Category Archives: School Basketball

International call-ups play havoc with the Premier team lineups.

Due to international commitments a number of teams, including all four Premier Boy’s teams, are going to be missing players (and in some cases coaches also) for Friday’s Auckland Secondary Schools Premier League semi-finals.

Let’s start with the tournaments and events that unfortunately coincide with the business end of the Premier competition and the players that are involved.

Tall Blacks in Japan and Australia playing Canada in Sydney (August 20 and 21).

Taine Murray (Rosmini College)


11thBasketball Without Borders (BWB) Asia Camp in Tokyo (August 14-17) for top prospectsaged 17 and under.


Jazz Kailahi-Fulu (St Mary’s)

Emme Shearer (Westlake Girls)


Harry Payne (Rangitoto College)

Dallas Clayton (Rangitoto College)


2019 FIBA U18 3v3 Asia Cup in Cyberjaya, Malaysia (August 22-24)


Emme Shearer (Westlake Girls)

Jordyn Maddix (Westlake Girls)


Shalom Broughton (St Kentigern College)

Marvin Williams-Dunn (Rosmini College)


2019 FIBA U17 Oceania Cup in Noumea, New Caledonia (August 19-24)


Jess Moors (Westlake Girls)


Bronwen Davidson (Westlake Girls)


Alex McNaught (St Kentigern College)

Connor Ngan (Auckland Grammar)

Sean Murphy (Rosmini College)

Reihana Maxwell-Topia (Rosmini College)


Matt Lacey (Rosmini College)

Aaron Young (St Kentigern College)

Lindsay Tait (Auckland Grammar)


The above is quite a list so let’s take a look at what this all means for the Premier semi-finals.

St Kentigern College (#1) v Auckland Grammar (#4).

Well for a start both head coaches will be away at the U17 Oceania Cup acting as assistants to Aaron Fearne.

However both teams have more than capable deputies waiting in the wings with Kazlo Evans Snr taking charge of St Kent’s in the absence of Aaron Young and the coaching tandem of Dave Mackay and Ang Perrott-Hunt stepping in for Lindsay Tait.

Tough to replace will be opposing point guards Connor Ngan (AGS) and Alex McNaught (St Kents), also bound for Noumea. Whichever team copes best without their playmaker will likely progress to the final.

Should St Kent’s win they will have an additional curve ball to negotiate with Shalom Broughton an additional non-starter for the final as he is headed to Malaysia with the NZ U18 3×3 team.


Rangitoto College (#2) v Rosmini College (#3)

Kenny Stone is the only Boy’s Head Coach left standing as Matt Lacey is joining Tait and Young in New Caledonia therefore handing the Rosmini reins to long time side-kick Sonny Tuaputa.

The disruption doesn’t stop there as Rosmini will be without three players for the game against Rangi and four players the following week, should they progress.

Taine Murray is absent on Tall Blacks duty in Japan and Australia, whilst Sean Murphy and Reihana Maxwell-Topia are accompanying Lacey to New Caledonia. Marvin Williams-Dunn is available this week but absent the following week with the NZ U18 3×3 team.

Rangitoto’s absenteeism isn’t as great but it’s still a major disruption. Captain Harry Payne and forward Dallas Clayton flew out to Japan on Monday to attend the prestigiousBasketball Without Borders Asia Camp in Tokyo.

Clayton is due back for the second week of the play-offs but Payne is a late addition to the New Zealand U17 team so he will head straight to New Caledonia from Japan and will therefore be missing both weeks.


Westlake Girls (#2) v Rangitoto College (#3)

Rangitoto College should be at full strength provided coach Josh Davies is restored to full health.

The same can’t be said about Westlake who will have their envied depth of talent put to the test.

Head Coach Bronwen Davidson heads to New Caledonia as an assistant for the NZ U17 team and takes Jess Moors with her. Already without Mareta Davidson who suffered a season ending shoulder injury a few weeks ago they will be without skipper Jordyn Maddix the following week.

If that wasn’t enough they will be without Emme Shearer for both weeks. The athletic guard is off on an Asian tour headed to the Basketball Without Borders Camp prior to the U18 3×3 in Indonesia.


St Mary’s College (#1) v Massey High (#4)

This is the game that has suffered the least number of withdrawals. St Mary’s forward Jazz Kailahi-Fulu is the only absentee as she is in Tokyo at the Basketball Without Borders Camp but is expected back for the second week of the play-offs.


The absence of 14 players and 4 coaches away at international events serves testimony to the quality of high school basketball in Auckland and despite their absence it won’t detract from the intensity of the semi-finals.


Senior A Semi-Finalists Found


The final round of the Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A Leagues was played on Friday.

In the Boy’s League Northcote College won a ninth straight game beating Avondale College 85-72 and in so doing clinched the regular season title.

Oliver Hayward logged 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in an impressive display for Northcote. He received solid support from Ethan Clark (12 points), Reihana Miller-Tohu (11 points) and Vinny De Bellis (11 points).

Tauhir Toyer top scored for Avondale with 21 points whilst Jack Childs (19 points), Jason Cullen (12 points) and Kiva Gunderson (12 points) were also key contributors.

Mount Roskill, despite losing at home to Long Bay College, still claim second place on the ladder.

Long Bay’s victory means they claim the fourth semi-final place and are rewarded with a match up against North Shore rivals Northcote College.

St Peter’s, after beating Massey High School, will play Mount Roskill in the other semi-final.

The clash between the bottom two teams resulted in a win for Pakuranga College.

Boys Senior A Standings at end of the regular season:

11-3 Northcote

10-4 Mt Roskill

9-5 St Peter’s

8-6 Long Bay


7-7 Massey

6-8 Avondale

4-10 Pakuranga

1-13 Western Springs

Epsom Girls remained undefeated through the regular season after beating St Kentigern College 63-52.

Baradene (12-2) are second and will play the third placed Avondale College (9-5) in one semi-final on Friday. That result is hard to predict as the two teams played a fiercely competitive game on Friday which Baradene won 45-43.

St Kent’s went down at Epsom but stay fourth despite Mt Roskill beating Birkenhead 87-36.

Both teams finished with a 7-7 record but St Kentigern (+4) remain fourth on the basis of a better head to head points differential than Mt Roskill (-4) in the regular season games between the two teams .

All Senior A and Premier semi-finals are at Eventfinda Stadium on Friday August 16th.

Girls Senior A Standings at end of the regular season:

14-0 Epsom Girls

12-2 Baradene

9-5 Avondale

7-7 St Kentigern


7-7 Mt Roskill

3-11 Diocesan

2-12 Pakuranga

2-12 Birkenhead

St Mary’s, Westlake and MAGS all win

St Mary's girlsg

The final round of the Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Premier League saw St Mary’s College complete an unbeaten regular season with a 108-62 win against Massey High – the two teams will meet again in semi-final action next Friday.

Also involved in a semi-final dress rehearsal were Westlake and Rangitoto with Lake getting the win 96-87.

Massey High guard Ramona Fuaivaa knocked down seven threes on her way to 31 points but it was a night that in the end was dominated by seniors Jazz Kailahi-Fulu and Riana Matiseni as St Mary’s made it twelve straight wins.

Matiseni scored 29 points and Kailahi-Fulu finished with an impressive stats line of 37 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists and 7 steals.

St Mary’s piled on 34 points in the opening quarter to stun their opponents and led 52-32 at half-time.

Maya Taingahu and Shazaleah Henry made useful scoring contributions for Massey but could do little to halt the St Mary’s onslaught.

The Matiseni/Kailahi-Fulu combination continued to wreak havoc in the third quarter and with Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu and the Te Nana-Williams sisters adding some scoring punch the Saints lead was out to 88-41 at three-quarter time.

Fuaivaa put on a shooting exhibition in the final quarter as she buried five threes in the period but it was St Mary’s night and one to savour for Jazz Kailahi-Fulu and Riana Matiseni.

St Mary’s 108– J Kailahi-Fulu 37/14r, R Matiseni 29, M Malolo 7, Z Kailahi-Fulu 6, S Te Nana-Williams 6, L Te Nana-Williams 6

Massey 62– R Fuaivaa 31, M Taingahu 8, A Leusogi-Ape 8, S Henry 6


Rangitoto coach Josh Davies was confined to his sick bed but in Kenny Stone they found a capable “fill-in” and he coaxed a good performance out of his team who pushed Westlake all the way before eventually going down 96-87.

It was 16 points apiece at quarter time before Westlake got to work in the second period. Jordyn Maddix and Amiya Fotu knocked down threes and with MacKenzie Chatfield and Rosie Dil getting in on the scoring action Lake were ahead 43-28 at half time.

Rangitoto responded in style after the interval scoring 35 points in the next ten minutes. Hannah Wentworth was the architect of the onslaught knocking down four triples in the quarter and with Moneesha Barrett consistently finding a way to basket the Westlake advantage was whittled down to four points (67-63) at three-quarter time.

Aroha Riley got in on the scoring action in the fourth, her triple keeping the Westlake lead in single figures. A banked three from Maddix and a transition basket from Shearer stretched the Westlake lead to 91-78 with four minutes to play.

Riley, Ella Moore and Emily Blyth maintained the Rangi resistance but Maddix and Chatfield put the lid on an entertaining contest.

Westlake 96– J Maddix 25, M Chatfield 16, R Dil 14, E Shearer 12

Rangitoto 87– H Wentworth 37, A Riley 21, M Barrett 12, E Blyth 8


In the battle of the bottom two teams, who ironically were the top two teams in the previous two seasons, Mt Albert Grammar beat Auckland Girls Grammar 90-64.

Auckland guard Imogene Noble kept up her good form by leading all scorers with 31 points

Noble and Letitia Tuaiti gave AGS a good start as they led 14-11 after the first quarter. That advantage disappeared in the second as MAGS reeled off 28 points with Rikki Fiatau and Danae Tait the main contributors.

A 39-28 half-time lead became 61-46 by the three-quarter mark. Monica Kelly took her tally into double figures, as did  Leah Patuwairua for AGGS but Fiatau scored five baskets on the bounce to make a MAGS win looked probable.

Noble scored 13 points in the final quarter but an 8 point cameo from Valana Robati ensured a third win of the season for MAGS.

AGGS 64– I Noble 31, L Patuwairua 18, L Tuaiti 13

MAGS 90– R Fiatau 27, D Tait 16, M Kelly 12, T Cocker-Lemalie 11


Premier Girls Standings at end of regular season:

12-0 St Mary’s

10-2 Westlake

7-5 Rangitoto

6-6 Massey


5-7 Carmel

3-9 MAGS

0-12 AGGS

AGS claim last semi-final place


St Kent's huddle

St Kentigern College are regular season champions

The semi-final lineups have been decided in the Auckland Secondary Schools Boy’s Premier League following the final round of regular season games played on Friday.

St Kentigern College, Rosmini College and Rangitoto College had already confirmed the top three placings prior to Friday’s games leaving Westlake Boys and Auckland Grammar, with identical 7-6 records, to fight over the remaining spot.

Auckland Grammar easily disposed of Mt Albert Grammar to claim fourth place after Westlake were beaten at home by Rangitoto. Grammar will now face St Kent’s in one semi-final with the other semi an all North Shore affair with Rangitoto taking on Rosmini.

Westlake Boys saw their semi-final hopes dissolve as they were beaten 100-79 by Rangitoto College in front of a large though rather subdued home crowd.

A reasonably even first quarter was highlighted by a Liam Judd two handed flush off a baseline drive as Rangitoto sprung out to a 21-15 first quarter lead.

A couple of scores from Joe Wuthrich, who was getting through a ton of work on the boards, helped the Westlake cause but when Ethan Mendeno peeled of three straight baskets Rangi were 26-17 to the good.

Westlake’s cause was further hampered when Sam Mennenga picked up a third foul and headed to the bench for the last seven minutes of the first half.

Forwards Dallas Clayton and Tautoko Wynyard combined for points as the Rangi lead grew before Dylan Wilkie replied with a couple of And-1 plays off aggressive drives.

Zach Riley had the last say of the first half draining a long three to give the visitors a 49-30 lead at the break.

Riley opened the second half as he closed the first – the Rangitoto guard demonstrated good skills as he hauled in a wayward pass before dropping a corner three.

Reuben Natusch, Mennenga and Wilkie (25 points) made scores for Westlake but not at the rate Harry Payne, Riley and Wynyard were making them for Rangi.

The impressive Clayton was enjoying himself against his old teammates and his four baskets on the bounce meant Rangi led 78-53 at three-quarter time.

The onlooking Cashmere College Boys Premier team departed at three-quarter time knowing, like most observers, that the result was already decided.

Rangitoto move on to play Rosmini in next Friday’s semi-final with Westlake finishing fifth and left to prepare for Nationals qualifiers at the beginning of next month.

Westlake 79– D Wilkie 25, S Mennenga 16, J Thompson 14, R Natusch 10, J Wuthrich 7

Rangitoto 100– D Clayton 20, H Payne 20, Z Riley 17, T Wynyard 17, E Mandeno 14


Westlake’s loss meant that a win for Auckland Grammar would secure them a semi-final berth and they made no mistake thumping a depleted Mt Albert Grammar 97-43.

On his way to a game high 30 points Jaga Mete helped himself to 16 of those in the opening period won 30-11 by Auckland.

Dakota Stephens led the Mt Albert scoring with 8 points in the first half but Grammar were 49-23 ahead at that point.

The lead kept growing in the third quarter as Mete, Connor Ngan and Josh Muggleston dropped triples.

Denvor Elia top scored for MAGS with 13 points on a night when his team were well beaten as AGS celebrated a top four finish.

AGS 97– J Mete 30, C Landon 11, D Boyd 10, C Ngan 10, I Tela 10, T Caldwell 9

MAGS 43– D Elia 13, D Stephens 8, P Sorensen 7, M Fiatau 7


Macleans College, relegated to Senior A Division next season, were no match for Rosmini College going down 96-46.

A 30-10 opening salvo from Rosmini virtually decided the contest and although the scoring slowed in the second period Macleans still found themselves 43-16 behind at half-time. Sean Murphy had 24 points at the break, 15 of them from three-point land.

Michael Babaran, Harry Smith and Kraus Reyes never stopped trying for Macleans but Rosmini got scoring production from all 12 players as they cruised to victory ahead of a sterner test against Rangitoto next Friday.

Macleans 46– M Babaran 15, K Reyes 10, H Smith 9

Rosmini 96– S Murphy 26, T Martin 10, J Boucher 10, T Abdon 8, M Williams-Dunn 8, B Robb 8


St Kentigern College, already crowned regular season champions, made light work of Liston College winning 91-50.

Quick out the gate St Kent’s were 23-12 ahead at the first break with Shalom Broughton and Levick Kerr to the fore.

Preston Karatau and Troy Lee-Parker each scored half a dozen first half points for Liston but they trailed 43-24 at the main break.

Karatau and Kiani Saxon gave St Kent’s defence something to think about in the third but with Kazlo Evans and Alex McNaught joining Kerr and Broughton in double figures St Kent’s coasted to the win – their 13thin 14 games.

Liston 50– P Karatau 12, K Saxon 11, T Lee-Baker 6, S Hickey 5

St Kent’s 91– L Kerr 19, S Broughton 19, K Evans 18, A McNaught 10, J Childs 8


Premier Standings at conclusion of the regular season:

13-1 St Kentigern

11-3 Rangitoto

10-4 Rosmini

8-6 AGS


7-7 Westlake

4-10 MAGS

2-12 Liston

1-13 Macleans

Still plenty on the line in Boy’s Senior A – Epsom are Girl’s regular season champs


Epsom Girls

Epsom Girls – Senior A Regular Season Champions

There is still plenty to play for ahead of the final round of the Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A Leagues.

In the Boy’s League Northcote College and Mt Roskill Grammar are still both at the head of the pack in a two horse race to claim the regular season title with both teams assured of semi-final berths.

Northcote host Avondale College on Friday whilst Mount Roskill entertain Long Bay College.

What happens if both teams make the most of home advantage? Simple this one as Northcote won both head to head clashes and would therefore finish top of the table.

Behind the top two St Peter’s are obviously in the box seat being one win ahead of Long Bay and Massey. However St Peter’s play Massey on Friday which makes things interesting.

Long Bay, after losing to Massey in overtime last week have left themselves plenty to do taking on Mt Roskill.

If Avondale were to upset Northcote they could potentially have the same record as Long Bay and Massey and the calculators would then come into play with a three-team tie.

 Boys Senior A Standings

10-3 Northcote, Mt Roskill

8-5 St Peter’s

7-6 Long Bay, Massey

6-7 Avondale

3-10 Pakuranga

1-12 Western Springs


Senior A Girls is all but decided.

Girls Senior A Standings

13-0 Epsom Girls

11-2 Baradene

9-4 Avondale

7-6 St Kentigern

6-7 Mt Roskill

2-1 Pakuranga, Birkenhead, Diocesan

Epsom are guaranteed top spot and will remain undefeated through the regular season should they beat St Kentigern College on Friday, although interestingly the game will be a  forerunner to a semi-final clash between the two teams next week.

Baradene are guaranteed second place and will play the third placed Avondale College in one semi-final regardless of the results on Friday.

St Kent’s have a difficult assignment at  Epsom while Mt Roskill host Birkenhead so a 7-7 record for both teams looks likely.

However if that scenario eventuates St Kentigern would still remain fourth and advance on the basis of a better head to head points differential against Mt Roskill.

Rangitoto and Rosmini win


Reihana copyMonday night saw two catch-up games played as Rosmini College entertained Liston College and Rangitoto College visited Mt Albert Grammar in the Auckland Secondary Schools Boy’s Premier League.

Rosmini proved too good for Liston winning 113-64 meaning Liston finish 7thon the ladder and will need to win a play-off game next April to secure Prems status unless the qualifying process is re-structured.

Despite 27 points from Liston guard Sefa Prasad the result was never in doubt once Rosmini had established a 29-10 first quarter advantage – Sean Murphy, on his way to a game high 29 points, with 8 points for Rosmini in the spell.

The second quarter proved to be a far more even contest. Prasad scored 11 points in the quarter with Marvin Williams-Dunn scoring an identical number as Rosmini led 53-33 at half-time.

Reihana Maxwell-Topia, who improved his single game Premier League best for the third consecutive game, scored 12 points in the third to stretch the Rosmini lead beyond thirty points.

James Hickey scored 13 points in the final quarter as Liston, with just seven players, kept battling to the end with captain Shawn Hickey setting a fine example.

Rosmini 113– S Murphy 29, R Maxwell-Topia 21, M Williams-Dunn 14, J Boucher 12, T Abdon 9

Liston 64– S Prasad 27, J Hickey 14, L Hamilton 7, S Hickey 6

rangi huddle

A massive double-double of 32 points and 16 rebounds from forward Josh Leger couldn’t prevent Mt Albert Grammar losing 69-50 at home to Rangitoto College.

Leger scored 7 points in the opening period but 8 points from skipper Harry Payne helped Rangitoto to an early 19-11 lead.

Dakota Stephens helped Leger with the scoring in the second period but Ethan Mandeno was in stunning form for Rangitoto. The shooting guard knocked down 4 from 5 threes and with Ethan Skelton chipping in with another score from beyond the arc Rangi were 39-29 ahead at half-time.

Despite threes from Leger and Phoenix Sorensen MAGS fell further adrift in the third period as Payne and Tautoko Wynyard added to their tallies, the visitors moving comfortably to a tenth win of the season.

Both teams face local derbies to finish their campaigns on Friday. Mt Albert will take on Auckland in the battle of the Grammar’s while Rangitoto will visit North Shore rivals Westlake.

MAGS 50– J Leger 32/16r, D Elia 5/8r. D Stephens 5, P Sorensen 5

Rangitoto 69– E Mandeno 17, H Payne 15, T Wynyard 10/12r, E Skelton 8/5a


Premier Standings with one round remaining:

12-1 St Kentigern

10-3 Rangitoto

9-4 Rosmini

7-6 Westlake

7-6 AGS

4-9 MAGS

2-11 Liston

1-12 Macleans

Easy wins for St Mary’s, Rangitoto and Westlake in Girl’s Prems

Westlake huddle 19

Three rather one-sided games were the feature in Round 13 of the Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Premier League last Friday.

Rangitoto College raced to a commanding first half lead at home to Massey High School and never looked back from there winning 107-74.

11 points from Hannah Wentworth and 8 from Aroha Riley helped Rangitoto to pile on 38 points to lead by 19 points at quarter time.

Tahlyah Waikiki was in double figures for Massey by half-time but with Wentworth, Waiaaria Riley, Moneesha Barrett and Ella Moore raining in threes Rangi had a huge 68-31 lead at half-time.

Massey made major improvements in the second half with Ramona Fuaivaa, Shazaleah Henry and Maya Taingahue joining Waikki in double figures. Massey shaded the second half 43-39 but the damage had already been done as Rangitoto moved up to third spot on the ladder.

Rangitoto 107– E Moore 23, H Wentworth 21, A Riley 15, K Tawhiao 11, C Noom-Duckworth 10, M Barrett 10

Massey 74– T Waikki 20, R Fuaivaa 15, M Taingahue 11, S Henry 10


Auckland Grammar only scored two points in the opening quarter but had 17 points by half-time to trail St Mary’s 46-14 at half-time.

Credit must go to Imogene Noble and Leah Patuwairua who between them scored all but one of the AGGS points as they were eventually beaten 98-29.

All 12 St Mary’s players got on the scoresheet led by Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu, Trinity Atiga and Maia Malolo.

St Mary’s will likely play Massey High in the semi-finals in a couple of weeks’ time.

AGGS 29– I Noble 16, L Patuwairua 12

St Mary’s 98 – Z Kailahi-Fulu 15, T Atiga 12, T Malolo 11, J Kailahi-Fulu 8, R Matiseni 8


Carmel College concluded their 2019 Prems campaign at Eventfinda Stadium going down 110-65 to Westlake.

Tayla Dalton, at her dynamic best, amassed 48 points but other than 8 points from Qaizdon ‘Q’ Stephano had little scoring support as Westlake won at a canter after opening up a 30-15 first period lead.

Westlake head coach Bronwen Davidson was able to give good playing opportunities to her bench players – Holly Williams and McKenzie Chatfield catching the eye.

Jordyn Maddix, Emma Pugh and Rosie Dil led the Westlake scoring as they now prepare for their final regular season game against Rangitoto on Friday. Interestingly this may well serve as an entrée for a likely semi-final encounter the following week.

For Carmel, they get an extra couple of weeks to prepare for Schick Nationals Qualifiers later in the month.

Westlake 110– J Maddix 22, E Pugh 18, S Dil 18, J Moors 15, M Chatfield 8

Carmel 65– T Dalton 48, Q Stephano 8, I MacGregor 4


Premier Girls Standings:

11-0 St Mary’s

10-2 Westlake

6-4 Rangitoto

6-5 Massey

5-7 Carmel

2-9 MAGS

0-11 AGGS

Taine Murray named to Tall Blacks


Instead of fronting up for form period on Monday morning at Rosmini College, Taine Murray will be boarding a plane at Auckland airport bound for Japan.

Still only a year 12 student Murray is the bolter in Paul Henare’s 14 man pr-World Cup squad announced on Sunday.

“Taine has impressed us all these past few days and quite simply played his way into the 14,” said Henare. “He has a composure beyond his years and is going to develop into a very good player, but already at 17 has shown that he feels at home at this level.”

Murray was a little lost for words when he heard his name read out by Henare in the team meeting this morning.

“Hearing my name called was extremely humbling and I am so grateful for the opportunity that lays before me. It has been amazing learning from some of the finest players and coaches that New Zealand has to offer during the course of the camp, and I am just so excited for the next few weeks.”

The MBO (may-bo) Tall Blacks team to tour Japan and continue preparation for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup has been named, with Head Coach Paul Henare inking in 14 players from the selection camp in Auckland.

The 14 will travel to take part in a 9-day camp in Japan, including two games against their hosts, before then heading to Sydney to take on Canada. It is following those two games on August 20 and 21 that the final 12 for the World Cup will be named.

The team is led by veterans in the likes of Tom Abercrombie playing his third World Cup, while Jarrod Kenny, Corey Webster, Tai Webster, Alex Pledger, Rob Loe and Isaac Fotu are all attending their second World Cup tournament.

Finn Delany, Shea Ili, Jordan Ngatai, Tohi Smith-Milner and Ethan Rusbatch have featured heavily for the Tall Blacks and New Zealand Select over the past four years as the programme under Henare went about building depth across all positions.

Henare is delighted with the balance and depth in the roster.

“We have chosen a combination of players that complement each other on and off the floor. They understand what we stand for and what we are looking to achieve in China and will do anything for each other.

“A number of our decisions were very tough, with our final selection meeting going long into the night last night. That is testament to that depth we are developing, that a number of players will rightly feel unlucky not to have made the 14 today, but their time will come in the black singlet.

“We believe we have a balanced group of players, a group that is young in age but long in experience and understands the pressure we will face in the weeks ahead and the opportunity that is in front of them. Our focus is now solely on being ready to face Brazil on September 1st, we have a lot of work to do but can’t wait.”

The younger generation are led in the 14 by the likes of Tom Vodanovich on the back of a strong Sal’s NBL campaign and in particular by Rosmini schoolboy Taine Murray, clearly the bolter in the roster at this point after impressing Henare during the camp in Auckland, and while playing for his college team.

Murray is just one of many youngsters to have featured this weekend, with Henare keen to highlight the six unlucky players who average just 20 years of age.

“While the focus today is on the 14 who will move on to Japan and Australia, as a coaching and management team we have been hugely impressed by the entire group. The future of the game is in great hands with the likes of Kruz (18 years), Sam (22), Max (18), Tyrell (20), Hyrum (23) and Taylor (23) waiting in the wings, they are all tremendously talented players and impressive young men who all have great careers ahead of them, I can’t wait to see them back in the black singlet in the near future.”

Tom Abercrombie is one of the ‘young’ veterans in the team at 32 and attending his third World Cup, he will be amongst the leaders in the team and is excited for what the next five weeks holds.

“Being in the Tall Blacks environment is always energizing, I love being a part of this team and there is an added edge for a World Cup campaign, we have seen and felt that already these past few days. Of course, we will miss Mika and Reuben, that has been well documented this week, but today is about the players named and I am excited to be a part of a team that can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and in typical Tall Blacks fashion take on the world and look to upset the odds along the way.”

MBO Tall Blacks 14 to travel to Japan and Australia

Guards: Shea Ili, Wellington Saints/Melbourne United; Jarrod Kenny, Bay Hawk’s/Cairns Taipans; Tai Webster, Galatasaray; Corey Webster, NZ Breakers; Taine Murray, Rosmini College; Ethan Rusbatch, Bay Hawks;

Small Forwards: Tom Abercrombie, Wellington Saints/NZ Breakers; Jordan Ngatai, Wellington Saints/NZ Breakers; Tom Vodanovich, Southland Sharks/NZ Breakers;

Power Forwards: Isaac Fotu, Universo Treviso; Finn Delany, Nelson Giants/NZ Breakers;

Centres: Alex Pledger, Southland Sharks/Melbourne United; Rob Loe, Wellington Saints/NZ Breakers; Tohi Smith-Milner, Melbourne United;

Head Coach: Paul Henare
Assistant Coach: Pero Cameron
Assistant Coach: Ross McMains
Physiotherapist: Anousith Bouaaphone
Massage Therapist: Shelley Moana-Hiha
Doctor: Hamish Osborne
Manager: Andrew Dewhurst

St Kent’s defeat Rangitoto in OT and Rosmini beat Westlake in local derby


The penultimate round of the  Auckland Secondary Schools Boy’s Premier League saw the semi-final play-off places almost confirmed.

St Kentigern College reaffirmed top spot with an 80-72 overtime win at Rangitoto meaning Rosmini, who overcame Westlake, will face Rangi in one semi-final.

Westlake or Auckland Grammar, who beat Liston College, will face St Kentigern in the other semi. On the face of it Westlake appear to have the stiffer challenge in the final round of games next Friday facing second on the table Rangitoto whereas AGS will face sixth placed Mt Albert Grammar.

It was another cracker at Rangitoto College on Friday. When the two teams met in their first match up St Kent’ squeezed home by two points. It was even closer in regulation time on this occasion with the scores locked at 67 points each after 40 minutes.

Kazlo Evans was the hero for St Kent’s with 26 points, critically making a pair of free-throws and a couple of triples in the additional five minutes. Martin Gan also knocked down a three as St Kent’s outscored their hosts 13-5 in overtime to claim the win.

The loss was tough on Rangitoto captain Harry Payne who scored a game high 31 points to keep his team in the contest.

It was tight throughout with St Kent’s leading by one at quarter time and four at half-time (38-34) – Evans and Elliot Watson 11 points and 10 points respectively for St Kent’s were bettered by Payne’s 15 with Liam Judd contributing a useful 7 points at the interval.

Rangi came back in the third to level the scores at 55 points apiece. The fourth was a tense affair with the two teams scoring just a dozen points each. Rangitoto had six different scorers in that frame but Josh Child and Alex McNaught scored a brace each for St Kent’s to force overtime.

Ethan Skelton, Tautoko Wynyard and Payne scored for the hosts in the additional five minutes but it was Gan and Evans that landed the killer blows.

St Kentigern 80– K Evans 26, A McNaught 12, E Watson 12, M Gan 11, L Kerr 9

Rangitoto 72– H Payne 31/5a, L Judd 8, E Skelton 7, J Thornton 7, Z Riley 6/11r



The Eventfinda Stadium sponsored local derby between Rosmini College and Westlake again attracted over a thousand spectators.

The Westlake supporters were in full voice midway through the third period when Josh Kooiman scored threes on three consecutive Westlake possessions to give his team a commanding sixteen points advantage (56-40).

However Rosmini re-grouped, after a hastily called timeout, to rattle off an 11-4 run and when Jayden Boucher, Sean Murphy and Reihana Maxwell-Topia combined for the last six points of the period the Westlake advantage had been trimmed to 68-62.

The Rosmini surge continued at the start of the fourth as Terence Abdon and Marvin Williams-Dunn put Rosmini ahead. Jett Thompson and Sam Mennenga restored Westlake to level terms but it was Williams-Dunn, Murphy and Maxwell-Topia that bossed the closing stages to cap a 28-points turnaround.

Earlier a thundering baseline dunk from Mennenga highlighted a first quarter won 22-14 by Rosmini.

It was largely one way traffic in favour of Lake in the second as Joe Wuthrich, Thompson and  Kooiman consistently found their way to basket. Westlake led 38-33 at half-time and increased that lead in the early stages of the second half.

Paced by Williams-Dunn, on his way to a game high 31 points, it was Rosmini that controlled affairs thereafter to secure the win and leave Westlake with work to do to make the play-offs.

Rosmini 88– M Williams-Dunn 31, R Maxwell-Topia 19, S Murphy 19, T Abdon 8, J Boucher 6

Westlake 76– J Kooiman 26, J Thompson 24, S Mennenga 16, J Wuthrich 10


Auckland Grammar proved too good for an ender-strength Liston College winning 117-67 to improve their chances of advancing to the semi-finals.

Grammar applied full court pressure defence forcing Liston into a series of turnovers which the host capitalised on to lead 27-18 by the end of the first quarter

In the second quarter Grammar continued to pull away with a combined effort from the bench. Liston however were impressive from range, particularly Sefa Prasad who knocked down four of his five threes in the first half.

Caleb Landon scored 10 points in the first half, a balanced Grammar scoring effort gave them a 54-37 lead at half-time.

Mete and Josh Muggleston stretched the Grammar advantage to 82-55 at the three-quarter mark.

Toby Caldwell helped himself to 11 points in the final quarter as the Grammar lead was pushed out to 50 points and a very comfortable win.

AGS 117– C Landon 20, J Mete 17, A Boyd 13, J Muggleston 15, T Caldwell 12, L Vea 11, C Ngan 11

Liston 67– S Prasad 15, S Hickey 11, V Ola’aiga 10, L Hamilton 8, E Cea 7


Mt Albert Grammar beat Macleans College 95-59 in the fourth game of the round.

On a night when they would make fifteen threes Mt Albert Grammar sunk five in the opening quarter via Denvor Elia, Theo Coker-Grey and Mondray Fiatau to open up a 22-13 first quarter lead against Macleans College.

Richard Jiang scored 9 points for Macleans but Dakota Stephens matched that with three consecutive triples in a quarter won 20-19 by MAGS.

Josh Leger made 7 points for the hosts after the break but Jack McGregor kept Macleans in touch down 59-44 with ten minutes to play.

The floodgates opened in the fourth quarter as MAGS piled on 36 points in possibly their highest scoring quarter of the season. Six more triples rained down from the hands of Stephens, Leger, Elia and Coker-Grey as MAGS rattled up their fourth win of the season.

MAGS 95– T Coker-Grey 25, J Leger 16, D Stephens 15, M Finlay 14, D Elia 10, M Aiono 9

Macleans 59– M Barbaran 21, J Manuel 17, R McGregor 8 K Reyes 6


Monday night will see two catch-up games being played as Rosmini entertain Liston and Rangitoto visit MAGS.

Premier Standings:

12-1 St Kentigern

9-3 Rangitoto

8-4 Rosmini

7-6 Westlake

7-6 AGS

4-8 MAGS

2-10 Liston

1-12 Macleans

Auckland Sec Schools Senior A Leagues hotting up


Things are looking interesting ahead of the last two rounds of the Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A Leagues.

In the Boy’s League Northcote College and Mt Roskill Grammar are battling it out for the regular season title with both teams boasting a 9-3 record – both assured of play-off berths.

Behind them the chasing pack of four are all in contention for the remaining two semi-final spots.

Only one win separates Long Bay College, St Peter’s College, Avondale College and Massey High School.

 Boys Senior A Standings

9-3 Northcote, Mt Roskill

7-5 Long Bay, St Peter’s

6-6 Avondale, Massey

3-9 Pakuranga

1-11 Western Springs

In key games this Friday (Round 13 ) Avondale host Mt Roskill and Long Bay plays Massey. Defeat for Massey or Avondale would almost certainly eliminate them from the play-off race and a chance of Premier League basketball next season.

The following week Northcote entertain Avondale, St Peter’s are at home to Massey and Long Bay visit Mt Roskill.

Senior A Girls is not as complicated although the top five teams are still in the hunt for the four semi-final places.

Girls Senior A Standings

12-0 Epsom Girls

10-2 Baradene

8-4 Avondale

6-6 Mt Roskill, St Kentigern

2-10 Pakuranga, Birkenhead, Diocesan

Epsom are guaranteed top spot and Baradene will join them as second seed  meaning they will play the third placed team which will almost certainly be Avondale.

That will leave Mt Roskill and St Kentigern jostling for the right to play Epsom in the semi-final.

St Kent’s play Birkenhead this week then travel to Epsom which will be tough so on form they would finish 7-7.

Mt Roskill visit Avondale then host Birkenhead so again a 7-7 record looks a likely outcome.

If that scenario eventuates St Kentigern would advance with the better head to head points differential against Mt Roskill.

Plenty to play for in the last couple of rounds.