The 50th addition of the National Secondary Schools basketball championship concluded in Palmerston North today with big wins for two powerhouse basketball schools.
Rosmini College have won their third National title since 2012, going back to back for the first time.
Surprise finalists St Patrick’s College, Wellington were crushed 114-62 in the final.
When the score was 84-36 in the third quarter, Joseph Hylton snatched three consecutive offensive rebounds and eventually finished. The hustle by Hylton was a metaphor for Rosmini’s total dominance.
Every player on the roster scored as Rosmini led 26-12 after the first quarter and continued to expand their advantage.
The signs were ominous early for Town when Taine Murray nailed a corner three and converted a right hand lay up to make it 5-0.
Twice Kainoa Lepou was on target from long range and Kruz Perrott-Hunt controlled the point as Town fired 36 fewer shots than Rosmini.
Rosmini shot an exceptional 50% from the field with Perrott-Hunt leading all scorers with 29 points. Dance contributed 20 points and Lepou 17, including five triples. Rosmini’s bench added 33 points.
Rosmini was able to restrict the prolific Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones to 7 points on 3/9 shooting. Filimone Waqabaca top scored with 17. Jacob Paese battled manfully from the bench with 14 and Josh Hori refused to surrender.
Rosmini finish the season with a record of 31 wins in 33 games. After dropping their first pool game 50-53 to Mount Albert Grammar School, Rosmini won seven of their next eight fixture by 25 points or more. MAGS the only team to beat Rosmini this season eventually finished in 12th place.
A North Shore school has won eight of the last ten National championships. It’s little coincidence the New Zealand Breakers are based there.
St Pat's Town earned their place in the final for the first time since 2008 following a nail-biting 70-69 win over St John’s College, Hamilton.
A thrilling final five minutes ensued as the lead was tied on multiple occasions, but a basket from Kobe Lolesio with 90 seconds to play proved to be the match-winning play.
St Pat’s established an early 22-13 lead on the back of transition baskets and threes from Josh Hori and Filimone Waqabaca.
Eleven second-quarter points from shooting guard Kael Robinson narrowed the St Pat’s advantage before Logan Rush and Wiremu Jones tied proceedings – 36 points apiece at half-time.
St John’s point guard Ethan Dromgool gave his team a seven points advantage before livewire guard Hori and Jeremiah Savali inspired a 9-0 St Pat’s run which set the stage for the frantic finale.
Tait-Jones had 23 points and 12 rebounds while Waqabaca matched his effort in the final with 17 points.
Rosmini College put together a dominant second quarter, outscoring their St Kentigern College 29-6 before eventually winning 91-65.
Shalom Broughton made five points late in the opening quarter to keep St Kentigern on the tails of Rosmini trailing 22-18 at the first break.
Kruz Perrott-Hunt dropped a couple of triples early in the second period, but St Kent’s swingman Max Shorter replied with one from beyond the arc.
Eight points from Mitch Dance and a Terrence Abdon three fuelled a 20-0 Rosmini run. The dominance of Rosmini’s second quarter performance capped by Abdon’s ‘Hail-Mary’ from his own half finding nothing but net on the halftime buzzer. Rosmini able to take a 51-24 lead into the break.
St Kent’s actually won the third quarter by seven as Rosmini was kept to 11 points, but back to back threes from Taine Murray kept a vaillant St Kent’s a bay.
St Kent’s beat St John’s in the battle for third 75-65.
Boys Tournament Team
1. Maxim Stephens - Hamilton Boys' High School
2. Shalom Broughton - Saint Kentigern College
3. Simon Lafaele - St. John's College
4. Anzac Risetto - Auckland Grammar School
5. Jake McKinlay - Palmerston North Boys' High School
6. Kruz Perrott-Hunt – Rosmini College
7. Jeremiah Savali - St Patrick's College
8. Taine Murray – Rosmini College
9. Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones - St Patrick's College
10. Mitchell Dance - Rosmini College - MVP
For the third time in four years St Peter’s Cambridge are the National champions, trouncing Hutt Valley High School 91-52.
As expected Tall Fern Charlisse Leger-Walker was in imperious form, collecting 35 points and 24 rebounds in an MVP display.
In the 2017 final, Leger-Walker scored 77% of the 62 points St Peter’s managed. This year the support cast was greater allowing St Peter’s to go through the season unbeaten. New Zealand Under-17 representative Ella Bradley amassed 21 points and 10 rebounds.
St Peter’s won every quarter out rebounding Hutt Valley High 53-37 while St Peter’s shot 47% from the field as opposed to Hutt Valley’s 30%. The Wellington champions were restricted to just five points in the second quarter.
Leah Mafua top scored for the runners up with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
In semi-final, Westlake Girls’ High School had their six game winning streak snapped at, thumped 87-61.
Hutt Valley’s success was built around the all-court game of Captain Leah Mafua (32 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists) and an outstanding shooting performance – they converted 12 from 23 (52%) from beyond the arc.
A 25-13 opening salvo, with 14 of the points from Mafua, propelled Hutt Valley to a 25-13 first-quarter lead.
The lead extended to 21 points early in the second quarter and 25 points by half-time. Jordan Rangitawa (19 points and 11 rebounds) had a busy game while Westlake’s Jordyn Maddix and Emme Shearer posted double figures.
Westlake scored the first seven points of the final frame as Tabitha Leyson provided some spark off the bench, but Hutt Valley had little trouble closing out the win.
St Peter’s Cambridge eliminated Wellington runners up Queen Margaret College 79-36.
QMC’s Grace Hunter and Rosie Campbell dropped early threes, but 11 points from Charlisse Leger-Walker ensured an 18-8 first quarter lead for St Peter’s.
QMC forward Paris Lokotui made a couple of baskets, but Waita Jennings scored with a left handed floater and Leger-Walker dropped another three as St Peter’s stretched its lead to 26-12.
Outstanding St Peter’s defence made the score 40-14 at halftime.
Diminutive guard Rosie Campbell scored baskets early in the second half for QMC as they fashioned an 8-2 run.
An Alana Paewai drive and a Bradley triple reasserted the St Peter’s dominance, the Waikato team in complete control at the last break with a 57-24 lead.
Leger-Walker finished with 30 points and Ella Bradley 14.
Westlake Girls’ finished third defeating QMC 78-63.
Girls Tournament Team
1. Emme Shearer - Westlake Girls' High School
2. Riva Walker-Pitman - Hamilton Girls' High School
3. Charlotte Whittaker - St Andrew's College
4. Sharne Pupuke-Robati - Mt Albert Grammar School
5. Paris Lokotui - Queen Margaret College
6. Ella Bradley - St Peter's School, Cambridge
7. Jordan Rangitawa - Hutt Valley High School
8. Alana Paewai - St Peter's School, Cambridge
9. Leah Mafua - Hutt Valley High School
10. Charlisse Leger-Walker - St Peter's School, Cambridge - MVP
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