Category Archives: Womens Basketball

NCAA Div 1 Women Start Strong

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There have been some good performances by Kiwi women in the opening rounds of NCAA Division I college basketball.

2018 Tall Fern Tera Reed led Virginia Commonwealth Rams with 15 points as the Rams proved too good for Longwood winning 84-55. Reed added 5 rebounds in front of a bumper crowd of almost 4,000.

Mary Goulding put in a strong performance for Fordham University Rams in its 58-54 loss at Washington. The Cantabrian forward played all 40 minutes collecting 15 points and 12 rebounds. Kendell Heremaia chipped in with 5 points and Zara Jillings a brace for the Rams.

Also playing 40 minutes was Krystal Leger-Walker for Northern Colorado Bears that were beaten 62-57 by LSU at Baton Ruge. L-W produced 9 points, 5 rebounds and 5 dimes for the Bears that slip to 1-2 on the season.

Shalae Salmon had 9 rebounds including four at the offensive end as BYU Cougars edged UC Riverside 72-70 in an exciting overtime win. The Kiwi forward in her junior year at BYU was called on to play 42 minutes as she added 4 points and an assist.

Tegan Graham was in good form for Colgate University. The starting guard led the Raiders scoring with 18 points but it was a second straight loss for Colgate going down 67-58 at Dayton.

Kayla Manuirirangi scored 14 points for Tulane but the Green Wave crashed 62-56 to Texas Southern.

Freshman Amiee Book made a very promising start to her college career. Book scored 15 points (3/4 3PG) as Cal State Fullerton went down 83-74 at Washington.

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Penina Davidson outstanding but Rainbow Wahine too good for Premiere North

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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.

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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 http://nzibt.org/

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

Double dose of Hawaiian delight

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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

 

Leger-Walker continues good form as Wizards down Dream

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Charlisse Leger-Walker continued from where she left off at the Commonwealth Games a couple of weeks ago as Waikato Wizards beat Auckland Dream 56-50 on Saturday at Rosehill College.

Leger-Walker you may remember was joint top scorer with 18 points as the Tall Ferns defeated Canada in the bronze medal game on the Gold Coast earlier in the month.

On Saturday she led all scorers with 22 points (8/14FG, 5/7FT) and snared 14 rebounds and 3 steals. Leger-Walker was ably assisted by Alyssa Hirawani who threatened a triple double with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Kelcy Ballantyne and Kasee Leef also chipped in with 6 points apiece for the Wizards.

Auckland were well served by Hailey Moala-Purcell (12 points), Shauna Povey (11 points) and Roana Patterson (6 points). Idaho Purcell and Amanda Buck got through plenty of defensive work nabbing 8 rebounds and 7 rebounds respectively.

The Dream had their most effective scoring spell in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough to overturn the 47-35 deficit they faced at three-quarter-time.

Earlier the Wizards won the first two periods by a single point to lead 25-23 at half-time.

The game was a final hit out for both teams ahead of their Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) openers in Tauranga on Friday. Auckland will take on cross-city rivals Harbour Breeze in the opening game while Waikato will match up against defending champions Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats.

Auckland Dream win inaugural Ross Williams Cup

 

IMG_1127Auckland Dream gained early season bragging rights over Harbour Breeze with a 55-48 victory in the first Ross Williams Cup game held at Epsom Girls Grammar School on Friday night.

Ross Williams, a Basketball New Zealand Life Member, gave over 50 years service to basketball, and the women’s game in Auckland was particularly dear to his heart. If he had been able to attend the encounter on Friday Ross would have enjoyed the occasion, as two evenly matched teams went toe to toe in front of a good crowd.

Shauna Povey and Paddy Pupuke-Robati shared all of Auckland’s first quarter points but the Breeze shaded the period 13-11 as Tabitha Jenkins scored just prior to the break.

The second quarter was all the Dream. Povey moved into double figures as the hosts won the frame 13-6, to take a 24-19 lead into the locker room at the interval.

Jazz Kailahi-Fulu made a couple of inside baskets for the Breeze but triples from Stevee-Rose Theyers and Leiani Tautiepa pushed the Dream advantage into double figures. A late third period flourish from former Westlake teammates Mareta Davidson and Keeley Tini dragged the Breeze to within three at the last break – down 38-35.

Luye Murphy scored five quick points to start the fourth, but Tini and Kailahi-Fulu kept the Breeze in touch and when Morgan Ili scored inside it was a two-point game (48-46) with three minutes to play.

Sharne Pupuke-Robati and Kailahi-Fulu exchanged baskets but although the Breeze had opportunities to level it was the Dream that finished the stronger closing out a seven point win.

The two teams will lock horns again in a couple of weeks when they play the opening game of the 2018 Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) in Tauranga on May 4th.

In the curtain raiser St Mary’s College, Ponsonby defeated Orewa College 80-32. The win means St Mary’s replace Orewa in the Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade for the 2018 season.

FINAL;

Auckland Dream 55 – Povey 14, P Pupuke-Robati 12, S Pupuke-Robati 9, L Murphy 5

Harbour Breeze 48 – J Kailahi-Fulu 14, M Ili 9, T Jenkins 7, K Tini 7, M Davidson 6

The Fotu’s have something special going on

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At some stage in mid 2018 Daniel Fotu will head to San Francisco to link up with the players and coaching staff at St Mary’s College.

The St Mary’s play in the NCAA Division 1 West Coast Conference and the Rangitoto College senior this week signed a letter of intent to suit up for the Randy Bennett coached Gaels for the 2018-19 season and beyond.

There is nothing new of course about Kiwi’s heading to college in the States, after all over thirty young New Zealand players are at Division 1 universities heading into the new season that begins at the end of October.

However what may be unique is that three siblings from the same family have gained basketball scholarships to the USA.

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The first Fotu to dip his toes in the US was Isaac who headed to the University of Hawaii in 2012 playing two seasons with the Warriors before turning pro.

The 23-year-old Tall Black regular has recently signed with leading German club Ratiopharm Ulm for the 2017-18 European season. The power forward has spent the last three seasons playing in Spain firstly for La Bruixa d’Or Manresa and for the past two seasons CAI Zaragoza.

Sister Gabriella (Ella) had a less than happy time at Boise State in 2015-16 but enjoyed a successful 2016-17 campaign at Hawaii Pacific. The 21-year-old guard averaged 7.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists last season for the Sharks earning an honourable mention in the All-PacWest Conference. Ella scored a season high 19 points at Notre Dame de Namur in January.

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18 year-old Daniel, was a member of the Junior Tall Blacks team that recorded an historic win against Australia at the 2016 Oceania Championships in Fiji last December. Dan averaged 7.5 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in the tournament but injury ruled him out of the subsequent 2017 U19 World Cup in Cairo last July

All three Fotu’s have attended Rangitoto College on Auckland’s north shore. A school that has produced, in addition to Isaac, full internationals Penina Davidson, Brooke Blair, Tai Wynyard and most famously Sean Marks.

Dan already has two Schick New Zealand Secondary Schools National Championships winner’s medals to his name and heads to Palmerston North next week hoping to make it a trifecta.

Neither Ella nor Isaac enjoyed the thrill of winning a Secondary Schools championship but both picked up national titles playing for North Harbour. In fact the pair received the unusual distinction of claiming the MVP title at the same tournament – the Under 23 National Championships in Tauranga in 2013. Ella led Harbour to the Women’s title against Waikato and Isaac the men’s as they defeated Counties Manukau to claim gold.

 

All three have turned out for Harbour whenever possible, with Ella giving up part of her recent summer break from Hawaii to play for Harbour Breeze in the Women’s Basketball Championship. She made an immediate impact on her return averaging a team high 18 points per game as the Breeze clinched the Plate title in Christchurch back in July.

Perhaps basketball in New Zealand can bottle the genetics of the Fotu seniors Manu and Jenny because whatever they have seems to be a potent potion.

Oh, and the Fotu’s may not be finished yet – 13 year old Jacob, a budding hoopster, is in year 9 at Rangitoto – watch this space.

New Zealand U17 Women’s team named

New Zealand U17 Basketball Headshots & Team Photos- Christchurch, 12th May 2017

Basketball New Zealand has named the Aon New Zealand Under 17 girls team, ahead of the FIBA Under 16 Girls’ Asia Cup, which will be played in Bangalore 22-28 October.

Head Coach Lori McDaniel, who has a strong coaching resume with two Women’s Basketball Championship titles to her name with the Canterbury Wildcats, says the Asia Cup is this young team’s pinnacle event for 2017 and their training has been focused on this event.

“We have had multiple camps during the year to gel as a group and become familiar with our systems and expectations. We have put the girls through some ‘outside the box’ activities in order to prepare them to be adaptable and embrace adversity,” says Coach McDaniel.

There’s no doubt that adversity will come in a number of ways, with Bangalore presenting conditions similar to those the Tall Ferns battled in July this year when they played in the Women’s Asia Cup. The Tall Ferns not only had strong opponents to contend with, but they were hindered by food poisoning, and hot and humid playing conditions. Coach McDaniel says these conditions might not change much for this young age-group team, especially when it comes to the opposition teams.

“The Asian teams play very fast and aggressively, and we all know how skilled and disciplined the Australian players are. Most of the teams we encounter will play a style similar to their women’s teams, which we saw in July when the Tall Ferns played. So we expect a high level of competition with some very fit and skilled athletes.

“It’s a big tournament in a big country, but travel and heat are factors all the teams have to contend with.”
Coach McDaniel says the team will travel to Bangalore early, to allow four days to adjust and finish off their preparation ahead of stepping into their very first Asia Cup.
“We have a talented group of young ladies who are in the unique situation of being the first New Zealand age-group to play in the Asia Zone. We will strive to embrace this opportunity to showcase our skillset on such a large stage.”

As for how this event will test McDaniel as a coach, she says that too is a team effort, alongside Assistant Coaches Jody Cameron and Gina Farmer.
“I am fortunate in my coaching role to be supported by two former Tall Ferns who have a great deal of experience in international travel within the Basketball New Zealand system.”

Aon New Zealand Under 17 Women:
· Ella Bradley (Waikato Basketball Council)
· Isabelle Cook (Taranaki Country Basketball Association)
· Tayla Dalton (North Harbour Basketball)
· Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Basketball Council)
· Paris Lokotui (Wellington Basketball Association)
· Jordyn Maddix (North Harbour Basketball)
· Helen Matthews (North Canterbury Basketball Association)
· Kyra Paniora (Brisbane, Australia)
· Sharne Pupuke-Robati (Auckland Counties Manukau)
· Briarley Rogers (Tauranga City Basketball Association)
· Rosalia Samia (Basketball Hawkes Bay)
· Tessalonia Talo-Tomokino (North Harbour Basketball)

Staff:
· Head Coach – Lori McDaniel
· Assistant Coach – Gina Farmer
· Assistant Coach – Jody Cameron
· Manager – Ushma Shah

Team Schedule:
· October 15 Assemble
· October 15-16 Preparation Camp – Auckland, New Zealand
· October 17 Travel to India
· October 18-21 Preparation Camp – Bangalore, India
· October 22-28 U16 FIBA Asia Championships – Bangalore, India

Photo caption – U17 squad photo:
· Back row: Kyra Paniora, Brairley Rogers, Rosalia Samia, Helen Matthews, Charlisse Leger-Walker, Jordyn Maddix, Tessalonia Tomokino-Talo
· Front row: Isabelle Cook, Rikki Fiatau (not in team travelling to India), Rashaan Smith (not in team travelling to India), Tayla Dalton, Sharne Pupuke-Robati, Ella Bradley.

Tall Ferns strike Gold

 

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The Australian based Tall Ferns have figured strongly in the recent State Championships Grand Finals.

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Cal Berkeley and NZ Premiers thrill large crowd

Cal and Premiers

Photo courtesy of Mollie McClure

The University of California, Berkeley Golden Bears and New Zealand Premiers put on a cracking exhibition of women’s basketball at North Shore Events Centre on Sunday.

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Penina Davidson retuning to NSEC on Sunday

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Penina Davidson is relishing the opportunity to play in front of family and friends for the first time since 2013.

“To get to come back now as a senior and play in my hometown for the first time since high school is pretty cool,” said the former Rangitoto College standout.

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