Category Archives: School Basketball

Girls Prems – Round 2 Wrap

Waimanu Clarken and Emma-Kay Schroeder had 30-point games to lead Mt Albert Grammar and Westlake Girls, the 2022 Grand Finalists, to Auckland Secondary Schools Round 2 Prems victories.

Clarken scored 35 points as Mt Albert Grammar School won an entertaining game at Northcote College 86-73.

Peyton Uri got proceedings underway with a corner three for MAGS who were quickly out to a 15-5 lead. That was pegged back to 21-17 at the quarter time break – a three from Lisa Gear late in the period helping the Northcote cause.

A couple of scores from DJ Hannah cancelled out efforts from Sienna-Rose Tawera and Gezreyal Maiu’u before a brace of threes from Clarken again stretched the MAGS lead – the visitors ahead 41-30 at the interval.

Triples from Hannah and Lizzie May in the third kept Northcote in the hunt but a balanced MAGS scoring effort held them at bay; 71-50 to the visitors at three-quarter-time. 

Hannah and May combined for 16 points in the fourth as Northcote kept the pressure on the MAGS defence but Jorjia Fiu, Clarken and Tawera would have the final say as MAGS closed out a second successive win.

Northcote, having pushed the top two teams from last season in the opening two rounds, can take heart from their performances ahead of a trip to St Kentigern College next week while MAGS will meet Westlake in a blockbuster match up.

Northcote 73 – Hannah 28, May 20, Lily 10, Nikki Gear 9

MAGS 86 – Clarken 35, Fiu 15, Tawera 8, Uri 6, Maiu’u 6

Emma-Kay Schroeder landed 11 first quarter points as Westlake Girls High established a 22-13 quarter-time lead at home to St Mary’s College.

Tamzin Jakeman and India Nash were doing good work for St Mary’s but Schroeder, on her way to a career high 36 points, and Amy Pateman were taking the game away from the visitors as Lake led 47-24 at half-time.

Christiana Setu and Jakeman kept the scoreboard ticking over for St Mary’s but Rebecca Moors and Schroeder were also accelerating the scoring rate for the hosts – Westlake 69-37 to the good at the third break.

Points in the fourth from Imani Rasmussen and Kalei Morgan-Tafea capped off a convincing Westlake victory.

Congratulations to Westlake player Kodee Williams-Sefo who has been named to the New Zealand team to attend the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship in Amman, Jordan from 10-16 July. Kodee is currently sidelined as she recovers from a leg injury.

Westlake 87 – Schroeder 36, Pateman 19, Moors 10, Morgan-Tafea 7 Rasmussen 6

St Mary’s 49 – Jakeman 8, Nash 8, Sefu 6, Olive Maling 6, Felolina To’ua-Kalava

Despite a game high 28 points from St Kentigern College guard Ashleigh Tuumaialu the three pronged scoring threat of Deyna Topia, Ritorya Tamilo and Poppy Cavanagh-Briggs combined for 57 points to propel Baradene College to a 62-53 win.

Tuumaialu scored 7 points in the opening ten minutes but it was Baradene that edged the period 17-14.

That lead evaporated quickly as Tuumaialu and Kilani Tuineau picked holes in the Baradene defence to take the visitors to a 33-25 half-time lead.

St Kent’s kept Baradene to 8 second quarter points but the third saw a complete reversal as it was the visitors turn to be kept to 8. At the offensive end Tamilo scored 8 points on her own while Cavanagh-Briggs tallied 7 as Baradene headed to the final quarter with a narrow 43—41 advantage.

Baradene would again have the better of the quarter with the triple threat of Topia, Tamilo and Cavanagh-Briggs, aided by Daisy Parke, outscoring St Kent’s 19-12 in the period to close out a bounce back win. 

Good luck to Ritorya who is attending the Tall Ferns Trial Camp at Pulman Arena this weekend.

Baradene 62 – Tamilo 22, Topia 18, Cavanagh-Briggs 17

St Kentigern 53 – Tuumaialu 28, Kilani Tuineau 8, Tiffany Thompson 6

The Takapuna Grammar v Epsom Girls Grammar fixture has been postponed until Tuesday.

Boys Prems – Round 2 Roundup

May 13, 2023

The three North Shore schools in Prems hosted opponents from across the Harbour Bridge in Round 2 fixtures with only Rosmini College able protect home court advantage – Mt Albert Grammar and Auckland Grammar securing valuable road victories.

Westlake Boys appeared to be doing likewise at three-quarter time leading Auckland Grammar 66-57.

However the hosts succumbed to a fourth quarter onslaught from Grammar and in particular Ryan Hunt. The AGS skipper, on his way to a game high 34 points, dropped 18 in the fourth quarter as his team piled on 31 points in the period to win 89-78.

Even at the mid-point of the fourth, after a couple of three-point makes from Andre Bautista, Westlake appeared in control as they retained a double figure lead.

However, Roman Ma’afu- Moerua and Lisione Tupou kick started the revival before Hunt took charge of proceedings to propel AGS to a second straight win.

Eight quick points from Max Riechelmann had helped Westlake to a 19-16 quarter time lead before the two teams split 48 points in a free scoring second stanza.

Sharp shooter Bautista added to his tally and Pelu Figotoa scored 6 third quarter-points as Westlake wrestled the initiative to carry a nine point lead into the final ten minutes. 

However it wasn’t enough to hold off Hunt and Co.

Westlake 78 – Bautista 25, Figota 13, Riechelmann 9, Noah Rasmussan 7, Malachi Book 7

AGS 89 – Hunt 34, Josh Howes 15, Ma’afu- Moerua 12, Brigham Hakaraia 8, Tupou 7

Rosmini College got the better of St Peter’s downing last year’s Senior A champions 91-61.

Gus Dallow opened the scoring for the visitors before Zion Anderson and Chris Wyllie quickly pushed Rosmini into a double digit lead – the quarter-time advantage 27-15.

The second quarter began the same as the first with Dallow making the initial points but that was a prelude to a 12-0 Rosmini run – 6 of those to Noah Johns.

Luke Thompson replied with consecutive buckets for St Peter’s before Anderson again went to work inside. Dallow made a tough off balance buzzer beater to take his first half tally to 16 points but Anderson’s 18 helped Rosmini to a significant 44-25 half-time lead.

Milan Tolich started to find his scoring touch for the Saints after the break although Rosmini were taking the game away from them as they progressed their scoring in threes. Josh Batty made three consecutive shots from behind the arc, Matty Dalton netted from deep also, while Liam Bates and Jameer Reed both made And-1 plays.

Rosmini led 71-38 at three-quarter time and although St Peter’s had the best of the later exchanges the result was never in doubt. 


Rosmini 91 – Anderson 23, Batty 14, C Wyllie 11, Bates 10, Johns 10, Dalton 9, Reed 9

St Peter’s 61 – Dallow 19, Tolich 17, Thompson 9, Bryan Marsters 7

A couple of triples from Kade Cartwright and 10 points from Louis Uri got Mt Albert Grammar off to a flying start at Rangitoto College.

Up 25-6 at quarter time MAGS posted another couple of dozen points in the second with Uri taking his tally into the twenties and Ethan Lay and Harri Coker-Grey scoring from deep.

Ahead 49-15 at half-time MAGS were in no mood to take their foot off the gas adding  another 31 points in the third – Cartwright and Dante Matakatea sharing 16 of those.

On a night when Rangi struggled to make shots Joel Brown was a shining light with 10 points. 

Rangitoto 33 – Brown 10, Elyas Taher 6, Jimmy Kim 5

MAGS 91 – Uri 25, Cartwright 20, Coker-Grey 15/6 assists, Romani Keith-Peraua 14, Matakatea 13/11 rebounds, Ethan Lay 6, Dante Tapula’aia 11 rebounds

Preston Tuaputa scored a game high 24 points for Sacred Heart College but it was St Kentigern College that won the East Auckland clash 70-63.

It was close throughout with St Kent’s carrying a 50-46 lead into the three-quarter-time break. Tuaputa did his best to get Sacred Heart the W with 8 last quarter points, and Matt Fautuaalii-Taia chimed in with 6, but Merrick Rillstone saved his best until last.

Only having arrived back in the country on Friday morning, after attending the NBA Academy Asia Development Camp in Singapore, Rillstone scored 12 fourth quarter points to steer St Kent’s to the narrow victory.

Earlier Hunter Te Ratana dropped three triples to give the visitors a 17-13 quarter-time advantage.

Sacred Heart edged the second frame by a single point with triples from Jerome Jakeman and Matt Fautuaalii-Taia helping reduce the deficit to 32-29 at the interval.

The third period was also won by a single point although this time it was St Kentigern that shaded it. George Turner and Te Ratana shared 14 points for the visitors with Fautuaalii-Taia, Tyrell Cocker and Tuaputa the go-to men for Heart.

St Kent’s led 50-46 with ten minutes to play and by 13 points inside the last minute. Despite Heart narrowing the deficit to single digits it was Rillstone, shaking off the effects of jet lag, that had the decisive say.

Sacred Heart 63 – Tuaputa 24, Fautuaalii-Taia 16, Cocker 10, Jerome Jakeman 6

St Kentigern 70 – Te Ratana 20, Rillstone 16, Turner 16, Charlie Hughes 8

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Girls Senior A wrap including Monday night’s Avondale v Carmel encounter.

In Girls Senior A action on Monday night Carmel College travelled across town to take on Avondale College and emerged as 94-47 winners. The victory means both teams relegated from Prems had comfortable wins to begin their quest for a quick return to the top flight, with Rangitoto College recording an almost identical scoreline.

Carmel enjoyed double figure contributions from all five starters with three of them (Annie Gaylard, Ruby Railton and Zahara Tibbotts) in double figures by half time when Carmel led 45-30.

Shiloh Caffery scored 9 of Avondale’s first half points. She got good support from Aniva Leala, Maya Loomes and Zion Mann but the second spell was also dominated by Carmel as Imogen O’Rourke and Hannah Bellett made telling contributions in a dominant performance.

Avondale 47 – Caffery 19, Leala 8, Loomes 8, Mann 8

Carmel 94 – Railton 28, Gaylor 20, Tibbotts 16, O’Rourke 12, Bellett 11

In case you missed it here is a roundup of the two games played on Friday:

Rangitoto College comfortably saw off the challenge of visitors One Tree Hill College to open the season with a 92-46 home win.

Syriah Muipu was outstanding for OTHC with a game high 22 points but it was Rangi, with five players with 8 points or more, that claimed the win. Eva Veale, with 20 points, top scored for the hosts.

Rangitoto 92 – Eva Veale 20, Amelia Andrews 17, Tamsin McAsey 15, Maddy Skelton 10, Zaara Sain 8

One Tree Hill 46 – Syriah Muipu 22, Harriate Heta 5, Melaia Tuisuva 5

Manurewa High School were quick out the gate at Mt Roskill Grammar establishing a 16-7 lead.

Shirley Tuilimu scored 14 second quarter points and Beautiful Campbell 6 as the Manurewa lead ballooned to 45-9 at half-time.

Annelliesse Folaumoetao scored 8 second half points for Roskill but it was Manurewa with the comfortable win.

Mt Roskill 31 – Folaumoetao 8, Brooklyn Koonwaiyou 6, Emily Talosaga 6

Manurewa 67 – Tuilimu 23, Bella Manu-Moore 10, Waimihi Hetaraka-Brown 8, Campbell 8, Zhendy Li 6

Massey High School defaulted their game against Auckland Girls Grammar School.

The Lowdown acknowledges the support of Northern Kāhu. The Kāhu season begins in July with memberships and game tickets available shortly at

Senior A – Boys and Girls Round 1 Roundup

May 8, 2023

The opening round of Senior A Boys fixtures featured a game between the two promoted teams as Selwyn College took on Kelston Boys High. 

Selwyn emerged clear winners 82-50 on the back of 24 points from Ashton Muraahi and 16 from Luca Vietri. Alec Phillips played the leading hand for Kelston with 22 points.

Selwyn 82  Muraahi 24 Vietri 16, Elijah Vaealiki 9, James MacDonald 8, Robby Turnbull 7

Kelston 50 – Phillips 22, Sam Tuitupou 9, Sione Mapu 6

A young Avondale College team were no match for Liston College going down 90-44. Liston, boasting a number of players with Premier grade experience from last year, led 43-21 at half-time and never looked like giving up the lead.

Dhon Lao (27 points) and Rasheed Ieremia (20 points) led the way for Liston – Liam Takenaka-Wesley the best for Avondale with 13 points.

Avondale 44 – Takenaka-Wesley 13, Deuel Lelaulu 7,  AJ Tsukada  6, Nate Muller 5

Liston 90 – Lao 27, Ieremia 21, Jeydin Ale 15, Manu Tuaere 7, Ronnie Juan 6

Dilworth ventured over The Bridge to take on Northcote College but came away empty handed with Aaron Sievert entertaining the sizeable home crowd with 37 points. Shunta Shinzaki, Jake Talaaic and Rico McPherson were also in double figures for Northcote.

Kingston Kai’lahi-Aso and Ikahui Mahe were the double digit contributors for an under strength Dilworth side.

Northcote 110 – Aaron Sievert 37, Shunta Shinzaki 14, Jake Talaaic 12, Rico McPherson 11, Tzion Manoa 8, Carlos MacPherson 8

Dilworth 63 – Kingston Kai’lahi-Aso 18, Ikahui Mahe 10, PJ Ainoa 9, Nepia Moore 10

Mt Roskill Grammar School protected home court advantage to see off the Manurewa High School challenge with a 97-61 victory.

Mitch Greenaway and Ezra Ogbuze with 27 points and 17 respectively led the Roskill offensive effort. Richard Campbell top scored with 22 points for Manurewa but his time on the bench, after picking up three first quarter fouls, certainly hindered their progress.

Mt Roskill 97 – M Greenaway 27, Ogbuze 17, Ryan Aramoana 10, Daniel Greenaway 10, Ngawaka Rakete 10

Manurewa 61 – R Campbell 22, Gordon Campbell 12, Tana Ihaka 9, Mark Harrison 6

In Girls Senior A action Rangitoto College comfortably saw off the challenge of visitors One Tree Hill College to open the season with a 92-46 home win.

Syriah Muipu was outstanding for OTHC with a game high 22 points but it was Rangi, with five players with 8 points or more, that claimed the win. Eva Veale, with 20 points, top scored for the hosts.

Rangitoto 92 – Eva Veale 20, Amelia Andrews 17, Tamsin McAsey 15, Maddy Skelton 10, Zaara Sain 8

One Tree Hill 46 – Syriah Muipu 22, Harriate Heta 5, Melaia Tuisuva 5

Manurewa High School were quick out the gate at Mt Roskill Grammar establishing a 16-7 lead.

Shirley Tuilimu scored 14 second quarter points and Beautiful Campbell 6 as the Manurewa lead ballooned to 45-9 at half-time.

Annelliesse Folaumoetao scored 8 second half points for Roskill but it was Manurewa with the comfortable win.

Mt Roskill 31 – Folaumoetao 8, Brooklyn Koonwaiyou 6, Emily Talosaga 6

Manurewa 67 – Tuilimu 23, Bella Manu-Moore 10, Waimihi Hetaraka-Brown 8, Campbell 8, Zhendy Li 6

Massey High School defaulted their game against Auckland Girls Grammar School while Avondale College will entertain Carmel College tonight (Monday May 8).

Girls Prems – Week 1 Review

The Girls 2023 Premier season tipped-off on Friday with Mt Albert Grammar, Epsom Girls Grammar, St Kentigern College and Westlake Girls High recording wins although Northcote College came very close to causing an upset.

In a game where 200 points were scored newcomers Northcote College gave defending champions Westlake Girls High all they could handle before going down 105-95.

In a game with extreme changes in momentum the opening swing favoured Westlake. After Lily Fotu opened the scoring Amy Pateman ran up 14 points to propel the visitors to a 31-21 lead. However in a sign of things to come Westlake were pinged for 11 first quarter fouls.

Pateman continued on her merry way in the second quarter before Northcote Head Coach Gareth Teahan called a halt to proceedings with his team trailing 50-34.

Whatever was said in the timeout worked a treat as his team scored 19 of the next 23 points. Lily Morgan and Nikki Gear were in the thick of the action and with Lizzy May and Lisa Gear dropping threes the Westlake lead was whittled down to just one point at half-time (54-53).

On the resumption Nikki Gear and DJ Hannah continued to ride the home team’s momentum propelling Northcote to a 64-54 lead. This time it was Westlake Head Coach Bronwen Davidson (named 2022 Women’s Coach of the Year at the BBNZ Awards ceremony on Saturday) that needed the timeout.

Her words steadied the Lake ship – an Emma Schroeder triple and 6 points from Fotu set up a likely tight finish with Westlake trailing 77-76 with a quarter to play.

That tight finish didn’t eventuate as Westlake opened the fourth period with 17 unanswered points as Rebecca Moors, Elin Vincent, Schroeder and Fotu bossed proceedings.

Hannah and May provided the necessary spark for Northcote but it was too big a deficit to claw back in the closing minutes.

It was Northcote’s first game in Prems since 2007 and they can take great heart from the performance despite the defeat.

Northcote 95 – N Gear 27, Hannah 22, Morgan 18, May 14, L Gear 11

Westlake 105 – Pateman 29, Moors 24, Fotu 20, Schroeder 13, Vincent 11

Fellow newcomers Takapuna Grammar, Senior A champions in 2022, also suffered defeat going down 72-57 at St Kentigern College.

Ash Tuumaialu scored the first 10 points for the hosts and had 18 of St Kent’s 24 as they led by 15 at the first break.

Kilani Tuineau became the second St Kent’s player in double figures as the hosts stretched out to a 38-19 half-time lead.

Takapuna improved after the break as they found their Premier League legs – a triple from Bailey Flavell and other scores from Amy Mckenzie and Manaia Watson got the scoreboard moving.

However St Kent’s weren’t going to give up their advantage – Sophie Jones and Tuumaialu knocked down threes to increase the margin to 24 points (57-33) at three-quarter time.

Takapuna had the better of the final frame to reduce the deficit but it remained a comfortable victory for St Kent’s.

St Kentigern 72 – Tuumaialu 22, Tuineau 18, Jones 11, Anamaia Rangihaeata 7

Takapuna 57 – Flavell 20, Watson 12, McKenzie 12, Mackenzie MacKereth 6

Mt Albert Grammar, Premier Girls beaten finalists in 2022, won every quarter in defeating visitors Baradene College 84-46.

Deyna Topia and Ritorya Tamilo scored all 15 of Baradene’s first quarter points but that was trumped by 23 points from MAGS with 12 of those courtesy of Waimanu Clarken.

Clarken added another 10 points in the second and with Jorjia Fiu and Te Arina Roberts chiming in with scores the home team’s advantage was 48-31 at half-time. 

Tamilo added to her tally in the third but more points from Clarken and Fiu sealed the deal for MAGS who led 62-42 at the last break.

The fourth period was all MAGS with Gezreyal Maiu‘u producing a nice 7-point cameo.

Waimanu Clarken

MAGS 84 – Clarken 28, Fiu 19, Maiulu 7, Roberts 7, Emina Tiatia 6

Baradene 46 – Tamilo 20, Topia 12, Amelia Nathen 6, Poppy Cavanagh 5

Epsom College made the short trip over to College Hill to face St Mary’s College and completely dominated proceedings winning 84-33. 

Epsom rattled in 23 first quarter points to lead by 14 points with Talia Vea in fine scoring touch. The advantage was a healthy 36-13 at half-time.

India Nash played a strong hand for St Mary’s with 12 points but Draun Forbes and Leah Patuwairua bossed proceedings in the second half as Epsom cruised to victory.

Epsom 84 – Forbes 24, Patuwairua 23, Vea 14, Ivy Tino 7

St Mary’s 33 – Nash 12, Felolina To’ua-Kalava 6, Olive Maling 4

The Lowdown acknowledges the support of Northern Kāhu. The Kāhu season begins in July with memberships and game tickets available shortly at

Boys Prems – week 1 review

May 6

The Boys 2023 Premier season tipped-off on Friday with Auckland Grammar, Mt Albert Grammar, Rosmini College and Westlake Boys recording wins.

Defending champions Rosmini College got their season off to a winning start with an 80-65 win at St Kentigern College.

Merrick Rillstone scored 7 points in the opening quarter but the hosts trailed 18-14 after 10 minutes.

Triples from Josh and Chris Wyllie helped Rosmini extend their advantage in the second – 38-31 the half-time score.

Cooper Lepou and Hunter Te Ratana made scores for St Kent’s after the interval but Noah Johns and the Wyllie’s combined for all 22 of Rosmini’s third quarter points as they stretched out to a 60-49 lead ahead of the fourth period.

Rillstone took his tally into the twenties but Zion Anderson did likewise – a Rosmini win confirmed after a couple of Josh Batty threes. 

St Kentigern 65 – Rillstone 22, Lepou 14, Te Ratana 11, George Turner 9  

Rosmini College 80 – Anderson 23, C Wyllie 20 (4/9 3PG), J Wyllie 14, Batty 11, Johns 9

The first North Shore derby of the season saw Westlake Boys High win a one sided contest against Rangitoto College 102-53. Both teams have a new head coach – Karl Noyer has taken the reigns at Westlake while Chanel Pompallier has taken charge at Rangitoto and it was Pompallier with the furrowed brow at quarter time as Westlake established a 32-10 lead thanks largely to 16 points from Malachi Book.

Andre Bautista knocked down three triples in the second – Westlake with 10 made triples in the half led 52-26 at interval. Joel Brown was the best for Rangi with 8 first half points.

Lake continued to dominate the contest in the third piling on 28 points with Noah Rasmussen, Book and Max Riechelmann doing most the damage.

Despite Rangitoto putting together a stronger showing in the fourth – with Cooper Allen, Elyas Taher and Arnold Nam making contributions – Westlake were untroubled as they strolled to victory.

Rangitoto 53 – Brown 13, Taher 13, Nam 10, Max Mudford 8, Allen 6

Westlake 102 – Book 27, Rasmussen 19, Riechelmann 17, Bautista 15, Oscar Neville 13

The Mountain Rad rumble was won 105-83 by Auckland Grammar as they saw off the challenge of newly promoted St Peter’s College. The first half was a tail of contrasting fortunes. Grammar scored 27 first quarter points to lead by 10 at the quarter mark with St Peter’s reversing momentum in the second period to lead 43-42 at half-time.

Josh Howes, Ryan Hunt and Lachlan Kennedy were in good scoring touch for Grammar in the early stages before St Peter’s hit back through Milan Tolich, Bryan Curtis-Marsters and Caleb Afeaki.

The third stanza was something of an arm wrestle with neither side able to gain full control. Tolich and Bailey Smith shared 20 points for Saints in the spell but the more balanced scoring from Grammar saw them edge ahead 75-71 at the third break. In that period Mikaere Tait, George Milburn, Hunt, and Howes each knocked down threes.

Despite 7 points from Smith it was Grammar that held all the cards in the fourth. Milburn scored 10 points and Hunt 8 as Grammar reeled off 30 points to ease to a 22 point win. 

AGS 105 – Hunt 23, Howes 21, Milburn 19, Tait 13

St Peter’s 83 – Smith 26, Tolich 18, Curtis 10, Afeaki 9

Against Sacred Heart College it was host Mt Albert Grammar that prevailed winning 91-59 with Dante Matakatea, Harri Coker-Grey and Kade Cartwright amassing a combined 68 points.

Tyrell Cocker scored six early points for Sacred Heart but a couple of threes from Dante Matakatea and incisions from Harri Coker-Gray helped MAGS forge a 19-13 first quarter lead.

Matt Fautuaalii-Taia and Sam Snowdon carried the scoring load for Heart in the second however Kade Cartwright delivered four triples in the period and Stepan Kosenko and Coker-Gray half a dozen points apiece as MAGS ran up 34 points to lead 53-31 at the interval.

The third period was a much more even affair (15-17). Fautuaalii-Taia and Preston Tuaputa produced scores for the hosts although those were cancelled out by Matakatea and Coker-Grey as MAGS headed to the fourth with an unassailable 70-46 lead.

MAGS put on another 21 points in the fourth to run out easy winners ahead of a trip to Rangitoto College next Friday. Sacred Heart will lick their wounds before hosting St Kentigern College in Round 2.

Sacred Heart 59  Fautuaalii-Taia 20,  Cocker 11, Snowdon 10

MAGS 91 – Matakatea 29, Coker-Grey 20/13rebs, Cartwright 19 (5/9 3PG), Uri 10/13rebs

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Prems and Senior A basketball seasons underway

The 2023 Premier and Senior A seasons tip-off on Friday with some juicy match-ups in prospect in both the Girl’s and Boy’s competitions.

Once again the high school reports on Lacey Lowdown will be brought to you in conjunction with our two major supporters. Thank you to Dynamic Sport New Zealand for their coverage of the Boys competitions and Northern Kāhu for their support of the Girls games.

In Premier Boys action the two 2022 trophy winners square off at St Kentigern College. Visitors Rosmini College were the Prems champs last year while St Kent’s were the Zone 1 Tournament winners.

The first North Shore derby of the season sees Rangitoto College entertain Westlake Boy’s High. Both teams have a new head coach – Karl Noyer has taken the reigns at Westlake while Chanel Pompallier has taken charge at Rangitoto.

Newly promoted St Peter’s College take the short trip along Mountain Road to face off against Auckland Grammar School. St Peter’s went unbeaten in 2022 as they dominated the Senior A competition – they would love to start 2023 in winning fashion against their near neighbours.

Sacred Heart College will host Mt Albert Grammar in the other game. Heart won just two games in 2022 but will be hoping the top flight experience gained last year will stand them in good stead for a stronger showing this season.

The Premier Girls competition boasts two new teams in 2023 with both promoted teams facing tough first-up assignments.

Northcote College face the daunting prospect of hosting Westlake Girls High, the 2022 National Champions. Westlake have a much changed lineup with six seniors having moved on so Northcote will relish the early opportunity to cause an upset.

Takapuna Grammar dominated proceedings in Senior A last year and head to St Kentigern College in an attempt to open their campaign with a victory.

Mt Albert Grammar, beaten finalists in 2022, have an away trip to take on Baradene College in a contest that is expected to be extremely close while Epsom College will head over to College Hill to face St Mary’s College.

The opening round of Senior A Boys fixtures features a game between the two promoted teams as Selwyn College take on Kelston Boys High.  

Avondale College, runners-up to St Peter’s last year, will visit Liston College while Dilworth School and Manurewa High School are also on the road. Dilworth head over The Bridge to take on Northcote College while Manurewa will visit Mt Roskill Grammar School.

The Mt Roskill and Manurewa match up is a double header as the respective girls teams will also face off in Girl’s Senior A action.

Carmel College and Rangitoto College begin life in Senior A with challenging fixtures. Both teams recently lost their play-off games to remain in Prems and will be hoping to begin their season with victories. Rangitoto entertain One Tree Hill College while Carmel are away against Avondale College.

Auckland Girls Grammar School entertain Massey High School in the remaining fixture. 

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Sacred Heart and St Peter’s secure Prems berths

April 6

The Auckland Secondary Schools Boys Premier Grade Play-off games were completed this week with the results determined in contrasting styles.

St Peter’s earned promotion in a narrow tense encounter while Sacred Heart College were runaway winners as they protected home court and the much coveted spot in the top grade.

In a tense intriguing contest St Peter’s College won a nail-biter in the Auckland Schools Premier Grade Play-off Game defeating Liston College 65-61.

St Peter’s, the 2022 Senior A champions, made a terrific start taking the first quarter 23-14 with Gus Dallow, Bailey Smith and Montana Ekeroma each knocking down triples.

Any suggestion that the first quarter was a sign of things to come were quickly dispelled by the hosts as they made it a three-point game at the half (37-34). A late triple from Zyhmon Moreno and 5 points from Rasheed Ieremia brought Liston back into the game.

The third quarter mirrored the second with Liston having the better of the exchanges – a brace of scores from Marvellous Michael, Dhon Lao and Ieremia helped Liston forge a 53-50 three-quarter time lead.

Both sides struggled to make baskets in the fourth as the tension ramped up, in fact there was only a combined eight field baskets made in the period.

Jeydin Ale made a couple of those for Liston but it was the combination of Dallow (nine final quarter points), Bryan Masters and Mario Nola that got St Peter’s over the line.

Dallow, a 2022 New Zealand U15 international, finished with a game high 17 points while Masters and Nola each made critical threes as Saint Peter’s edged the final period 15-8 to clinch the win and promotion.

St Peter’s 65 – Dallow 17, Ekeroma 13, Smith 9, Manio 6, Masters 5

Liston 61 – Ieremia 12, Ale 11, Moreno 6, Michael 6, Juan 6, Lao 5

In the second play-off game Sacred Heart College overpowered Avondale College to win 120-66 but in the early stages that margin of victory appeared highly unlikely.

In fact it was Avondale that made the early running with Deuel Lelaulu, Jaycob Holmes and, in particular, Liam Takenaka-Wesley causing the hosts defence a few problems. 

Avondale led 25-18 at quarter time and when Takenaka-Wesley scored immediately after the break Avondale had put together a 9-0 run.

Nate Muller kept Avondale in the ascendancy but the tide began to turn in favour of Sacred Heart after back-to-back scores from Tyrell Cocker.

Matt Schuler reduced the deficit further before Jerome Jakeman levelled the tie at 34 points apiece with a basket in transition.

Takenaka-Wesley kept Avondale in the hunt with a pair of threes but after a couple of transition dunks from Cocker (he had 14 points in the second period) and a triple from Jamie Vile it was Heart that were pumping at the half-time break – ahead 56-41.

Lelaulu scored on the resumption but soon after centre James Tipelu picked up his fifth foul. The Avondale centre’s absence was sorely missed as Heart ran in 28 points in the third – Preston Tuaputa, Josh Tengblad and Matt Fautuaalii-Taia the beneficiaries of some sloppy Avondale defence.

With the three-quarter time score 84-51 in Heart’s favour, and the result determined, both teams were able to give extended minutes to their bench players.

In the closing stages the large contingent of home supporters were treated to some fine shooting from Vile and Snowdon while Muller and Raymond Korboe showcased their range from deep for the visitors.

Avondale remain in Senior A for the 2023 season while Sacred Heart will be keen to build on their Prems experience from last season which culminated in a prized first ever appearance at the 2022 Secondary Schools National Championship.

Sacred Heart 120 – Cocker 23, Fautuaalii-Taia 18, Tuaputu 17, Snowdon 14, Jakeman 13, Vile 13, Tengblad 9

Avondale 66 – Takenaka-Wesley 21, Muller 16, Lelaulu 16, Holmes 8

The bottom two Senior A teams in 2022 have both been relegated and replaced by the top two teams from Open Grade.

Selwyn College defeated Aorere College 86-79 while Kelston Boys High School return to Senior A after beating Macleans College 69-56.

Northcote College win promotion to Premier Grade

Northcote College, after a long hiatus, are back in the Auckland Schools Girls Premier Grade after a commanding 78-48 win against Rangitoto College in the promotion/relegation play-off game on Tuesday.

Games are not won and lost in the opening quarter but Northcote certainly opened the contest with a statement of intent.

Nikki Gear nailed a corner three on the first possession to initiate a 10-0 opening salvo prompting Rangitoto coach Justine Reed to call a timeout.

Zaara Sain’s scooped layup got Rangi on the board but the first quarter belonged to the visitors who led 24-10 after ten minutes.

The large crowd were treated to an exciting second quarter as fortunes ebbed and flowed.

Ester Roberts knocked down a triple and with Maddison Skelton and Mela Andrews making shots the Northcote lead was shaved to 29-21.

Northcote would regain the initiative via Lily Morgan and DJ Hannah only for Roberts and Eva Veale to counter – Northcote ahead 40-28 after a fast paced first half.

The second half couldn’t have started worse for Rangi as Gear stole the restart inbounds pass before converting an uncontested layup while Lizzie May dropped her fourth triple (of five) to stretch the lead to 45-28.

Skelton got the scoreboard moving again for the hosts but it would be a quarter dominated by Northcote, and DJ Hannah in particular. 

The livewire guard was responsible for a couple of steals and 8 points as the Northcote lead stretched to an unassailable 62-34 by the three-quarter mark.

With the result not in doubt both teams gave opportunities to their bench players in the closing minutes – Lisa Gear and Grace Giles taking the opportunity to impress.

After a long absence Northcote – the national champions back in 2006 – will return to the top tier of schools basketball in Auckland for the 2023 season. Rangi will set about their rebuilding in Senior A.

Northcote 78 – Hannah 24, May 15, Morgan 14, N Gear 13, L Gear 6

Rangitoto 38 – Roberts 17, Skelton 9, Andrews 9, Giles 3

Callum McRae plays 100th game

Playing his 100th Division I game on Sunday (NZT) Callum McRae posted a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds despite Sacramento State University going down 72-65 at Santa Clara. It’s the seventh time in eight games this season he has posted double figures in points or rebounds.

Despite playing his 100th NCAA game it feels as if the collegiate career of McRae has flown under the radar somewhat – if dipping under the radar is possible for someone standing 7’1” tall!

Having spent four years at the University of California Riverside the former Manawatu and Palmerston North Boys High School standout has reunited with coach David Patrick at Sacramento State for the current 2022-23 collegiate campaign.

Coach Patrick was largely responsible for taking McRae to Riverside back in 2018 after his successful youth career. McRae repaid the faith by playing 92 games for the Highlanders over four years although he was forced to redshirt the 2020-21 year due to injury.

That was a particularly trying period for McRae given the timing of the injury.

“The injury was a huge challenge but it was compounded because Covid just hit too. I had great people around me to support me but not being able to be around my family was tough.”

McRae bounced back in style in the 2021-22 season scoring a career best 32 points against UC Santa Barbara and averaging 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds across 28 games – 27 as a starter. His 6.1 defensive rebounds per game placed him 42nd amongst all men’s Division I players in that statistical category. Given there are over 5,000 male Division I players a 42nd placing is rather impressive! 

Despite the successes of last season when the opportunity to reunite with Patrick presented itself McRae had little hesitation in jumping on board.

“Coach Patrick is a great coach and better person but it came down to trust. I could’ve gone to a lot of places for my last year but playing, and having a significant role, was important to me and I knew I could trust him to have my best interests at heart.” 

Eight games into the new season and the 100th NCAA Division I appearance has rolled around. McRae was aware that the major milestone was imminent but unsure of exactly when.

“Being in college for so long I knew it was coming up. I’m just happy to have made it this far, I had a couple injuries that almost forced me to stop playing so I am very thankful to be able to be on the court still and do what I love. 

Perhaps even more significantly, barring injury, he will soon complete the double of 100 NCAA Division I appearances and 1,000 points and move into elite company – the double has only been achieved previously by Kirk Penney, Tai Webster and Craig Bradshaw.

To date he has 940 points – averaging 10.9 points per game (and 9.6 rebounds) – the 1,000 points mark looks likely to be achieved around the turn of the year.

Only fourteen New Zealand men have racked up 100 Division I appearances and amongst them are Dan Fotu (126 games for St Mary’s College, California) and Sam Waardenburg (118 games for the University of Miami).

The pair were involved in the two most memorable events in McRae’s junior career, both taking place in 2016.

Waardenburg and Fotu were opponents in “That Final” – the 2016 Secondary Schools Boys National Final, one of the most spectacular championship games witnessed in recent years.

Scoring 33 points and snaring 17 rebounds McRae dragged Palmerston North Boys High back from a massive 60-35 half-time deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter.

Had it not been for the miraculous Rangitoto buzzer beater, courtesy of Cameron Stone’s miraculous shot, the championship would have gone the way of Palmy North Boys.

Later that year, this time playing with Fotu and Waardenburg, McRae enjoyed tremendous success at the FIBA U18 Oceania Championships in Fiji where the New Zealand team pulled off a stunning 57-51 victory against Australia in the final – the win qualifying the Junior Tall Blacks for the U19 World Cup the following year.  

McRae still has vivid memories of both events.

“After all these years that Rangitoto game is always bought up and still hurts a little but the joy of beating Australia helps a little. All I remember was the atmosphere of the game with my school behind us and the haka the boys did for us and then to Rangi. Even though we lost I was proud of that and the fight to come back after being down so much. 

“I still talk with a few of the boys every now and again and have even played with and against some here in college. That year group has been successful and I’m happy to see everyone succeeding and continuing on their paths.”

That 2016 U18 New Zealand team have gone on to achieve big things in the game. In addition to Waardenburg and Fotu, Taki Fahrensohn, Isaac Letoa, Quinn Clinton and the Cameron brothers Tobias and Flynn have played Division I basketball while Fotu, Letoa, Fahrensohn, Flynn Cameron and Taane Samuel, who was also on the team in Fiji, have gone on to play for the Tall Blacks.

Becoming the sixth member of the “Class of 2016” to gain senior international recognition would be special for McRae.

“I’d love to – playing for your country is an honour so if I ever have that opportunity I’d take it.” 

More pressing are the needs of Coach Patrick and the Sacramento State Hornets team as they strive to make an impression in the Big Sky Conference and beyond.

“I want to make my first NCAA tournament. Doing what I can to make that happen is priority number one and hopefully that will lead me to continuing my career professionally and becoming the best player I can be.”

Whether he gets to the Big Dance or not McRae will have plenty of good memories to reflect on when his college career concludes.

“Most of my highlights come from off the court. I’m lucky to have met some great people while being over here and have created lifelong friends. However beating Nebraska by a lot and Arizona state on the buzzer were great highlights too.

“I appreciate all the coaches and people who have helped me get to where I am today.” 

One of those to help McRae along his journey is his former Palmerston North Boys High Head Coach Miles Pearce. The former Tall Black is impressed with what he has seen.

“Cal has achieved so much in his career and it’s really only just beginning. He’s been a starter every year of his college career and improved his game every step of the way.

“I’m so proud of him and his accomplishments and everything he’s worked for. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.”

For now the focus for McRae is the present rather than the future.

Studying for a Master’s Degree in Recreational Therapy and ensuring the Hornets have a successful season are the main priorities for the big Kiwi.

The full list of centurions below includes former Hornet Izayah Le’afa the current New Zealand Breakers guard. 

100+ Men’s NCAA Division I Appearances/Starts (*Currently playing #Playing

 a fifth year)

133/121Rob Loe (University of St Louis, 2010-14)
131/61Sam Timmins (University of Washington 2016-20)
127/106Jack Salt (University of Virginia, 2014-19)
127/92Kirk Penney (University of Wisconsin, 1999-2003)
127/83Tai Webster (University of Nebraska, 2013-17)
126/47Dan Fotu (St Mary’s College, 2018-22)
125/103Mark Dickel (UNLV, 1996-2000)
123/104Craig Bradshaw (Winthrop University, 2003-7)
120/83Tom Vodanovich (James Maddison University, 2013-17)
118/69Sam Waardenburg (University of Miami, 2016-22)
117/108Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa (Sacramento State, 2016-20)
115/31Matt Freeman (Oklahoma, 2016-19, UC Santa Barbara, 19-20)
119/24*#Tobias Cameron (Abilene Christian University, 2017-present)
101/10Rory Fannon (Utah Valley University, 2007-12)