Category Archives: Tall Ferns

Auckland Dream unbeaten – WBC Day 3 wrap

 

Dream

Auckland Dream are unbeaten  after the first three rounds of the 2019 Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) played in Christchurch over the last three days.

Boasting current Tall Ferns Kalani Purcell, Natalie Taylor and Jordan Hunter plus a host of other experienced players they will be the team to beat.

Day 3 review here

 

Advertisements

WBC Day 2 Review

WBC 

Auckland Dream made it two wins from two outings in Division 1 action at the 2019 Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC), at Cowles Stadium, Christchurch on Saturday. The Dream pulled away in the third quarter to beat Waikato Wizards 81-59.

Sisters Charmian Mellars (18pts) and Kalani Purcell (16pts) led the Auckland scoring whilst the St Peter’s School duo of Jayzelee Waihi (17pts) and Ella Bradley (11pts) top scored for Waikato.

Also two from two are Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats after they outlasted Harbour Breeze to win 69-62. Russian forward Marita Davydova (24pts/14r) and Ajiah Pepe (17pts) were outstanding for the hosts. Laken Wairau also caught the eye as she flirted with a double double collecting 9 rebounds to accompany 10 points. Ella Fotu led the Breeze scoring effort with 15 points, Japanese guard Yume Negishi the only other player in double figures with 10.

 Defending champions Otago Gold Rush bounced back from its opening day horror showing against Auckland Dream to record a comfortable 64-43 win against Taranaki Thunder.

 Bronwyn Kjestrup led the way for the Gold Rush scoring 18 points (7/11FG) whilst three other players contributed 9 points apiece. Rochelle Fourie top scored for the Thunder making all eight of her shots from the floor to finish with 16 points.

 North Canterbury Spirit got its defence of the WBC Division 2 title off to a good start beating both Rotorua Lady Geysers and Northland Phoenix. North Carolina State University forward Esra McGoldrick led the way for the Spirit with 47 points across the two games.

Day 2 Results

Division 1

AM I FIT Otago Gold Rush 64 – Bronwyn Kjestrup 18, Natalie Visger 9, Aleisha Ruske 9, Hayley Gray 9

Taranaki Thunder 43 – Rochelle Fourie 16, Tara Clement 7, Teesha Smith 6

 

Waikato Wizards 59 – Jayzelee Waihi 17, Ella Bradley 11, Koha Lewis 10

Auckland Dream 81 – Charmian Mellars 18, Kalani Purcell 16, Rebecca Van Kuyk 13

 

Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats 69 – Marita Davydova 24, Aijah Pepe 17, Laken Wairau 10

Harbour Breeze 62 – Ella Fotu 15, Yume Negishi 10, Ash Kelman-Poto 9

Division 2

Rotorua Lady Geysers 64 – Awatea Leach 14, Amelia Palmer 11, Aroha Haumaha 11, Pareunuora Pene 11

North Canterbury Spirit 71 – Esra McGoldrick 30, Maia Watling 10, Amy West 10

 

Northland Phoenix 21 – Truly Harding 10, Jeannie Cameron 4

Capital Swish 70 – Letava Whippy 29, Arielle Parai 15, Maia Watene 6

 

Harbour Zephyr 55 – Tiarna Clarke 23, Raykesha Fiatau 10, Jess Moors 6

Wellington 77 – Leah Mafua 20, Emilino Motu 12, Tanaks Gopare 11

 

Northland Phoenix 40 – Leiani Tautiepa 19

North Canterbury Spirit 73 – Esra McGoldrick 17, Amy West 10, Kendal Hastie 9

 

Capital Swish 94 – Letava Whippy 32, Arielle Parai 18, Dalen Pilitati 13, Maia Watene 11

Rotorua Lady Geysers 71 – Aroha Haumaha 28, Awatea Leach 14, Amelia Palmer 13

 

South Canterbury Stealers 46 – Dallas Frederikson 10, Jorja Miller 9, Ellen Walsh 7

Harbour Zephyr 71 – Tiarna Clarke 16, Olivia Berry 10, Tessa Talo-Tomokino 10

WBC Opening Day results and scorers

 

59938216_10156148427158053_9048190942305058816_n

Auckland Dream laid down a marker on the opening day of the 2019 Women’s Basketball Championship  (WBC), at Cowles Stadium, Christchurch on Friday crushing defending champions Otago Gold Rush 62-25.

After the two teams split 24 points in the opening quarter remarkably Otago were held to zero points in the second quarter and only added 13 in the whole of the second half.

In another quirky statistic Auckland had 11 scorers but no player in double figures – Casyn Buchman led their scorers with 9.

Earlier Harbour Breeze, led by a 26 points haul from forward Ash Kelman-Poto, proved too strong for Waikato Wizards winning 73-46. Westlake Girls teenager Emme Shearer and Tall Fern Deena Franklin scored 11 apiece whilst another Tall Fern Krystal Leger-Walker top scored for the Wizards with 8.

The livestreamed game was largely one-way traffic with hosts Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats crushing Taranaki Thunder 91-24. Russian forward Maria Davydova completed a double double (11 points/11 rebounds) in just 17 minutes of action whilst NZ age-group internationals Helen Mathews (19pts) and Rosalia Samia (13pts) led the Wildcats scoring. Rochelle Fourie was the best for Taranaki with 8 points.

Basketball fans were unfortunately robbed of seeing three of New Zealand’s best young Tall Ferns in action as Tessa Boagni (Canterbury), Penina Davidson (Harbour) and Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato) are all sidelined with ankle injuries.

In Division 2 action there were wins on day one for Harbour Zephyr, Northland Phoenix and Wellington.

Round 1 results:

Division 1

Waikato Wizards 46 – Krystal Leger-Walker 8 Miriam Stevens 7, Koha Lewis 6

Harbour Breeze 73 – Ashleigh Kelman-Poto 26, Deena Franklin 11, Emme Shearer 11, Yume Negishi 8

 

Auckland Dream 62 – Casyn Buchman 9, Charmian Mellars 8, Natalie Taylor 8, Kalani Purcell 7

AM I FIT Otago Gold Rush 25 – Natalie Visger 6, Natalie smith 5, Nicole Ruske 5

 

Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats 91 – Helen Mathews 19, Rosalia Samia 13, Sapphire Warau 12, Maria Davydova 11/11r

Taranaki Thunder 24 – Rochelle Fourie 8, Teesha Smith 5

Division 2

Wellington 70 – Tanaka Gapare 18/18r, Leah Mafua 15, Emilena Motu 10, Jyordanna Davey 10

Rotorua Lady Geysers 45 – Aroha Haumaha 20, Awatea Leach 7

 

South Canterbury Stealers 50 – Dallas Frederikson 22, Jorja Miller 8, Jessica Davidson 8

Northland Phoenix 61 – Jaimee-Lee Tito 13,  Leylanni Cameron-Tana 12, Lelani Tautiepa 10

 

Capital Swish 64 – Letava Whippy 27, Arielle Parai 12, Dalen Pilitati 9

Harbour Zephyr 71 – Tiarna Clarke 15, Wuanyei Ah Hing 13, Jess Moors 12, Raykesha Fiatau 12

Women’s Basketball Championship tips-off Friday.

Otago

The Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) is set to tip off tomorrow, with the 13 teams from two divisions releasing their rosters this week.

A Division One game will be livestreamed on each of the three days. The opening game of the season in Division 1 sees Harbour Breeze take on Waikato Wizards at 4.00pm at Cowles Stadium.

Peppered with Tall Ferns, NZ Select and elite age-group players, the 2019 Division 1 season is promising to be the best yet. Early indications suggest the Am I Fit Otago Goldrush will have a tough time retaining their title if they are to overcome the talented line-ups from the Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats, Auckland Dream, Harbour Breeze, Taranaki Thunder and the Waikato Wizards.

In Division 2 , the championship is wide open and until the opening tournament tips off tomorrow afternoon at Cowles Stadium in Christchurch, the favourites are hard to pick.

A number of current and former Tall Ferns will take the floor this weekend. The Auckland Dream have an all-star line-up including Tall Ferns Captain Natalie Taylor and her three sister Kalani Purcell, Charmain Mellars, and Hailey Moala. Experience Tall Ferns guard and Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist Jordan Hunter will be there too. Tall Ferns Assistant Coach, Aik Ho, takes the lead coaching role with Tania Hunter (Jordan’s Mum) as assistant.

The Wildcats will be strong contenders with the ever-competitive guard in Shea Crotty. She’ll be linking with Tall Fern Tessa Boagni and the exciting Russian talent that is Marita Davydova. The Cantabrians also bring a swathe of current or former New Zealand age-group reps.

The Am I Fit Goldrush bring a strong list of returning players that helped take the 2018 title. Veteran Natalie Smith will captain the team with Tall Fern Nicole Ruske will undoubtedly lead from the guard position.

The Harbour Breeze will see Tall Ferns Deena Franklin, None Martin, Tera Reed and Penina Davidson working alongside talented up and comers like Tayla Dalton and returning US College players like Ella Fotu and Matangiroa Flavell. Word from the team is that it’s unlikely Penina Davidson will be able to take the court as she recovers from the ankle injury she suffered at the FIBA 3X3 World Cup Qualifiers in Puerto Rico earlier this week.

The Waikato Wizards are always a fierce rival for any WBC team. They bring Tall Ferns Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker, Alyssa Hirawani, plus young talents Ella Bradley and Jayzelee Waihi. Natasha Lenden will captain the side and Tall Fern great Leanne Walker as coach.

The Taranaki Thunder will be the listed underdog this year, but with the likes of talented youngsters Isabelle Cook, Rachelle Fourie and captain Simone Cook, they have the flair to create upsets along the way.

Division 2 will be too close to call, with seven teams looking to build their programmes, particularly feeder teams into the Division One sides including Harbour Zephyr, South Canterbury Stealers, and defending champs McAlpines M10 MEGA North Canterbury Spirit. The opening game in Division 2 sees Wellington take on Rotorua at 2.15pm, Friday – Waikato Country are a late withdrawl from Division 2

Rosters:

The rosters for this weekend’s tournament can be found here: http://www.nz.basketball/Competitions/WBC/Draw-Info

 

Livestream:

Three games will be livestreamed on www.nz.basketball/tv and on the @BasketballNZ facebook page:

  • Friday, 10th May – 7:45pm Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats V Taranaki Thunder
  • Saturday, 11th May – 7:45pm Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats V Harbour Breeze
  • Sunday, 12th May – 4pm Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats V Auckland Dream

 

Division One teams:

  • Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats
  • AM I FIT Otago Gold Rush
  • Auckland Dream
  • Harbour Breeze
  • Taranaki Thunder
  • Waikato Wizards

 

Division Two teams:

  • Capital Swish
  • Harbour Zephyr
  • North Canterbury
  • Northland Phoenix
  • Rotorua Lady Geysers
  • South Canterbury Stealers
  • Wellington

Jillian Harmon playing in Italian League Grand final series

MqyMbaspYEOToDpLLCh8hw

Jillian Harmon posted 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals but her club Passalacqua Ragusa fell 69-64 to Familia Schio in the first game of the Italian League Grand Final series.

The Tall Ferns forward has been a standout for Ragusa averaging 14.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals across 28 games – second on the team in all three categories.

Ragusa finished third on the Serie A ladder with a 16-4 record headed in the play-offs.

In the quarter-finals they beat one of her former clubs Lucca in two straight games. The semi-final series was an epic affair – Ragusa dropped the first two games against Venezia before storming back to claim three straight wins including an 82-76 win in the decisive game five of the series.

Ragusa and Schio play game two on Saturday morning (NZT).

Tall Ferns quartet heading to 3×3 in Puerto Rico

Team 2

The New Zealand women’s 3×3 team depart tonight for the FIBA 3×3 World Cup Qualifier tournament, being held in San Juan in Puerto Rico on 4 and 5 May.

The team roster is Tall Ferns Micaela Cocks, Penina Davidson, Chevannah Paalvast and Kalani Purcell. All but Davidson were members of the team that won the 2018 FIBA Asia Cup last year. The Harbour Breeze centre replaces the unavailable Toni Farnworth.

Davidson and Purcell (Auckland Dream) will return next week for the first round of Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) games in Christchuch whilst Cocks and Paalvast are taking a short break from club committments in Australia.

In Puerto Rico New Zealand is in Pool B along with tough opponents: Brazil, Spain and Mali.

The top three teams from this tournament will secure their ticket to the FIBA 3×3 World Cup, which will be held in Amsterdam in June this year.

Head Coach Anthony Corban says this team brings great experience from the Asia Cup and Tall Ferns campaigns, and will fight for this as they have done in the past.

“Any time these players wear that silver fern it’s important. I have just spent the past day with Tall Ferns coach Guy Molloy and understanding his belief and values in that Tall Ferns singlet. Any opportunity these outstanding young women get to perform on the world stage is one that no one takes for granted. I know we will do our best, particularly with a shot at the World Cup and beyond that Olympic qualifying berth in 2020.

“We need to advance with small steps. We just have to make the top three in our pool to secure a playoff game for a semi-final spot.  We need to improve, game by game,” says Corban.

This team has faced tough challenges off the court. Despite their gold medal win at the Asia Cup last year, their application for High Performance funding was denied. The FIBA 3×3 ranking system also plays against this talented side. Even though the New Zealand team won the Asia Cup, other teams from that same tournament that finished below have automatically qualified for the World Cup. Those include China (finished second at Asia Cup), Japan (finished fourth at Asia Cup), Indonesia (finished seventh at Asia Cup) Turkmenistan (finished 10th at Asia Cup), Iran (finished 11th at Asia Cup).

The top three teams at the 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will be guaranteed a spot in an Olympic Qualifying Tournament in May 2020.

3×3 Schedule

DATES EVENT HOST CITY
May 4-5 FIBA 3×3 World Cup Qualifier San Juan, Puerto Rico
May 24-26 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup Changsha, China
June 18-23 FIBA 3×3 World Cup Amsterdam, Netherlands

The 3×3 Tall Ferns fly tonight from Auckland. They stay overnight in Chicago and then travel on to arrive in Puerto Rico 48 hours before their first game.

More info:

Tall Ferns Training Squad includes three players still at school

f7afa797217f36b07f4032dbfc784460

Many of the leading contenders for the Tall Ferns assemble in Auckland this week, for a high performance selection camp that will help Head Coach Guy Molloy put names in ink for upcoming tours and tournaments in July and September this year, all of which leads into the ultimate goal of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The squad of players assembled includes three players still at school – Tayla Dalton (Carmel College), Jazz Kalahi-Fulu (St Mary’s, Ponsonby) and Charlisse Leger-Walker (St Peter’s, Cambridge).

Molloy described the camp as a vital stepping stone to unearth the increasing number of players putting their names in the hat for national team selection.

“This is the only real chance that we have resource wise and funding wise to assemble the squad in New Zealand ahead of a very busy second half of the year. We have eight or nine with previous Tall Ferns experience and maybe six or seven new kids coming in for the first time at this level.”

The timing is a little awkward for Molloy in that eight US College players were invited, but because of exams only three could attend.

“We will use this camp for two purposes, an ID camp first and foremost, but it will also go a long way to selection for the team to travel to Japan and the William Jones tournament in July.”

Molloy takes a ‘roll the sleeves up’ approach to any opportunity he has to work with the wider group of players, as he continues to build on the success of the William Jones tournament title in July last year and the bronze medal won at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games – all of which is achieved after again being denied any funding from High Performance New Zealand.

“In our environment and with the challenges we face, you have to be great at prioritizing what you want to do. You get used to doing more with less, we have become very adept at this and need to continue to be clever within the current model.”

On the playing front, Molloy continues to be delighted at the increasing number of quality players putting their hand up for team selection, especially when players are also tied in with other commitments such as club-contracts, college commitments or work commitments for those more semi-professional to amateur players.

“Last year we struggled to assemble a squad for the Commonwealth Games, but since then we have increased the depth chart to a legitimate 30 or so names. To more than double that depth chart in that time has been a really worthwhile and rewarding exercise. The success we had at the William Jones Cup last year really has been the catalyst for much of that.”

The camp is a reflection of the truly global nature of the game and the increasing opportunities for New Zealand’s leading players to secure overseas contracts, with six players returning from Australia and a further three making the trip from their American College teams to get in front of Molloy and assistant coaches Jody Cameron and Aik Ho.

Included in the group at Pulman Arena this week are established Tall Ferns stars Toni Farnworth (nee Edmondson), Jessica Bygate, Penina Davidson, Kalani Purcell, Chevannah Paalvast and Josie Stockill, along with Stella Beck who finished second highest scorer at the 2018 William Jones Cup.

Among the newcomers are American College trio Amiee Book (18 years old and daughter of former Tall Black Ed Book), Mary Golding and Tara Manumaleuga, while Jazzmyne Kailahi-Fulu is selected from the Harbour U19 team for her first shot at Tall Ferns selection and teamate Tayla Dalton gets her first shot. Both Dalton and Sharne Pupuke-Robati were part of the New Zealand team at the FIBA U17 World Cup in Belarus last year.

There are some notable basketball family traditions being continued in this group, among them as mentioned Amiee Book (daughter of Tall Black Ed Book), Tessa Boagni (daughter of former Tall Fern Jane McMeeken-Ruscoe, sister of Tall Fern Kate McMeeken-Ruscoe and daughter of former NZ NBL import star Kerry Boagni), Charlisse Leger-Walker (daughter of NZ legend Leanne Walker and sister of Tall Fern Krystal) and Ella Fotu (sister of Tall Blacks Isaac and Dan Fotu).

News on Kiwis playing in Europe

Jillian Harman posted an impressive 20 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals as Ragusa rounded out the Italian League regular season with a 96-78 victory against Torino. The Tall Ferns forward has been a standout for Ragusa averaging 15.7 points and 8.4 rebounds across 20 games.

Ragusa finished third on the Serie A ladder with a 16-4 record ahead of the play-offs.

2018 Tall Fern Jacinta Beckley is averaging 8.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in her first professional season playing for Ujbuda in the Hungarian League. Ujbuda have struggled this season winning just four of twenty-one games and sitting 11thof 12 teams on the Hungarian League ladder.

Beckley will link up with former Tall Ferns coach Kennedy Kereama at Sunbury Jets in Melbourne when the Hungarian League concludes. The Jets will be looking to defend their Big V League title.

Galatasaray are up to fifth in the Turkish League after defeating Besiktas 93-87. Tai Webster scored 18 points (3/4 3PG) and added 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a couple of steals. Galatasaray have a 12-8 record with seven rounds left in the regular season and a top eight play-off spot appearing likely. Webster is averaging 11.6 points and 4 assists in Turkish League games.

In Germany Isaac Fotu is back on court for Ratiopharm Ulm after a two month injury lay-off. The Tall Blacks forward played just 4 minutes, scoring 3 points, as Ulm beat Crailsheim 99-87. They sit seventh on the German League standings with a 12-11 record – a cluster of four teams are at 12-12 in a congested race for the play-offs.

Max Darling has scored 21 and 17 in consecutive games for Osijek in the Croatian League. In the last outing he added 10 rebounds to his 21 points (6/7FG) for his first double-double of the season. Osijek sit equal 5thon the Croatian Premier League table with a 9-9 record.

Tony Tolovae is enjoying a good season in Norway ahead of his return to the Canterbury Rams. Playing for Gimle BBK Bergen he is averaging 16.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Gimle overcame Baerum 78-64 in the semi-final opener with Tolovae making 7 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.

Maxim Stevens contributed 7 points and 4 rebounds for Kronberg in its 90-76 win against Stuttgart in the German Regional South-West League. The NZ Under 18 representative is averaging 6.3 points and 4.6 rebounds for Kronberg.

Reed, Goulding, Heremaia and Jillings earn conference honours.

 

Four Kiwi women are on history making teams as Virginia Commonwealth University and Fordham University jointly claimed the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season title on Saturday. Both teams finished with an identical 13-3 record and, perhaps in another A-10 first, both carry the moniker of the ‘Rams’.

For the Rams of VCU, led by sophmore Akiene-Tera Reed, it is their best conference finish in history topping its second place in 2009.

Reed has led the VCU scoring this campaign, as she did last year, averaging 12.3 points per game. Once again on Saturday she led the Rams with 12 points as they won 61-54 against Davidson University.

Reed made 10 of her dozen points at the foul line where she shot 100% making all ten of her attempts in addition to making one from 3 from the field.

Reed has been terrific from the free throw line all season knocking down 102 from 124 attempts at 82.3%, testimony to her consistency at the line and ability to attack the rim.

It was also a first conference topping performance by the Rams from the Bronx as they came home on a wet sail winning nine games on the trot culminating with a 51-41 win at St Joseph’s University.

Senior forward Mary Goulding has been dynamic for Fordham all season sitting third on the A-10 rebounding list with 8.4 boards per game. The Cantabrian exceeded that output on Saturday claiming a game high 13 rebounds whilst also netting 16 points (7/10FG) – her ninth double-double of the season.

Waikato’s Kendell Heremaia accumulated 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and a pair of assists in 36 minutes whilst sixth-man Zara Jillings collected a free-throw and a rebound in 16 minutes of play.

There is not much time to celebrate as the 14 team Conference Tournament begins in Pittsburgh at Duquesne University on Tuesday.  Both teams have earned a bye in the first round, entering at the quarter-final stage next Thursday.

Can either team go on and claim the Atlantic 10 Tournament title and with it automatic entry to the NCAA Tournament? The Final is set down for Sunday March 10th– a Rams v Rams match up would be perfect.

Penina Davidson and Adelaide Lightning headed to WNBL Grand Final decider

peninadavidson

The Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) Grand Final Series is headed to a deciding game in Canberra on Saturday evening after a pulsating second game was won by Adelaide Lightning last night.

Canberra had comfortably won the opening game 88-67 on its home court but the Lightning bounced back in stirring fashion closing out a nail-biter 74-73. Nicole Seekamp scored with a buzzer beater in front of 3,700 ecstatic fans at the Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide to force a deciding game in the best-of-three series.

Tall Fern Penina Davidson, in her first season as a professional since graduating from the University of California Berkeley in 2018, produced a nice cameo off the bench posting 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and a block.

The winning basket wasn’t without controversy as the referees missed a clear double dribble as the ball was dribbled up court and there was grave doubt as to whether Seekamp got off her winning shot before the final siren sounded.

Earlier Canberra had forged a 44-37 half-time advantage although that lead has virtually evaporated by three-quarter time with Adelaide trailing by just one point (56-55). Even though Canberra led for the majority of the final period Adelaide were never more than two possessions in arrears and timed their final run to perfection.

Adelaide Head Coach and former Tall Ferns assistant Chris Lucas described the game as “An amazing game of women’s basketball. I thought it was just fantastic, it had everything.”

Whatever the outcome on Saturday Davidson has relished her rookie season in Adelaide.

“Making the Grand Final has definitely been a highlight and I couldn’t have asked for much more from my first professional contract,” she said.

Advertisements