Tokomanawa Queens rolled into the City of Sails on Saturday and inflicted a first GJ Gardner Homes Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa defeat of the season on Northern Kāhu winning 94-76 at Eventfinda Stadium on Saturday evening.
The victory not only brought the Kāhu run of victories to a halt at nine but showed that the Queens have hit prime form with the play-offs just three weeks away.
They shot the ball at an impressive 56% and enjoyed major contributions from their import threesome of Jaimie Nared (28 points), Elin Gustavsson (12 points and 11 rebounds) and Florencia Chagas (22 points). Also in good touch were the Tall Ferns duo of Stella Beck (9 points) and Jacinta Beckley who enjoyed her best game of the season in making 17 points on 5 from 8 shooting.
For Kahu the consistent Micaela Cocks scored 24 points and Tera Reed tallied 13 but it was a night in which the hosts were clearly second best.
The Queens leading scorer this season, Jaimie Nared, scored her team’s first 4 points but Reed had 5 as Kāhu opened up an 11-9 lead.
Nared was in the heart of the action drawing a foul on a made three – the 4-point play giving the Queens their first lead of the game.
Back-to-back threes from Grace Hunter and Beckley kept Queens in the ascendancy; 28-20 at the end of a frenetic, physical first quarter.
The hot pace continued in the second – the shooting of Gustavsson and Nared impressing.
Jazz Kailahi-Fulu provided a spark off the bench for Kāhu but they trailed 38-30 at the mid-point of the period.
The Queens lead was soon into double figures and by the end of a dominant second period a staggering twenty points (52-32).
The Queens had enjoyed their best shooting half of the season making 61% (19/31) from the field and a mighty 64% (7/11) from beyond the arc.
Nared was immediately in action after the break with a penetrative drive although Kāhu leading scorer Tahlia Tupaea answered in the same fashion.
Beck took a break after picking up a third foul but it did little to slow the Queens momentum as their lead climbed to 24.
Cocks made a much needed score for Kāhu but Queens held all the cards at three-quarter time with a massive 67-47 lead.
Kāhu made a run in the fourth courtesy of Krystal Leger-Walker and Gabby Adams-Gavet - her approving brother Steven Adams watching on from a prime baseline seat.
However the hosts couldn’t get any closer than 11 points as Queens closed out an impressive victory.
This result emphasised that while Kāhu have the best record in the competition a Tauihi championship will not be conceded easily by Tokomanawa Queens and their fellow challengers.
Queens have a quick turnaround taking on Whai tomorrow. In contrast Northern Kāhu have a twelve day break before travelling to the capital for a rematch with the Queens on August 18th.
SCORE: Kāhu 76, Queens 94
Kāhu: Cocks 24 PTS | Reed 13 PTS | Leger-Walker 9 PTS & 6 ASSISTS
Queens: Nared 28 PTS | Chagas 22 PTS & 6 ASSISTS | Beckley 17 PTS | Gustavsson 12 PTS & 11 REBS | Beck 9 PTS
Full box score HERE.
Stuff MVP Votes
Micaela Cocks (Kāhu) - 7 votes
Jacinte Beckley (Queens) - 5 votes
Jaime Nared (Queens) - 5 votes
Florencia Chagas (Queens) - 4 votes
Tera Reed (Kāhu) - 4 votes
Krystal Leger-Walker (Kāhu) - 3 votes
Stella Beck (Queens) - 1 vote
Kāhu - Aug 18 @ Queens
Queens – Aug 7 @ Whai
Round 6 Tauihi Schedule