Category Archives: WBC

WBC defending champions snare Hayley Gray

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Hayley Gray in Canterbury colours – photo courtesy of Richard Connelly

The Otago Gold Rush are thrilled to announce that former Canterbury Wildcats captain Hayley Gray will be joining the Otago Gold Rush for their Women’s Basketball Championship title defense in 2019.

Basketball Otago General Manager Justin Ludlow says Gray has been an instrumental figure in Canterbury women’s basketball since her debut with the Wildcats at the age of sixteen.

“She played an important role in the Wildcats back to back championship wins in 2016 and 2017, and she captained the team during that time.

“Head coach Greg Brockbank and I met with Hayley recently, and we were just thrilled with her attitude and determination for the game which will be a great asset for us in 2019. She wants to see more females playing basketball at all ages and wants to play a part in that in our region which is fantastic.

“She is still passionate about the game and giving back to the next generation of young female basketballers who aspire to have the opportunities which she has had within the game, and which are still a key component of her desire to remain involved at the highest level. She is excited that she will be able to continue this with the Otago Gold Rush as they look to defend their title won in 2018,” says Ludlow.

“I am really excited to be getting back out on the court again this year, especially with the defending champions. It is always challenging moving cities and teams, but the Otago Gold Rush have been very welcoming and supportive, and I cannot wait to hit the floor running in this year’s WBC. I imagine it will be a tight race to the title as the WBC continues to grow in strength, but I am confident the silverware won’t be moving from the South,” says Gray.

An ACL injury hampered Gray’s 2018 commitments with the North Canterbury Spirit in the WBC’s second division. Gray used this time to give back as a coaching assistant in what proved to be a third championship in three years with the Spirit crowned second division champions during the finals in Dunedin.

The experienced guard has recently relocated to Queenstown with her partner to establish and operate the Black & White Coffee Cartel café in Frankton and believes her experience and leadership qualities will add value to the Gold Rush during the 2019 season.

The Otago Gold Rush begin their WBC campaign against the Auckland Dream on Friday 10 May in Christchurch.


Penina Davidson outstanding but Rainbow Wahine too good for Premiere North


The University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine eventually proved too strong for New Zealand International Basketball Tours Premiere North pulling away in the final quarter to win 71-57 at Auckland Boys Grammar School on Thursday.

It was a margin that didn’t do justice to the Premiere team’s effort as they led for a time in the third period and only trailed 49-46 with ten minutes to play.

An understandably stuttering start, given that the Premiere team gathered for the first time on the morning of the game and Hawaii only arrived in the country on Wednesday, was shaded by the visitors 18-12.

The Premiere coaching staff were not afraid to use their youngest talent in unison – all four high school players, Tayla Dalton, Jazz Kailahi-Fulu, Shauna Povey and Sharne Pupuke-Robati were on court together ahead of the Rainbow Wahine taking a 31-22 lead into the locker room.

A good sized crowd got behind the home team as they made a strong start to the second half.

The Premiere team made a conscious effort to get the ball inside to forwards Penina Davidson (22 points and 10 rebounds), Makayla Daysh and Pupuke-Robati (10 points) – a tactic that reaped some benefit as the hosts opened the half with a 10-3 run.

Davidson, ahead of her departure to take up a contract with the Adelaide Lightning in the Australian WNBL, displayed her scoring versatility with a long three to compliment some skillful inside work, the Premiere’s taking the lead after additional good work from Donna Fermanis and Arielle Parai.

As expected from a quality NCAA Division I team the Rainbow Wahine responded and carried a 49-46 advantage into the last quarter.

The Premiere’s effort faded in the final minutes, the University of Hawaii closing out a deserved first-up victory on their four game tour of New Zealand and Australia.


After a day of relaxation in Auckland on Friday the Rainbow Wahine head to Christchurch for a game against NZ Premiere South – Sunday, 4.30pm start at Cowles Stadium.

Another entertaining game is in prospect with Tessa Boagni headlining the Premiere lineup. The former California State University Northridge forward was outstanding for the Tall Ferns last month during their gold medal winning campaign at the William Jones Cup.

For further information visit the New Zealand International Basketball Tours website

NZ Premiere North 57 – P Davidson 22/10r, S Pupuke-Robati 10, A Parai 6, M Daysh 6, T Dalton 5, K Tini 2/6r, D Fermanis 4, Kailahi-Fulu 1

University of Hawaii 71 – L Salanoa 12, M Woodfolk 11, S Reier 11, C Middap 11

Otago and Waikato Wizards to contest WBC Final


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It should be a cracking final. The WBC grand finale will feature the young Waikato team led by Charlisse Leger-Walker against a more experienced Otago Gold Rush.

read report on semi-finals

WBC Finals – Day 1 Wrap on all games


There are still semi-final places up for grabs at the WBC play-offs although defending champions Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats have been ousted.

In one of the all-time great WBC games they were pipped at the post by South Island rivals Otago Gold Rush.

read more

Boagni back for Red and Blacks


Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats will look to bounce back from successive Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) defeats when they entertain Taranaki Thunder at Cowles Stadium on Sunday.

The Wildcats have been given a major boost ahead of the game with Tessa Boagni named in their lineup.

Boagni, a Tall Fern back in 2015, has recently graduated after an outstanding four-year career at California State University Northridge playing for the Matadors.

Boagni was a major contributor to the Matadors winning the Big West Conference Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament earlier this year. The Matadors senior followed up a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double in the conference semi-final by going off for 23 points (9/16 FG) and eight rebounds as Cal State Northridge beat UC Davis 63-55 in the championship game.

The 1.88m centre finished her Matadors career as the seventh all-time leading rebounder (713) and twelfth all-time leading points scorer (1,089) after playing 123 games.

The former Christchurch Girls High standout will be a welcome addition to the front court resources available to head coach Lori McDaniel given the Wildcats recently lost the services of Fran Edmondson to a season ending knee injury.

The tip-off on Sunday is 2.00pm at Cowles Stadium.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at

Otago and Taranaki claim WBC victories


A second big win in seven days for Otago Gold Rush and a bounce back victory for Taranaki Thunder were the features of the two Women’s Basketball Championship games played at the weekend.

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Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats welcome back Mary Goulding


Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats have been boosted by the inclusion of Mary Goulding for their Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) game against South Island rivals Otago Gold Rush on Saturday.

Goulding, a junior at Fordham University, is coming off a strong season with the Rams where she averaged 8.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. The 1.83m forward started in all but one of the 25 games she played for the Rams in 2017-18, a season in which they finished with a 24-10 record. Fordham play in the NCAA Division I Atlantic 10 Conference.

The former Rangiora High School standout last played for the Wildcats in 2015 before embarking on her US college career.

The Wildcats suffered an overtime loss (69-63) to Auckland Dream in their last WBC outing and will welcome Goulding’s aggressive style of play as they look to claim their fourth regular season victory. She will help fill the void left by Fran Edmondson – the 2016 WBC Most Valuable Player suffered a season ending knee injury in the loss to Auckland.

The Wildcats and the Gold Rush have an identical 3-win, 2-loss record. The winner of the game on Saturday will reclaim a top four spot on the WBC ladder.

The tip-off on Saturday is 7.30pm at Cowles Stadium.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at

Double dose of Hawaiian delight


New Zealand International Basketball Tours (NZIBT) have announced that they are hosting the University of Hawaii women’s basketball team for two games in New Zealand in early August.

NZIBT successfully hosted University of California Golden Bears last year and have once again attracted a top NCAA Division I college to our shores.

The game against Cal attracted over 150,000 on-line viewers in addition to the 1,000 spectators that witnessed the game live at North Shore Events Centre.

The games against the Rainbow Wahine will be played in Auckland and Christchurch. As last year the New Zealand Premier team will be selected from players playing in the Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC).

The fixtures will provide an opportunity for a number of WBC veteran players to appear on the international stage and also showcase young up and coming New Zealand talent.

NZIBT Sports Tour Director Ashley Gayle is thrilled at the prospect of hosting another high quality American college women’s team.

“We are extremely excited for the opportunity to bring Hawaii University women’s basketball team to New Zealand. We encourage you to support the Kiwi players and watch two great games. More details on the dates and times of games will be available in the near future.

Follow NZIBT here


WBC Week Four Wrap


Four games in week four of the Women’s Basketball Championship and I was privileged to watch two of the games.

One was the Auckland Dream’s overtime win against Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats – just the third defeat for the Wildcats in the last three seasons.

Read more

Both Waikato teams victorious in latest WBC action

Waikato Wizards

Both Waikato Wizards and Waikato Country Cannons came away with wins in the latest round of the Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) at the weekend,

click for game reports