Category Archives: Tall Ferns

Paalvast gold plus plenty of other overseas news

Chev Paalvast strikes championship gold, Kalani Purcell with a triple double, an MVP performance from Jillian Harmon plus season best from Isaac Fotu.

Get the wrap on our Tall Ferns and Tall Placks overseas here:

At a Glance: Tall Blacks and Sky Sport Tall Ferns Abroad

Gracie Roberts-Hare in fine form then …..

Gracie Roberts-Hare scored 15 points and pulled down 7 rebounds as Lekdetec beat newly promoted Triple Threat in the opening round of the Dutch League last week.

Unfortunately that was where the good news ended for the Waimea College and University of Charleston alumna as the League has been shut down for at least a month due to rising COVID-19 infections in the country.

Roberts-Hare is in her second season with Lekdetec but it may well be some weeks before she can get back on court with over 40,000 new COVID cases reported in Holland last week.

Still in Europe and former Tall Fern Jillian Harmon posted 11 points and 5 rebounds as Schio beat Vigarano 88-49 to make it four wins from four outings in the Italian League.

For further news on New Zealand player performances overseas click here: https://nz.basketball/at-a-glance-tall-blacks-and-tall-ferns-abroad/

Double-double delight

Chevannah Paalvast in good form for Logan Thunder

There are four Kiwi double-doubles to report from the final regular season games in the Queensland State Basketball League (QSL) played at the weekend plus one in Italy.

Chevannah Paalvast and Logan Thunder take pride of place as they head into the play-offs with an unblemished 11-0 record. The Thunder beat Northside Wizards 114-55 with Paalvast claiming a season high 23 points along with 10 rebounds.

Southern District Spartans finished second on the ladder after a comfortable 95-67 home win against Brisbane Capitals.

Kalani Purcell led the way for the Spartans with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 5 steals – her fifth double-double in nine games.

Natalie Taylor was also in good form tallying 19 points.

RedCity Roar slipped to a surprising 86-74 home defeat against Ipswich Force. Despite the loss the Roar are comfortable inside the top-six headed to the play-offs.

The Roar have five kiwis in their lineup and all made a contribution on Saturday including double-doubles from Kayla Kiriau (11 points and 10 rebounds) and Charmian Mellars (12 points and 13 rebounds.

There were also good contributions from Ajiah Siosiua-Pepe (16 points), Ashleigh Karaitiana (16 points) and Karlene Kingi (6 points). 

Other news from Australia is that the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) is that the 2020 season will be played in a Queensland hub (Cairns, Townsville and Mackay).

Tip-off is November 12 and the Lowdown will be keeping tabs on the Tall Ferns playing in the League. Mary Goulding is in her debut season with Bendigo Spirit with Penina Davidson, Kalani Purcell, Toni Farnworth and Stella Beck all suiting up again for Melbourne Boomers. 

In Spain Jillian Harmon was also in double-double form. The former Tall Fern corralled 14 rebounds to accompany 13 points as Famila Wuber Schio made it three wins from three outings with a 77-72 victory against Empoli.

In the Dutch League Gracie Roberts-Hare scored 15 points as Lekdetec beat newly promoted Triple Threat 102-60 in the opening round of the season.

7 Up

Seven was something of a lucky number at the weekend for the Tall Ferns playing in the Queensland State Basketball League (QSL).

Chevannah Paalvast dished a season high 7 assists as Logan Thunder remain unbeaten (10-0) at the top of the QSL table. The Tall Ferns guard also scored 6 points as the Thunder rumbled Gold Coast Rollers 87-60.

Ashleigh Karaitiana also produced 7 assists, again a season best, as RedCity Roar got the better of North Gold Coast Seahawks 82-71. Karaitiana also scored a team high 23 points, as former Canterbury Wildcats guard Ajiah Siosiua-Pepe chipped in with 15 points (5/6 3PG) for the 7-3 Roar.

It was the seventh win on the bounce for the 9-1 Southern District Spartans after their 88-44 drubbing of USC Rip City. Natalie Taylor scored 15 points for the Spartans and Kalani Purcell was all business with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.

Kalani Purcell snares 13 steals!

Thirteen steals in one game would be quite an accomplishment for any team but thirteen by a single player could be something of a Queensland State League (QSL) record.

Kalani Purcell posted 21 points, 6 assists and that remarkable number of steals as Southern District Spartans defeated Sunshine Coast Phoenix 107-63 on Saturday.

Sister Natalie Taylor scored all her 15 points (5/8 3PG) from beyond the arc as the Spartans maintain second place on the QSL ladder with an 8-1 record.

Top of the pile are Chevannah Paalvast and Logan Thunder who have won nine games on the bounce.

Paalvast scored 9 points in Thunder’s 97-50 win at USC Rip City and 12 points as the Thunder rolled over Toowoomba 107-29.

It was a mixed weekend for RedCity Roar who beat South West Metro Pirates 60-38 but then went down in a heap against Brisbane Capitals losing 96-55.

Ashleigh Karaitiana filled the stats line against the Pirates amassing 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks.

The game against the Capitals was a contest to decide outright third place on the QSL League table. Karaitiana came up with 9 points and 6 rebounds but it was a disappointing performance from the Roar who now have a 6-3 record.

40 points haul by Tall Fern Karaitiana

Ashleigh Karaitiana continued her good scoring form in the Queensland State League (QSL) amassing 40 points as RedCity Roar thumped bottom of the table Toowoomba Mountaineers 113-49. The Tall Fern also added 15 rebounds for good measure and now sits second on the QSL rebounding list averaging 12.3 boards per game and is third on the scoring list averaging 24.3 points per game.

2019 Auckland Dream guard Kayla Kiriau scored 9 points and former Canterbury Wildcat Aijah-Liric Siosiua-Pepe tallied 13 points and 8 assists as the Roar improved to 5-2 for the season.

Toowoomba were on the receiving end of a second heavy defeat of the weekend when beaten 109-39 at Southern District Spartans.

The 7-1 Spartans were well served by Natalie Taylor who top scored with 23 points  (8/12FG) and Kalani Purcell who filled the stats line with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals.

The Spartans travel to RedCity next Saturday, a game that will have a major bearing on top-four standings, and involve a bunch of Kiwis.

Still unbeaten, with a 7-0 record, are Logan Thunder after an 88-42 obliteration of North Gold Coast Seahawks. Chev Paalvast had a tidy 8 points and 9 rebounds for the top of the table Thunder.

In the Men’s QSL Tall Black Tyrell Harrison helped Southern District Spartans to a convincing 127-74 win against Toowoomba adding 6 rebounds to 16 points.

Another good week for Kiwi’s in Australia

Brayden Inger scored 24 points (10/17FG) but couldn’t prevent Geraldton Buccaneers going down 77-71 to Willetton Tigers in the West Coast Classic State League.

A multiple championship winner with Rangitoto College and North Harbour age-group teams Inger is in his second season with Geraldton having helped the Buccaneers win the State League title in 2019.

Averaging 13.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game Inger admits he is playing a different role to his high school days.

“It’s been a strange season as I have had to pick up point guard duties which is a lot different to where and how I played during my high school career. It’s definitely opened up a few more opportunities.”

Over on the Australian East Coast Mika Vukona played just 10 minutes as Southern District Spartans slipped to 5-2 in the Queensland State League (QSL) after going down 80-70 to Ipswich Force.

Vukona finished with 3 points and 7 rebounds whilst fellow Tall Black Tyrell Harrison had 8 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks.

The Tall Ferns representatives playing in the QSL all enjoyed success as there are a trio of road wins to report.

Chevannah Paalvast and Logan Thunder are riding high at the top of the QSL ladder as they made it six straight wins in an unbeaten start to the season. Their most recent victory was a comprehensive 98-59 mauling of Brisbane Capitals. Paalvast finished with 11 points and 5 rebounds.

The Southern District Spartans are hot on the heels of the Thunder. Boasting a 6-1 record they grabbed a 102-78 win at Ipswich Force. Supplying the force for the Spartans were Kalani Purcell who scored a season high 28 points (12/21FG) with Natalie Taylor (23 points) also in good scoring form.

Ashleigh Karaitiana (21 points) top scored for RedCity Roar in their 79-63 win at Sunshine Coast Phoenix. The Roar also had good contributions from Karlene Kingi and Kayla Kiriau. The ‘Double K’s’ scored 9 points apiece with Kingi also grabbing 9 boards.

Kiwi’s prominent in QBL again

In the latest action from the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) RedCity Roar did anything but roar against the in-form Southern District Spartans whilst Logan Thunder roll on unbeaten. 

The Roar versus Spartans clash featured a posse of Kiwis although it was the Purcell sisters Kalani and Natalie Taylor that were smiling at the finish with the Spartans smashing the Roar 94-63.

Taylor was within an assist of a triple double as she finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 9 dimes whilst Kalani was equally prolific with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.

Ashleigh Karaitiana took her run of double-doubles to four with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Roar and fellow Kiwis Kayla Kiriau (8 points and 12 rebounds), Ajiah Siosiua-Pepe (9 points) and Karlene Kingi (4 points) were also contributors but the Roar were well beaten on the night and slip to a 2-2 record.

The Spartans are 4-1 after making it two-from-two last weekend with a 77-63 road win at North Gold Coast Seahawks.

Once again Kalani Purcell was prominent with 14 points and 9 boards.

Logan Thunder remain top of the QBL ladder with a 4-0 record after two massive wins at the weekend. On Saturday they demolished Ipswich Force 94-56 and were even more convincing on Sunday thumping South West Metro Pirates 89-39. 

Chevannah Paalvast scored just the 2 points against the Pirates but a healthy 14 points against the Force.

Tall Black Tyrell Harrison added 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks to 15 points but the Southern District Spartans couldn’t handle RedCity Roar going down 123-109 in the Men’s QBL.

Tall Ferns in action in QBL

Ashleigh Karairiana has scored 59 points in two games for the RedCity Roar

It’s pleasing to be able to report that some Kiwis are back on the basketball court – the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) got underway a couple of weeks ago. Tall Ferns Natalie Taylor, Ashleigh Karaitiana, Chevannah Paalvast and Kalani Purcell have all been in action.

Kalani Purcell posted a rare triple double (14 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists) as Southern District Spartans obliterated South West Metro Pirates 124-47 in the opening round. Sister Natalie Taylor chimed in with 27 points for the Spartans.

In another first round game Chevannah Paalvast faced off against Ashleigh Karaitiana as Logan Thunder got the better of RedCity Roar winning 94-81. Both players were in fine form with Paalvast recording 19 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists for the Thunder and Karaitiana top scoring for the Roar with 27 points whilst also corralling 9 rebounds. Former Canterbury Wildcats guard Ajiah-Liric Siosiua-Pepe scored 8 points for RedCity.

On Sunday Southern District Spartans made it two wins from two outings with an 85-78 win against Gold Coast Rollers. Taylor was again in good form scoring 22 points and dishing 5 assists.

RedCity Roar eased back to winning ways with a narrow 85-81 win against Northside Wizards on Saturday. Ashleigh Karaitiana had another big game claiming 11 boards to accompany a game high 32 points.

Kayla Kiriau, who won a WBC championship medal with Auckland Dream last year, chipped in with 8 points and 5 rebounds.

1980 Tall Ferns

1980 Team

Researching the past Tall Ferns teams I was sent this photo of the 198O team. I hadn’t realised that Keith Mair had been involved with the Women’s international programme before taking on the Men’s Head Coach role.

The 1980 team hosted Kentucky State University in a four game series before heading to Taiwan for the William Jones Cup.

Please share this photo with those you know will be interested and let me know if you are able to add value to the short player bios below.

Ann McLouglin – Hutt Valley and Whangarei representative Ann McLoughlin played almost 80 games for the National Team between 1979 and 1988. she appeared at the William Jones Cup in 1980 and 1981, the 1983 Commonwealth Championships in New Zealand and at two FIBA Qualifying Tournaments.

Corrina Poto – Averaging 9.6 points per game, Corrina was New Zealand’s second highest scorer at the 1988 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Corina Cordzt had a scoring explosion at the 1994 FIBA World Championship in Australia scoring 25 points against Kenya. Made over 50 appearances in an international career that stretched from 1979 to 1994. In her senior year at Utah State University in 1982 she dished a record 14 assists in one game – a school record that still stands. One of the premier players of her era, with terrific ball handling skills – reportedly she played for the Auckland senior team as a 12-year-old. Mother Agnes Poto was Women’s National assistant Coach in 1983.

Sharon Rennell – Hutt Valley and Canterbury representative Sharon Rennell played five seasons on the national team between 1969 and 1980.

Di Robertson – Hawkes Bay representative Diane Robertson played over 40 games for the Tall Ferns from 1978-1984, the point guard captaining the team in the final year. Won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Tournament in 1983. She won seven national titles captaining the Hawkes Bay and Napier teams between 1978 and 1987. Her mother Dot Leitch was also a former New Zealand representative who was capped in 1949 and 1955. In 2010, she became the first basketballer, male or female, to be inducted into the Hawkes Bay Sports Hall of Fame.

Ann Robertson – Ann ‘Robbie’ Robertson holds the unique distinction of playing (1979-80) and coaching (1988-89) the Tall Ferns. The astute small forward began her career on the West Coast before winning multiple titles with Auckland as both a player and a coach. Her Auckland coaching tenure saw the team win 8 national titles in 12 years.

Lynne Gillies (Pugh) – Guard Lynn Gillies, out of Napier, appeared in 35 games for New Zealand, 1978-1982.

Debbie Smith – The 1980 season was Rotorua representative Debbie Smith’s  only season  in the international programme.

Carolyn Grey – One of the true legends of the game in New Zealand Carolyn had a thirty-year representative career and played for the Waikato WBC team as recently as 2012 at the age of 58! A terrific athlete and tenacious competitor Carolyn represented New Zealand from 1977-1985, selected to the All-Star 5 at the William Jones Cup in both the 1980 and 1981.  She made 70 appearances in the black singlet and was inducted into the BBNZ Hall of Fame in 2016 and a Legend Award in 2017.

Maree Brunton – Wellington representative Maree Brunton. She was comfortable playing any position from point guard to the three spot. She played close to 30 games for the National Team in three campaigns. Later she went on to coach the Wellington team.

Christine Heremaia – Christine Heremaia was a Canterbury representative.

Jenny Mather – A long serving representative player, Jenny played for both Hutt Valley and Napier. Jenny captained the Tall Ferns in 1979 and 1980.

Heather Grayburn (van Siekke) – Heather Grayburn played representative basketball for North Harbour and Otago. She played almost 50 games for the national team over 5 seasons between 1977 and 1981 captaining the side in 1981.