Category Archives: Tall Ferns

Tall Ferns in good form ahead of trip to Japan and Taiwan


Kalani Purcell – photo credit Fiba

The Tall Ferns team heads to Japan on Tuesday morning with a number of the young, inexperienced squad displaying good club form of late.

On Friday Stella Beck scored 16 points and added 8 rebounds and 4 assists as league leaders Townsville Flames proved too hot for USC Rip City in the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) winning 82-66.

Also in the QBL Brooke Blair scored 9 points for Rockhampton Cyclones as they blew away Toowoomba Mountaineers 103-60. Blair is averaging 16 points per outing for the Cyclones.

Kalani Purcell, who will captain the Tall Ferns on the trip, was in double-double form as South West Metro Pirates enjoyed twin successes at the weekend with an 81-72 win against North Gold Coast Seahawks and a 79-70 victory at Brisbane Capitals. Against the Seahawks she racked up 11 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals and was even more dominating against the Capitals(20points, 12 rebounds, 8assists and 5 steals).

Newcomer Ashleigh Karaitiana scored 15 points for Bendigo Lady Braves as they remain unbeaten in SEABL action with a 91-83 win at Geelong Supercats.

Tessa Boagni, Penina Davidson, Alyssa Hirawani, Nicole Ruske and Tera-Akiene Reed have enjoyed a week off since the New Zealand Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) concluded in Dunedin.

Both Ruske and Davidson were named to the WBC All-Star Five. Ruske played a key role for the Gold Rush as they claimed the 2018 WBC title averaging 16.2 points per game.

Davidson, recently graduated from Cal Berkeley, averaged 16.8 points and 14 rebounds per game for Harbour Breeze. Reed, also paying for the Breeze, averaged 23 points per outing.

Hirawani, despite carrying an ankle injury, still averaged 16.2 points per game for Waikato Wizards and Boagni logged 13 points and 12 rebounds for Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats.

The Tall Ferns will play three games in Japan at the end of this week before heading to Taiwan to compete at the William Jones Cup (July 25-29).

It will be the 40th edition of the William Jones Cup. In addition to New Zealand (ranked 42nd in the world) the tournament will feature Korea (16th), Japan (reigning FIBA Asia Cup champions and No 13 ranked team in the world), Chinese Taipei (40th), Chinese Taipei B and India (45th).

New Zealand Tall Ferns Team

Stella Beck (Townsville Flames/Formerly St Mary’s College, California)

Jacinta Beckley (Formerly Seattle University)

Brooke Blair (Harbour Breeze/ Rockhampton Cyclones/Formerly Idaho State University)

Tessa Boagni (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats/Formerly California State University, Northridge)

Penina Davidson (Harbour Breeze/Formerly University of California, Berkeley)

Alyssa Hirawani (Waikato Wizards/Formerly Murray State College)

Ashleigh Karaitiana (Bendigo Spirit)

Kalani Purcell (Melbourne Boomers/South West Metro Pirates)

Tera-Akiene Reed (Harbour Breeze/Virginia Commonwealth University)

Nicole Ruske (Otago Gold Rush)



Cocks and Farnworth close to triple-doubles plus other Tall Ferns news

Micaela Cocks and Toni Farnworth came close to logging triple-doubles as a number of Australian based Tall Ferns posted impressive numbers at the weekend in State League action.

Farnworth, playing for Perry Lakes Hawks in the Western Australian State Basketball League, recorded 29 points (5/8 3PG), 9 rebounds and 8 assists in the win against Kalamunda. The Hawks started their season in disastrous fashion losing eight of their first nine games but are now up to eighth on the table with an improved 8-11 record.

In the Queensland State League (QBL) Micaela Cocks was one assist shy of a triple-d with 25 points (5/10 3PG), 10 rebounds and 9 assists as Townsville Flames beat Mackay Meteorettes 93-81. Recent recruit Stella Beck scored five points for the Flames who head the QBL ladder with a 12-1 record.

One spot behind the Flames are South West Metro Pirates (10-2) who beat Logan Thunder 83-63 with Kalani Purcell posting 17 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. The Pirates achieved the win without the services of Natalie Taylor and Charmian Mellars who were both playing for Auckland Dream at the WBC Finals in Dunedin.

Brooke Blair was busy at the weekend as the Rockhampton Cyclones undertook a three game road trip. Despite 28 points from Blair (4/9 3PG) the Cyclones were edged 94-90 by Southern District Spartans on Friday.

The Cyclones fared better after that with a 78-55 demolition of North Gold Coast on Saturday and an even bigger 89-52 victory at Brisbane Capitals on Sunday. Blair scored 11 points against NGC and compiled 23 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists against the Capitals. The Cyclones are sixth on the QBL ladder with a 9-5 record.

In Melbourne Jess Bygate and Sandringham Sabres remain fourth on the South East Australia Basketball League (SEABL) table after a valuable 76-75 win against second placed Kilsyth Cobras. Bygate scored 11 points whilst former Tall Fern Megan Craig chipped in with 4 points and 6 rebounds.

Recently selected Tall Fern Ashleigh Karaitiana scored 12 points as the Bendigo Lady Braves beat Launceston Tornadoes 95-81 to remain a perfect 16-0 in SEABL action

In Adelaide Jordan Hunter dealt only in threes, making 6 from 7 from beyond the arc, as she added 18 points to 8 assists for Sturt Sabres. The Sabres snapped a four game losing streak to beat Woodville Warriors 109-66 and still remain second on the South Australia Premier League standings with an 11-5 record.

Beck, Blair, Karaitiana and Purcell will be in action again this weekend before linking up with the Tall Ferns for their Asian tour early next week.

Exciting young Tall Ferns team named

tera reed

Tera Reed one of four debutants named

Tall Ferns Head coach Guy Molloy has named an exciting young lineup for the upcoming tour of Japan and Taiwan.

Five 2017 American collegiate graduates are named plus four debutants as Molloy looks to widen the talent pool ahead of the Olympic qualifying tournament next year.

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Stella Beck swaps Gaels for Flames

SMC Women's Basketball vs Gonzags

Stella Beck, having recently completed a four-year scholarship at St Mary’s College, California, has begun her post university basketball career at Townsville Flames playing alongside Tall Fern Micaela Cocks.

Last weekend and in her third outing for the Queensland Basketball League leaders she scored 8 points (4/8FG) and dished 4 assists in the 98-82 win against Ipswich Force.

Beck enjoyed a stellar (excuse the pun) career at St Mary’s where back in April she was named first team All-West Coast Conference for the second time in her career after leading the Gaels in scoring, steals and free-throw shooting in her final collegiate season. She was also named to the WCC All-Academic First Team for the third time in her career. Beck finished her career 10th on the all-time scoring list at Saint Mary’s with 1,439 career points. She joined the 1,000 career points club on November 24, 2017 against UC Santa Barbara, becoming the 21st Gael to accomplish the feat. She had 10 games with at least 20 points, including a career-high 31 points versus Pacific back in January.

The Flames have a 9 win and 1 loss record and will next Friday entertain Gladstone Port City Power. Gladstone also has a couple of Kiwis in their lineup with Ashleigh Kelman-Poto and Milomilo Nanai two of their better performers – both averaging double figure points scoring.

Tall Ferns in good club form



Josie Stockill

A number of Tall Ferns, headed by Micaela Cocks (27 points) and Josie Stockill (26 points), were in fine form for their respective Australian clubs last weekend.

Stockill top scored for Sunbury Jets in the Big V League as they went down 78-68 to competition front runners Knox Raiders. The Jets sit fourth on the ladder with a 5-5 record.

Cocks was at her stats stuffing best as Townsville Flames burnt the Cairns Dolphins 100-67. In addition to her 27 points Cocks added 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. The flames are unbeaten in their first four Queensland Basketball League outings.

In Perth Perry Lakes Hawks had a couple of welcome wins defeating Joondalup Wolves (67-55) and Perth Redbacks (75-58) in the State Basketball League. Toni Farnworth came close to a double-double in both outings with 18 points and 9 rebounds against the Redbacks and 11 points and 9 assists against the Wolves. The victories came after the Hawks had suffered eight straight losses.

Jordan Hunter scored 12 points (6/7FG) and also contributed a team high 5 assists as Sturt Sabres beat Southern Tigers 78-68 in the South Australia Premier League. Sturt sit second on the SAPL ladder with a 9 win, one loss record.

Back in New Zealand Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 24 points as Waikato Wizards recorded a fifth straight win in the Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) with a convincing 79-53 road win at Harbour Breeze.

Micaela Cocks triple double best of Tall Ferns abroad


A number of Tall Ferns were in action for their club sides in Australia at the weekend with Micaela Cocks putting the player of the week performance together.

Cocks produced a triple double of 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as Townsville Flames proved too hot for Rockhampton winning 101-67 in the Queensland Basketball League.

Also in QBL action Natalie Taylor had 8 points and 8 rebounds as South West Metro Pirates stole a 92-79 win from Sunshine Coast Rip City.

Both the Flames and the Pirates are unbeaten this season.

In Melbourne, Sunbury Jets fought of Eltham Wildcats in the Big V League winning 73-68 on the road. Josie Stockill scored 21 points for the Jets who sit fifth on the ladder with a 4-4 record. The Tall Ferns centre was impressive from the foul line scoring 14 points without missing a single attempt.

Also in Melbourne Jess Bygate scored 9 points (4/6FG) as Sandringham Sabres sped past Ballarast Rush winning 73-66. Sandringham are mid table in the SEABL competition with a 5-4 record.

Just below Sandringham on the table with a 4-5 record are Diamond Valley Eagles beaten 67-66 at Geelong Supercats. Chevannah Paalvast scored 4 points and added 6 rebounds and 4 steals for the Eagles.

In Adelaide Jordan Hunter scored 5 points as Sturt Sabres cut Southern Tigers down winning 77-68. Sturt are in second spot on the South Australia Premier League ladder with seven wins in eight games.

Further west in Perth Toni Farnworth produced 14 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists but Perry Lakes Hawks were sent crashing by South West Slammers losing 68-53. Perry Lakes are the defending champions but are having a poor time this season losing all but one of their opening ten games.

Tall Ferns return to the court following Commonwealth Games success.


Most of the Tall Ferns that tasted success at the recent Commonwealth Games are back on court.

The quartet of Toni Farnworth, Micaela Cocks, Chevannah Paalvast and Kalani Purcell have been in China collecting more silverware at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup.

In Australia Jordan Hunter, Jess Bygate and Josie Stockill were in action in three different State Leagues last weekend.

Stockill plays for the Kennedy Kereama coached Sunbury Jets in the Big V League. She landed 18 points (8/11FG) and added 5 rebounds as the Jets beat Kellor Thunder 69-54. The defending champion Jets snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 3-3 for the season.

“Everyone wants to beat the team that won it last year, so by default we have a target on our backs,” Kerama told the Herald Sun.

“We’re not going to surprise people like we did last year, so we’ve just got to be on our A-Game all the time,” he added.

Jess Bygate and Sandringham Sabres clinched the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) Tasmanian road trip double with a 97-69 win in Launceston and a closer 97-90 victory win against Hobart. Bygate shot an impressive 17 from 24 (71%) from the floor over the two games on her way to 14 points against Launceston and 21 points in Hobart. The Sabres are up to sixth on the table with a 4-2 record for the season.

Jordan Hunter continued her good form from the Games with 11 points (4/9FG) as Sturt Sabres beat Woodville Warriors 75-63. Hunter was one of three players in double figures as the Sabres solidified second spot on the South Australia Premier League ladder with a sixth win in seven outings.

Meanwhile Deena Franklin (Harbour Breeze) and Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Wizards) will be heading to Tauranga on Friday for the first round of games in the 2018 Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC).

Jillian Harmon in excellent form in Italy


Jillian Harmon was absent from the Tall Ferns successful Commonwealth Games campaign due to Italian League club commitments and things have been going well for the 31-year old power forward in the last couple of weeks.

During the Games Napoli safely negotiated their way through the best of three quarter-final series against Le Mura Lucca. Lucca were the club Harmon led to the title last year and she played a leading role in eliminating them from the 2018 title race.

Napoli lost the first game but bounced back to claim victories in the next two encounters with the Tall Fern averaging 16.3 points and 11.3 rebounds across the series. Napoli claimed game three 55-51 with Harmon producing a game winning double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds.

Napoli are now locked in a semi-final series with perennial finalists Familia Schio who finished top of the league after the regular season with a 20-2 record.

It didn’t look good for Napoli when they dropped game one 72-57 but they bounced back in style in the second game winning 75-66 on the road with Harmon again prominent. She came up with 8 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a couple of steals.

This is a five game series and the two teams will clash again on Wednesday in Napoli.

Deserved bronze for Tall Ferns



The veterans and the rookie carried the Tall Ferns to an emphatic win in the Commonwealth Games bronze medal game.

Nat Taylor, Micaela Cocks and Charlisse L-W shone at the Gold Coast Convention Centre on Saturday night.

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Tall Ferns have little time to recover from Australian mauling


The Tall Ferns aspire to be world class but last night on the Gold Coast they were shown there is a long way to go to reach that level as they were beaten 109-50 by a classy Australian outfit.

The Opals were just too big and too good, demonstrating why they are a powerhouse in the women’s game.

Micaela Cocks believes the team can bounce back for the bronze medal game against Canada today. It will take a mighty effort.

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