Bruce Martin reports on the Waitaha teams at the AON U17 National Basketball Championships in Kilbirnie Wellington
Reported by Bruce Martin, edited by Joeman Chan, and photos courtesy of BBNZ
36 teams competed in the four-day tournament which concluded on Saturday. All four Waitaha Canterbury teams made promising starts to the championship, but weltered under pressure in the Quarter-final action on Friday.
In the Quarter-final action on Friday, Waitaha Canterbury Red Boys had a handy 80-72 lead over Auckland with 6.03 remaining in the final quarter. However, Auckland tightened its game and attacked the Canterbury defenses with pace, drawing repetitive fouls. In that period Auckland shooters racked up three field goals and were near perfect at the free throw line, making 15 from 16, to close out Waitaha Canterbury Red 95-86.
Arch-rival Otago then defeated Waitaha Canterbury Red 101-73 in the 5-8 Semi-final. Waitaha Canterbury Red finished 7th after beating Manawatu 76-53 in the play-off on Saturday.
Meanwhile in the Boys 9-16 Quarter-final, Waitaha Canterbury Black disposed of Capital 112- 97, then in the Boys 9-12 Semi-final Waitaha Canterbury Black edged Rotorua 81-74. In the play-off for 9th place Waitaha Canterbury Black triumphed Waitakere West 105-96.
In the Aon U17 National Boys main semi-finals, Wellington disposed the defending champions Harbour 130-113, while Auckland ran out 86-67 winners over Waikato. Wellington claimed the Boys U17 title beating Auckland in the Grand-Final 95-90. Auckland trailed 62-66 in the third quarter and levelled on several occasions in the final closing minutes before Wellington clinched the title.
Sam Jenkins – Waitaha Canterbury Red made the Aon U17 National Boys Tournament team (pictured at the top of the page).
Both the Waitaha Canterbury Red and Black Girls teams made their respective quarter-finals. The Waitaha Red Girls team topped their pool, but was narrowly beaten 67-71 in the Friday morning quarter-final by Manawatu. Taranaki thumped the Waitaha Canterbury Black Girls 97-48 in the other quarter-final.
In the 5-8 semi-finals, Waitaha Canterbury Red Girls were beaten by Waitakere West 63-57 while Waitaha Canterbury Black Girls were edged 63-57 by Rotorua. Both sides meet in the 7th place play-off with Waitaha Canterbury Red Girls coming out on top, winning 78-47.
In the Aon U17 National Girls main semi-finals, Waikato edged Manawatu 62-57 while Taranaki pipped the defending champion Harbour 76-73. Taranaki claimed the Girls U17 title, beating Waikato 70-62.
Boys Pool C:
Waitaha Red 109 Hawkes Bay 79
Waitaha Red 114 Tauranga 59
Waitaha Red 87 Rotorua 55
Waitaha Red 80 Wellington 95
Boys Pool D:
Waitaha Black 84 Harbour B 86
Waitaha Black 79 Waikato A 95
Waitaha Black 75 Harbour U16 68
Waitaha Black 75 Harbour A 104
Boys Quarter-final: Waitaha Red 86 Auckland 95
Boys 5-8 Semi-final: Waitaha Red 73 Otago 101
Play-off 7th: Waitaha Red 76 Manawatu 53
Boys 9-16 Quarter-final: Waitaha Black 112 Capital 97
Boys 9-12 Semi-final: Waitaha Black 81 Rotorua 74
Play-off 9th: Waitaha Black 105 Waitakere West 96
Boys Grand Final: Wellington 95 (E Stallworth 22, 10R, E Vaigafa 18) Auckland 90 (S Tawera 26, R Coman 18). HT: 49-45
Girls Pool A:
Waitaha Black 89 Hibiscus Coast 52
Waitaha Black 86 Thames Valley 40
Waitaha Black 36 Waitakere West 79
Girls Pool D:
Waitaha Red 94 Tasman 54
Waitaha Red 75 Rotorua 63,
Waitaha Red 102 Auckland Counties 29
Waitaha Red 77 Wellington 65
Girls Quarter-final: Waitaha Black 48 Taranaki 97
Girls 5-8 Semi-final: Waitaha Black 57 Rotorua 63
Play-off 7th: Waitaha Black 47 Waitaha Red 78
Girls Quarter-final: Waitaha Red 67 Manawatu 71
Girls 5-8 Semi-final: Waitaha Red 57 Waitakere West 63
Play-off 7th: Waitaha Red 78 Waitaha Black 47
Girls Grand Final: Taranaki 70 (R Sampson 26, 16R, P Mason 18, 11R) Waikato 62 (Q Walker-Eketone 19, R Anderson 14, J Waihi 11). HT: 30-23.
The Waitaha (Canterbury) teams were:
Waitaha Red Boys
Ah-Li Fenika, Caleb Cameron, Gregory Rodger, Mac Stodart, Mason Whittaker, Misinale Fifita, Okirano Tilaia, Samuel Jenkins, Wil de Geest, Zachary Hannen
Coach Jack Williamson, Ast Coach Liam Connelly, Manager Belinda Hannen
Waitaha Black Boys
James Ingram, Joshua Dela Cruz, Liam Golding, Quinn Lavery, Sam Gallagher, Tanae Lavery, Tautahi Briggs, Toby Tremewan, Trey Te Awa, Walter Brown
Coach Liam Connelly, Assistant Coach Jack Williamson, Manager Paul & Jo Golding
Waitaha Red Girls
Ashlee Strawbridge, Courtney Godinet, Georgia Hollings, Malia Faitaua-Nanai, Mia Abercrombie, Molly Cockburn, Olivia McIntyre, Samantha Arnold, Sophie Adams, Stella Porter
Coach Laken Wairau, Assistant Coach Kimberley Sexton, Manager Bronwyn Arnold
Waitaha Black Girls
Amy Buckmaster, Annabel Lapworth, Elsie McRobb, Holly Groeneweg, Isabelle Orr, Katie-Jo van Den Bogaert, Maia Williamson, Mia Pearson, Milly Ford, Terina Cooper
Coach Kimberley Sexton, Assistant Coach Laken Wairau, Manager Maria Lapworth