Category Archives: Tall Ferns

Buzzer Beater heart break for Tall Ferns

PHOTO-2019-07-20-10-02-12.jpg

After getting something of a whalloping in the opening ‘friendly’ against Japan on Wednesday the Tall Ferns put together a hugely improved performance on Friday.

Playing their third game in as many days the Tall Ferns went down 77-75 to the world #10 ranked side.

Despite the result the Tall Ferns will head to Taiwan on Monday, to defend their William Jones Cup title, in good heart. Three games and a good week of solid practice will see the Tall Fwerns primed for their first game at the William Jones on Wednesday against the Philippines.

Game report from loss to Japan here

 

Advertisements

Tall Ferns lose to Japan

Tall Ferns photo.jpg

The Tall Ferns fielded five debutants in the defeat to Japan in the opening game of their eight-game tour of Japan and Taiawan.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom as Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy explains here

Japan 74

Tall Ferns 44 – Boagni 12, Beck 7, Paalvast 6, Purcell 6, Davidson 4, Goulding 4, Fotu 2, Farnworth 2, Cocks 1

A Dream WBC Final

Dream

Auckland Dream staged a remarkable comeback to win its first Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) title last night, an occasion that was a dream in so many ways.

The game, between two outstanding teams, was the best women’s basketball game seen in New Zealand for many a year.

Harbour Breeze would have been worthy champions but they run down by the Dream in a classic finish.

It was a dream finale with the game going into overtime and the result in doubt until the final posession.

It was a dream contest to have shown live on SKY Sport.

It was a dream to have so many high quality athletes showcasing their ability – ten current or former Tall Ferns on show amongst the two finalists and many others amongst the other ten teams.

It was a dream encounter with every possesion a contest.

In the end it wasn’t a dream it was reality and here’s an inadequate summary of the drama that unfolded link

 

 

Who are the new Tall Ferns?

Ella fotu

Tall Ferns coach Guy Molloy has included five debutants in a 14-player squad for the tour to Japan and theWilliam Jones Cup defence inTaiwan in July.

Matangiroa Flavell, Ella Fotu, Esra McGoldrick, Amy West and Charlotte Whittaker have all been selected for the senior national team for the first time.

“This is an intentional strategy to build depth, increase competition for positions, and satisfy the increasing demands of FIBA for international basketball competition,” said Molloy.

“The team selected to tour Japan and Taiwan features a blend of senior players such as Toni Farnworth, emerging new team leaders such as Penina Davidson, and exciting young potentials.”

What do we know about the five debutants? For a start all five have spent time in the American college system after graduating from high school in NZ.

Ella Fotu probably has the most recognisable name amongst the quintet of newbies with brothers Dan and Isaac having already played for the Tall Blacks.

Ella, like her brothers and Tall Fern Penina Davidson, schooled at Rangitoto College before having a three-year career in the States. She attended Boise State initially before moving on to Hawaii Pacific where she won a PacWest Conference title with the Sharks in 2018. Currently she is playing with Harbour Breeze in the Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC).

D75_2677.JPG

Matangiroa Flavell is also a member of the Harbour Breeze. The 21-year old played representative basketball for Rotorua while at Western Heights High School. Post school she played Junior College ball at Midland College, Texas for two years. After graduating from Midland she moved on to Houston Baptist University for a season.

Coach Molloy says that, for the team to compete with the basketball giants in the top 10, New Zealand must develop players with natural height. With this in mind he has selected three teenage forwards for the trip.

Amy west (14)

Amy West (No 14)

Palmerston North Girls High alumna Amy West (195cm) has just completed her freshman year at Liberty University in Virginia playing 20 games for the Flames. She is currently averaging 8.7 points and 6.3 rebounds for North Canterbury Spirit in the WBC.

esra mcGoldrick

Also coming off a college freshman year is former Rangi Ruru standout Esra McGoldrick. The Cantabrian forward played 21 games for North Carolina State University last season where the Wolfpack finished the 2018-19 season ranked ninth on the USA Today Coaches Poll, after making the semi-finals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament and the Sweet 16 at the NCAA Tournament.

McGoldrick leads the WBC Division 2 scoring averaging 24 points per game for the North Canterbury Spirit.

charlotte whittaker

The youngest debutant is 18-year old Charlotte Whittaker out of St Andrew’s College, Christchurch. Whittaker, the leading scorer for the Junior Tall Ferns at the Asia Cup in India last year averaging 13.8 points per game, has spent the last six months at the University of Colorado where she was a redshirt freshman. Whittaker created a favourable impression when making her senior international debut for New Zealand Select against China B in 2016 at just 16 years of age.

Molloy says the tour ahead will see the team play possibly two games against Japan in Japan, before defending the William Jones Cup that New Zealand won in 2018.

“Our goal in 2019 is to make it to 2020! What I mean by that is we give ourselves a great shot of qualifying for the Olympics, for which the key event is in February 2020. To do this will be very difficult, but I am expecting our culture and style of play will hold us in good stead.”

Indeed, it will be difficult. Only 12 women’s teams will compete at the 2020 Olympics. To qualify, 16 teams will battle it out in four FIBA qualification tournaments in February 2020. To get there, the Tall Ferns need to go through a pre-qualifying Asia-Oceania tournament in November this year where eight teams will compete for four spots in the 2020 qualifiers. The future is looking bright and Coach Molloy believes great things can happen for New Zealand women’s basketball.

“Everyone can feel the momentum surge in basketball in New Zealand. As I toured the country in May, doing workshops and clinics, I was really impressed with the talent on display. It’s an exciting time to be involved and an exciting time to be a Tall Fern,” said Coach Molloy.

TALL FERNS TEAM:

  1. Stella Beck (Launceston Tornadoes/Townsville Fire)
  2. Tessa Boagni (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
  3. Micaela Cocks (Townsville Fire)
  4. Penina Davidson (Harbour Breeze/Adelaide Lightning)
  5. Toni Farnworth (Ringwood Hawks/Perth Lynx)
  6. Matanigiroa Flavell (Harbour Breeze)*
  7. Ella Fotu (Harbour Breeze)*
  8. Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Wizards)
  9. Esra McGoldrick (McAlpines M10 Mega North Canterbury Spirit / NC State University)*
  • Chevannah Paalvast (Sunshine Coast Rip)
  • Kalani Purcell (Auckland Dream/Melbourne Boomers)
  • Natalie Taylor (Auckland Dream)
  • Amy West (McAlpines M10 Mega North Canterbury Spirit / Liberty University)*
  • Charlotte Whittaker (McAlpines M10 Mega North Canterbury Spirit / University or Colorado)*

*debutants

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

 

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:

Advertisements