Category Archives: Tall Ferns

Tall Ferns finish second at William Jones Cup

Will Jones Cup 2019

The Tall Ferns had to settle for silver at the 41st William Jones Cup after being given something of a basketball lesson in their 95-63 loss to Japan.

With six rookies on the team, although Matangiroa Flavell missed the game with an ankle injury, the Kiwis were no match for world No 10 ranked Japan who Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy described as “Fantastic, they punished our every error.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom with Molloy saying his team had taken a number of steps forward during the week in which they won five of six games.

Micaela Cocks was named to the Tournament Team after leading the Tall Ferns scoring with 86 points over the five games.

Game report here

 

 

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Tall Ferns two wins away from retaining William Jones Cup

TF's

Three down two to go for the Tall Ferns as they bid to retain the William Jones Cup.

A strong second half showing took the Kiwis to a comfortable 97-78 win against Chinese Taipei B on Friday.

It appears that Chinese Taipei B are stronger than Chinese Taipei A but we will find ou on Saturday when the Tall Ferns face the A team of the hosts.

Micaela Cocks, with 21 points, took her tally to 62 points in three games to lead all scorers at the tournament but Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy believed Ella Fotu was the MVP.

Game report here

 

 

Tall Ferns 2-0 at William Jones Cup

Tall Ferns huddle v Korea

Two down three to go for the Tall Ferns after defeating Korea 73-61 in Taiwan on Thursday.

The Tall Ferns, paced by a second consecutive twenty points haul from skipper Micaela Cocks, led by twenty points in the third before taking their foot off the gas in the final period.

Coach Guy Molloy was happy with the Tall Ferns performance particularly in the first half when they kept Korea to 31 points and shot an impresive 60% (18 from 30) from the field.

Full report here

Tall Ferns beat Philippines

v Philippines

The Tall Ferns opened the 41st William Jones Cup Tournament with a comfortable 106-72  win against the Phillipines.

However coach Guy Molloy was a little concerned that his team coughed up 23 turnovers, gave the ball away far too easily, and were generally “sloppy”.

“You rarely play your best game at a tournament in the opening game,” reflected Molloy who took heart from his team’s shooting performance.

“A red hot shooting night,” he described it as his team shot a collective 57% from beyond the arc. Kalani Purcell (4/5), Micaela Cocks (3/4), Charlisse Leger-Walker (2/4), Ella Fotu (1/2), Stella Beck (1/2) and Zoe Richards (1/1) were all sucessful from beyond the three-point line.

Full game report here

Buzzer Beater heart break for Tall Ferns

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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

 

Tall Ferns lose to Japan

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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).

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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

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