The last playoff spots have now been decided in the the final round of the regular season
Miles Toyota Premier Club Basketball Report by Bruce Martin and James Lissaman, Photos taken by Ajiah Pepe, Sharon Erwood or James Lissaman.
Miles Toyota Premier Men’s League
University of Canterbury vs Checkers
The University of Canterbury Men repeated their habit of relaxing in the final quarter as Checkers closed back within a few points with the students finally prevailing 79-72 in Cowles Stadium on Saturday.
Canadian Konrad Tota led the student’s efforts with a sound 27 points, 17 rebounds and five assists while Nathan Campbell added a fine 22 points. Among a host of new talent for Checkers saw Fletcher Arnold contribute 14 points and 12 rebounds and Jesse Kok 14, while the veteran Pip Johnston kept busy with 13 points.
Pioneer vs Wolverines
Wolverines, without the services of Taylor Britt and injured power-man Kieran Ball, struggled to contain a more lively Pioneer Pacers with the outcome of the game meant elimination from quarter-final play-offs. Oli Davies ran the moves for Pacers and penetrated the Wolverines defences to slot 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists, with support from Nick Erwood (15, 11R) and Cam Costley 18 points. Jordan Duggan led the Wolverines challenge with 23 points including 4-10 from behind the arc but was rattled by the Pioneer defence. Amosa Faitaua-Nanai, with 16 points, and Croydon Thompson’s 15 kept Wolverines in the hunt, especially in the last quarter as Wolverines fought back from 49-60 down at three-quarter time and scoring 29-22 to only lose the encounter 82-78.
Pioneers largest lead was 72-58 (14 pts) and they led the rebound stakes 60-45. Wolves prospered 30-18 from beyond the arc and made better use of turnovers.
Gators vs Atami
Gators again had to rely on the services of veteran Dave Langrell. He dominated the rebounds with 19, 17 of these on the defensive end while distributing the ball with ease.
After trailing 34-39 at the turn around Gators piled on 22-7 in the third quarter forcing Atami to shoot more from the outside. Derek Albertsen’s scored 22 after hitting 6-12 triples and Patrick Rodger’s 22 points led the Atami challenge while Matt Mischewski (23) and Cam Chalmers 21 had control of the game for Gators.
Gators biggest lead was 64-51 (13 pts) with 11 lead changes throughout the game.
University, Gators and Lincoln took the first three placing while Checkers finished 4th on countback, Pioneer 5th and Atami 6th. University and Gators can have a break leaving Lincoln University to clash with Atami (3 vs 6) and Checkers meets Pioneer Pacers in the 4 vs 5 matchup this Saturday.
Pioneer Pacers 82 (Oli Davies 23, 9R, 6A; Nick Erwood 15, 11R; Cam Costley 18) Wolverines 78 (Jordan Duggan 23; Amosa Faitaua-Nanai 16; Croydon Thompson 15). HT: 41-31
University 79 (Konrad Tota 27, 17R, 5A; Nathan Campbell 22) Checkers 72 (Fletcher Arnold 14, 12R; Jesse Kok 14; Pip Johnston 13, 4A). HT: 41-30
Gators 84 (Matt Mischewski 23; Cam Chalmers 21; Jozef Knottenbelt 12) Atami 72 (Derek Albertsen 22; Patrick Roger 22). HT: Atami 39-34
Bye: Lincoln University
Miles Toyota Premier Men’s League Final Placings: University 22, 1st; Gators 20, 2nd; Lincoln University 18, 3rd; Checkers 17, 4th (3W,1L); Pioneer 17, 5th (2W,2L); Atami 17, 6th (1W, 3L); Wolverines 15, 7th (eliminated).
Miles Toyota Premier Women’s League
Halswell vs North Canterbury
Defending Women’s Premier basketball champion North Canterbury were without the services of Charlotte Whittaker, attending the Steven Adam’s Basketball camp, and without her height and robust rebounding North Canterbury again struggled and went down to a strong challenge from Halswell 41-56.
However, much to the coach Wade Parata’s surprise, North Canterbury retained second place as points from the first round robin carried over, unlike previous years.
Laken Wairau 11, Jess Baker 10 and Alice Sproat 10 led the Halswell scoring while Renee Tuhikarama scored 11, and Helen Mathews with 10 replied for North Canterbury.
Minties vs Pioneer
Lincoln University finished top qualifier but had the bye while Minties overcame a spirited match against Pioneer Pacers, winning 60-49 and move into third on the table. Pioneer had four players in double figures, led by Bianca Aguiar 15, Maja Burry 12 and Georgia May Jenkins 12 while Tal-Fern Tessa Boagni (13) was the strength behind Minties challenge with support from Sarah Mason.
Wolverines vs University of Canterbury
However, it was Wolverines that came out trumps in the race to avoid elimination from this weekend’s quarter-final play-offs, winning 66-55. After it was all square at the first break (14-14), Canterbury Wildcat Tessa Stewart-Morrison led Wolverines as they started to edge away from University, taking a 31-24 lead at the half-time interval. University hung in tight giving Wolverines little leeway through the efforts of Paige Willman 18, Ashlee Rigter 12 and Nicole Stuart 11 and only trailed 40-46 at the third break. Letitia Mullaly gave Wolverines much supply of ball with her sound rebounding while Stewart-Morrison finished her impressive display, slotting 39 points for Wolverines.
Lincoln University and North Canterbury can now rest up this Saturday, leaving Minties to play Wolverines and Pioneer to play Halswell in the quarter-finals.
Halswell 56 (Laken Wairau 11; Jess Baker 10; Alice Sproat 10) North Canterbury 41 (Renee Tuhikarama 11; Helen Mathews 10). HT: 30-23
Minties 60 (Sarah Mason 15; Tessa Boagni 13) Pioneer Pacers 49 (Bianca Aguiar 15; Maja Burry 12; Georgia May Jenkins 12; Tessa Burry 10). HT: 29-25
Wolverines 66 (Tessa Stewart-Morrison 39; Letitia Mullaly 10) University 55 (Paige Willman 18; Ashlee Rigter 12; Nicole Stuart 11). HT: 31-24
Bye: Lincoln University
Miles Toyota Premier Women’s League final placings: Lincoln University 22, 1st; North Canterbury 20, 2nd; Minties 19, 3rd; Pioneer 18, 4th; Halswell 17, 5th; Wolverines 16, 6th; University 14, 7th (eliminated).
Men’s Under 23 Report
Although there is another full round of games to be played on Aug 25th, then three of the four Semi-finalists are fairly clear with the unbeaten University top qualifier while Gators Green in second place is likely to play third placed Lincoln University Bulls.
Round 8 and 9 points have been added and count as double up points for the two rounds not able to be played.
This leaves three teams with a chance to grab the fourth semi-final spot and a game against University. Checkers has the difficult job of beating University to play them again while Atami faces the Lincoln University Bulls and will need to avenge a 78-80 loss from the first round. If they both lose, then that opens the door for Pioneer Cashmere, currently one point behind and an easier game against the lower placed Atami Spartans and has a win loss advantage in case of a three way tie.
The LU Bulls have a formidable record in the MU23 competition having won the championship for four straight seasons, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017. Prior to 2014 the team lost to Gators in the 2013 Grand final and the team will be all out to reclaim the championship, such is the determination within the club.
On Saturday, inspired by a 29-point haul by Toby Gillooly Checkers out-pointed Lincoln Bulls 78-63 with support from Sam Riley. Lincoln were kept in the hunt with 14 points apiece from Ben Bowie, Edward Leofo and Josiah Williams but they failed to convert crucial baskets in the final quarter.
Wolverines bowed out of contention, beaten by Pioneer-Cashmere 76-62 with Nic Wenmoth (23) and Thomas Webley 17 standing out for Cashmere. University trounced Atami Spartans 104-49 with another strong team effort while Matt Mischewski (26) and Ben Carlile-Smith (17) saw Gators Green hold off a strong challenge from Pioneer Pacers, winning 74-68.
Men’s U23 League
Checkers 78 (Toby Gillooly 29; Sam Riley 19; Ruben Stanley 13) Lincoln University Bulls 63 (Ben Bowie 14; Edward Leofo 14; Josiah Williams 14). HT: 37-30
Gators Green 74 (Matt Mischewski 26; Ben Carlile-Smith 17) Pioneer Pacers 68 (Isaiah McLeod 18; Paul Viteetarm 12). HT: 38-28
University 104 (Jesse Campbell 24; Simon Reeves 21; Lauchie Weston 18; Paul Stephenson 14) Atami Spartans 49 (Tyreice Tuliau 16; Joel Jeffrey 16). HT: 50-22
Pioneer-Cashmere 76 (Nic Wenmoth 23; Thomas Webley 17; Tom Russ-Hofmans 12) Wolverines 62 (Amosa Faitaua-Nanai 31; Sam Archibald 11). HT: Wolves 41-27
Men’s U23 placings with games played in parenthesis: University 32 (16); Gators Green 28 (16); Lincoln University Bulls 27 (16); Atami 25 (16); Checkers 25 (16); Pioneer-Cashmere 24 (16); Wolverines 23 (16); Atami Spartans 20 (16); Pioneer Pacers 18 (17). NB: Includes Rounds 8 and 9 points counting double for games played (match-up against the withdrawn Checkers Rockets is marked as a bye in added rounds).