Westlake Boys’ High School is a big time basketball school. Five times since 2005 they have been crowned National champions and in the last two years they have been runners up. Nobody is literally bigger in the 2016 Westlake team than 6ft8 centre James Moors.
The Year 12 has just returned from the National Under-17 championships where he was named MVP of the tournament for the rampant North Harbour A team.
“It’s an amazing feeling to have worked hard all season and win the championship. There are many players on the team who could have won the award like Peter Jenkins, Kruz Perrott-Hunt and Harry Clark. I feel very lucky,” Moors says.
North Harbour won all their matches easily and Moors scoring and rebounding (not recorded) was consistently good as the numbers below reveal.
“I was really nervous about the Canterbury game. We got some video off them and they had some sharp shooters. Fortunately we locked them down early and got some of our own shots to drop in the key,” he says.
In pool play Moors identified Waikato as the toughest team because of their “physicality.” He believes North Harbour’s superior experience and work ethic was essential to achieving such one-sided victories.
“We had a 12-man bench and the boys have been together for a long time now. It was a really fun environment to play in because everybody did their job and got on,” Moors enthuses.
In term three the quest for a National title resumes. Westlake and Rangitoto are first equal in the Auckland competition with a 9-2 record. Rangitoto and Westlake have played twice sharing a victory each. Rosmini College have beaten both schools. Which side is toughest?
“I think Rangitoto. They have guys like Sam Waardenburg and Dan Fotu who are some of the best players in New Zealand,” Moors answers.
Jacobs is confident Westlake has the goods to go all the way.
“We know what it’s like to lose a final and that drives us every day at practice. The boys who played Nationals in our team all played really we. We are feeling good about the term ahead,” Moors concludes.
Evidently Moors sister (a shooting guard) featured in the Under-15 Nationals in Wellington. Jessica was named in the tournament team as North Harbour captured that title as well. In the final they avenged their 2015 defeat to Waikato 76-73. Moors had an outstanding all around game with 22 points, 16 boards and six assists.
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