna clarke

In a first for New Zealand basketball five Kiwi players will feature in the same NCAA Division 1 basketball game as Fordham University Rams entertained Northern Colorado Bears.

Played on the Rams home court in the Bronx, New York the two teams will match up for the very first time on Saturday afternoon (NZ time).

The hosts feature three Kiwis in their line up led by Cantabrian forward Mary Goulding. They also have the freshman pair of Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings on their roster.

Northern Colorado head to the Big Apple boasting a 4-0 record with sophmore guard Krystal Leger-Walker and freshman guard Tiarna Clarke both in good form.

Leger-Walker’s distribution skills are key for the Bears and her 5.5 assists per game rank her first amongst Big Sky Conference players in that statistical category.

Adding a little more spice to the game is that Jillings and Clarke oppose each other after both were in the class of 2016 at Westlake Girls High and were on the same Harbour team that won the U19 National title in that year.


There is also a Waikato mate v mate scenario, as Heremaia and Leger-Walker played on successful Waikato representative and school teams together. The pair were the key performers in St Peter’s, Cambridge winning the 2015 NZ Secondary Schools National title.