Tauihi Preview – Round 4

Photo credit: Masanori Udagawa

Southern Hoiho vs. Tokomanawa Queens - Tuesday, 6:30 pm  

Key Stats:  



14.5 offensive rebounds per game (1st) 

43 rebounds per game (1st) 

18.5 assists per game (1st) 

12.8 assists per game (last)  

66.7% free throws (tied for 4th) 

66.7% free throws (tied for 4th) 

The Hoiho ground down one opponent for a win and were ground down in the fourth by another to split their games last round, but will need to rediscover pace in the rematch of the opening game of the season. Ashten Prechtel has been a dominant force in the early season, twice crossing 20 rebounds in a game while averaging 19.8 PTS and 15.3 REB to go with a league leading 3.5 blocks. Her frontcourt partnership with Zoe Richards has been key, allowing Richards the more favourable matchup on the interior and the ability to roam and use her hustle on both ends to great effect. The first time around all five starters hit double figures and that production will be key for a team still struggling to find consistent pop off the bench. But to stop the Queens' defensive transition will be at the top of the scouting report. 

The Queens put tremendous pressure on defensive transition with Chrislyn Carr pushing the rock and Steph Watts flying down the wing. But the key in the opening game of the round will be Maya Dodson and her ability to control the glass with the help of the French connection (Paris Lokotui and Parris Mason), as the Hoiho feast off second chances to find the winners circle and were able to score 26 second chance points in their earlier game. If they can control the boards while finding a higher level of efficiency from deep (6-of-20 from three in the first matchup) they will have a great chance to payback the Hoiho for a season opening loss on their home court. 

Matchup to Watch: Ashten Prechtel vs. Maya Dodson 

BNZ Northern Kāhu vs. The Recruitment Network Mainland Pouākai - Wednesday, 6:30 pm 

Key Stats:  



8 steals per game (2nd)  

73.3% free throws (2nd) 

26.6 free throws per game (1st) 

13 fouls per game (lowest)  

44.6 two point attempts per game (1st)  

27.5 three point attempts per game (3rd) 

The Kāhu have possibly the best interior attack in the league with Penina Davidson (15 PTS, 13.3 REB) and IImar'I Thomas (24 PTS, 9.6 REB) pairing up to take advantage of the best matchup while the other drops high low post, leading to a ton of opportunities at the free throw line. Even when the shots aren’t falling they are led by the dominating duo to have the rebounding tenacity to create extra opportunities to the tune of 11.2 offensive rebounds per game. These second chance points are key for a team that has struggled from deep, knocking down just 25.3% of their triples. Tera Reed has been key off the wing, providing penetration off the dribble and solid d on the wing. The defence can afford to gamble with the quality of defense on the back line, with Krystal Leger-Walker providing non-stop pressure over 40 minutes (56 when you include her Rapid League efforts).  

To counter this pressure and find their first win of the Tauihi season the Pouākai will need to pick up their offensive execution late in games as a solid offensive attack has sputtered down the stretch at times, highlighted by just two points in the last eight minutes of a 75-74 loss to the Hoiho. More attacks on the rim could create more chances at the line, crucial for a team averaging a league worst 11.3 attempts from the stripe per game. The interior presence of Jasmine Dickey, Tasha Mack and Sharne Robati could provide opportunities to keep the scoreboard ticking over when things get tight. But it all starts with possession and an improvement on the glass is key for a squad second to last in total rebounds and on the offensive glass.  

Matchup to Watch: Penina Davidson vs. Sharne Robati  

Whai vs. Southern Hoiho - Friday, 6:30pm 

Key Stats:  



35.7 rebounds per game (last)  

41.5 rebounds per game (2nd)  

70.3 field goal attempts per game (2nd) 

74.3 field goal attempts per game (1st) 

5 blocks per game (tie 1st) 

5 blocks per game (tie 1st) 

The Whai haven’t been able to reach their heights offensively just yet, scoring 72 points per game on the second worst efficiency from the field in the league. If the bench can’t find a way to offer greater input offensively the starters will remain under pressure to carry the load. Mikayla Cowling and Sarah Sagerer have combined for nearly 40 a game, but their looks have dried up at times as they become a greater focus point for defences. An uptick on the glass would be of help for team last in total rebounding even as their defense has created extra chances with consistency, creating 9.7 steals per game (1st in league). 

Those extra possessions will be key against the Hoiho who should look to take advantage of Ashten Prechtel and her skill set on the low block. The extra opportunities they’ve been finding on the glass have kept the offence moving, but the pace of Paige Bradley and Ahlise Hurst will be key against a team that pushes the pace to an equal extent of the team from the deep South. The perimeter duo will look to do it more efficiently then their last time out in round three, where they combined to find the net just five times from 24 attempts. Finding that higher level of efficiency won’t be easy for either team, as a combined 10 blocks per game between the two teams will make rim attacks a difficult task. 

Matchup to Watch: Sarah Sagerer vs. Zoe Richards 

Tokomanawa Queens vs. Whai - Sunday, 2:00 pm 

Key Stats:  



85 points per game (1st in league) 

72 points per game (last in league) 

32.6% from three (1st)  

9,7 steals per game (1st)  

23.3 free throws attempts per game (2nd) 

35 threes attempted per game (1st)  

The Whai sit fifth on the ladder after dropping two games in Round 3 in similar fashion, where the offence dried up for two quarters in games that were within striking distance after 20 minutes, including a 23-point second half against the Queens. This lack of offensive pop was punctuated with just 4.5 points per game off the bench during the round, putting pressure to produce on the starters. Production has been solid for the first five, led by Sarah Sagerer’s 19 points per game with an efficient 41% shooting from three. They get up more threes than any other team, and this volume shooting that picks up slack for the only team in the comp to shoot less than 40 2 pointers a game (35.3 attempts per game). Mikayla Cowling has been efficient in her 38.5 minutes per game, and her playmaking is key (4.7 assist per game) for a team that averages just 14 dishes per game, especially against the Queens rotating defence. 

The Queens sit atop the table, pushing the pace on opponents and forcing them to keep pace with the only offence in the league that scores over 80 a game, using a league best 43 rebounds per game to ignite their transition attack. Steph Watts and Chrislyn Carr put immense pressure on teams to keep pace, while Maya Dodson and Paris Lokotui dominate the interior to tip off the break.

Matchup to Watch: Mikayla Cowling vs. Chrislyn Carr 


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