2018 Senior Finals Day Wrap

The new format for finals in 2018 was very well received, with five of the senior games going down to the wire

Written by Bruce Martin and edited by James Lissaman. Photos courtesy Joeman Chan and the CBA

CBA Senior Grand Finals day Saturday 15th September


Miles Toyota Premier Men’s Basketball Championship

University, coached by Piet Van Hasselt, deservedly won a long overdue Miles Toyota Premier Men’s basketball championship in Cowles stadium on Saturday. The students had to come back from behind in the fourth quarter of the Grand Final, tying the game 78-78, then to go on and win the Championship in extra time 97-92 after Patron’s trophy winner Gators had led for 75% of the first 40 minutes.

University has won numerous Men’s Premier championships in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001, but it has been a long 17 year wait since, while in 2007 Kiwihoops University had scooped the Hoben trophy, it’s only modicum of success.

Atami had held the championship for much of the period with titles in 1992, 1994, 2004, 2006, 2008/09/10 and 2013.


University 97 Gators 92 in Overtime

In the Miles Toyota Men’s Premier Grand Final, the evergreen former Tall Black Dave Langrell got quickly into his trademark work, dominating the defensive boards for Gators with 20 rebounds and an incredible 13 assists, distributing much needed ball to his other players.

After several lead exchanges, Gators sneaked ahead at quarter time 21-17 and slowly extended its lead through the second quarter through the patient efforts of Zach Lilburne and Jozef Knottenbelt. Just before the second break Gators had its biggest lead 45-24 (21 points) but by half-time the students had cut it back marginally to trail 28-45.

Canadian Konrad Tota had led the students’ early efforts while Finals MVP Tony Tolovae began to step up in the second quarter, to limit the damage as Gators outshot University 24-11 here..

Slowly in the third quarter University started to close the gap and trailed 52-64, with one quarter to play. Tolovae and Tota scoring while Paul Stephenson added some relief with a quick seven points. Meanwhile the pace of the game started to toll on Gators playing much of the game with only five key players.

In the key fourth quarter Gators’ shots that earlier had dropped began to miss while Nathan Campbell stepped up with a timely 10 points for University as the students outpointed Gators 26-14 to level the game at 78-78 and send it into overtime. Two triples and two baskets from Tolovae made important contributions in key moments.

In the ensuing overtime the exhausted Langrell still managed eight points including a triple pointer and Lilburne six, but it was Tota with two threes in his 10 points, smaller contributions from Tolovae (4) and an important five from Simon Reeves that allowed University to take the Grand Final, wining 97-92. Reeves had led the University MU23 scoring with 23 points earlier in the day.

University won the battle for turnover points 18-5 and second chance points 23-10 and the depth on its bench saw them notch 34-11 off the bench. There were eight lead changes in a game that was tied on eight occasions.


Miles Toyota Premier Women’s Basketball Championship

Lincoln University reclaimed the Women’s Premier championship, beating defending champion North Canterbury 80-55 and Lincoln University also won the Women’s Under 21 Grand final, after going through the season unbeaten, had to come from behind in the final quarter to beat Halswell 68-58.

Lincoln University 80 North Canterbury 55

Patron’s trophy winner and 2014 and 2016 champion Lincoln University regained the Miles Toyota Premier Women’s basketball championship in Cowles stadium on Saturday defeating the gallant defending champion North Canterbury 80-55 in the Grand Final played in Cowles stadium on Saturday.

North Canterbury were missing key player national Junior representative Charlotte Whittaker who is in the United States. Lincoln University having too many top guns, after they were the shorthanded team last year, when Connie Poletti was away at a New Zealand Trial.

North Canterbury played with much determination but with Lincoln’s Canterbury Wildcat Connie Polleti in almost total control, it was always going to be an uphill battle. Poletti dominated the game with 30 points, 17 rebounds as well as five assists, and deservedly won the Finals MVP award. Shea Crotty played the whole 40 minutes, and bowed out with 17 points and eight assists while Caitlin Grice (14), Ajiah Pepe (9) and Sophie Schrader (9) all added to Lincoln’s strength about the court.

For NC, Tiana Placid (13) and Ashlee Fane (10) topped the scoring while New Zealand Junior Helen Mathews was restricted to seven points. Other players to give their all for North Canterbury were Caoimhe Colgan (5), Renee Tuhikarama (8), Connie Taylor (5) and Taneisha Nutira (7).

Lincoln led 19/10 at quarter-time and extended it to 36-22 by the turnaround. By the third break North Canterbury still trailed by 17 points (40-57) while Lincoln eased away in the final quarter to win 80-55.


Major Award Winners

In addition to the First team and Grade MVP winners recognizsed, the four major award recipients were also presented:

Administrator of the Year – Caroline Whittaker (North Canterbury). Caroline has routinely gone the extra mile to ensure that all of the NC Club teams are well managed, and communicates any issues that may  have effects on the CBA competitions as soon as she is aware of them. The CBA is wishing Caroline well as she moves away from the NCBA role, but are sure she will be an avid supporter of the club.

Coach of the Year – David Langrell. David has taken the reigns of the Under 23 Men’s Representative Programme, and won three National Titles in the past four years, including back to back in the 2017 and 2018 tournaments. The long term success he has had in this competition is the envy of the country.

Services to Basketball – Faith Harrison (Gators Club). This award not only recognizes the tremendous job Faith has done with her club, but also some of the other initiatives she has played a key part in. These include (but are no means limited to): being the catalyst for the changing of the Junior All Star Grades, and having a Junior and Senior Finals Day; and providing necessary advice and guidance for the Wolverines club to become incorporated.

Club of the Year – University of Canterbury. UC basketball has strengthened its ties with High Schools, with CBHS and Christ’s college entering under the UC banner. In addition to this UC has been increasing the number of teams entering CBA competitions, with seven other UC teams playing in 2018. In terms of championships, UC won the 2017 UTSNZ Men’s National Championship, and qualified for both the 2018 Men’s U23 and Premier finals in our local competition (winning both).


Men’s Division One Grand Final

In other Grand Finals on Saturday the Lawhub Checkers came from behind to beat Atami Wizards in the Men’s Division one Grand Final, winning 85-74.

Filipino former professional Ariel Mepana won the MVP award with his 27 points, 17 rebounds, four steals and eight assists and supported by Hiram Cuyno (23, 16R) and John Quitiong 14 points.  Key contributor for the Wizards was Jason Lee with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Atami held sway leading 25/21 at quarter-time, 47-38 by half-time but the gap had closed to 62-60 by three-quarter time. Mepana then led the final quarter barrage for Lawhub with fast breaks and lay ups, Cuyno adding several more baskets while the Atami Wizards began to miss shots under pressure, Checkers taking the championship 85-74.


Women’s Division One Grand Final

Defending champion Halswell Red held off a late challenge from 2009, 2013 and 2015 champion Royals to claim the Women’s Division one Grand Final, winning 61-59. In the semi’s top qualifier Halswell Green was put out by Royals with a 47-44 upset. Halswell Red were led by former Wildcats Bridget Salkeld (9) and Anna Williams (7) while youngster, and First Team Award Recipient, Georgia Onekawa led the Reds scoring with 12 points. Royals was led by First Teamer Pina Lissaman (13) while Juanita Gear topped the sheet with 25 points.

Halswell Green was favourites to win the WD1 title, with their team containing a host of former International, Wildcat and Women’s Premier players including Sonja Akkerman, Marinda Van Vuuren, Sue Bennie, Jess Grosskreutz, Jane Lattimore and Stacy Hickford but injury had slowed many of them.


Men’s Under 23 Grand Final

Earlier on Senior Finals Day, University captured the Men’s Under 23 Grand Final when it comfortably beat Gators Green 83-70 to remain unbeaten for the entire season – the fifth consecutive year a Men’s U23 team has had a perfect season.


Men’s Under 20A Grand Final and Men’s Under 20 Development Final

The Gators club can be proud of their success having four teams in action on the Senior Grand Finals day with its MU20A team coming from behind in the last quarter, pipping Pioneer-Cashmere 65-63 and Gators White capturing the MU20 Development title, edging Pioneer Blue 80-76 in their Grand Final. Pioneer Blue was ahead 19-14 at quarter-time, behind 37-38 at half-time but back in front 58-57 by the third break only for Gators White to snatch the trophy in the final quarter, taking the lead 59-58 shortly after the start of the final quarter and holding on to win the trophy.


MU20A Deferred Second life Semi-Final last Tuesday:

Gators 76 Gators Green 70 in Overtime

Joshua Nickel was again the toast of his Gators team because in the space of two encounters he slotted miracle last second triple pointers. Last Tuesday at Middleton Grange in a Second life deferred Semi-Final his team Gators were trailing Gators Green 62-65 with a few seconds remaining to full time when Joshua let loose with a triple pointer to square the game and send it into over-time.

In the extra time that followed, Gators, buoyed by the last second heroics of Nickel, pulled away to beat Gators Green 76-70 after trailing 28-33 at half-time and 45- 53 at the third break. Nickel scored 24 points and Seth Bryant had 22 for Gators while Ah Li Fenika (24) and Carlton Chitongo (14) replied for Gators Green.

This won Gators the right to face the well drilled Pioneer-Cashmere in the Grand Final.

A MG Gators team last won the MU20 grade in 2013 and 2018 saw a new champion breaking the four-year dominance of Burnside-Checkers during 2014-17.


Results Were:

Miles Toyota Premier Men’s Basketball Championship

University 97 (Konrad Tota 28, 6R, 5A; Tony Tolovae 26, 18R; Brent Fisher 16, 10R; Nathan Campbell 10) Gators 92 in Extra-time (Zach Lilburne 30, 8R; Cam Chalmers 26, 7R; David Langrell 17, 20R, 13A; Jozef Knottenbelt 16, 10R 5A). QT; Gators 21-17, HT: Gators 45-28, 3QT: Gators 64-52, FT: 78-78, OT: University 97-92.

Finals MVP – Tony Tolovae


Miles Toyota Premier Women’s Basketball Championship

Lincoln University 80 (Connie Poletti 30, 17R, 5A; Shea Crotty 17, 8A; Caitlin Grice 14, 12R) North Canterbury 55 (Tiana Placid 13; Ashlee Fane 10). HT: 36-22, 3QT: 57-40.

Finals MVP – Connie Poletti


Men’s U23 Grand-Final

University (Simon Reeves 23, Rohan Russo 20, Paul Stephenson 20, Josh Petermann 10) Gators Green 70 (Matt Mischewski 24, Conner McLaughlin 13). HT: 39-23.

Finals MVP – Josh Petermann


MU20A Deferred Second life Semi-Final

Gators 76 (Joshua Nickel 24, Seth Bryant 22) Gators Green 70 in Extra-time (Ah Li Fenika 24, Carlton Chitongo 14, Trey Te Awa 10). HT: Gators Green 33-28, 3QT: GG 53-45. FT: 65-65. OT: Gators 76-70.


MU20A Grand-Final

Gators 65 (Joshua Nickel 14, Sam Tang 13, Jimmy Williamson 11) Pioneer-Cashmere 63 (Luca Williams 14, Finn Barclay 12, Willem Russ Hoffman 12, Liam Golding 11). HT: PC 33-27.

Finals MVP – Joshua Nickel


MU20 Development Final

Gators White 80 (Guy Cooper 22, Stephen Mischewski 17, Jerome Tuiono 16) Pioneer Blue 76 (Oban Twist 27, Jacky B 14, Sam Campion 13, Enda Brennan 12). HT: 38-37.

Finals MVP – Jerome Tuiono


Men’s Division One Grand-Final

Lawhub Checkers 85 (Ariel Mepana 27, 17R, 8A; Hiram Cuyno 23, 16R; John Quitiong 14; Roldan Santos 13) Atami Wizard 74 (Jason Lee 20, 11R; Kyle Clapperton 14, 11R; Stu Ramsay 11; Damen Waitere 11, 7R, 4A). HT: Atami Wizards 47-38.

Finals MVP – Ariel Mepana


Women’s Division One Grand-Final

Halswell Red 61 (Georgia Onekawa 12, Kate Van Beurten 10) Royals 59 (Juanita Gear 25, Pina Lissaman 13, Fuatai Lai Kong 12). HT: 25-23.

Finals MVP – Georgia Onekawa


Women’s Under 21 Grand-Final

Lincoln University 68 (Megan Ellis 22, Sammy Irvine 21) Halswell 58 (Billie Watson 14, Ashlee Strawbridge 12). HT: Halswell 37-36.

Finals MVP – Megan Ellis

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