Category Archives: Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam

Braswell takes Birdmen to Mexicali title

 

IMG_5113.jpgKevin Braswell scored a game high 42 points to lead Birdmen to the 2017 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam title with an ultimately convincing 123-107 victory against Railsplitters.

Birdmen led at every quarter-time break but Railsplitters, with Jaylen Gerrand, Judson Seumanu and Samson Aruwa in good form, only trailed 103-95 with four minutes to play.

At that point the former Southlands Sharks and Breakers standout put the hammer down, or put more accurately put on a shooting clinic.

He reeled off 11 straight points including a couple of trademark threes buried off the dribble. An assist for a Brandon Lucas dunk sealed the deal as a tight single digit advantage was blown out to a twenty points lead in a little over two minutes.

Earlier Juan Cruz Colla, Tinashe Matambanadzo, Dom Kelman-Poto, back from representing New Zealand Maori against the Australian Indigenous team in Cairns last week, held sway in the opening half to help Birdmen to a 63-51 half-time lead.

Another NZ Maori representative Judson Seumanu along with Gerrand kept Railsplitters in touch at the last break – down 90-81.

Birdmen stretched the lead to 103-86 early in the fourth but Gerrand, Will Heather, the Aruwa brothers and Zack Te Puni responded to pull Railsplitters back to that 103-95 margin.

From then on it was all Braswell who ruled the roost as he scored 16 of Birdmen’s last twenty points.

Birdmen 123 – Braswell 42, Matambanadzo 31, Colla 19, Lucas 17, Kelman-Poto 10

Railsplitters 107 – Gerrand 24, Samson Aruwa 21, Seumanu 18, Heather 14, Sam Aruwa 12

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Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam finalists found

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The Grand Finals of the 2017 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam will feature Railsplitters and the Birdmen in the Men’s competition with Suns taking on Storm in the Women’s showpiece.

It took Railsplitters an overtime period, which they dominated 22-3, to overcome a stubborn 68A Nelson Street outfit 123-104 in the late semi-final.

Nelson Street were quickest out of the blocks as Liam Thornton, Mitch Newton, Derone Raukawa and Judson Seumanu all connected from deep to spring a 30-18 advantage.

11 points in the second from Jaylen Gerrand trimmed the deficit slightly but Nelson St still held a 58-49 lead at the break.

Newton piled in 12 third quarter points for Nelson St but Ryan Laumatia and Sam Aruwa answered for Railsplitters as the lead was cut to 80-75 with ten minutes to play.

Raukawa paced the Nelson St effort in the fourth but Railsplitters finished strong to force overtime after the scores were locked at 101 apiece in regulation.

The extra five minutes belonged to Railsplitters as five different scorers contributed to a dominating finishing spell.

Railsplitters 123 – Gerrand 29, Harris 25, Laumatia 19, Sam Aruwa 16, Jenkins 10

68A Nelson Street 104 – Newton 31, Raukawa 26, Fesolai 15, Thornton 13, Seumanu 10

Birdmen convincingly defeated Breakers Development 102-64 in the first semi-final.

Six early points from Thomas Whyte gave Breakers the early lead but the inside presence of Dominique Kelman-Poto and some three-point ammunition from Kevin Braswell carried Railsplitters to a 45-37 half-time lead.

Zack Te Puni put up some resistance for the Breakers but it was largely one-way traffic in the third as Railsplitters rattled in 36 points as multiple players registered points.

Breakers Development – Te Puni 20, Whyte 15, Williams-Dunne 12, Langridge 9

Birdmen 102– Kelman-Poto 28, Colla 16, Matambanadzo 16, Braswell 14, Barrow 10, Clinton 10,

In the first women’s semi-final Sparks were no match for Storm going down 115-55.

Storm raced to a 27-13 first quarter lead and were never challenged thereafter.

Sharne Pupuke-Robati accumulated 23 points for Sparks but Shauna Povey, Olivia Berry, Emme Shearer and Stevee-Rose Theyers each cooked up twenty points or more for Storm.

Storm 115 – Povey 26, Berry 24, Theyers 21, Shearer 20

Sparks 55 – Pupuke-Robati 23, Schuster 9, Fiatau 8, S Dil 6

Suns, led by 20 points from Luye Murphy, eventually prevailed 95-61 against Sky after a close first half.

Hannah Wentworth and Keeley Tini scored consistently for Sky as they trailed 46-36 at half-time.

The outside shooting of Murphy and Anna Lacey coupled with the inside work of Annabelle Jenkins and Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu was working well for Sun as they stretched out to a 68-50 three-quarter time lead.

Amanda Buck was tireless for Sky but it will be Suns that will face Storm in the final on Saturday.

Sky 61 – Buck 19, Wentworth 14, Tini 14, Te Huia 8

Suns 95 – Murphy 20, A Jenkins 12, Z Kailahi-Fulu 11, Lacey 9, T Jenkins 9

Mexicali Fresh – round six wrap

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Round six, the final week of round robin play, of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam saw Breakers Development register their first win of the season. Boosted by the addition of forward Mitch Newton (31 points) the Breakers outlasted Railsplitters to win 102-96.

Dan Fotu, the day after becoming the 97th SKTYCITY Breaker when making an appearance against Perth Wildcats, initiated the scoring with a triple.

However Jaylen Gerrand scored three first quarter threes to help Railsplitters to a 25-20 first quarter lead.

Newton paced the Breakers with 11 second quarter points and with Marvin Williams-Dunn landing from deep the Railsplitters lead was trimmed to a single point (48-47) at the interval.

Samson Aruwa reeled off 8 straight points for Railsplitters at the beginning of the third stanza but the two Mitchell’s – Newton and Dance – kept Breakers in touch trailing 78-76 at the end of the third frame.

Rory Fannon and Gerrand briefly extended the Splitters lead but it was 92 points apiece with 5:30 to play when Kruz Perrott-Hunt dropped a triple.

The Breakers finished the stronger down the stretch – Fotu made three straight baskets with Newton sealing the win with a couple of visits to the foul line.

Railsplitters 96 – Gerrand 33, Aruwa 26, Fannon 10, van Uden 8

Breakers Development 102 – Newton 31, Fotu 26, Dance 16, Perrott-Hunt 15

Derone Raukawa feasted on the high scoring encounter against Birdmen finishing one point shy of a half century as 68A Nelson Street ran away with the contest in the final quarter to win 136-112.

Mitch Newton, who played two games due to a number of players being unavailable, and Juan Cruz Colla got Nelson Street of to a strong start. However they were reeled in by a combination of the inside presence of Nick Barrow and the perimeter shooting of Quinn Clinton and Kevin Braswell – 61-59 in favour of Nelson Street at half-time.

Carl Buck knocked down a triple to open the scoring in the third but the second half became something of a shoot-out between Raukawa and Braswell.

Braswell showed he still has an eye for the basket with 21 points, including five triples, in the third although it was still 102-94 in favour of Nelson Street at the last break.

Raukawa peeled off 15 points in the final quarter and with Dillon Boucher and Colla adding the finishing touches the Birdmen were caged going down 136-112.

68A Nelson Street 136 – Raukawa 49, Colla 26, Newton 23, Boucher 10, Buck 10

Birdmen 112– Braswell 35, Barrow 27, Clinton 25, Matambanadzo 8

Final Round Robin standings:

4-2 Birdmen, Nelson Street

3-3 Railsplitters

1-5 Breakers Development

In a free flowing encounter Sparks, thanks to a combined 38 points from the NZ U18 duo of Tayla Dalton and Sharne Pupuke-Robati, defeated Suns 73-65.

Kayla Kiriau, fresh from a successful season with Gladstone Power in the Queensland State League, scored 7 first quarter points as Sparks established an early 16-10 lead.

That advantage was extended to double figures by Dalton and Pupuke-Robati before Tabitha Jenkins and Morgan Ili hit back for Suns – 36-28 at half-time.

7 points from Anabelle Jenkins in the third countered threes from Dalton and Mikayla Blair and when Anna Lacey converted twice from beyond the arc either side of the three-quarter break the Sparks advantage was just three points (53-50).

Ili was outstanding for Suns but another three from Blair and contributions from the Westlake pair of Mareta Davidson and Sophie Dil closed out a second win of the season for Sparks.

Suns 65 – Ili 19, T Jenkins 13, A Jenkins 9, Lacey 8

Sparks 73 – Dalton 20, Pupuke-Robati 18, K Kiriau 13, Blair 6

A combined 51 points from Sky forward Ashleigh Kelman-Poto and guard Jordyn Maddix wasn’t quite enough to overcome Storm who were paced by Deena Franklin and Shauna Povey.

Maddix hit three first quarter triples for Sky but they were outscored 26-16 in the opening spell.

10 points from Kelman-Poto in the second kept Sky in the hunt but the consistent Franklin ensured Storm led 45-34 at half-time.

Povey dropped three treys in the third although regular scoring from Summer-Jean Motufoua and Kelman-Poto kept Sky in touch – 68-60 down at the three-quarter mark.

Jordyn Maddix landed a further two triples – she had six in the game – but scores from Olivia Berry and Alanna Hughes complimented the work of Franklin to ensure Storm finished with four wins alongside Suns.

Sky 78 – Kelman-Poto 29, Maddix 22, Motufoua 13

Storm 87 – Franklin 22, Povey 18, Berry 12, Hughes 7,

Final Round Robin Standings

4-2 Suns, Storm

2-4 Sky, Sparks

Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam – Round 5 wrap

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Round five of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam saw wins for Birdmen and 68A Nelson Street in the Men’s competition, with Suns and Sky grabbing the victories in the women’s competition.

Nelson Street, with five players scoring double figures, led from start to finish against Breakers Development.

With Derone Raukawa (35 points) once again in good scoring touch Nelson Street were quickly out to a 30-20 lead in the opening period.

Twenty first half points from Mitch Dance kept Breakers in touch but the greater scoring productivity of Johnny Fesolai, Ana Haku and Mitch Newton propelled Nelson Street to a 53-38 lead at half-time.

Threes from Thomas Whyte, Harry Payne and Kruz Perrott-Hunt were of little consequence as Nelson Street dominated the second half to run out easy winners.

Nelson Street 111 – Raukawa 35, Haku 24, Fesolai 20, Newton 18, Jayden Boucher 11

Breakers Development 72 –Dance 24, Langridge 14, Payne 11, Perrott-Hunt 9, Te Puni 8

Aided by a 36 points haul from Kevin Braswell, Birdmen with a strong fourth quarter finish beat Railsplitters 123-113.

Railsplitters got off to a good start courtesy of Hayden Allen and Jaylen Gerrand to lead by three points (36-33) in a high scoring opening frame.

The same two players, along with Sam Aruwa, landed triples in the second but 15 points in the period from Braswell gave Birdmen a 64-61 edge at the interval.

Railsplitters chances were dealt a blow in the third with Allen forced to retire with an ankle injury although 10 points in the quarter from James Hunter ensured Railsplitters only trailed by a point (87-86) at the last break.

Triples from Brayden Inger, Matt Lacey and Braswell sprung Birdmen into a 113-104 lead with four minutes to play. Gerrand piled in 17 fourth quarter points but TInashe Matambanadzo, Nick Barrow and Braswell ensured Birdmen remained on the top rung.

Railsplitters 113 – Gerrand 29, Allen 20, Harris 19, Hunter 14, Aruwa 13

Birdmen 123 – Braswell 36, Colla 19, Matambanadzo 19, Inger 14, Barrow 13

Current Standings:

4-1 Birdmen

3-2 Railsplitters, Nelson Street

0-5 Breakers Development

After a close first half it was a commanding second half performance that carried Sky to 79-62 win against Sparks in the women’s competition.

Sky dominated the third stanza 29-8 with Orewa College guard Hannah Wentworth and Breana Jones knocking down perimeter shots and Ashleigh Kelman-Poto scoring inside.

Sparks shaded the fourth quarter with Shanee Kiriau prominent but Sky had little trouble protecting their advantage to win their second game of the season.

Earlier Mikayla Blair had been in good scoring touch making 11 first quarter points for Sparks. An even first half ensued with Alyesha Schuster and Sophie Dil chipping in for Sparks as they entered the break 41-38 ahead – Wentworth made one of her four triples in the shadows of half-time to keep Sky in touch.

Sky 79 – Kelman-Poto 22, Wentworth 18, Jones 17, Maddix 9

Sparks 62 – Blair 17, Dil 10, Schuster 10, Kiriau 9, Davidson 8

Despite 25 points from Tall Ferns forward Deena Franklin the Suns were able to win the battle of the top two teams beating Storm 70-60.

It was 13 points apiece at quarter time but Suns broke the deadlock in the second winning the stanza 25-18 – 15 points in the half from Morgan Ili proving the difference.

Franklin scored eight straight points to open the third but the triple inside threat of Annabelle Jenkins and the Kailahi-Fulu sisters Jazz and Zaaliyah gave Suns a 54-42 three-quarter time lead.

Triples from Emme Shearer and Shauna Povey hinted at a strong Storm finish but five points apiece from Anna Lacey and Jazz Kailahi-Fulu ensured Suns have a spot in the grand final with a round of the regular season still to play.

Suns 70 – Ili 19, A Jenkins 12, Lacey 10, J Kailahi-Fulu 10, Z Kailahi-Fulu 10

Storm 60 – Franklin 25, Berry 7, Shearer 7, Povey 7

Standings

4-1 Suns

3-2 Storm

2-3 Sky

1-4 Sparks

Mexicali Fresh – Round 4 wrap

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Round four of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam saw wins for Birdmen and Railsplitters in the Men’s competition, the Storm and Suns shining on the Women’s side.

Birdmen, with forwards Nick Barrow and Dom Kelman-Poto sharing 56 points, proved too strong for Breakers Development winning 90-75.

Birdmen soared to an early 13-3 lead and despite a couple of triples from Breakers forward Zack Te Puni held a 21-13 advantage at three-quarter time.

A trey from Brayden Inger and inside dominance from Kelman-Poto and Barrow kept the Birdmen advantage in double figures.

Breakers guard Harry Clarke closed the first half with back-to-back scores but his team trailed 45-30 at the interval.

Kainoa Lepou pushed the Birdmen advantage out to twenty points and a steal and score from Juan Cruz Cola added to Breakers problems as they finished the third 71-49 adrift.

The Breakers kept plugging away and enjoyed a good spell as Tom Whyte and Te Puni made threes while Thabo Manyere and Anzac Rissetto chimed in with inside buckets.

Clarke also landed a couple of late triple as the Breakers enjoyed their best spell of the game but it was too little too late as Birdmen recorded their third win.

Birdmen 90 – Barrow 30, Kelman-Poto 26, Colo 14, Inger 12

Breakers Development 75 –Te Puni 12, Rissetto 11, Manyere 9, Clarke 8, Whyte 8

In the second game Derone Raukawa, after thirty odd points last week, went even better in this round running up 46 points  but it wasn’t enough to carry 68A Nelson Street to the win as they were edged 108-101 by Railsplitters.

Raukawa’s Southland Sharks teammate Hayden Allens scored 34  points, closely followed by Jaylen Gerrand – the former Westlake standout put up a season high 13 three-point attempts converting eight, at healthy 62%, on his way to 33 points.

The scores were tied at quarter-time (27-27) before Nelson Street had the best of the second, with veteran Dillon Boucher leading the way (12 points and 14 rebounds), to lead 55-48 at half-time.

New, Bay Hawks signing Mitch Newton (21 points and 11 rebounds) played a strong hand for Nelson Street as they maintained an 81-77 lead at the three-quarter mark.

That advantage was quickly overturned by Railsplitters with a 17-8 run in the early stages of the fourth – Gerrand and the experienced Allen and Tipene Friday holding Nelson Street at bay in the closing stages.

Railsplitters 108 – Allen 34, Gerrand 33, Aruwa 15, Friday 13

68A Nelson St 101 – Raukawa 46, Newton 21, Boucher 12,

Current Standings:

3-1 Railsplitters, Birdmen

2-2 Nelson Street

0-4 Breakers Development

Strong performances from Annabelle Jenkins and Jazz Kailahi-Fulu took Suns to a win against team Sky.

Suns got off to a bright start forging a 9-3 advantage courtesy of Luye Murphy and Tabitha Jenkins.

Keeley Tini and Ashleigh Kelman-Poto shared the scoring load for Sky as they responded but still trailed 26-19 at the first break.

Breana Jones landed a trademark three for Sky and with Kelman-Poto and Tini working tirelessly inside narrowed to 42-38 at half-time.

Suns made the pivotal move early in the third frame – a ten points haul from St Mary’s forward Kailahi-Fulu propelling her team to a 65-54 advantage at the thirty minute mark.

Scores from Riana Rangi-Brown and Summer-Jean Motufoua threatened a Sky comeback but that was extinguished by Anna Lacey, Morgan Ili and Annabelle Jenkins as they conjured up a 12-2 run to seal a third victory for Suns.

Sky 72 – Kelman-Poto 19, Tini 13, Rangi-Brown 11, Jones 7

Suns 81 – A Jenkins 18, J 15, T Jenkins 10, Murphy 9, Ili 9

The Harbour Breeze pair of Deena Franklin (23 points) and Olivia Berry (19 points) carried Storm to a convincing 82-66 victory against Sparks to keep the pressure on the Suns at the top of the table.

In her first appearance Shinae Tuhoro scored half a dozen early points for Sparks but Stevee-Rose Theyers landed three triples in the first quarter as Storm opened a 29-25 lead.

Franklin had 15 points by half-time and Berry scored 10 points as the lead was extended to 50-38 at the major break.

Sharne Pupuke-Robati and Bella Elgar did their best to stem the scoring flow from the Storm but it was always an uphill struggle – the Storm winning every quarter in this one.

Sparks 66 – Pupuke-Robati 12, Tuhoro 10, Elgar10, Dalton 9

Storm 82 – Franklin 23, Berry 19, Theyers 12, Povey 8

Standings

3-1 Suns, Storm

1-3 Sky, Sparks

Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam – Round three wrap

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Round three of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam saw wins for Railsplitters and 68A Nelson Street in the Men’s competition. Storm and Suns prevailed in the Women’s competition.

A fourty point’s second quarter barrage from Railsplitters did the damage against the Breakers Development. The feast of points, served up mainly by Jaylen Gerrand and James Hunter, carried Railsplitters to a commanding 72-44 lead at the interval.

To their credit the young Breakers team, staring down the barrel of a drubbing, responded well in the third quarter as Zack Te Puni and Caleb Langridge spearheaded a strong response. Breakers won the third period 29-18 and continued the good work in the fourth.

Five Breakers players, led by Thabo Manyere’s 19 points, scored in double figures as pride was restored in the second half.

Earlier Daniel Green (4/5 3PG) and Hayden Allen had got Railsplitters off to a fast start, a prelude to a dominant second in which the Breakers transition defence was sadly lacking. An alternative viewpoint was that Hunter and Gerrand were simply unstoppable.

Railsplitters 117 – Hunter 29, Gerrand 25, Green 16, Allen 15, Fesolia 14 Aruwa 11

Breakers Development 107 – Manyere 19, Perrott-Hunt 17, Dance 16, Langridge 14, Te Puni 13

In the second game 68A Nelson Street inflicted a first loss of the season on the Birdmen with a 113-89 victory. The win was achieved on the back of a 31 points scoring effort from Derone Raukawa who shot the ball at a tidy clip – 15 from 21 (71%). Brooke Ruscoe and Ana Haku ably supported him with 20 points and 21 points respectively.

Nick Barrow was the best for the Birdmen, the power forward flirting with a double -double as he finished with 26 points and 9 rebounds.

Birdmen actually led through the opening skirmishes, ahead 24-22 at quarter time before Nelson St eased ahead 51-48 at half-time.

Nelson St made the decisive break at the back end of the third frame extending a ten-point lead (65-55) to a more comfortable 81-67 three-quarter time lead.

Birdmen 89 – Barrow 26, Kelman-Poto 15, Colla 13, Lucas 10, Friday 10

68A Nelson St 113 – Raukawa 31, Haku 21, Ruscoe 20, Boucher 16, Seumanu 13

In a game of significant swings Storm, with major contributions from Deena Franklin (25pts) and Shauna Povey (22pts), proved too good for Sky winning 95-74.

The pair, with help from Sarah Scoular, propelled Storm to a 14-3 lead before Ashleigh Kelman-Poto, Amanda Buck and Riana Rangi-Brown hit back to narrow to 22-17 at the first break.

A couple of triples from Povey countered Rangi-Browns’ efforts to keep Storm ahead 43-40 at half time.

Storm, as they had in the first half, opened the second with a strong run to stretch out to 57-41 before Summer-Jean Motufoua brightened the outlook for Sky. When Hannah Wentworth knocked down an open look the lead had been trimmed to single figures (62-53).

However a 12-2 rumble by Storm with Stevee Theyers and Millie Nathan contributing took the game away from Sky – 73-55 at three-quarter time.

The spoils were shared in the last period with the Storm lead unchallenged.

Sky 74 –Rangi-Brown 23, Kelman-Poto 18, Motufoua 13, Te-Huia 8, Buck 6

Storm 95 – Franklin 25, Povey 22, Scoular 10, Berry 8, Shearer 6

A combined 54 points from guard Luye Murphy and forward Tabitha Jenkins defused the Sparks and took Suns to a second consecutive win.

Murphy landed the first of her four triples in the opening spell as Suns led 21-17 after the first period and 39-33 at half-time despite 15 first half points from Sharne Pupuke-Robati.

Murphy scored 8 points in the third but half a dozen from Sophie Dil kept Sparks alive – down 57-48 with ten minutes to play.

Alyesha Schuster and Mareta Davidson landed a couple of shots apiece for Sparks but Jenkins and Murphy ensured the Suns finished brightly.

Sparks 61 – Pupuke-Robati 21, Davidson 10, Dil 9, Schuster 8

Suns 77 –Murphy 28, A Jenkins 26, Roberts 9

A couple of overtime games in the second round of Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam

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Round two of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam featured two overtime games, another comeback of monstrous proportions and a game where one basket separated the teams after 274 points were scored.

In the Men’s competition a much-improved Breakers Development team took 68A Nelson Street into overtime before eventually going down 114-98.

After the scores were tied at 93 points apiece in regulation the SKYCITY Breakers duo of Mitch Newton and Derone Raukawa showed the young apprentices how it’s done in OT.

The pair, having been named in the Tall Blacks extended squad last week, celebrated by scoring all of the 21 points accumulated by Nelson Street in the additional five minutes.

Earlier Anzac Rissetto and Zack Te Puni got the Breakers off to a good start – a balanced attack helping them to a 51-44 half-time advantage.

Seven points in the third frame from Harry Clarke benefitted the Breakers cause but a couple of triples from Newton and inside points from Will Heather and Dillon Boucher closed the gap at three-quarter time – 70-68.

Carl Buck and Brooke Ruscoe propelled Nelson Street on a 10-3 run before Dan Fotu scored five points to tie the game at 78 points apiece with five minutes to play.

It was a one-possession game throughout the closing minutes with a Raukawa three giving Nelson Street a 93-91 lead inside the final thirty seconds. Te Puni calmly converted a pair of freebies to tie the contest and Caleb Langridge ensured additional time was required with an athletic block on Newton’s potential game winning shot.

However Newton and Raukawa had the final say in overtime to give Nelson Street the win.

68A Nelson Street 109 – Newton 31, Raukawa 24, Ruscoe 10, Boucher 10, Haku 10

Breakers Development 98 – Fotu 19, Te Puni 17, Clarke 17, Dance 13, Maxwell-Topia 12

The second game was an offensive onslaught – a shoot-out at the Breakers Corral – as Birdmen beat Railsplitters 138-136. The two major gunslingers were Hayden Allen who set a season best 48 points for Railsplitter and Quinn Clinton who put together a quiet 43 points for Birdmen.

72-69 can often be a fulltime score but that was the half-time tally – edged by Birdmen – as Kevin Braswell, Brandon Lucas and Dominique Kelman-Poto gave Clinton good support.

It was 106-107 at the three-quarter mark and never much in it in the closing stages as the two teams traded blow for blow.

James Hunter, Jaylen Gerrand and the Aruwa brothers gave Allen plenty of support but in the end it was Clinton and the Birdmen that fired the extra bullet to seal the win.

The Birdmen 138 – Clinton 43, Kelman-Poto 27, Braswell 23, Lucas 17, Matambanadzo 12

Railsplitters 136 – Allen 48, Hunter 28, Samson Aruwa 18, Gerrand 18, Samuel Aruwa 15

As last week the Women’s competition provided the comeback of the day although, as on that occasion, it wasn’t quite enough to seal the win.

Team Sky allowed Sparks to build a 26-4 first quarter advantage but fought back admirably before eventually going down 57-52.

Sharne Pupuke-Robati (8pts) and Tayla Dalton (6pts), both back from Asia Cup duty in India, scored fourteen of the first quarter points for Sparks and with Rikki Fiatau adding half a dozen they were in total command at the quarter break.

Hannah Wentworth started something of a revival for Sky but they trailed 45-18 at the interval.

The Sky comeback continued in the second half courtesy of Ashley Kelman-Poto, Amanda Buck and Wentworth. The Orewa College guard knocked down her third triple of the game in the middle of the final stanza but it wasn’t quite enough as Sparks hung on for the win.

Sky 52 – Wentworth 17, Kelman-Poto 15, Buck 7, Tini 6

Sparks 57 – Pupuke-Robati 17, Dalton 15, Fiatau 10

The second overtime game of the day was won 90-86 by the Suns weathering the Storm comeback after the scores were tied 75 each after fourty minutes.

Suns led 36-32 at half-time courtesy of 11 points from hard working forward Jazz Kailahi-Fulu and triples from Tabitha Jenkins and Morgan Ili.

Bella Elgar was the best for Storm at the break scoring 10 points.

Suns stretched their lead to ten points (51-41) in the third but seven points in the period from Stevee-Rose Theyers helped rectify that matter as Sky stole a 56-53 lead at the three-quarter break.

Neither side could forge a telling advantage in the final stanza although Emme Shearer looked to have sealed the win in the final seconds for Sky before a crucial And-1 play from Kailahi-Fulu sent the game into extra time.

Mareta Davidson scored 9 points for Storm in the additional period but back-to-back threes from Anna Lacey in the final 90 seconds proved the difference in the end.

Storm 86 – Theyers 15, Shearer 13, Davidson 12, Nathan 12, Elgar 12

Suns 90 – J Kailahi-Fulu 24, Roberts 17, Lacey 14, T Jenkins 12, A Jenkins 10

Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam – Round 1 wrap

 

ABSL-Summer-Jam-2017The fifth season of the Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam began on Saturday at the Breakers training facility in Mairangi Bay.

In the opening round of the Men’s competition there were wins for The Birdmen and Railsplitters and on the Women’s side it was Storm and Team Sky that prevailed.

Railsplitters had twenty point contributions from Jaylen Gerrand, Hyrum Harris and Breakers and Tall Blacks forward James Hunter.

Railsplitters actually trailed at quarter time with triples from Liam Thornton, Counties guard Luke Kelemete and Manny Matambanadzo propelling 68A Nelson Street to a 27-24 lead.

Nelson Street young guns Jayden Boucher and Kelemete dropped a couple of baskets apiece but Railsplitters were well served by the ‘H-Attack’, Harris and Hunter – 11 points and 7 points respectively in the second stanza as the Splitters led 61-51 at half-time.

Thornton, Derone Raukawa and Dillon Boucher kept chipping away but four triples from the hot hand of Gerrand at the back end of the third extended the Railsplitters lead to 96-78 at three-quarter time and they had little problem maintaining their advantage through the fourth.

 Railsplitters 128 – Hunter 23, Gerrand 22, Harris 21, Green 12, Samson Aruwa 12, BJ Anthony 11

68A Nelson Street 109 – Thornton19, Raukawa 19, Kelemete 15, Matambanadzo 13, Fesolai 12, Haku 9

In the second game a disappointing Breakers Development were overrun 117-77 by the Birdmen despite 22 points from forward Will Heather.

The early signs were promising for Breakers as Mitchell Dance, Tom Higgins and Kruz Perrott-Hunt helped forge a 21-20 lead although a Kevin Braswell special – best described as a running fade away Jump shot off the left foot – found the basket to give the Birdmen a 29-26 lead at the end of the first period.

Braswell and Mexican guard Juan Cruz Colla were fizzing in the second quarter and when Clinton landed a buzzer-beater from well inside his own half the Birdmen had flown out to a commanding 62-41 half-time lead.

Higgins and Heather converted triples for the Breakers in the third but Quinn Clinton, Matt Lacey, Nick Barrow and Anthony Jones ripped shreds in the Breakers defence as the Birdmen took flight to lead 92-59 with ten minutes to play.

The final period was not quit so one sided as the third but it was still very comfortable for the Birdmen.

The Birdmen 117 – Clinton 27 Barrow 22, Braswell 17, Lacey 12, Gardner 10, Jones 10

Breakers Development 77 – Heather 22, Higgins 15, Dance 11, Perrott-Hunt 8

The Women’s competition provided the comeback of the day – well almost!

Sparks found themselves well adrift as Storm did literally that – stormed into a 22-4 lead as Shauna Povey, Emme Shearer and Olivia Berry cut loose.

Some of the lead was trimmed at the tail end of the first quarter and with a much better showing in the second – threes from Mikayla Blair and Alyesha Schuster helped – Sparks were back in the hunt at half-time trailing 46-39.

Povey and Millie Nathan shared all the Storm points in the third quarter; a quarter split 13 points apiece – 59-52 at the last break.

Sparks drew within a point with a 6-0 run as Blair, Sophie Dil and Rikki Fiatau found some offensive fluency.

Alanna Hughes countered but a Blair three; her third of the game, kept Sparks in touch, trailing 73-65.

Fiatau reeled off three baskets and Mareta Davidson a brace but Storm weathered the late charge with Povey, Shearer and Berry sharing the last dozen points for Sparks.

Storm 77 – Povey 23, Shearer 17, Berry 10, Nathan 10, Theyers 7

Sparks 72 – Blair 18, Fiatau 16, Davidson 15, Schuster 8

Sky were too good for Suns in the second game with guard Riana Rangi-Brown accumulating 35 points, the largest points haul of the day. Thirteen of those came in the first period to help Sky to a 27-17 lead in the first frame.

Luye Murphy heated up for the Suns with 13 second quarter points that included three triples but Sky still held a 47-35 lead at half-time.

That lead exploded in the third with Breana Jones unleashing some triples of her own and Ashleigh Kelman-Poto dominating inside. Add in a couple of nice scores from Summer-Jean Motufoua and Sky were over the horizon at the last break leading 76-51.

Murphy and the Jenkins sisters, Annabelle and Tabitha, kept the scoreboard ticking over for Suns but it was Sky that took the hounours.

Sky 110 – Rangi-Brown 35, Kelman-Poto 23, Jones 18, Motufoua 13

Suns 82 – Murray 28, A Jenkins 25, T Jenkins 9

2017 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam Preview

ABSL-Summer-Jam-2017

The Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam begins its fifth season on Saturday with games being played at the Breakers training facility, 7 Atlas Place Mairangi Bay.

Entry is free for spectators with games played at 2pm and 4pm each Saturday for the next eight weeks with the final of both the Women’s and Men’s tournaments set down for December 16.

Tournament manager Lindsay Tait has placed an emphasis on youth for the 2017 event although there are still places for former internationals Dillon Boucher, Hayden Allen, Brooke Ruscoe, BJ Anthony and, in the women’s competition, ex Tall Fern Amanda Buck.

Add current Tall Blacks James Hunter and Derone Raukawa to a swag of Junior Tall Blacks past and present and there are the makings of an exciting competition.

The Men’s tournament begins with a match up between 68a Nelson Street and Railsplitters.

68a Nelson Street, named as such in memory of the basketball hotbed that was Youthtown before its demolition, will feature Boucher senior, playing alongside his son Jayden. NBL players Ana Haku, Carl Buck and Raukawa will add depth to 68a as will Breakers Development player Mitch Newton.

Railsplitters will also have plenty of NBL talent on display with Hayden Allen joined by Anthony, Hyrum Harris and Dan Green. When available, they will also be able to call on Breakers and Southland Sharks forward James Hunter.

Suiting up for The Birdmen in the second game on Saturday will be Junior Tall Blacks star Quinn Clinton who will join a handy back court that will also include Brooke Ruscoe and Matt Lacey. They will also have some decent rebounding power with Nick Barrow, Dom Kelman-Poto, Tipene Friday and American Brandon Lucas pounding the boards.

The Birdmen will face off against the Breakers Academy that boasts a posse of junior internationals including Dan Fotu, Kruz Perrott-Hunt, James Moors, Tom Higgins, Thabo Manyere and Will Heather.

The Women’s competition will also have some senior players to compliment an abundance of young talent. The Sparks versus Storm fixture will open the competition at 2pm.

Mikayla Blair and Shanee Kiriau will lead the Sparks with assistance in the backcourt from Jada Manase and Ramona Fuaivaa.

The Westlake pair of Sophie Dill and Mareta Davidson will shoulder some rebounding responsibility in the absence of Sharne Pupuke-Robati, still on international duty with the NZ U17 team in India.

Storm will also be a player light for its opening fixture with Tall Fern Deena Franklin currently in Mongolia with the NZ team at the 3×3 Asia Cup.

In her absence Stevee Theyers will guide the team that includes Shauna Povey, Emme Shearer and the Rangitoto College duo Bella Elgar and Gracie Hasler.

Former Tall Fern point guard Amanda Buck will be driving team Sky with Ashleigh Kelman-Poto and NZ U18 international Keeley Tini in the front court. St Kentigern College standout Summer-Jean Motufoua will back up Buck with Riana Rangi-Brown and Hannah Wentworth also lining up in the guard spots.

In the 4pm game Team Sky will take on the Suns that boast a pair of sisters in its squad. The more experienced Tabitha and Annabelle Jenkins will join the St Mary’s College pair of Jazzmyne and Zaaliyah Kallahi-Fulu.

Morgan Ili and Anna Lacey will add some veteran know-how to the Suns lineup.

The Suns win 2016 Women’s Mexicali FreshSummer Jam

mexicali-fresh-summer-jam-womens-winners

The 2016 Mexicali Fresh Summer Jam Women’s competition was decided solely on league results with the Suns taking the 2016 title with a 4-2 record – one win clear of their nearest rivals.

The Suns did come unstuck against team Sky on Saturday but not before mounting a strong comeback, eventually defeated 66-63.

The NZ Under 16 pair of Gracie Hasler-Ewins and Sharne Pupuke-Robati gave Sky an 8-0 start before Mikayla Blair opened the Suns account.

Alyesha Schuster knocked down a three for Suns but Jordyn Maddix capped a strong opening stanza for Sky ahead 21-14 at the first break.

A pair of long threes from Blair (10 points in the period) opened the second quarter scoring and a Tayla Dalton floater reduced the arrears but Maddix, the third NZ U16 international player in the Sky lineup, had the hot hands in this one. The Westlake shooting guard landed six triples in the game, three on the bounce in the second, to propel Sky to a 43-31 half-time advantage.

Anna Lacey and Dalton reduced the advantage to 43-36, coach Tania Hunter needing a timeout for Sky.

Another couple of Maddix threes broke the Sky third section scoring drought, their three-quarter time lead 51-42.

Lacey and Terina Aratangi landed treys for the Suns but Pupuke-Robati, Lua Murphy and Sophia Herewini extended the Sky lead to 62-53 with less than two minutes to play.

A frantic finished ensued as a pressing Suns defence created turnovers enabling Dalton to make a basket and Lacey to land her third triple as Suns closed to 64-63 well inside the final minute.

Fittingly Maddix, the game’s leading scorer, iced the contest from the free throw line to give Sky a slightly nervy win.

Final score;

Sky 66 – Maddix 22, Hasler-Ewins 10, Pupuke-Robati 10, Herewini 4, Jada Manase 4, Breeze Leonard 4

Suns 63 – Blair 18, Lacey 15, Schuster 9, Dalton 7, Aratangi 5

Despite the presence of the industrious Tayla Ammunson in the Storm backcourt they were beaten 62-56 by the Stevee Theyers paced Sparks in the other game.

Storm had the better of the first half leading 27-24 at the interval as Paddy Pupuke, Mariah McCarthy and Isabella Elgar kept the score ticking over.

However 10 points from Theyers and half a dozen from Michelle Tangiariki helped Sparks boss the third 21-11.

Sparks built on their 45-38 three-quarter time advantage courtesy of Heeni Blakey and Kate Gillespie but had to survive a strong finish from Storm.

Elgar, Pupuke and Charlotte Armstrong got Storm within six points but an Amanda Buck three ensured the win for Sparks.

Final score;

Sparks 62 – Theyers 21, Tangiariki 14, Blakey 10, Gillespie 8, Buck 7

Storm 56 – Pupuke 15, Armstrong 15, Elgar 11, Rosalia Samia 10

Final Standings

Suns 4-2

Sky 3-3

Sparks 3-3

Storm 2-4