Photo credit: Masanori Udagawa
Round 5 of GJ Gardner Homes Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa was a good one for the bottom two teams on the Tauihi ladder.
Ahead of the round both Whai and Mainland Pouākai were in danger of falling further adrift of the top three sides. However, both recorded important wins.
Pouākai began the round without a victory but came up with two successes in three days beating Southern Hoiho and Whai.
Whai recovered from that loss to inflict a second defeat of the round on Hoiho whose outstanding 5-1 start to their campaign has been slightly undermined in the last week.
The Recruitment Network Mainland Pouākai 102, Southern Hoiho 61
The Recruitment Network Mainland Pouākai recorded their first Tauihi win of the season in emphatic fashion thumping Southern Hoiho 102-61 in the second South Island derby of the season at Cowles Stadium on Wednesday.
Hoiho had happy memories of their previous visit to Cowles, when they stole a 75-74 victory.
However shorn of the outstanding frontcourt duo of Ashten Prechtel and Zoe Richards, due to injury, Pouākai were able to dominate proceedings in the paint. That resulted in a 55-36 rebounding count in their favour and a points in the paint differential of 50-to-16.
One player feasting on the Hoiho’s inside frailty was Esra McGoldrick, who recorded career highs in points (21) and rebounds (13). There were other major contributions for Pouākai from Jasmine Dickey (18 points), Kendell Heremaia (17 points), Sharne Robati (15 points) and Natasha Mack (14 points) while Kennedy Leonard added 6 points to a Tauihi best 14 assists.
Leonard’s match up with opposition point guard Paige Bradley, two of the finest facilitators in this season’s competition, was a delight to behold. Bradley’s 17 points and 10 assists in a losing cause was commendable, as was the work of Ahlise Hurst (20 points) and Tyler Mitchell (8 points).
The feature of the opening quarter was an 11-point blast from Hurst although strong showings from Robati and McGoldrick ensured the spoils were shared with the scores knotted at 21 points apiece.
Samara Gallaher and Mitchell sunk three’s before a silky finish from Heremaia and the two pronged Dickey and Mack attack carried the hosts to a 47-33 half-time lead.
In a third quarter scoring frenzy Pouākai outscored Hoiho 33-23. Hurst and Bradley added seven points apiece for Hoiho but Pouākai made 6 from 12 three-point attempts in the spell with Heremaia, Leonard, McGoldrick and Lauryn Hippolite successful from deep.
With the outcome assured both coaches gave extended minutes to their non-starters in the final quarter. Judd Flavell, taking the Pouākai coaching reins on a one-off occasion, able to step aside with an unbeaten record!
Whai 81, The Recruitment Network Mainland Pouākai 82
The Recruitment Network Mainland Pouākai made it two wins in three days although they were made to work a lot harder for their second success of the round edging Whai 82-81 in Tauranga on Friday night.
The game looked to be headed to overtime when Mikayla Cowling’s off balance jump shot, with under two seconds to play, appeared to have tied the game at 82 points apiece.
Unfortunately for the home fans Cowling’s effort, initially counted as a three, was adjusted to a two-point shot when it was realised the Californian had a foot on the three-point line.
Midway through the final period Esra McGoldrick had stretched the Pouākai lead to eight points, their biggest lead of the game, before back-to-back triples from Cowling and Jade Kirisome (12 points) made it a 2-point game (75-73) with four minutes to play.
Tsubasa Nisbet and McGoldrick extended the visitors advantage only for the dynamic Cowling to land another from beyond the arc.
As the triples kept coming Kendell Heremaia made a corner three to extend the Pouākai advantage (82-76) but on the next possession Sarah Sagerer (11 points) cut the lead in half.
That set up the grandstand finish in front of an excited crowd only for what would have been Cowling’s fifth three of the game to be ruled a two and the fans robbed of an extra five minutes of high paced entertainment.
Earlier Aallyah Wilson had got Whai off to a fast start and when Amy West made an inside basket the lead was 22-13.
That was erased in the second and with Natasha Mack prominent it was Pouākai with a 41-40 lead at half-time.
McKenna Dale briefly restored the Whai lead before Kennedy Leonard and Jasmine Dickey carried the Mainlanders to a 65-61 three-quarter time lead..
During an exciting fourth stanza Pouākai repelled every effort from Whai to snatch back the lead – half a Cowling shoe size the eventual margin!
Cowling finished with an impressive 25 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists but it wasn’t the only outstanding individual performance with McKenna Dale making 6 from 10 threes for her 18 points while Wilson added 9 rebounds and 6 assists to 13 points.
Mack had her best game for Pouākai claiming 9 boards to accompany 24 points (10/16FG). Dickey scored 18 points while Leonard, who averages 10 assists per game, dished another 11 in this one to add to 11 points.
ANZCO Tokomanawa Queens 92, BNZ Northern Kāhu 88
ANZCO Tokomanawa Queens bounced back from two straight losses to beat BNZ Northern Kāhu 92-88 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua on Saturday night with Chrislyn Carr the star of the show.
Carr, a University of Louisville alumni, finished with a season-high 32 points to accompany 6 rebounds and 6 assists but she wasn’t the only player to excel.
Teammates Stephanie Watts and Maya Dodson scored 17 points each while Stella Beck scored 11 points on 5 from 6 shooting. Dodson also secured 10 rebounds – remarkably all 10 were at the offensive end.
Ilmar’I Thomas, the competitions leading points scorer, led the way for the Kāhu with 25, Akiene-Tera Reed scored 24 and Krystal Leger-Walker tallied 19 points and a career-high 13 assists.
Enjoying a breakout performance was teenage Tall Fern Ritorya Tamilo. Playing big minutes in the absence of Penina Davidson she corralled 8 rebounds and missed just one shot in making her 16 points.
At the outset Carr scored the first 8 points for Queens before Reed countered with 7 points for Kāhu. Dodson and Parris Mason made the final scores of the opening quarter to give Queens a 30-16 lead after 10 minutes.
Thomas then made 6 quick points for Kahu but when Grace Hunter and Watts scored in transition the hosts were 31-24 ahead and Kāhu head coach Jody Cameron needed a timeout.
Reed and Thomas scored after the re-start before Dodson and Carr took Queens seven points clear.
Though Reed and Leger-Walker put Kāhu back on level terms scores from Beck and Paris Lokotui gave Queens a 47-44 interval lead.
Tamilo caught the eye with a couple of scores early in the third, a period where the lead changed on no fewer than ten occasions – Kāhu ahead 72-70 with ten minutes to play.
The fourth quarter was equally tight, a Tamilo inside score pulling Kāhu within two points (88-86) with 1:21 to play.
Beck increased the lead to four before Dodson, off a sweet Carr assist, put Queens up by six with 32 seconds to play. Leger-Walker would take her tally to a season high but it was the Queens with the win – their fifth straight over the Northerners. The victory also took Queens to the top of the Tauihi standings.
Southern Hoiho 64, Whai 86
Whai bounced back from their agonising one-point loss to Pouākai two days earlier with an 86-64 victory over Southern Hoiho at Queenstown Events Centre on Sunday afternoon, the second loss in the round for coach Todd Marshall and his charges.
Mikayla Cowling led the way for Whai with 23 points (7/11FG, 7/7FT) and 10 rebounds, Sarah Sagerer scored 21 points, Aaliyah Wilson posted 16 points, 8 rebounds and 7 steals with McKenna Dale scoring 11 points.
For Hoiho Ashten Prechtel pulled down her fourth 20-rebound haul of the season to go with her game high 26 points. Zoe Richards (13 points), Paige Bradley (12 points and 10 rebounds) and Ahlise Hurst (10 points) were the other major contributors for the hosts.
The opening quarter was tied 19 points apiece with Zoe Richards, restored to the Hoiho lineup after a two game absence, scoring 9 points.
Dale and Jade Kirisome took Whai into the lead before Prechtel became the first player into double figures, her And-1 play tying the scores at 29 all.
Prechtel led all scorers at the main break with 16 points although an 8-2 run by Whai to close the half – two baskets each from Sagerer and Wilson – took Whai into a 39-33 lead.
Sagerer gave Whai their first double figure lead and when the same player dropped her third trey of the quarter the visitors were 59-44 ahead.
The lead stretched to 18 points after an Alyssa Hirawani deep make but Samara Gallaher’s reply in the same vein helped trim the deficit to 13 points (64-51) at three-quarter time – those points in arears being compounded by Hurst’s injury enforced exit from the game.
Richards and Prechtel reduced the deficit but after Cowling, riding five personal fouls, made a pair of baskets Whai were 13 points ahead with 5:20 to play.
A Bradley score briefly threatened a Hoiho comeback but Dale, who put in a mighty defensive shift, dropped a pair of threes to seal an important win that keeps Whai’s Final 4 hopes very much alive.
Sal’s Mainland Pouākai 28, Southern Hoiho 21
Sal’s Mainland Pouākai made it five victories in six Rapid League outings with a 28-21 win against Southern Hoiho at Cowles Stadium on Wednesday.
Hoiho scored the first four points of the game before Pouākai scored the next seven – five of those to Jasmine Dickey.
The second quarter scoring was largely by way of threes – a brace from Tyler Mitchell and one from Lauryn Hippolite the hosts 12-10 ahead at half-time.
Sophie Adams converted from beyond the arc for Hoiho before a pair of threes from Millie Knight (8 points), either side of the three-quarter mark, gave Pouākai a 24-15 advantage.
Mitchell took her tally to a game-high 10 points but the final say went the way of Tsubasa Nisbet with her back-to-back baskets sealing a third home win in front of the Pouākai faithful.
Whai 29, Sal’s Mainland Pouākai 35
The Sal’s Mainland Pouākai maintained their good form in the Rapid League with a 35-29 win against Whai in Tauranga on Friday night.
Pouākai’s sixth success of the season came on the back of a strong showing from the backcourt pairing of Jasmine Dickey and Lauryn Hippolite. Tall Fern guard Hippolite scored 8 points while Dickey, on 6 from 11 shooting, tallied 16 points. There was also a handy 8 points from recent signing Terai Elia.
Pahlyss Hokianga was once again in sensational form for Whai, the 15 year-old scoring 16 points as she made 3 from 4 from beyond the three-point arc and all four of her free-throws.
Honey Cooney and Amy West got Whai off to a 5-0 start before Hippolite and Dickey combined for the next 14 points, and with Elia adding a lay-up the visitors were 16-5 ahead early in the second quarter.
Seven third quarter points from Hokianga pulled Whai within four points at three-quarter time (27-23) before the experienced Elia closed out the victory with five fourth quarter points.
ANZCO Tokomanawa Queens 42, BNZ Northern Kāhu 36
In the highest scoring Rapid League game of the season ANZCO Tokomanawa Queens beat BNZ Northern Kāhu 42-36 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua on Saturday night.
Letava Kenny (9 points) and Ilmar’l Thomas dominated the early scoring with three baskets apiece as the two teams split 20 points evenly in the first quarter.
The second quarter was also tied 10 points apiece – Tegan Graham with 4 points for the hosts, Awatea Leach with a triple for the Kāhu.
The Queens gained the separation they were looking for in the third quarter – ahead 31-26 at the three-quarter mark.
Paris Lokotui (10 points) found Naomi Sopoaga for a slashing drive and then turned scorer to take Queens out to a seven point lead. Krystal Leger-Walker trimmed the margin slightly before Kenny and Graham sealed the win.
A half-court three from Thomas, as time expired, gave her 19 points on the night – the highest single game score in Rapid League this season.
Southern Hoiho 24, Whai 27
A game breaking three from Jade Kirisome enabled Whai to beat Southern Hoiho 27-24 at Queenstown Events Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Kirisome finished with a game-high 17 points but none were more important than the triple she made to break a 24-24 tied game at the back end of the fourth quarter.
Hoiho carried a narrow 15-13 lead into the second half and were still two points to the good at three-quarter time. A Gracie Roberts-Hare basket made it a four point game before Kirisome and Pahlyss Hiokianga levelled the scores at 24 point apiece.
Early on it was the O’Connell show as Caitlin (9 points) and Jennifer(4 points) combined to give Hoiho that first half lead.
Kirisome’s winning shot provided Whai with their third Rapid League win and a bounce back victory after their loss to Pouākai earlier in the round.