Photo credit: Angela Ruske
After Round 4 of the GJ Gardner Homes Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa, the Southern Hoiho have returned to the top of the table following a brace of wins that sees them boast a 6-1 record.
One of the victories came against Tokomanawa Queens, who also suffered a home defeat at the hands of Whai in the final game of the round.
Southern Hoiho 77, ANZCO Tokomanawa Queens 60
Southern Hoiho defeated Tokomanawa Queens in the opening game of the Tauihi season, and at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin on Wednesday night put together a repeat performance defeating the 2022 champions 77-60.
After Queens had made the early running Hoiho took charge of the contest with a colossal 27 unanswered points either side of the first quarter break.
Queens guards Stephanie Watts and Chryslyn Carr made a pair of threes to open the scoring and when Josie Trousdell added points the visitors lead was 13-5.
However Hoiho hit back – a pair of Zoe Richards freebies the beginning of the scoring surge as Hoiho ended the opening quarter in arears 13-12.
An Ashton Prechtel inside make gave Hoiho their first lead of the game and after threes from Paige Bradley, Samara Gallaher and Richards their lead was 31-13 on the back of that scarcely believable 27-0 run.
Scoreless for the first seven minutes of the second quarter Queens eventually found a basket from Carr. A Tegan Graham triple followed immediately but the visitors had plenty to do in the second half trailing 39-22 at the main break.
Scores from Bradley and Prechtel carried Hoiho to a 21-point lead before the Queens sprung to life. A Carr and-1 play along with baskets from Maya Dodson and Watts reduced the deficit to 12 points, however Richards and Prechtel had the final say of the quarter – with the Hoiho lead a commanding 56-40 at three-quarter time.
Carr motored past the 20-point mark for the fifth straight game but Bradley, Ahlise Hurst and Richards ensured there would be no late charge from the Queens.
Hoiho enjoyed major contributions from all five starters. Point guard Bradley orchestrated proceedings with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists and Prechtel, the leading shot blocker and rebounder in the competition, finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 4 rejections. Australian guard Hurst (17 points) had her mid-range shooting in good order, Richards, in arguably the best form of her career, posted 16 points and 7 rebounds while Gallaher was a pest on the boards coming up with 10 rebounds (4 offensive) to go with 6 points in a typically vigorous display.
In addition to Carr’s 21 points and 13 rebounds, Watts scored 14, Dodson claimed 8 rebounds to go with a dozen points while Trousdell, on 3 from 4 shooting, had 8 points.
BNZ Northern Kāhu 99, The Recruitment Network Mainland Pouākai 87
The Recruitment Network Mainland Pouākai remain winless after suffering a 99-87 loss to BNZ Northern Kāhu at McKay Stadium, Whangārei on Wednesday night.
The defeat came despite an outstanding individual performance from Jasmine Dickey who posted 33 points – the highest single game score by a Pouākai player.
A high scoring opening quarter was won by Pouākai 31-26 with the Dickey jump shot looking in good order – 8 points for the former Dallas Wings WNBA player.
Ilmar’I Thomas began to make her presence felt in the low block – her And-1 play knotting the scores at 36 points apiece.
The two teams went basket for basket for the remainder of the quarter before an Ash Udesike corner three took Kāhu to a 57-52 half-time lead - Dickey and Thomas the leading scorers at the interval with 16 points apiece.
Pouākai centre Natasha Mack demonstrated her versatility with a long range three before a Thomas transition basket stretched the Kāhu lead into double figures at the back end of the third – Dickey had 11 points in the period, Reed with 8 for Kāhu as they took a 76-67 advantage into the final ten minutes.
Olivia O’Neill made consecutive buckets to open the fourth and reduce the deficit to five points although the reply was immediate from Awatea Leach with the Rotorua guard looking increasingly assured in just her third game for the Kāhu.
Following Penina Davidson’s difficult left handed finish, that pushed the Kāhu advantage back into double figures, Pouākai unfortunately lost the valuable services of Tsubasa Nisbet after she left the court with an ankle injury.
Their task became more demanding when Akiene-Tera Reed dropped a three from nearer the half-way line than the arc to give the hosts a 91-75 lead with under four minutes to play.
Krystal Leger-Walker and Kendell Heremaia, former St Peter’s School, Cambridge teammates were having a ding dong battle and the pair came up with the next scores. Although Dickey had the consolation of posting that record score the hosts were able to close out the game with a degree of comfort.
In addition to Dickey’s bumper haul Mack scored 18 points to go with 8 rebounds, Heremaia totalled 13 points while a subdued Robati, who only put up three shots, scored 8 points.
Thomas led the way for Kāhu with 27 points, Reed tallied 21 points and 8 rebounds with Davidson nabbing 9 rebounds to accompany 17 points. There were also strong performances from the back court duo of Leach (18 points) and Leger-Walker (8 points and 10 assists).
The two teams get some time off before they are next in action. Pouākai will look to break their duck when they entertain Hoiho on Wednesday August 9th with Kāhu on the road at Tokomanawa Queens three days later.
Whai 69, Southern Hoiho 71
Southern Hoiho made it five wins in six outings after a nail biting 71-69 win against Whai at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre in Tauranga on Friday night.
Seeking their second win of the season Whai, after a Mikayla Cowling jump shot, trailed by just two points (63-61) with five minutes remaining.
Hoiho’s Samara Gallaher and Ahlise Hurst combined to make it a seven-point game although Sarah Sagerer reduced the margin to five points with three minutes to play.
Gracie Roberts-Hare and Cowling went toe-to-toe from the three-point line and when Jade Kirisome also converted from beyond the arc it was back to a two-point ball game (71-69) with 62 seconds to play.
Whai were able to regain possession in the closing seconds but couldn’t come up with the points to clinch the win or force the contest into overtime.
Early on it was Cowling with 10 points as Whai edged the opening stanza 21-17.
A Sarah Sagerer three took Whai out to a seven point lead four minutes into the second before Hoiho closed the half with an 11-3 run to edge ahead 39-38 at the main break.
In an end-to-end third period Sagerer and Kirisome combined to give the host a five point lead before Hurst, headed for a season high 25 points, scored a quick fire ten points to wrestle back the lead and when Sophie Adams nailed a turnaround jumper as the three-quarter time buzzer sounded the Hoiho lead was 59-53.
It proved to be a lead that Hoiho would not relinquish in the closing ten minutes.
For Whai there were season high’s from Cowling (28 points and 12 rebounds) and Kirisome (13 points) with hard working forward Sagerer posting 13 points and McKenna Dale adding 8 points to 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
In addition to the 25 points from Hurst, Hoiho enjoyed major contributions from Ashton Prechtel (16 points, 20 rebounds and 4 blocks), Samara Gallaher (9 points) and Paige Bradley. The former Denver University guard came close to a triple-double finishing with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 9 dimes.
The win keeps Hoiho at the top of the standings ahead of a second visit this season to Cowles Stadium to take on Mainland Pouākai on Wednesday.
ANZCO Tokomanawa Queens 78, Whai 84
Whai survived a stirring fourth quarter comeback from Tokomanawa Queens to eventually close out an 84-78 victory at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua on Sunday afternoon.
Leading 67-46 at three-quarter time Whai appeared to be heading for a comfortable victory before Queens showed the energy and spark that had been strangely missing earlier in the contest.
Tall Fern Stella Beck, returned to the Queens line-up for the first time since skippering the side to the championship last season, initiated the revival before point guard Chrislyn Carr brought the crowd and her team to life.
The former University of Louisville standout had been kept to a single point in the first three quarters before piling up 18 points in the fourth quarter and when she drained her second three of the evening Queens were just 5 points adrift with 1:16 to play.
Then Stephanie Watts, also subdued in the early stages, made a layup to make it a single possession game with 31 seconds left.
With nerves jangling Whai needed cool heads and found them in the shape of their American import duo. Mikayla Cowling found Aaliyah Wilson in space and the combo-guard coolly sunk a three with 6 seconds remaining to give Whai their second win of the season.
Cowling was outstanding with a game high 21 points with Wilson making 17 points and Sarah Sagerer posting a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. McKenna Dale totalled 14 points while Jade Kirisome, growing in stature with every game, scored 10 points.
In addition to Carr’s 19 points Queens got good production from Tegan Graham (15 points), Beck (13 points) and Josie Trousdell (8 points and 11 rebounds).
Earlier Whai had scored the first nine points of the game, and with 8 points in the opening spell from Kirisome had a 26-7 lead.
Graham and Trousdell provided Queens with more offensive clout in the second quarter but Cowling’s all-round offensive game kept Whai in the ascendancy, enabling them to take a 45-30 lead into the locker room at half-time.
Any thoughts the home fans had of a second half comeback were initially dashed as Whai embarked on a 15-3 run – Dale with 7 of those points.
Belatedly, inspired by Graham, Queens put together an 11-point scoring run but after Dale scored in transition the hosts faced a 67-46 deficit with ten minutes to play.
From there Carr almost orchestrated the comeback of the season.
Southern Hoiho 16, ANZCO Tokomanawa Queens 27
Tokomanawa Queens made it a fourth win in five Sky Broadband Rapid League outings, pulling away in the second half to defeat Southern Hoiho 27-16 at the Edgar Centre on Tuesday.
Hoiho guard Caitlin O’Connell scored the first three points of the game – a low scoring first half concluded with Queens ahead 9-7.
Opposing wings Tyler Mitchell and Eva Langton (7 points) knocked down threes and it was Langton again, with a put back, that gave Queens a narrow 16-14 lead at the conclusion of the third.
A pair of Josie Trousdell (7 points) baskets increased the Queens lead before Naomi Sopoaga settled the contest with a corner three.
BNZ Northern Kāhu 40, Sal’s Mainland Pouākai 29
BNZ Northern Kāhu inflicted the first Rapid League loss on Sal's Mainland Pouākai with a 40-29 victory at McKay Stadium, Whangarei on Wednesday night.
Making her Rapid League debut Tall Fern Penina Davidson scored 17 points for Kāhu while opposing centre Tsubasa Nisbet tallied 11 points for Pouākai.
Threes from Krystal Leger-Walker and Keeley Tini set Kāhu on their way to a 14-7 quarter time lead.
Olivia O’Neill trimmed the lead briefly after which Davidson scored all nine of the Kāhu’s second quarter points as they stretched their advantage to 23-12 at half-time.
Pouākai had much the better of the second quarter with the experienced duo of Lauryn Hippolite and Nisbett leading the way as the visitors cut the deficit to 28-22.
Making a welcome return to the red and black uniform Terai Elia cut the lead further before New Zealand U16 guard Bailey Flavell, with dad Judd Flavell a member of the opposition coaching crew looking on, replied for the hosts.
A couple of baskets from Riana Rangi-Brown closed out Kahu’s third consecutive win.
Whai 28, Southern Hoiho 21
A sizzling 17 points from 15 year-old Pahlyss Hokianga propelled Whai to a 28-21 home win against Southern Hoiho at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre in Tauranga on Friday evening.
Initially six points from Caitlin O’Connell and a triple from Tyler Mitchell eased Hoiho to a 10-4 quarter-time lead.
In a defence dominated second quarter Hokianga tied proceedings before a three from Honey Cooney edged Whai into a 13-12 lead at half-time.
Nat Ivamy, in her first appearance of the season, kept the visitors in touch before Whai forwards Amy West and Maka Daysh stretched the advantage to 21-17 at three-quarter time.
Caitlin O’Connell took her game tally to 11 points but it was Hokianga that sealed the win.
The New Zealand U16 guard stole the show with her 17 points, coming off 6 from 9 from the field and 4 from 4 from the free throw line, carrying the hosts to their first Rapid League win of the season.
ANZCO Tokomanawa Queens, 21 Whai 29
Whai made it two wins from two outings in the round as they took down Tokomanawa Queens 29-21 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua on Sunday afternoon.
As against Hoiho, Whai’s teenage guard Pahlyss Hokianga led the way with a game high 11 points.
The young Whai team created havoc in the opening spell. Constantly disrupting the Queens offence they garnered four steals in the opening quarter as they took an 8-3 lead.
Parris Mason (10 points) had six first half points but a corner three from Hokianga, in the shadows of half-time, gave Whai a 17-10 lead.
Naomi Sopoaga converted a transition basket after a classy finish from Hokianga - the Whai lead 21-13 at three-quarter time.
Back from overseas, Stella Beck made a couple of scores only for Jade Kirisome and Honey Cooney to seal the Whai win with a brace of threes.