Basketball New Zealand has named the Aon New Zealand Under 17 girls team today, ahead of the FIBA Under 16 Girls’ Asia Cup, which will be played in Bangalore 22-28 October.
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
· 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
Head Coach Lori McDaniel, who has a strong coaching resume with two Women’s Basketball Championship titles to her name, 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 confronting conditions similar to what 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.”
The National Secondary Schools’ Basketball Championships are due to tip off in Palmerston North next week with the final being played on October 7 at Arena Manawatu. Among the 24 teams there is always a plethora of talent to watch for and 2017 is no exception. Here are few girls names who could have a massive impact.
Mele Latu (Auckland Girls’ Grammar School) - Latu is in her fourth year with Auckland Girls’ Grammar who were third at Nationals in 2016 and have signalled they will be a strong contender again this season. Grammar won both the Auckland and Zone I titles with Latu top scoring in the final of the Auckland competition and collecting 19 points in the 70-67 win over Westlake Girls’ High School in the Zone decider. Latu combines particularly well with Elianna Tuaiti who top scored in the zone final with 22 points.
Charlisse Leger-Walker (St Peter’s Cambridge) - St Peter’s are twice defending champions and Charlisse has been involved with both campaigns. In 2015 she made the tournament team as a Year 9 and last year she was tournament MVP. Leger-Walker has been involved with the New Zealand Under-17’s, secondary school and was a part of the NZ team that finished fifth at the Fiba Under-18 3x3 world championships in Kazakhstan. St Peters are the present Waikato and Zone II champions.
Esra McGoldrick (Rangi Ruru Girls’ School) - Recovered from ACL reconstruction to become MVP of the Whelan Trophy last year. She scored 43 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in the semi-final and top scored with 28 in the final as Rangi Ruru won the title. The New Zealand Under-18 rep was equally dominant in the 2017 finale won by Rangi Ruru scoring 20 points and fetching 17 rebounds. An all-court player any side that wants to beat Rangi Ruru will have to contain this explosive talent.
Sariah Penese (St Mary’s College) - In 2016 Penese was one of the youngest members of the Junior Tall Ferns (under-19) and the only member of the team from the Wellington region. Penese has continued to demonstrate why in 2017 guiding St Mary’s to both the Wellington and Zone III title. Penese was the top scorer in the Wellington final and is known for her speed, passing and ability to shoot from short and long range. Sariah also plays volleyball and has been involved with the National championship winning rugby team.
Nicole Ruske (St Hilda’s Collegiate School) - St Hilda’s won the Zone IIII title as South Island champions and with Ruske boast one of the top age group players in the country. A member of the Otago Goldrush and Junior Tall Ferns squad, Ruske is a dead-eye shooter and great leader. Ruske scored a game high 24 points in the Otago girls final.
Others to Watch: Ella Bradley (St Peters Cambridge), Hannah Matehaere (Otago Girls’ High School), Leah Mafua (Hutt Valley High School).
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The National Secondary Schools’ Basketball Championships are due to tip off in Palmerston North next week with the final being played on October 7 at Arena Manawatu. Among the 24 teams there is always a plethora of talent to watch for and 2017 is no exception. Here are seven names who could have a massive impact.
Cullum McRae (Palmerston North BHS) - Any seven-footer is going to cause hassles, but McRae has the finesse, explosiveness and shooting prowess to win the game on his own. In last year’s National final the big man scored 14 points in a row as Palmerston North nearly overhauled a 25 point deficit against Rangitoto College. Palmerston North are the Super 8 and Zone III champions in 2017. McRae top scored with 24 points in that final against Rongotai College. He was named in the 2016 Nationals tournament team.
Mitchell Dance (Rosmini College) - The New Zealand age-group representative was a key figure in Rosmini winning the Zone I title and reaching the Auckland final. Dance has the ability to dominate inside as well shoot from the outside. Perhaps the most impressive display Dance has produced this season was in the Auckland semi-final when he scored 36 points in a win against Westlake Boys’ High School. Additionally, Dance scored a game-leading 25 points in the decider.
Tom Higgins (Auckland Grammar School) - The Te Awamutu import was pivotal in helping that school reach the AA Nationals for the first time, but in pursuit of greater success Higgins transferred to Auckland Grammar School and has had a big impact. Grammar have beaten defending National champions Rangitoto College twice this season and Higgins top scored in one of those games. Additionally, the New Zealand age group rep scored 29 points in the win against Mount Albert Grammar School which secured Auckland Grammar the minor premiership title for winning the round- robin.
Dan Fotou (Rangitoto College) - Rangitoto College lost five games and were fourth after the round-robin of the Auckland competition, but produced their best in the finals defeating the top two teams Auckland Grammar and Rosmini College to capture the title. Fotou has been absent for much of the year with various New Zealand teams, but his form has been top close lately. He scored 28 points in the Zone I final recently against Rosmini College.
Max de Geest (Christ’s College) - Christ’s College have been the big improvers in the South Island this year winning both the Christchurch title and the Zone IIII championship. Max top scored in the final of the Thompson Trophy against Cashmere High School banking 16 points in a game that featured 14 lead changes and ties. Max has been involved with Canterbury Rams and New Zealand Under-17 programs.
James Moors (Westlake Boys’ High School) - The New Zealand Under-18 rep stands 6 ft 10 and is Westlake’s most prodigious scorer and dangerous player. The MVP of the 2016 National Under-17 tourney top-scored in both Auckland games against Rangitoto College and produced a star turn in the semi-final against Rosmini College racking up 35 points nearly winning for Westlake a game they trailed in throughout.
Johnny Helu (Wellington College) - Wellington College had lost five times to St Pat’s Town during the season, but stunned the perennial powerhouse in the capital when they won the Pohlen trophy final for the first time in 22 years. Helu top scored with 20 points in the 65-63 triumph. Helu is a busy and aggressive guard who is a real leader for Wellington especially after original head coach, Danny Page departed mid-season to help run an NBA academy in Mumbai, India.
The qualifiers for the National Secondary Schools’ AA Basketball Championships in Palmerston North in October have been found with the conclusion of the four zone tournaments this week.
In the Zone 1 boys’ final, Rosmini College reversed their defeat to Rangitoto College in the Auckland final as did Canterbury runners up Christ’s College in the Zone 4 decider.
As expected, Hamilton Boys’ High School and Palmerston North Boys’ High School prevailed in their respective zones.
In the girls competition the Auckland, Waikato and Wellington champions triumphed in Zones 1-3 respectively while St Hilda’s College gained bragging rights in Zone 4.
College Sport Media watched Palmerston North Boys’ High School defeat Rongotai College 100-71 in the boys Zone 3 final.
Initially Rongotai was competitive holding Palmerston North to 34-26. However Palmerston North embarked on a 14-2 run midway through the second quarter to lead 48-30 at halftime.
Palmerston North increased their defensive intensity and Rongotai was restricted to just seven points in the first half of the third period.
Seven-foot giant Callum MacRae then went to work with two enormous slam dunks, one of which required repairs to the hoop, and a spectacular block as Palmerston North extended their advantage to 69-43.
MacRae was a beast on the defensive boards and top scored with 24 points, but he is an unselfish player. Palmerston North have multiple shooting threats and when point guard Oscar Oswald caught fire late the Wellington challengers were really in trouble, though they did achieve above expectation making the final here as they were only fourth in Wellington.
Boys Zone Final Results
Zone 1: Rosmini College: 70 v Rangitoto College: 67
Zone 2: Hamilton Boys’ High School: 75 v Melville High School: 46
Zone 3: Palmerston North Boys’ High School: 100 v Rongotai College: 71
Zone 4: Christ’s College: 62 v Cashmere High School: 56
Girls Zone Final Results
Zone 1: Auckland Girls’ Grammar: 70 v Westlake Girls’ High School: 67
Zone 2: St Peter’s Cambridge: 72 v Melville High School: 55
Zone 3: St Mary’s College: 70 v Hutt Valley High School: 52
Zone 4: St Hilda’s College: 58 v Christchurch Girls’ High School: 43
For All National Qualifiers go here:
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