Lacey Lowdown partners with Dynamic Sport New Zealand

The Lacey Lowdown is delighted to announce that Dynamic Sport New Zealand has agreed to support our growing coverage of Boy’s High School basketball for the remainder of the 2022 season.

Nigel Morgan, and the team at Dynamic Sport New Zealand will not only aid game coverage of Auckland Premier Boy’s games but have generously agreed to provide weekly Player of the Round prizes. 

Dynamic Sport is a major supplier of sporting goods and apparel in New Zealand. Managing Director Nigel Morgan believes the Lowdown is a perfect partner for a community focused family business.  

“Dynamic Sport is delighted to partner with Mike and the Lacey Lowdown.  

“Mike is hugely respected in the Basketball community and the Lacey Lowdown has become the ‘go to’ for the review of all things basketball – in particular Secondary School Boys and Girls basketball.  

“As a category, the sport of Basketball is very important to Dynamic Sport, our core business is selling sports equipment to schools and clubs – aligning with an organisation like The Lacey Lowdown is an ideal fit for our expanding business.  

“We are really looking forward to seeing how the 2022 Secondary School season pans out, with two years of the National Secondary Schools Tournament not being able to proceed due to Covid, we feel this season will be incredibly competitive!

“We wish all teams the very best for the 2022 season and would like to thank Mike for all the work he does in the Basketball community.”

We look forward to reporting on the next round of games coming up on Friday. In the meantime browse through the range of quality products Dynamic Sport New Zealand has to offer. https://dynamicsport.co.nz/

Senior A Girl’s – Round 1 Wrap

The 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Senior A Grade competition began last Friday.

The game of the round was played at Dilworth where promoted side Takapuna Grammar School edged Auckland Girls Grammar by the closest of margins, 52-51.

It was AGGS that made the better start as Zara Leavasa-Avauli’s early points helped forge a 15-7 lead.

The tables were turned in the second, a late three in the spell by Amy McKenzie on her way to a game high 19 points, helped Takapuna to a 26-23 lead at the interval.

AGGS regained the initiative after the break, Leavasa-Avauli scored three straight baskets to give them a narrow 39-38 lead at the three-quarter mark.

In a gripping finish, Qaizden Stephano and Maania Watson made key plays for Takapuna before both fouled out. Faith Hurt and Grady Nikoia drew AGGS into a match winning situation but it was Mariah Parker making the deciding play.

Having earlier scored what turned out to be the game winning basket she secured the all-important defensive rebound off an AGGS missed free-throw to seal the win. 

Takapuna Grammar 52 – McKenzie 19, Stephano 16, Watson 8, Parker 5

Auckland Girls Grammar 51 – Leavasa-Avauli 15, F Hurt 12, Grady Nikoia 9

The other promoted side Manurewa College also notched a win with a 66-50 defeat of One Tree Hill College.

The two dominant figures in the game were Manurewa’s Sela Uluheua who scored 30 points and One Tree Hill’s Angelica Vahai who almost matched that with 26 points.

OTH led at quarter time by a point (17-16) but Uluheua amassed 16 points in the second to give Manurewa a 36-30 lead.

The third period was pivotal – Mariona Monga knocked down a three and Lavinia Liufau chipped in with a bucket but more decisively OTH were restricted to five points – the Manurewa lead 49-35 with ten minutes to play.

Vahai, Meadow Thompson, and Milla Eckford attempted some salvage work but the damage was done – Manurewa comfortable victors.

One Tree Hill 50 – Vahai 26, Thompson 10, Harriate Heteg 6

Manurewa College 66 – Uluheua 30, Monga 11, Shirly Tuilimu 10, Bella Manu-Moore 6

Mt Roskill Grammar commanded the game and the scoreline from the start. The bulk of the damage done by halftime with MRG up 40-18.

Bree Ioane scoring 14 of her 17 points in the first half. Sister Nelly capped a good team display scoring 19 of her 29 in the second half.

For Avondale Maya Loomes scored a game high 21 points with Shiloh Caffery posting a valuable 13 points.

Avondale College 43 – Maya Loomes 21, Shiloh Caffery 13

Mount Roskill 76 – Nelly Ioane 29, Bree Ioane 17

Northcote College v Massey High at Northcote

Unfortunately, this game wasn’t played as transport difficulties meant Massey High were unable to fulfil the fixture

Senior A Boys Wrap – Aaron Sievert scores 51 points!

Aaron Sievert signaled he will be a player to watch in the 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A Grade competition that commenced on Friday.

The Northcote guard posted a small matter of 51 points on Friday night!

Sievert put on a shooting clinic as Northcote College defeated Aorere College 112-62. 

The shooting guard scored 51 points – presumably a career high – knocking down eight (8) threes in the process.

With skipper Dontaye Sowman-Faaee and young guard Shunta Shinzaki chiming in with significant contributions Northcote were in complete control.

Moroni Tauhara and the Gordon brothers Franklyne and Christopher battled bravely for Aorere.

*Sievert’s points breakdown by quarters:

Q1 15pts, Q2 7pts, Q3 15pts, Q4 14pts. Pity he went cold in the second quarter!!

Northcote College 112  Sievert 51, Shinzaki 23, Sowman-Faaee 14

Aorere College 62 – Tauhara 15, Chris Gordon 14, Franklyne Gordon 13, Tamely Taito 7

Avondale College got their season underway with a narrow 79-73 win against Mount Roskill Grammar,

MRG got out to an early lead establishing  22-13 advantage at the end of first quarter – 12 points from Mitchell Greenaway. 

Roskill were still in control at the half with a 10 point lead. 

Avondale came storming back in the second half with multiple contributors, most notably from Jimi Iosia-Sipeli who scored 12 of his 28 points in the final frame.

Avondale College 79 – Jimi Iosia-Sipeli 28, Andrew M 18

Mount Roskill 73 – Mitchell Greenaway 23, Haisem Osman 16

Newly promoted Dilworth School were given a reminder of what a step up in divisions means, with St Peter’s College winning the encounter 86-52.

Scott Errey led the way for St Peter’s with an industrious 26 points – three triples in that effort. In a good team performance, where six players score 7 points or more, Andrew Manio was next best with 19 points.

Dilworth received double figure contributions from Finlay Edwards, Ivan Kerr and Owen Pattison.

Dilworth School 52 – Edwards 15, Kerr 12, Pattison 10

St Peter’s College 86 – Errey 26, Manio 19, Gus Dallow 8, Bailey Smith 7, Milan Tolich 7, Owain Leigh 7

The other new boys on the block Manurewa got their campaign off to a winning start courtesy of strong performances from Richard Campbell and William Passi who tallied 27 and 20 points respectively.

In front of a large enthusiastic crowd Manurewa did the damage in the first half racking up 53 points – Campbell had 19 points at the break.

Macleans were well served by Christian Mutti (18 points) and Dale Babaran (13 points).

Outsized but not out-fought Macleans coach Keith Langley was delighted with the spirit of his team.

“The scoreline doesn’t look great but against a bigger team we bounced back after a struggle in the second quarter and actually outscored Manurewa in the second half.”

Macleans College 56 – Mutti 18, Babaran 13, Levi Smyth 6, Rohin Bacharam 6

Manurewa College 88 – Campbell 27Passi 20, Alex Hughes 14, Ryan Ancha 10, Brian Tapu 8

Girl’s Prems Wrap – Round 1

Photo courtesy of Jo Cammell

The opening round of the Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Premier Grade saw comfortable wins for Epsom Girls Grammar, Mount Albert Grammar, Baradene College and Westlake Girls High.

Epsom Girls Grammar v St Mary’s College at Auckland Grammar School

Drawn Forbes scored a game high 20 points to propel Epsom Girls Grammar to a 79-44 victory against St Mary’s.

It was the Saints that made the better start, Kodee Williams-Sefo scoring 10 points as they forged a 19-13 lead. Unfortunately for St Mary’s that was the end of the night for the New Zealand U15 squad member who had to sit out the remainder of the game with a knee injury.

Trinity Atiga scored 8 second quarter points but Andrea Ape-Paia and Maya Fowler trimmed the St Mary’s advantage to a single point at half-time (32-31).

With the St Mary’s scoring drying up in the third, Epsom drove home the advantage outscoring their opponents 25-4 in the period – triples from Forbes, Maya Fowler and Ivy Tino aided the run.

With EGGS in complete control the lead ballooned out in the fourth. 

EGGS 79 – Forbes 20, Ape-Paia 16, Talia Vea 12, Fowler 12, Keilah Pati 6

St Mary’s 44 – Atiga 17, Williams-Sefo 10, Tamsin Jakeman 6, Faith Ualika 6

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto

Mount Albert Grammar enjoyed their first trip across ‘The Bridge’ this season as they claimed the spoils at Rangitoto College with a convincing 89-62 win.

Waimanu Clarken ,with a Round 1 high 37 points, and Danae Tait with 19 points were the architects of the win. The duo shared 18 points as MAGS raced to a 26-14 first quarter lead.

Tamsin McAsey scored 7 second quarter points for the hosts who trailed 46-30 at half-time.

Zaara Sain and Aroha Rogers (26 points) continued to find the nylon for Rangi but Tait knocked down her fifth triple of the game, Clarken continued her merry way, and Tiger-Lily Cocker-Lemanie chipped in with points as MAGS made a winning start to the season.

Rangitoto 62 – Rogers 26, Sain 11, Tamsin McKasey 9, Maddison Skelton 8

MAGS 89 – Clarken 37, Tait 19, Cocker-Lemanie 16, Jorjia Fiu 6, Sienna-Rose Tawera 6

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Girls High School at Saint Kentigern

Newly promoted Saint Kentigern College found the going a little tough against Westlake Girls High – outscored 80-40.

Mackenzie Chatfield led the Westlake scoring with 31 points, the other major contributors being Lily Fotu and the Moors sisters Rebecca and Sarah.

St Kent’s actually made the better start to the contest as they held a 16-6 lead on the back of 11 points from Sharmaine Tapling.

Three’s from Ash Tuumaialu and Tapling kept the scoreboard moving but Chatfield and Fotu were moving through the gears as Westlake edged ahead (33-29) at the interval.

The St Kent’s scoring slowed to a crawl in the second half and with the marauding Moors’ controlling the paint – they corralled a combined 25 rebounds – the second half was largely one way traffic.

Westlake 80 – Chatfield 31, Rebecca Moors 18, Sarah Moors 16, Fotu 13

Saint Kentigern 40 – Tapling 16, Tuumaialu 8, Maia Bennett 6, Mania Rogers 6

Carmel College v Baradene College at Rosmini College

Summer Faliafa (25 points) and Ritorya Tamilo (26 points) dominated proceedings as Baradene College bossed the contest at Carmel College to run out 86-35 winners.

The omens were not good for Carmel at quarter time when they trailed 31-2.

However the experienced Jemma Cammell settled her young charges with 11 first half points – at that stage Tamilo threatening a triple double, with deft footwork for inside points, rebounds at both ends and multiple shots swatted away.

Tamilo and Faliafa continued to punish the Carmel defence in the second half – Poppy Cavanagh Briggs and Amelia Nathan adding to the damage.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Carmel as Zahara Tibbotts, Leighton Esera and Cammell led a spirited second half display.

Carmel 35 – Cammell 20, Esera 5, Annie Garland 4 

Baradene 86 – Tamilo 26, Faliafa 25, Cavanagh-Briggs 13, Nathan 8, Emily Burrows 6

Boy’s Prems – Round 1 Wrap

The opening round of the Auckland Secondary Schools Boys Premier Grade games saw big wins for Auckland Grammar, Rosmini College and Westlake Boys while Rangitoto College won the game of the round against Mt Albert Grammar

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto.

The good news for Rangitoto College fans, but less welcoming news for opponents, is that Tautoko Wynyard is back! The Rangi centre has endured two years of injury setbacks but on Friday night announced his return with a double-double of  25 points and 13 rebounds.

It is as well that he was in top form as Mt Albert Grammar pushed the hosts all the way before going down 73-69.

MAGS won the opening quarter by 4, lost the second by 5, the third by I and tied the fourth to emphasise what a close, enthralling contest it was.

The early scoring was dominated by Zeke Priest and Wynyard for the home side and Victor Keil and Luke Matthews for MAGS as the two teams went basket for basket.

Dante Matakatea scored 8 points in the second quarter for the visitors but scores from Jacob Fotu and Soane Abraham edged Rangi ahead 38-35 at the break. 

Matakatea, Keil and Harri Coker-Grey found ways to puncture the Rangi defence while at the other end a Jimmy Kim three and buckets from Michael Ropatini and Fotu gave Rangi a 58-54 three-quarter time advantage. 

A three from Priest was answered with a brace of triples from Keil, however it was the front court pairing of Fotu and Wynyard that stood tall and held MAGS at bay for a hard fought win.

Rangitoto 73 – Wynyard 25/13r, Priest 17, Fotu 10

MAGS 69 – Victor Keil 21, Dante Matakatea 19, Coker-Gray 18, Matthews 6

Rosmini College v Sacred Heart College at Rosmini.

Matt Fautuaalii had the distinction of scoring the first Premier League points for Sacred Heart College since 2011 – their last season in the top flight. The fleet footed guard couldn’t afford to dwell on the moment too long as a quick glance at the scoreboard showed Rosmini College had rattled off 12 unanswered points to open proceedings.

Tom Beattie had welcomed the new boys on the block with a baseline drive and dunk on the opening play and with Lucas Schnuriger, Kane Murphy and Charlie Dalton knocking down threes the hosts had a 29-12 advantage after 10 minutes.

Sacred Heart skipper Josh Stewart scored eight of his game high 21 points in the second quarter but threes in the shadows of half-time from Bart Jackowski and Josh Batty, plus inside points from Julius Halaifonua, meant Rozza had a 48-20 lead at half time.  

Adam Davies and Stewart scored the opening points of the second half as Heart began to work their way into the contest. They split 28 points with the hosts in the third period and put up 16 points in the fourth to head back east with heads held high and lessons learnt.

Sacred Heart 50 – Stewart 21, Fautuaalii 7, Preston Tuaputa 6

Rosmini 84 – Beattie 17, Halaifonua 14, Dalton 12, Zion Anderson 10, Jameer Reed 9

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Boys High at St Kentigern.

Westlake Boys High have hit the ground running, or more accurately sprinting, as they rattled up a ton in putting an under strength Saint Kent’s away 118-64.

George Turner knocked down the first 7 points for St Kent’s although 8 points apiece from Rocco Chang and Hamza Zahran gave Westlake a 27-21 quarter time lead.

Down three starters, Saint Kent’s were swimming against the Westlake tide – Jonty Strawbridge and Malachi Book helped the visitors dominate the period to gain a 57-32 half-time lead.

Zahran would go on to garner 24 points and with Ned Shearer matching that tally Lake were in cruise control in the second half.

Turner top scored for the Saints with 19 points, Max Johnson totaled 14 while Luka Ljubisavljevic (10 points) was the other home player in double figures.

On a night when older brother Kainoa was making his NBL debut for Auckland Tuatara young St Kent’s guard Cooper Lepou scored a promising 8 points in his first Prems game.

St Kentigern 64 – Turner 19, Johnson 14, Ljubisavljevic 10, Lepou 8

Westlake 118 – Zahran 24, Shearer 24, Chang 18, Strawbridge 18, Book 13

Auckland Grammar v Liston College at Auckland Grammar.

Two former Tall Blacks BJ Anthony and Lindsay Tait go head to head in the coaching boxes in this one and it will be BJ that will be left most to ponder after Liston College were beaten 117-51 by a rampant Auckland Grammar side. 

Cody Brown led the way for Grammar with 28 points and he was well supported by Josh Howes (18 points), Jackson Kiss (14 points) and Josh Muggleston’s 13 points.

Dhon Lao played a fine hand for Liston with 20 points but the next best was Sebastian Alan with 7 points.

The writing was on the wall at quarter time as AGS raced to a 29-3 lead – Muggleston and Brown doing most the damage.

Lao, Deon Helu and Sebastian Alan led a mini Liston revival in the second quarter but Kiss scored the last 8 points of the half for AGS who cantered to a comfortable win.

AGS 107 – Brown 28, Howes 19, Kiss 14,  Mugglestone 13, Theo Brothers 8, Ryan Hunt 8 

Liston 51 – Lao 20, Alan 7, Marvellous Michael 6 

Boy’s and Girl’s Senior A Preview

The 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A Grade season begins on Friday May 7th. Below we preview the opening round match-ups, of both the Girls and Boy’s competition, and include a few names that may be influential over the coming months.

BOYS – all games tip-off at 7.30pm on May 6

Avondale College v Mount Roskill at Avondale

Mount Roskill are in a rebuilding phase this year with just one Year 13 player in the squad. “Senior A is looking very strong this year so it will be a real challenge for us,” said Roskill coach Martin Windsor who will look to captain Ngawaka Rakete to set the defensive tone for his team.

Avondale finished just outside the top four last season – a play-off berth will be a goal for 2022.

Dilworth School v St Peter’s College at Dilworth

Newly promoted Dilworth entertain St Peter’s in the Epsom derby. Coach Josiah Maama will be looking to captain Owen Pattison to orchestrate proceedings with Ikahui Mahe, Damon Kitchen and Ivan Kerr hopefully tuned in for success.

St Peter’s, still smarting from their Prems relegation, will be looking for skipper Scott Errey to lead the charge to be championship contenders. Andrei Manio, Dorian Sula and New Zealand U15 trialist Gus Dallow will be major contributors also. 

Northcote College v Aorere College at Northcote

Northcote College, with Aik Ho at the helm, will look to the scoring potential of Aaron Sievert. With Dontaye Sowman-Faaee and Tom Bates to lock down the middle look out for young guard Shunta Shinzaki to also make an impact.

Aorere will be tough opponents, the visitors looking for Moroni Tauhara and the Gordon brothers Franklyne and Christopher to provide early season impetus.

Macleans College v Manurewa College at Macleans

The other new boys on the block Manurewa, still fizzing from their promotion play-off win against Massey, will likely start with William Passi, Alex Hughes, Ryan Ancha, Brian Tapu and Richard Campbell.

Macleans new coach Keith Langley inherits a very young squad. Initial success may well be dependent on the form of seniors Levi Smyth and Dale Babaran. 

SENIOR A GIRLS – all games tip-off at 5.00pm on May 6

Avondale College v Mount Roskill at Avondale

Sisters Nellie and Bree Ioane will be two of the more accomplished members of a young Mt Roskill outfit.

Avondale finished fifth last year and would like to move at least one step up the standings this season.

Northcote College v Massey High at Northcote

Lizzie May and Nikki Gear will lead the Northcote challenge for another top four finish..  Lily Morgan has joined ‘Cote from Takapuna Grammar.

Massey Head Coach Tim Ryan will lean heavily on the scoring prowess of the Waikiki sisters Tahlya and Kortni along with Allyah Leusogi-Ape. Look out also for young Cyntalia Schuster.

One Tree Hill v Manurewa College at Macleans College

Savannah Cook has made an immediate transition from player to coach in order to guide 2012 regular season champions One Tree Hill. Angelica Vahai, Syriah Muipu and forward Talei Bogidua will serve her well. 

Promoted side Manurewa will be aiming to make an impact in the early season.

Takapuna Grammar v Auckland Girls Grammar at Dilworth

Forward Qaizden Stephano will anchor the Takapuna defence with Amy Mckenzie providing front court stability.

Bailey Flavell has returned to the North Shore after her family’s three-year spell in Melbourne. Her presence is a boost for Takapuna’s back court options.

AGGS will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2021 campaign.

The 2022 Auckland Secondary Schools Senior A Grade season begins on Friday May 7th. Below we preview the opening round match-ups, of both the Girls and Boy’s competition, and include a few names that may be influential over the coming months.

BOYS – all games tip-off at 7.30pm on May 6

Avondale College v Mount Roskill at Avondale

Mount Roskill are in a rebuilding phase this year with just one Year 13 player in the squad. “Senior A is looking very strong this year so it will be a real challenge for us,” said Roskill coach Martin Windsor who will look to captain Ngawaka Rakete to set the defensive tone for his team.

Avondale finished just outside the top four last season – a play-off berth will be a goal for 2022.

Dilworth School v St Peter’s College at Dilworth

Newly promoted Dilworth entertain St Peter’s in the Epsom derby. Coach Josiah Maama will be looking to captain Owen Pattison to orchestrate proceedings with Ikahui Mahe, Damon Kitchen and Ivan Kerr hopefully tuned in for success.

St Peter’s, still smarting from their Prems relegation, will be looking for skipper Scott Errey to lead the charge to be championship contenders. Andrei Manio, Dorian Sula and New Zealand U15 trialist Gus Dallow will be major contributors also. 

Northcote College v Aorere College at Northcote

Northcote College, with Aik Ho at the helm, will look to the scoring potential of Aaron Sievert. With Dontaye Sowman-Faaee and Tom Bates to lock down the middle look out for young guard Shunta Shinzaki to also make an impact.

Aorere will be tough opponents, the visitors looking for Moroni Tauhara and the Gordon brothers Franklyne and Christopher to provide early season impetus.

Macleans College v Manurewa College at Macleans

The other new boys on the block Manurewa, still fizzing from their promotion play-off win against Massey, will likely start with William Passi, Alex Hughes, Ryan Ancha, Brian Tapu and Richard Campbell.

Macleans new coach Keith Langley inherits a very young squad. Initial success may well be dependent on the form of seniors Levi Smyth and Dale Babaran. 

SENIOR A GIRLS – all games tip-off at 5.00pm on May 6

Avondale College v Mount Roskill at Avondale

Sisters Nellie and Bree Ioane will be two of the more accomplished members of a young Mt Roskill outfit.

Avondale finished fifth last year and would like to move at least one step up the standings this season.

Northcote College v Massey High at Northcote

Lizzie May and Nikki Gear will lead the Northcote challenge for another top four finish..  Lily Morgan has joined ‘Cote from Takapuna Grammar.

Massey Head Coach Tim Ryan will lean heavily on the scoring prowess of the Waikiki sisters Tahlya and Kortni along with Allyah Leusogi-Ape. Look out also for young Cyntalia Schuster.

One Tree Hill v Manurewa College at Macleans College

Savannah Cook has made an immediate transition from player to coach in order to guide 2012 regular season champions One Tree Hill. Angelica Vahai, Syriah Muipu and forward Talei Bogidua will serve her well. 

Promoted side Manurewa will be aiming to make an impact in the early season.

Takapuna Grammar v Auckland Girls Grammar at Dilworth

Forward Qaizden Stephano will anchor the Takapuna defence with Amy Mckenzie providing front court stability.

Bailey Flavell has returned to the North Shore after her family’s three-year spell in Melbourne. Her presence is a boost for Takapuna’s back court options.

AGGS will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2021 campaign. Look to Fuschia Traill, Zara Leavasa-Avauli plus Ryn and Grady Nikoia to lead the Grammar revival.

Boy’s & Girl’s Prems Preview

The 2022 High School Premier Grade season begins on Friday May 7th. Below we preview the opening round match-ups, of both the Girls and Boy’s competition, and also include a few names that may be influential over the coming months.

BOYS PREMS – all games tip-off at 7.30pm.

Auckland Grammar v Liston College at Auckland Grammar.

Two former Tall Blacks BJ Anthony and Lindsay Tait go head to head in the coaching boxes in this one.

Liston College remained in the Premier Grade by the skin of their teeth, winning a promotion/relegation contest against Mount Roskill Grammar 77-76 last month. Anthony will be looking for productivity from Dhon Lao, Landon Smith, Rasheed Tahiru, and the man with the coolest name in Premier basketball, Marvellous Michael.

AGS will be led by Josh Mugglestone, Cody Brown and New Zealand U17 national team members Will Shortt and Kalid Petzer.

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto.

The Rangitoto front court of Jacob Fotu and Tautoko Wynyard will be handful for all teams and with Zeke Priest adding scoring punch expect the ‘Boys from the Bays’ to be top four material.

Under coach Daryl Cartwright MAGS are always a well organised, team-first outfit. The Year 13 core of Victor Keil, Will Leger, Dante Matakatea and Denvor Elia will no doubt continue this trait.

Rosmini College v Sacred Heart College at Rosmini.

New boys on the block Sacred Heart College have a tough opening assignment at Rosmini.

Josh Stewart scored 33 points for Sacred Heart in the promotion play-off against St Peter’s. He and Matt Fautuaalii will need to fire if SHC are to cause an opening round upset.

Rosmini return a strong Year 13 core that includes Kane Murphy, Zion Anderson, Charlie Dalton and Tom Beattie.

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Boys High at St Kentigern.

The reigning National Champions Saint Kentigern College (yes I know we haven’t had Nationals for two years but St Kent’s were the last winners in 2019) take on Westlake.

Wing George Turner was recently named to the New Zealand team to compete at the FIBA U16 Asia Cup in June in Doha. With Donte Russo-Nance a major piece for Auckland Tuatara in the Sal’s NBL St Kent’s coach Aaron Young could find his resources stretched if these two key players are missing for any length of time.

Merrick Rillstone and Frankie Groves could be called on to take additional responsibilities.

Westlake return forward Hamza Zahran, guard Rocco Chang and Daniel Ottenhoff to lead their bid for success. New Zealand U15 trialist Troy Wentworth will also be eager to make his mark.

GIRLS PREMS – all games tip-off at 5pm.

Carmel College v Baradene College at Rosmini College

Carmel College have a difficult first up assignment against the talented Baradene outfit.

Jemma Cammell, Imogen O’Rourke, Lily Farman and Zaraha Tibbotts were all prominent when Carmel won the crucial promotion/relegation tie against One Tree Hill College. We can expect the same against Baradene.

With only two players lost from last season Baradene will be very much in the hunt for honours in 2022. With Denya Topia running the point and Ritorya Tamilo patrolling the paint they will be a tough proposition for all-comers.

Epsom Girls Grammar v St Mary’s College at Auckland Grammar School

Both teams were beaten semi-finalists in 2021 and will be keen to get their quest for another top four finish off to a positive start.

St Mary’s will look to Kodee Williams-Sefo and Alex Moore to lead that pursuit. 

Epsom relied heavily on Sarah Joy Aruwa and Flo Dallow for the bulk of their points last year. With the two having graduated EGGS will need Te Aroha Kukutai-Wairau, Maya Fowler and Draun Forbes to fill the void.

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto

Rangitoto College return four of last year’s starters with Tamsin McAsey  and sharp shooter Aroha Riley their likely go-to players.

MAGS will look to leadership from Waimanu Clarken and Danae Tait. April Liu has arrived from AGGS but in accordance with College Sport rules will sit out the first half of the regular season.

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Girls High School at Saint Kentigern

Back in Premier Grade Saint Kentigern have a tough assignment against perennial  contenders Westlake. Saint Kent’s will be looking to co-captains Sharmaine Tapling and Maia Mealamu, along with and Nerisa Vavau, for strong performances.

New Zealand U15 trialist Ashleigh Tuumaialu will likely be given more responsibility also.

Another NZ U15 trialist Lily Fotu will be in the Westlake ranks for whom Izzy Pugh and Mackenzie Chatfield are sure fire starters. Lake will also anticipate good production from up-and-comers Amy-Lee Pateman, recently named to the New Zealand U17 team, and Rebecca Moors.

The 2022 High School Premier Grade season begins on Friday May 7th. Below we preview the opening round match-ups, of both the Girls and Boy’s competition, and include a few names that may be influential over the coming months.

BOYS PREMS – all games tip-off at 7.30pm.

Auckland Grammar v Liston College at Auckland Grammar.

Two former Tall Blacks BJ Anthony and Lindsay Tait go head to head in the coaching boxes in this one.

Liston College remained in the Premier Grade by the skin of their teeth, winning a promotion/relegation contest against Mount Roskill Grammar 77-76 last month. Anthony will be looking for productivity from Dhon Lao, Landon Smith, Rasheed Tahiru, and the man with the coolest name in Premier basketball, Marvellous Michael.

AGS will be led by Josh Mugglestone, Cody Brown and New Zealand U17 national team members Will Shortt and Kalid Petzer.

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto.

The Rangitoto front court of Jacob Fotu and Tautoko Wynyard will be handful for all teams and with Zeke Priest adding scoring punch expect the ‘Boys from the Bays’ to be top four material.

Under coach Daryl Cartwright MAGS are always a well organised, team-first outfit. The Year 13 core of Victor Keil, Will Leger, Dante Matakatea and Denvor Elia will no doubt continue this trait.

Rosmini College v Sacred Heart College at Rosmini.

New boys on the block Sacred Heart College have a tough opening assignment at Rosmini.

Josh Stewart scored 33 points for Sacred Heart in the promotion play-off against St Peter’s. He and Matt Fautuaalii will need to fire if SHC are to cause an opening round upset.

Rosmini return a strong Year 13 core that includes Kane Murphy, Zion Anderson, Charlie Dalton and Tom Beattie.

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Boys High at St Kentigern.

The reigning National Champions Saint Kentigern College (yes I know we haven’t had Nationals for two years but St Kent’s were the last winners in 2019) take on Westlake.

Wing George Turner was recently named to the New Zealand team to compete at the FIBA U16 Asia Cup in June in Doha. With Donte Russo-Nance a major piece for Auckland Tuatara in the Sal’s NBL St Kent’s coach Aaron Young could find his resources stretched if these two key players are missing for any length of time.

Merrick Rillstone and Frankie Groves could be called on to take additional responsibilities.

Westlake return forward Hamza Zahran, guard Rocco Chang and Daniel Ottenhoff to lead their bid for success. New Zealand U15 trialist Troy Wentworth will also be eager to make his mark.

GIRLS PREMS – all games tip-off at 5pm.

Carmel College v Baradene College at Rosmini College

Carmel College have a difficult first up assignment against the talented Baradene outfit.

Jemma Cammell, Imogen O’Rourke, Lily Farman and Zaraha Tibbotts were all prominent when Carmel won the crucial promotion/relegation tie against One Tree Hill College. We can expect the same against Baradene.

With only two players lost from last season Baradene will be very much in the hunt for honours in 2022. With Denya Topia running the point and Ritorya Tamilo patrolling the paint they will be a tough proposition for all-comers.

Epsom Girls Grammar v St Mary’s College at Auckland Grammar School

Both teams were beaten semi-finalists in 2021 and will be keen to get their quest for another top four finish off to a positive start.

St Mary’s will look to Kodee Williams-Sefo and Alex Moore to lead that pursuit. 

Epsom relied heavily on Sarah Joy Aruwa and Flo Dallow for the bulk of their points last year. With the two having graduated EGGS will need Te Aroha Kukutai-Wairau, Maya Fowler and Draun Forbes to fill the void.

Rangitoto College v Mt Albert Grammar at Rangitoto

Rangitoto College return four of last year’s starters with Tamsin McAsey  and sharp shooter Aroha Riley their likely go-to players.

MAGS will look to leadership from Waimanu Clarken and Danae Tait. April Liu has arrived from AGGS but in accordance with College Sport rules will sit out the first half of the regular season.

Saint Kentigern College v Westlake Girls High School at Saint Kentigern

Back in Premier Grade Saint Kentigern have a tough assignment against perennial  contenders Westlake. Saint Kent’s will be looking to co-captains Sharmaine Tapling and Maia Mealamu, along with and Nerisa Vavau, for strong performances.

New Zealand U15 trialist Ashleigh Tuumaialu will likely be given more responsibility also.

Another NZ U15 trialist Lily Fotu will be in the Westlake ranks for whom Izzy Pugh and Mackenzie Chatfield are sure fire starters. Lake will also anticipate good production from up-and-comers Amy-Lee Pateman, recently named to the New Zealand U17 team, and Rebecca Moors.

Partner with the Lacey Lowdown

Lacey Lowdown has been covering basketball in New Zealand and abroad for 8 years with a specific focus on high school and collegiate players and programmes.

The website was founded, and is run by, basketball enthusiast Mike Lacey. Having posted 1,600 news stories and attracted half a million website views, the Lacey Lowdown has become a central hub of information, as well as advocating for equal promotion of the men’s and women’s game.

The 2022 High School season begins on May 7 and the Lowdown will begin its 2022 coverage that weekend. The 2022/23 Collegiate season begins in September.

The Lowdown is seeking sponsorship partners for the 2022 Boys High School Season, 2022 Girls High School Season and the 2022/23 US Collegiate Season.

If your business or someone you know is interested in supporting basketball and the coverage of the rising stars in our sport, by entering a partnership with the Lacey Lowdown, please contact Matt Lacey – math3wlacey@gmail.com.

Sacred Heart promoted to Prems

The country may have moved into the Covid orange setting at midnight Wednesday but three hours earlier it was green-for-go as Sacred Heart College defeated St Peter’s College 91-78 to earn promotion to the Auckland Secondary School’s Premier League.

Played at a frenetic pace, in front of a vibrant crowd, Sacred Heart were out the starting gate the quickest piling on 34 first quarter points to lead by 14 after ten minutes.

Andrei Manio scored St Peter’s first dozen points but Matt Fautuaalii and Josh Stewart combined for twenty to the delight of the away support.

The second period was equally furious but far more even – Sacred Heart 58-42 ahead at half-time.

A triple from Stewart and a transition score from Dalton Dennis stretched the visitors lead to beyond twenty and a runaway victory was on the cards. But a momentum shift changed all that.

The cellophane went over the Sacred Heart bucket while at the other end skipper Scott Erey, Toby Cox and Manio consistently found a route to basket.

St Peter’s finished the period with a 14-3 run to trail 69-60 – the home fans in full voice during the three-quarter time break.

Preston Tuaputa opened the final quarter scoring but a triple from Milan Tolich and another bucket from Dorian Sula kept St Peter’s in touch – 75-67 down with six minutes to play. 

Owain Leigh knocked down another three for St Peter’s but Tuaputa, Stewart and Adam Davies steadied the ship for Sacred Heart.

Players were exiting the game left right and centre in the dying minutes, with bouts of cramp or through fouling out, as the physical effort from both sets of players took its toll. 

Stewart, the leading scorer in the game with 33 points, ensured Sacred Heart managed the clock in the dying seconds to close out a deserved victory and with it promotion to the upper echelons of Auckland Schools basketball. 

St Peter’s 78 – Manio 22, Errey 17, Sula 8, Cox 7, Leigh 7, Bailey Smith 7

Sacred Heart 91 – Stewart 33, Fautuaalii 17, Davies 14, Tuaputa 12, Dennis 9

In the other promotion/relegation battle Liston College edged Mt Roskill Grammar 77-76 to retain their place in the Premier League.

Carmel retain Prems place while St Kentigern earn promotion

The Auckland Secondary Schools Girl’s Premier League play-off ties were decided on Friday night. In winner takes-all contests Carmel College retained their Premier status with a comfortable 63-44 win against One Tree Hill College while St Kentigern College won promotion from Senior A with a stirring 61-59 victory at Massey High School. 

At Carmel there was just a point between the two teams after ten minutes (12-11 in favour of Carmel) but the nerves of the home supporters were eased a little in the second period as Carmel moved out to a 33-20 advantage at the interval. 

Three-point plays from Zaraha Tibbotts and Leighton Esera opened up a double digit lead for Carmel while OTH had Angelica Vahai to thank for keeping them in the contest – the skipper had 10 points at the break.

Suriah Muipu scored the first two buckets of the second half but Carmel responded through Lily Farman and Jemma Cammell. Vahai followed an athletic block with a coast-to-coast basket before Cammell and Imogen O’Rourke stretched the Carmel advantage to twenty points (52-32) at the three-quarter mark.

Talei Bogidua was a powerful presence under the boards and her battling effort typified the OTH spirit but it was Carmel that prevailed – a coveted spot in the Premier League retained. 

Carmel 63 – Jemma Cammell 18, Imogen O’Rourke 10, Lily Farman 9, Zaraha Tibbotts 8

One Tree Hill 44 – Angelica Vahai 17, Talei Bogidua 10, Syriah Muipu 9

Out west, fans from both sides treated to a thriller as St Kentigern prevailed by a single point. The game couldn’t have been any tighter – Massey led by a point at quarter time, it was all square after the second and third periods before St Kent’s edged the final stanza by a single score.

Sharmaine Tapling for St Kent’s and Tahlya Waikiki for Massey shared the honours in the opening half as both posted 12 points for their respective teams with the score tied at 31 apiece.

It was nip and tuck again in the third. Kortni Waikiki had half a dozen points in the period for the hosts, Ashleigh Tuumaialu the same number for the Saints. 

Allyah Leusogi-Ape, named earlier in the week, to the New Zealand U18 Selection Camp had the final say of the period – 48 all with ten minutes to play.

A three from Zhoey Tilby-Woods helped the Massey cause as did a couple of scores from Tahlya Waikiki.  Inside the last two minutes, with Massey ahead 59-57, Sophie Jones scored a go-ahead three for the Saints.

Manania Rogers then made an important free-throw as St Kent’s managed the clock through the closing seconds to claim the win and promotion. 

“It was a tough game but it was defence that won it. Holding Allyah (Leusogi-Ape) was critical,” said St Kent’s coach Darci Finnigan.

Massey 59 – Kortni Waikiki 15, Tahlya Waikiki 15, Cynthia Schuster 11, Allyah Leusogi-Ape 11

St Kentigern 61 – Sharmaine Tapling 16, Ashleigh Tuumaialu 10, Nerisa Vavau 9, Sophie Jones 8, Manania Rogers 6, Maia Mealamu 6

2022 Regular season begins May 6th.