Category Archives: School Basketball

Third Time Lucky For Epsom Girls Grammar


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AGGS 52 – Noble 25, Tuaiti 13, Patuwairua 6

Epsom beat Carmel in pre-season encounter


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

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

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

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

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

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

Prems Basketball is Back!


Given dispensation to play despite Covid-19 restrictions being in place, the opening round of the 2020 Auckland Schools Boy’s Premier League produced a feast of basketball.

A quirk in the fixture list saw the top four teams from the 2019 Premier competition all drawn at home.

St Kentigern College entertained last year’s Senior A champions St Peter’s College, Auckland Grammar hosted Mt Albert Grammar, Liston College travelled to Rangitoto College whilst Westlake Boys took the short trip down Taharoto Road to take on Rosmini College.

St Kentigern, the reigning Schick National Champions, were given a stern examination by St Peter’s with Oliver Arlove, Jack Donnelly, Mitch Lancaster and Dorian Sula all prominent for the visitors.

Manu Hoque’s promoted team showed they will be no pushover this season, their decision to double team Levic Kerr at every available opportunity paying dividends.

With Kerr’s effectiveness nullified it was left to the guard trio of Kazlo Evans, Alex McNaught and Dontae Nance to carry the scoring load. Nance, having moved from Rangitoto College over the summer, marked his Prems debut with a team high 21 points.

Arguably the most talented backcourt in the league eventually wore down the St Peter’s resistance but it took three-quarters of the contest to achieve. St Peter’s trailed by just 4 points with ten minutes to play before a 24-12 finish gave a relieved St Kent’s coach Aaron Young and his charges an 88-72 victory.

There was some sideline drama before the game. With Sky Sport having exclusive coverage of the game St Kent’s videographer Tony McNaught was denied access to the court, a decision that irked his many Facebook Live followers.

Better news for the St Kent’s faithful was that their No 1 fan Adrian Young was present for the season opener.


Former Tall Blacks teammates Lindsay Tait and Daryl Cartwright once again went head to head as old rivals MAGS and AGS faced off.

It was MAGS who were quickest out the blocks leading 21-13 at quarter-time and 40-30 at the half. Sataan Tawera led the way for MAGS and headed all scorers at the break with 16 points. Luka Vea (10 points) was the only AGS player in double figures at the interval

Tait, the ‘Best Dressed Coach of the Year’ in 2019, had some stern words for his players at half-time and it drew the response he desired.

Caleb Landon showed that his 2019 form was no flash in the pan. His relentless pounding of the offensive boards earned AGS numerous second chance opportunities that were gratefully converted by Connor Ngan and Stefan Bigio. The diminutive duo returned 18 points and 16 points respectively as AGS pulled away to record a 78-61 win.

Experienced guards Theo Grey and Dakota Stephens gave Tawera good support but they were unable to sustain the MAGS effort in the final period.


Rangitoto College got their Premier League title defence off to a perfect start with a convincing 101-75 win against Liston College.

It didn’t look like quite so good for the home team in the early stages as they made heavy weather of things in the first half.

Liston had won their Premier Play-off game against Long Bay College last week and carried the confidence gained in that victory into the game.

Without the injured Tautoko Wynyard to contend with Liston enjoyed a good opening half. Coach Kaea Samson would have been pleased with his teams showing in the opening 20 minutes entering the interval just a single point behind (44-43). Sefa Prasad and Desmond Helu led the way with 14 points and 13 points respectively.

Kenny Stone, in his 21st season as Rangitoto College coach, changed his starting lineup for the second half and Premier debutants Jacob Fotu (12 points) and Lucas Payne (11 points) made telling contributions.

However it was the much vaunted guard duo of Ethan Skelton and Zach Riley that led the way for Rangi as they moved through the gears to record a convincing win.

At the conclusion of the game Rachael Payne was presented with a gold tablet after completing the stats for her 500th Rangi game.


The only new coach in the Boy’s Prem League this season is Tony Webster. Back from ‘The Bay’ Webster senior has son Corey as his assistant – Corey recently returned from his Corona Virus tour of Italy and China.

Jett Thompson sporting his newly patented ‘JettBandana’ got his team off to a flyer. He and Josh Kooiman knocked down three triples apiece in the opening stanza as Westlake forged a 24-14 first quarter lead.

After some head scratching by the Rosmini coaching duo of Sonny Tuaputa and Matt Lacey at the quarter time break, the hosts made a better fist of things in the second reducing the Westlake advantage to 51-47 by half-time.

Cian Emery and Pita Maxwell-Topia fired up the Rosmini bench in the third, their aggressive defence creating turnovers that Taine Murray and Sean Murphy feasted on.

Webster’s constant pacing of the side-line inspired a Westlake come-back in the final quarter.

With three minutes to play the Rosmini lead was a narrow 77-74 and when Thompson nailed his fifth triple of the game the scores were tied with under two minutes to play.

The M’s – Murray and Murphy eventually made the game safe – Rosmini edging a thriller 82-75.

Channon Dunn, despite no longer having son Marvin playing on the team, was once again at his accurate best holding the foul marker paddles on the scorebench!

Subject to Covid-19 restrictions the second round of games will be played in the near future.

City Side beat North Shore to win Battle of the Bridge


The inaugural high school ‘Battle of the Bridge’, hosted by the Sky Sport Breakers, was won by City Side who defeated North Shore 66-51.

Played ahead of the Breakers v Brisbane Bullets NBL clash at Spark Arena on Monday evening the game featured the best young high school players from Mt Albert Grammar, Auckland Grammar and St Kentigern College representing City Side. North Shore featured top players from Rosmini College, Rangitoto College and Westlake Boys High.

Shalom Broughton led the way for City Side with 18 points, the Schick Nationals MVP well supported by his St Kentigern teammates Levick Kerr and Alex McNaught. Auckland Grammar point guard Connor Ngan was also prominent as were the Mt Albert Grammar duo of Nate Wilson and Sataan Tawera.

Westlake Boys star Sam Mennenga, signed to play NCAA Division I basketball at Davidson College next year, top scored for North Shore with 15 points while Rangitoto’s Zack Riley and the Rosmini duo of Jayden Boucher and Reihana Maxwell Topia provided good support.

Played in front of the Sky Sport cameras, and a healthy crowd, Riley was the first to score and his teammate Josh Kooiman rounded out the first quarter scoring but in between triples from Ngan and Broughton helped City Side to a 21-15 first quarter lead.

Jaga Mete and Kerr extended the City Side lead to double digits before Mennenga replied with a brace of baskets and when Sean Murphy scored the last three points of the first half North Shore trailed by the narrowest of margins (31-30).

Boucher and Riley gave North Shore the lead immediately after the break but it was short lived as Tawera, Broughton and Ngan (8 points in the quarter) took City Side to a handy 47-40 three-quarter time lead.

Kerr and Josh Leger extended the City Side advantage and although Maxwell-Topia and Mennenga scored a couple of neat inside baskets North Shore were unable to cut into the City Side advantage. Fittingly Kerr, McNaught and Broughton, key players in St Kent’s National Championship winning campaign, put the lid on the win combining for 14 points in the closing ten minutes.

City Side 66– S Broughton 18, L Kerr 11, C Ngan 11, A McNaught 8, S Tawera 6, N Wilson 6, J Mete 4, J Leger 2, L Vea, K Evans

North Shore 51– S Mennenga 15, J Boucher 6, R Maxwell-Topia 6, Z Riley 6, S Murphy 5, J Kooiman 4, M Williams-Dunn 3, J Thompson 3, H Payne 3, E Mandeno


One Tree Hill the surprise package as St Mary’s clinch the double


St Mary’s College, Ponsonby completed the double of Auckland Premier League and Zone 1 Premiership titles with  a 78-70 win against Westlake Girls High at Bruce Pulman Arena on Saturday.

The game began at a brisk pace with St Mary’s forward Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu nabbing 9 first quarter points. However aided by a three from Jordyn Maddix Westlake carried a narrow 21-20 lead into the first break.

Westlake’s scoring dried up in the second, a ten minute spell in which they managed just 8 points – half of those to Rosie Dil. St Mary’s capitalised with their top scorer Kat Leslie (21 points) and Riana Matiseni helping them to a 37-29 lead.

Jazz Kailahi-Fulu piled on 14 third quarter points but Jess Moors equalled that tally as Westlake closed to within four points at three-quarter time (57-53).

Soon after the resumption Maddix and Emme Shearer, recently named to the Tall Ferns squad, combined to tie proceedings at 57 points apiece.

St Mary’s then made a 12-4 run courtesy of Matiseni and Leslie but when Shearer scored in transition it was a three-point game with a little more than four minutes to play (64-61).

Another run from St Mary’s, this time 10 points to 4 proved to be decisive despite Moors scoring Westlake’s last 7 points.

Westlake were forced to foul to stop the clock in the closing couple of minutes – the Kailahi-Fulu sisters making no mistake from the foul line.

St Mary’s now 22-0 this season ahead of the Schick National Championships in Palmerston North next month.

Schick Nationals Qualifiers from all six Qualifying Tournaments here

St Mary’s 78 – K Leslie 21, J Kailahi-Fulu 18, Z Kailahi-Fulu 17, R Matiseni 11, S Te Nana-Williams 6

Westlake 70– J Moors 23, E Shearer 21, R Dil 6, I Pugh 5, J Maddix 5

One Tree Hill coll

One Tree Hill College plus coach Ollie Bryce!

The other qualifiers for Nationals from Zone I were Rangitoto College, Massey High, Carmel College and surprise package One Tree Hill College who played the regular season in Open Grade.

Other Results:

3rd/4th Carmel 92 Rangitoto 60

5th/6th One Tree Hill 69 Massey 63


7th/8th Baradene 56 MAGS 52

9th Northcote

10th Epsom

11th St Kentigern


St Kentigern win Zone 1 Boy’s Premiership title


St Kentigern College made up for the disappointment of losing the Auckland Premier League Grand Final a couple of weeks ago by claiming the Zone 1 Premiership crown with an 88-79 win against defending Schick National Champions Rosmini College at Bruce Pulman Arena on Saturday.

The St Kent’s front court pairing of Shalom Broughton and Levick Kerr (21 points) proved tough to handle for Rosmini throughout. Broughton was absent on New Zealand U18 3×3 duties when St Kent’s were defeated by Rangitoto College in the Auckland Prem’s Final last month but he was at his rampaging best in this one. The power forward pulled down countless rebounds in addition to compiling a game high 32 points.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Aaron Young and his charges who after carrying a 64-59 lead into the last quarter only led by two after a Taine Murray trey with three minutes to play (76-74).

Kerr replied immediately but the St Kent’s lead was narrowed to one when Sean Murphy (30 points) nailed his fifth triple of the game with 2:30 on the clock.

Rosmini had chances to take the lead but St Kent’s held firm – Kazlo Evans and Kerr made free throws before a steal and break away dunk from that man Broughton sealed the win.

Earlier, as they had in their semi-final win against Auckland Grammar, St Kent’s made a fast start and were quickly out to a 17-5 lead although Rosmini had cut that back to 24-16 by quarter time.

A quick five points from Cian Emery late in the first half helped the Rosmini cause before a long three from Elliot Watson ensured St Kent’s headed to the half-time break with a 41-34 advantage.

Term three was another tight one as the two teams traded blows. Six points apiece from Alex McNaught and Broughton plus threes from Evans and Martin Gan were key for St Kent’s although triples from Murphy, Murray and Terence Abdon meant Rosmini were well in contention with ten minutes to play trailing by five (64-59).

It remained tight throughout the fourth spell but it was Broughton that proved the difference in an entertaining Grand Final. The win will give St Kent’s top seeding at Nationals next month.

St Kentigern 88– S Broughton 32, L Kerr 21, A McNaught 14, K Evans 8, M Gan 7

Rosmini 79– S Murphy 30, T Murray 20, M Williams-Dunn 10, C Emery 5

Whangarei boys.jpg

Whangarei Boys return to Nationals

The other qualifiers for Nationals from Zone I were Auckland Grammar, Westlake Boys, Rangitoto College, Mt Albert Grammar and Whangarei Boys High – congrats to the Northland boys who return to Nationals for the first time since 2010.

Placings and results:

3rd/4th– AGS 68 Westlake 66

5th/6thRangitoto 82 MAGS 40

7th/8th – Whangarei 89 Liston 74


9th/10th– Aorere College 71 Mt Roskill 65

11th/12thSt Peter’s 90 Rosehill 75

13th/14thLong Bay 82 Sacred Heart 76

15th/16thMacleans 98 Northcote 86

17th/18thPukekohe 95 Kings 92

19th/20thManurewa 61 Pakuranga 45

21st/22ndAvondale 101 Selwyn 73

23rd/24thSancta Maria 79 Orewa 50

Westlake and Rangitoto retain Junior Prems titles

Jnr Prems

Westlake Girls High School and Rangitoto College Boys both retained their Zone 1 Junior Premierships.

In the two finals Westlake Girls defeated Mt Albert Grammar 88-41 and Rangitoto beat Auckland Grammar 86-77 in the Boys Final at Bruce Pulman Arena on Tuesday.

The Boys Final was dominated by four players that between them amassed 124 points.

Ezekiel Priest and Dontae Nance amassed 34 points apiece for Rangitoto while for Grammar Blake Manning  scored 30 points and Josh Muggleston was not far behind with 26 points.

Nance knocked down a couple of threes in the first quarter but Muggleston bettered that by making three from beyond the arc as Grammar trailed 23-20 at the quarter mark.

A low scoring second spell ensued – Rangi ahead 37-32 at half-time.

Nance and Priest scored all but two of Rangi’s 22 points in the third but with Manning peeling off 16 straight points for AGS his team were only three points down a three-quarter time (59-56).

Rangi got the jump early on in the fourth to hold off a spirited Grammar effort.

Rangitoto 86– D Nance 34, E Priest 34, J Findlater 9, S Afu 4

AGS 77– B Manning 30, J Muggleston 26, C Brown 8, T Sun 7

In the 3rd/4th play-off Rosmini College beat Westlake Boys 65-57 and in the A Boys Final Sacred Heart College defeated Orewa College 79-74.

Junior Prems photo

Seven games in four games took its toll on Mt Albert Grammar who came off second best in the girls final despite Danae Tait scoring 19 points.

Westlake took advantage of its enviable depth racing to a 21-10 first quarter lead and cruised to victory thereafter.

Led by Mackenzie Chatfield’s 16 points Lake had seven players contributing 8 points or more as they eased to an 88-41 victory.

Westlake 88– M Chatfield 16, I Pugh 11, H Williams 10, H Maddix 10, S Moors 10, J Kapsin 9, A Fotu 8

MAGS 41– D Tait 19, S Kuresa 9, V Pupuke-Robati 8, S Tawera 3

In the 3rd/4th play-off Carmel Collegebeat Baradene College60-59.

Who will qualify for 2019 Schick Nationals?

St Peter's

The 2019 Schick ‘AA’ National Qualifying Tournaments, otherwise known as Premierships, tip-off tomorrow around the country.

Being held in Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington and Nelson here’s my thoughts, and those of some experts around the country, on the probables, possibles and not so likely’s that are eager to claim a place at the Schick ‘AA’ Secondary Schools National Championships in October.

Read more

Baradene and St Peter’s promoted to Premier Grade


St Peter’s College and Baradene College will be playing Premier basketball in 2020.

Both were crowned Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A champions at Eventfinda Stadium on Thursday night and in doing so gain promotion to the elite eight of Auckland high school basketball.

For St Peter’s it is a swift return to the top flight after suffering relegation in 2018. In contrast it will be a first foray in the upper echelon for Baradene who will debut in the competition next year.

Baradene were 58-54 victors against Epsom Girls who suffered the disappointment of a Senior A Grand Final loss for the second successive year.

Baradene, paced by Lilly Parke’s 22 points, left their run late. They had trailed at every quarter break albeit by just a single point at the three-quarter mark (38-37).

Parke put Baradene ahead at the start of the fourth but Florence Dallow and Aria Todd-Pemerika combined to wrestle back the initiative for Epsom and with 4 minutes to play they led 47-45.

With Parke headed to the pine on five fouls it appeared to be Epsom’s opportunity to pounce put scores on consecutive plays from Deyna Topia, Charlotte Rattray and Ritorya Tamilo gave Baradene the upper hand.

Dallow’s And-1 play pulled Epsom within range, down 52-50 with under two minutes to play.

Tamilo was having a huge impact at the defensive end and another block by the Baradene centre prevented Epsom drawing level.

Te Aroha Kukuati-Wairau and Sarah-Joy Aruwa made free-throws for Epsom but Baradene point guard Topia calmly knocked down four straight freebies to ice the game much to the delight of her team mates and travelling Baradene supporters.

Baradene 58– L Parke 22, R Tamilo 12, D Topia 12, S Faleafa 6

Epsom 54– F Dallow 16, S Aruwa 14, A Todd-Pemerika 9, L Boxall-Hunt 6


Both teams enjoyed vociferous support in the Boy’s Final as Peter’s College earned a prompt return to Premier basketball with a 79-71 victory against Long Bay College.

A tight opening quarter was shaded by Long Bay 17-16, their lead a little larger at half-time, 36-30 – Sam Roberts led all scorers at that stage with 17 points.

Josh Brading’s basket extended the Long Bay lead to ten points before St Peter’s hit back through Boston Schuster and Luke Buckingham. When Schuster scored off a lovely assist from Oliver Arlove the scores were tied 44 points apiece.

A George De Felice three was the last scoring of the term with LBC 52-51 ahead.

St Peter’s began the final quarter strongly with a Jack Donnelly triple and successive free-throws taking them out to a 69-61 lead.

It was still a six point differential before a tumbling drive from Buckingham, who added the additional free-throw, gave St Peter’s a 72-63 lead with four to play.

A Tobeas Livock triple and freebies from Jacob Jones-Harvey had the Long Bay faithful in full voice but Buckingham, on his way to a game high 31 points, was calmness personified as he knocked down six straight from the charity stripe in the closing seconds to seal the win .

St Peter’s 79–L Buckingham 31, B Schuster 10, J Jones-Harvey 10, J Donnelly 8, I Franklin 7

Long Bay 71– S Roberts 21, J Brading 11, G De Felice 11, J Jones-Harvey 6

St Mary’s beat Westlake to capture first Girls Prems Title


St Mary’s College lifted the Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Premier League title for the very first time at Eventfinda Stadium on Friday night after defeating Westlake Girls 83-74.

St Mary’s maintained their unbeaten record but Westlake, missing three players away on international duty and two others with injury, gave the regular season champions a thorough examination.

In fact with five minutes to play Westlake only trailed by three points (71-68) and an upset looked a possibility.

It was then that St Mary’s turned to their senior payer Jazz Kailahi-Fulu and the Junior Tall Fern forward didn’t disappoint. She scored eight points down the stretch and with Kat Leslie and Alex Moore also making valuable contributions Westlake were outscored 12-6 in the closing minutes.

Earlier, a free flowing game had been a battle of the guards with the Te Nana-Williams sisters Leata and Safena outstanding for St Mary’s – Holly Williams Amiya Fotu and Tabatha Leyson leading the Westlake response.

St Mary’s won the opening period 18-15 with Safena and Leata both landing from beyond the arc.

Emma Pugh scored inside and Leyson dropped a pair of threes as Westlake went toe to toe with their opponents.

Safena and Leata were well into double figures by half-time but a reverse layup from Holly Williams on the final play of the half meant Westlake were within a point at the interval trailing 40-39.

St Mary’s made a critical run to open the second half outscoring Westlake 13-3. Sophie Dil landed a three but a banked triple from Safena plus a purer effort from the corner kept St Mary’s ahead by double digits.

A couple of Makenzee Boucher transition baskets aided the Westlake cause as did a nice finish by Amiya Fotu – St Mary’s ahead 65-56 at three-quarter time.

Emma Pugh and Sarah Moors helped Westlake narrow the gap in the early stages of the fourth but Kailahi-Fulu upped the intensity in the closing five minutes to wrestle back the initiative and make it 14 wins on the bounce for St Mary’s.

St Mary’s 83–S Te Nana-Williams 22, J Kailahi-Fulu 20, L Te Nana-Williams 16, K Leslie 8, A Moore 6

Westlake 74– A Fotu 11, E Pugh 10, T Leyson 10, H Williams 7, M Chatfield 6, J Kapsin 6, S Moors 6/12r