The 2016 New Zealand Secondary Schools Basketball Championships start in Palmerston North tomorrow and run all week. As defending champions and recent Girls Zone 2/Waikato-Bay of Plenty tournament winners, St Peters School, Cambridge will be one of the teams to beat.
School: St Peters School, Cambridge
Senior A squad: Georgie Edgecombe, Charlisse Leger-Walker, Briana Sanders, Kirsten Rawson, Ella Bradley, Jayzelee Waihi, Siobhan Nuri, Sinead Nuri, Sydney Johnson, Kendell Heremaia, Emma Baker, Francesca Piceno.
Senior A team coaching staff: Leanne Walker, (Head Coach), Anthony Corban (Assistant Coach), Brent Sanders (Manager), Waiotahi Williams (Student Manager)
2016 Senior A team captain: Kendell Heremaia
2016 Representative players: Kendell Heremaia, Charlisse Leger-Walker – Junior Tall Ferns (NZ U19 women) and NZ U18 3x3 world championship team; Charlisse Leger-Walker and Ella Bradley NZ U16 Waikato U17 Reps – Charlisse (tournament MVP) and Ella (gold medallists – nationals); Waikato U19 Reps: Kendell Heremaia, Siobhan Nuri (runners up-nationals); Waikato U23 women – Kendell Heremaia (gold medallists) (tournament MVP), Waikato women – Kendell Heremaia (runners-up WBC).
What’s it going to take for your school to do well in the NZSS Nationals?
Solid defence, doing the small things well. Being injury free, being persistent and poised.
What local competitions has your school team played in this year and how did your team go?
Basketball New Zealand Secondary Schools AA tournament: Zone 2 Regionals – Winners
Waikato Secondary Schools League.
Who are your school’s closest rivals on the court?
Hamilton Girls’ High School – always a tough battle with these young ladies. The teams know each other well as they train and play together at representative level.
Tell us about a memorable game your team has played this year?
Pool play in the Waikato Secondary Schools tournament versus Hamilton Girls’ High School. It was tied at fulltime on two-long range, banked 3 pointers from HGHS, but we won in overtime by 3.
How many players are returning to the NZSS Nationals from last year and what’s the age balance?
One Year 9, three Year 10’s, four Year 11’s, one Year 12 and three Year 13’s. We have eight players returning from last year’s team. Two players are back for a third national tile tilt. Kendell and Charlisse bring a wealth of experience, both from secondary school, regional and national levels. They willingly share their knowledge and experience with their team mates.
Does your team have a philosophy that it comes together under?
Make adjustments, not excuses.
Who are the individuals in your team that are successful in other sports?
Charlisse – netball, touch; Georgie – netball, touch, athletics, swimming; Ella – cross country, netball, equestrian, touch; Sydney – rowing; Briana – touch; Emma – cricket; Francesca – surf lifesaving.
What other support has your team received?
Parents and a number of businesses have been super supportive and for this the girls are extremely grateful. We have had an extended support base within our school too, with people who help on our benches, come to games, referee for us, or scrimmage against us if we need, so those people are invaluable to our team.
Who are the recent former players that have played for this St Peter’s team now playing at an elite level?
Krystal Leger-Walker – Last year’s captain, tournament MVP, Tall Fern, Junior Tall Fern, currently at University of Northern Colorado in her first semester/season. Coming back to represent NZ in the world 3x3 tournament in china – October 11th to 15th. Waiaria Putaranui-Henderson – team member 2014 and 2015. Studying and playing this year at California State University - East Bay.
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