Some surprises at Day 3 of the Schick Secondary Schools Nationals


The big guns advanced to the quarter-finals in the AA competition although Auckland Grammar beating Rangitoto was definately an upset. The result sets up a mouth watering quarter-final between the 2016 finalists Palmerston North and Rangitoto.

The feature of the Girls AA quarter-finals is that three local derbies have been created after a day of fluctuating fortunes.

Thursday is Grand Finals Day for the A tournament – see who won the semi-finals below.

AA Championships – Boys

Pool A: Rosmini Coll 5-0, Mt Albert GS 4-1, Napier Boys 3-2, John’s Coll 2-3, Fraser High 1-4, St Peter’s Coll 0-5

Despite trailing at the mid point of the third quarter Rosmini had enough composure to overcome Mt Albert Grammar 77-67 in the game that decided the top two finish in the pool. Rosmini held a 3-0 record over their Auckland rivals this season entering the contest but for long spells, particularly in the first half, Mt Albert held the upper hand.

St John’s edged Fraser 90-88 in the battle for Hamilton bragging rights.

Pool B: Palmerston North BHS 5-0, Christ’s Coll 4-1, Cashmere High 3-2, Wellington Coll 2-3, New Plymouth BHS 1-4, Kelston BHS 0-5

Shooting guard Max de Geest was absent from the Christ’s College lineup for the top of the pool clash with Palmerston North but despite the set back the Cantabrians gave the 2016 finalists a mighty scare. Such a fright that they led 47-45 with 90 seconds to play before Palmy prevailed 50-47.

Earlier in the day Palmy beat Wellington 83-66 and the Zone 4 champs Christ’s accounted for New Plymouth 88-76. Cashmere finished third in the pool after beating New Plymouth 89-79.

Pool C: Westlake BHS 5-0, Rongotai Coll 4-1, Hastings BHS 3-2, Burnside High 2-3, Shirley BHS 1-4, St Peter’s Cambridge 0-5,

Westlake comfortably beat Burnside 83-60 and Rongotai dealt with St Peter’s, Cambridge in the morning games 102-68.

The much anticipated match up between the two top seeds in the pool ended up being dominated by Westlake. The 2014 champions led from start to finish eventually prevailing 76-56.

Pool D: Auckland Grammar 5-0, Rangitoto Coll 4-1, Hamilton BHS 3-2, Middleton Grange 2-3, Melville High 1-4, Waimea Coll 0-5

Auckland Grammar beat Middleton Grange 81-69 to set up a showdown with Rangitoto College to decide the Pool D winners, Rangi cruising past Melville 97-60 in the morning games.

In a pulsating finish Rangi managed to turn the ball over three times in the final 60 seconds to go from 72-67 ahead to lose 7-72 – the first defeat at the Schick National Champs for Rangi since 2014.

 Quarter-Final draw

Rosmini v Rongotai

Auckland Grammar v Christ’s

Westlake v Mt Albert

Palmerston North v Rangitoto


 AA Championship – Girls

Pool A: St Peter’s Cambridge 5-0, Hutt Valley HS 3-2, St Hilda’s Coll 3-2, Palmerston North GHS 3-2, Western Heights HS 1-4, Napier GHS 0-5,

St Peter’s retained its unbeaten status but only just as they hung on desperately to beat St Hilda’s 74-70. It was a plucky display by the Zone 4 champions who pushed the reigning champions all the way but have to contend themselves with playing off for places 9-16 despite finishing

Hutt Valley progress with St Peter’s to the quarter-finals despite losing 83-73 on Day 3. Three teams finished with a 3-2 record but it was Hutt that advanced on count back.

Pool B: Hamilton GHS 4-1, Auckland Grammar 4-1, Middleton Grange 3-2, Massey 2-3, Christchurch Girls HS 1-4, Ashburton Coll 1-4

Auckland Grammar maintained its position at the top of the pool with a solid 79-47 victory against Auckland rivals Massey but came unstuck in the late game going down 65-62 to Hamilton Girls.

The win sets up a quarter-final encounter with Melville for Hamilton while Auckland will have to face local rivals Mt Albert.

Pool C: St Mary’s Coll 5-0, Westlake Girls HS 3-2, Rotorua Girls HS 3-2, Rangi Ruru 3-2, Sacred Heart New Plymouth 1-4, Carmel Coll 0-5

As forecast yesterday the Westlake v Rotorua game proved to be a cracker. Westlake needed to win by 15+ to edge Rotorua and Rangi Ruru out of a quarter final appearance. The Zone 1 runners-up did just that building on a 20-6 start to win 66-50.

St Mary’s were untroubled beating Sacred Heart 107-59 and Westlake 84-61 to move serenely into the play-offs.

Pool D: Mt Albert GS 5-0, Melville HS 4-1, Hastings Girls HS 2-3, St Andrew’s Coll 2-3, New Plymouth Girls HS 1-4, Rangitoto College 1-4

Mt Albert accounted for Hastings 91-52 and Melville beat New Plymouth 79-55 to set up a showdown to decide the top two places in the pool.

It was a tight encounter but Mt Albert maintained its perfect record with a 68-57 victory.

Quarter-Final Draw

St Peter’s v Westlake

Mt Albert v Auckland Grammar

St Mary’s v Hutt Valley

Hamilton Girls v Melville


A Championship – Boys

The A Boys Final will see Canterbury representatives Hillmorton High take on Stratford.

 In the televised semi-final Nga Taiatea Wharekura took on Hillmorton and trailed 35-29 at half-time, 59-42 at the three-quarter mark before eventually falling 74-62.

In the other game Stratford, a losing semi-finalist last year, was too good for Te Aroha winning 82-63.


A Championship – Girls

The A Girls Final will feature local side Manukura and defending champions Opunake High.

Opunake took care of business in the first semi beating Te Kura Kokiri with Manukura overturning Te Aroha 59-54 in the later game.


Day 2 wrap – 2017 Schick Secondary Schools National Champs


There were few upsets on Day 2 of the 2017 Schick Secondary Schools National Championships but there is plenty still to play for ahead of Day 3.

The defending champions in both the AA Boys and Girls competitions, Rangitoto College and St Peter’s Cambridge remain unbeaten.

The A Championship is moving to the sharp end of proceedings with semi-final action scheduled for Wednesday.


AA Championships – Boys

Pool A: Rosmini Coll 4-0, Mt Albert GS 4-0, Napier Boys 2-2, Fraser High 1-3, St John’s Coll 1-3, St Peter’s Coll 0-4

Fraser High gave Rosmini College a run for their money before losing 111-94 and Mt Albert were pushed all the way by Napier Boys before prevailing 72-64 in the morning games. Fraser were then defeated 95-76 by Mt Albert in the late game and Rosmini also moved to 4-0 with a resounding 110-53 win against Auckland rivals St Peter’s.

Mt Albert and Rosmini will squabble over top spot in the pool at 12.30pm on Wednesday.

Pool B: Palmerston North BHS 3-0, Christ’s Coll 3-0, Wellington Coll 1-2, New Plymouth BHS 1-2, Cashmere High 1-2, Kelston BHS 0-3

Palmerston North kept their championship claims on track with a 100-37 demolition of New Plymouth Boys High and Christ’s College did the same beating Kelston Boys 95-75. Both teams appear on track to make the quarters with their match up set down for 4pm on Wednesday.

Pool C: Rongotai Coll 3-0, Westlake BHS 3-0, Burnside High 2-1, Hastings BHS 1-2, St Peter’s Cambridge 0-3, Shirley BHS 0-3

Rongotai won a cracker against Hastings 78-76 in the key round four match to keep its campaign on track and Westlake held off St Peter’s Cambridge winning 99-81

The pair remain unbeaten and both look set to for top eight action – they lock horns on Wednesday afternoon.

The game of round 2 in Pool C saw Burnside High edge St Peters, Cambridge 85-83.

Pool D: Rangitoto Coll 3-0, Auckland Grammar 3-0, Middleton Grange 2-1, Hamilton BHS 1-2, Melville High 0-3, Waimea Coll 0-3

Auckland Grammar were given a fright by Hamilton Boys before eventually prevailing 71-68 and Middleton Grange accounted for Melville 74-71 in the morning games.

In the afternoon Auckland coped more comfortably with Melville (76-55) while Rangitoto also remained unbeaten. The back to back champions beat Hamilton Boys 101-69 to rack up 100+ points for the third straight game.

AA Championship – Girls

Pool A: St Peter’s Cambridge 4-0, Hutt Valley HS 3-1, St Hilda’s Coll 3-1, Palmerston North GHS 2-2 Napier GHS 0-4, Western Heights HS 0-4

The game of the day featured defending AA Shick National Champions St Peter’s, Cambridge and Zone 3 Runners-up Hutt Valley. Twitter correspondent described the game as one of the best games to date as St Peters overturned a 12 points half time deficit to win 84-75.

Barring an upset in the final round of games on Wednesday afternoon both teams will feature in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Pool B: Auckland Girls GS 3-0, Hamilton GHS, 2-1 Massey HS 2-1, Christchurch Girls HS 1-2, Middleton Grange 1-2, Ashburton Coll 0-3

Wednesday will be the moving day in Pool B with two rounds of games to be played. In theory all but Ashburton are vying for the top two spots in a very competitive section.

Auckland Grammar remains unbeaten after beating Christchurch Girls 76-53. After two losses on Day 1 Middleton Grange moved back into contention with a vital 65-60 win against the previously unbeaten Massey High.

Pool C: St Mary’s Coll 3-0, Westlake Girls HS 2-1, Rotorua Girls HS 2-1, Sacred Heart New Plymouth 1-2, Rangi Ruru 1-2, Carmel Coll 0-3

Teams in Pool C also had just the one game on Day2. Rangi Ruru couldn’t repeat the exciting victory gained against Westlake on Day 1 as they were downed 70-48 by Rotorua Girls High.

The other winners were pool favourites St Marys over Carmel (106-53) and Westlake beating Sacred Heart, New Plymouth 61-43.

Rotorua v Westlake on Wednesday morning should be a cracker.

Pool D: Mt Albert GS 3-0, Melville HS 3-0, Hastings Girls HS 1-2, Rangitoto College 1-2, St Andrew’s Coll 1-2, New Plymouth Girls HS 0-3.

Melville High won the key match up with Hastings 72-63 in the morning game.

Mt Albert Grammar continued on its merry way thumping Zone 1 rivals Rangitoto 100-45 and New Plymouth 105-57.

Melville are also unbeaten after wins against St Andrews (95-49) and critically Hastings 72-63.


A Championship – Boys

Pool A: Hillmorton High 4-0, Te Aroha Coll 3-1, St Kevin’s Coll 2-2, Otaki Coll 1-3, Catholic Cathedral Coll 0-4

The key game of the day was the Hillmorton v Te Aroha match up with both teams boasting a 3-0 record and semi-final bound. Hillmorton proved too strong for the team from the Waikato winning 83-65.

Pool B: Stratford HS 4-0, Manukura 3-1, Nga Taiatea Wharekura 2-2, Greymouth HS 2-2, Onewhero Area School 1-3, Te Kuiti HS 0-4

Stratford and Manukura will meet each other in the final pool game on Wednesday morning with the top two spots still up for grabs. Stratford solidified its top ranking with wins against Onewhero and Nga Taiatea Wharekura although that was a close one 78-74. If Stratford defeat Manukura a three way tie for second place could arise with count back coming in to play.


A Championship – Girls

Pool A: Te Aroha Coll 4-0, Opunake HS 3-1, Buller HS 2-2, Te Wharekura o Mauao 1-2, Aquinas Coll 0-4

Te Aroha College head directly to the semi-final after wins over Aquinas and Te Wharekura o Mauao on Day 2.

Defending champions Opunake High and Buller will cross over to play in the preliminary semi-finals on Wednesday morning.

Pool B: Te Kura Kokiri 4-0, Manukura 3-1, Stratford HS 2-2, Ellesmere Coll 1-3, Hillmorton HS 0-4

 Te Kura Kokiri head directly to Wednesday’s semi-final with a perfect 4-0 record after beating Stratford and Ellesmere. Manukura defeated Stratford 74-35 in the late game on Tuesday however both teams will suit for preliminary semi-final games on Wednesday morning.

Day 1 wrap – 2017 Schick Secondary Schools National Champs


Here is a look at the winners and losers on Day 1 of the 2017 Schick Secondary Schools National Championships.

The defending champions in both the AA Boys and Girls competitions made solid starts. Rangitoto College defeated Middleton Grange 104-46 and St Peter’s Cambridge proved far too strong for Palmerston North Girls High winning 86-50 and later defeated Western Heights High 102-68.

AA Championships – Boys

Pool A: Rosmini Coll 2-0, Mt Albert GS 2-0, St Peter’s Coll 0-2, Fraser High 1-1, St John’s Coll 0-2, Napier Boys 1-1

Rosmini College and Mt Albert Grammar took a firm grip of Pool A with both teams comfortably winning their opening two games. The only minor surprise was the defeat of the third seeded Fraser High at the hands of Napier Boys High, 92-88.

Pool B: Palmerston North BHS 2-0, Christ’s Coll 2-0, Wellington Coll 1-1, New Plymouth BHS 1-1, Cashmere High 0-2, Kelston BHS 0-2

Christ’s College beat Cashmere 79-68 in a critical opening round game in Pool B. The teams had shared the silverware down south with Cashmere winning the Canterbury title but Christ’s claiming the Zone 4 Premiership trophy, however it was Christ’s that prevailed in this one.

Christ’s followed that with a 77-53 win against Wellington College while Cashmere appear to be eliminated from the quarter-finals after being downed by Palmerston North Boys 80-52. The win was the second in the day for the 2016 beaten finalists as they smacked Kelston Boys 94-43 in the morning round.


Pool C: Rongotai Coll 1-0, Westlake BHS 1-0, Hastings BHS 1-0, St Peter’s Cambridge 0-1, Shirley BHS 0-1, Burnside High 0-1

Westlake were dealt a severe blow in the week before the tournament with captain James Moors sustaining a broken hand in a training game. In their only game on Day 1 Westlake defeated Shirley High 76-65. There were also wins for Rongotai and Hastings Boys High.

Pool D: Rangitoto Coll 1-0, Auckland Grammar 1-0, Hamilton BHS 1-0, Melville High 0-1, Waimea Coll 0-1, Middleton Grange 0-1

There were comfortable first up wins for the top three seeds in this pool – the narrowest margin being 25 points as Hamilton Boys won the Waikato derby 74-49 against Melville – the result a repeat of the Zone 2 Premiership Final and the margin almost identical.

AA Championship – Girls

Pool A: St Peter’s Cambridge 2-0, St Hilda’s Coll 1-1, Hutt Valley HS 2-0, Napier GHS 0-2, Western Heights HS 0-2, Palmerston North GHS 1-1

As expected St Peter’s made a solid start in defence of their title with big wins over Palmy North and Western Heights. They were joined on a brace of wins by Hutt Valley High who gained a crucial 76-57 win against Zone 4 champions St Hilda’s College and also defeated Napier Girls High.

Pool B: Auckland Girls GS 2-0, Hamilton GHS, 1-1 Massey HS 2-0, Christchurch Girls HS 1-1, Middleton Grange 0-2, Ashburton Coll 0-2

Pool B was the most competitive group on Day I with Massey High defeating Zone 4 Premiership runners-up Christchurch Girls High 63-61. In another tight affair Hamilton Girls prevailed 75-70 against Middleton Grange but fell 54-51 to Massey in the late game.

Zone 1 champions Auckland Girls Grammar made it two from two with victories against Middleton Grange and Ashburton. In yet another close encounter Christchurch Girls High beat Ashburton 66-65 in a Canterbury derby.

Pool C: Westlake Girls HS 1-1, St Mary’s Coll 2-0, Rotorua Girls HS 1-1, Sacred Heart New Plymouth 1-1, Rangi Ruru 1-1, Carmel Coll 0-2

St Mary’s College Wellington, the Zone 4 Premiership champions made a statement of intent hammering Rangi Ruru 61-30. They followed that with an 85-60 defeat of Rotorua Girls High.

Rangi Ruru recovered well and downed Westlake 75-68 after being down 68-67 with 30 seconds to play in the late game – the Canterbury champions kept its quarter-finals chances alive with the win.

Pool D Mt Albert GS 1-0, Melville HS 1-0, Hastings Girls HS 1-0, New Plymouth Girls HS 0-1, Rangitoto College 0-1, St Andrew’s Coll 0-1

There were few dramas in this pool with the top three seeds each winning their only game on Day 1. The tightest fixture saw Hastings Girls High defeat New Plymouth Girls High 64-59.


A Championship – Boys

Pool A: Hillmorton High 2-0, Te Aroha Coll 2-0, Catholic Cathedral Coll 0-2, Otaki Coll 0-2, St Kevin’s Coll 1-1

Hillmorton High, the South Island Premiership champions, made a strong start to its campaign with resounding wins against Otaki College and St Kevin’s College.

St Kevin’s, the 2016 Schick A Champions bounced back later in the day beating Catholic Cathedral College 88-56.

Te Aroha joined Hillmorton on two wins with success against Cathedral and Otaki.

Pool B: Stratford HS 2-0, Manukura 1-1, Nga Taiatea Wharekura 1-1, Onewhero Area School 0-1, Greymouth HS 1-1, Te Kuiti HS 0-2

Manukura, the 2016 beaten finalists dropped its opening game to Greymouth 88-81. Stratford finished third last year and look set to emerge as a top four challenger after completing Day 1 as the only unbeaten team in Pool B.

Manukura bounced back in the later game defeating Nga Taiatea Wharekura 83-61.

A Championship – Girls

Pool A: Opunake HS 1-1, Te Wharekura o Mauao 1-1, Buller HS 1-1, Aquinas Coll 0-2, Te Aroha Coll 2-0

Defending champions Opunake High were beaten 67-59 by Te Aroha in the opening game of the A Championships. Te Aroha followed that with a nail biter against Buller High winning 60-58. Opunake got its title defence back on track later in the day defeating Aquinas College 74-46. Buller put the disappointment of a narrow defeat behind them to beat Te Wharekura o Mauao 82-42 in the late game.

Pool B: Stratford HS 2-0, Manukura 1-1, Te Kura Kokiri 2-0, Ellesmere Coll 0-2, Hillmorton HS 0-2

Stratford High was beaten semi-finalists last year and aiming to go one better in 2017 began its campaign with big wins against Ellesmere College and Hillmorton High. The game of the day in Pool A saw Te Kura Kokiri grab its second win of the day with a 61-60 defeat of Hillmorton.

Webster, Fotu and Harmon debut as European season begins

Tai Webster

A number of the European Basketball Leagues began at the weekend and two of them the German Bundesliga and the Italian League featured Kiwi internationals debuting for their respective clubs.

It was mixed news from Germany for Tai Webster and Isaac Fotu.

Webster was making his debut in the colours of Frankfurt Skyliners and his 15 points contributed to a solid 82-70 away win at Jena for the Skyliners.

Webster committed a nervy 5 turnovers, understandable in his first professional game,  but more than made up for those errors as he added 4 rebounds, a couple of steals and a game high 7 assists to his points haul in 30 minutes of impressive action.

It wasn’t such good news for Fotu who, after three seasons playing in Spain, was making his debut in Germany for Ratiopharm Ulm. A costly third period lost 25-14 by Ulm, in front of a sold out home crowd, was a major contributor to a 68-72 defeat.

Fotu, like Webster, was inserted into the starting five and played 26 minutes – the Tall Blacks forward scored 6 points (3/6FG) and notched 4 rebounds.

Jillian Harmon is entering her eighth season playing in the highly regarded Italian League.

The Tall Ferns forward has transferred from defending champions Le Mura Lucca to join Napoli and marked her debut for her new club with a fine double double of 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Harmon also added 6 assists as Napoli won 64-58 at San Martino to get Napoli’s season off to a winning start.

Corey Webster has another week to wait before he makes his debut for Ironi Nahariya with the Israeli League commencing October 8th.

The Fotu’s have something special going on


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.


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.

ella fotu

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)

· 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.

Paalvast signs for Canberra Capitals


And then there were five.

News that Chevannah Paalvast has signed a one-year deal with the University of Canberra Capitals takes the number of New Zealand internationals that will play in the 2017-18 Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season to five.

Paalvast has joined the Capitals after a two-year stint with Townsville Fire winning a championship with the North Queensland club in 2016.

During the WNBL off-season Paalvast played alongside fellow Tall Fern Micaela Cocks in the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) for Mackay Meteorettes. The Meteorettes reached the QBL grand final series before going down to the Brisbane Spartans in the best of three series. The former Waitakere standout averaged 12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for Mackay.

The 26 year old Kiwi guard told the WNBL website, “I have heard nothing but positive stories about the Capitals and this was reinforced by the way they have welcomed me in.”

Canberra coach Paul Gorris is delighted with the signing, “What always stood out for me was her defensive ability and her athleticism.”

“For me, it was about personal development as I wanted to keep playing and I had heard so many wonderful things about Gorrie. I thought he would be a really good coach for my development,” said Paalvast.

The signing is also good news for the Tall Ferns programme with five players that recently featured in the Asia Cup campaign now signed with WNBL clubs. The quintet are likely to form the backbone of the New Zealand team when the Commonwealth Games are played on the Gold Coast and in Cairns next April.

In addition to Paalvast, Micaela Cocks (Townsville Fire), Toni Farnworth (Perth Lynx), Kalani Purcell and Rebecca Ott (both Melbourne Boomers) will be on duty when the new season tips-off on October 5th.

Carmel College heading to Nationals


Carmel College will be heading to the Schick Secondary Schools National Championships after all.

Carmel was disappointed to finish eighth at the Zone 1 Premierships tournament in Auckland last week and with only seven teams qualifying thought their bid for a trip to the major event on the Secondary Schools basketball calendar had been thwarted.

Carmel lost 90-60 to St Mary’s Ponsonby in the critical 7th/8th play-off game at North Shore Events Centre last Saturday. However they have since been thrown a lifeline with St Mary’s opting to withdraw from the National Championships.

Carmel’s qualifying campaign was thrown into disarray with the unavailability of a number of players. A total of six players missed all or part of the Premierships including influential Harbour U19 representative Millie Simpson.

Tayla Dalton had an outstanding tournament but even she only played in half of the games. Her scoring feats were well documented in a nice article in the Sunday Star Times last weekend. read story here

Carmel coach Gareth Teahan is pleased his team has the opportunity to appear on the national stage. “The team is delighted to attend Nationals. We will have a full strength squad available and hope to make a strong showing at the tournament.”

Carmel finished sixth in the Auckland Premier Grade in the recently completed season and will be hoping that first foray in top flight basketball for a number of years will stand them in good stead next month.

With the majority of players only in Year 11 2017 may just be a reconnaissance mission with bigger things anticipated in 2018 and 2019.

The other six girls teams that have qualified for Nationals from Zone 1 are Auckland Girls Grammar, Westlake Girls High, Mt Albert Grammar, Massey High, Rangitoto College and St Kentigern College.

The Schick National Championships will be held in Palmerston North from October 2nd to 7th.

Summary of 72 qualifiers for Secondary Schools Nationals


24 boys and 24 girls teams have qualified for the Schick AA Secondary Schools Nationals to be played in Palmerston North next month.

In addition12 teams from each gender will contest the Schick A Secondary Schools Tournament.

It has been confirmed that Zone 1 qualifiers St Mary’s College, Ponsonby have withdrawn  despite finishing seventh in the Girl’s Zone 1 qualifying tournament. It is yet to be established if they will be replaced by Carmel College, the eighth placed team in Zone 1.

Check out the qualifiers


Auckland Girls Grammar hold off Westlake to complete double


Auckland Girls Grammar completed the double of Zone 1 Premierships and Auckland Secondary Schools Premier Grade titles after withstanding a spirited Westlake Girls High challenge to win 70-66 at NSEC on Saturday.

Grammar, benefitting from double figure contributions from Mele Latu and Elianna Tuaiti, appeared to be heading for a comfortable victory when they led 57-43 at the three-quarter mark.

However Westlake produced a string of baskets courtesy of Jess Moors and Emme Shearer to reel in the Grammar lead and when Shearer, who scored a game high 32 points, knocked down her fourth triple of the game the scores were tied at 59 points apiece with 4 minutes to play.

Rionne Papa restored the Grammar lead but a Moors And-1 play reversed the advantage with 2:05 to play.

The two teams exchanged free throws on the next couple of possessions before Papa scored again to open a three points margin (67-64) in favour of Grammar inside the final 60 seconds.

Jordyn Maddix, a key contributor for Lake, dragged the lead back to two but Grammar and Elianna Tuaiti in particular held their nerve.

There was plenty of support from south of the bridge and they were able to breathe a little easier and cheer a little louder as Tuaiti made crucial free throws to clinch a hard earned win.

Auckland Girls 70 – E Tuaiti 22, Latu 17, Papa 11, Skilton-Roberts 9, Hettig 9

Westlake 66 – Shearer 32, Moors 13, Maddix 12, Davidson 4

Mt Albert Grammar beat Massey High 97-61 to claim third spot and Rangitoto College claimed fifth place with a 67-51 win against St Kentigern College.

St Mary’s College Ponsonby clinched the seventh spot at Nationals after a convincing 90-60 win against Carmel College although there is some speculation that St Mary’s may opt out of the trip to Palmerston North next month. If that were the case Gareth Teahan’s charges may yet get an opportunity to perform on the national stage.