This week’s results set us up for an exciting finish to the season, as we will see the two teams in both the men’s and women’s leagues battling for the final playoff spot in head to head matchups next round.
Report collated and written by Bruce Martin with James Lissaman
Miles Toyota Men’s Premier League
University vs Atami
The University of Canterbury maintained its lead in the Miles Toyota Premier Men’s Basketball League with an 88-71 win over Atami in Cowles stadium on Saturday. The students had control of the game, especially in the first half, leading 26-10 by quarter-time and 52-26 at the turn around.
Canterbury Ram Tony Tolovae, who is about to depart for China, shot 19 points with a mixed array of inside and outside shots while Josh Petermann (17), Paul Stephenson (16) and Canadian Konrad Tota with 15 points added to the depth for the students. University relaxed its pressure in the second spell as Atami’s Zacc Dwan (20) and Derek Albertsen (17) exploited slackening efforts by University.
University nearly paid dearly for the lack of discipline late in the fourth quarter as Atami closed to within five points (69-74) through the efforts of Aled Jones (11) and Joel Jeffery’s 13 points.
Gators vs Checkers
Gators cemented a top two placing with a solid 103-80 win over Checkers but not before Checkers had some concentrated efforts from youngsters Joshua Lowe (18) and Sam Riley (17 points). Gator Matt Mischewski (28) found weaknesses in the Checkers defences while Cam Chalmers (27) marshalled the Gators from the rear. Time Bennetts’ team had a narrow first quarter lead of 19-17 but by half time extended it to 49-34. The third period was virtually even, before Gators finished strongly in the final quarter – winning 103-80.
Lincoln University vs Pioneer
It wasn’t just LU that wanted to grab the win against Pioneer, but they also had the Wolverines team rooting for them as well – a Pioneer win on Saturday would have eliminated the Wolfpack from the playoffs.
Bolstered by former LU scholar James Levings (11), the outcome of the game never really was in the balance. Lincoln University had a 25-15 lead after the first-quarter and stretched it to 47-28 at the half.
Pioneer used some excellent execution to start the second half with Adrian Taylor (18) and Dan Mulder (10) converting some wide-open looks. Sam Smith (31) and Ben Bowie (17) kept the pressure on, never letting the Pacers get closer than 13 points down, as LU stretched the lead back to twenty points with one quarter to go.
The final quarter was academic with both teams running their benches. Jayden Chan (12) and Ben Williams (11) making five LU double-figure scorers, with Pioneer having Nick Erwood (11) and Oli Davies (10) join Mulder and Taylor for Pioneer.
Lincoln University won by the final score of 97-70, with Pioneer’s loss leaving them one point ahead of Wolverines in sixth place. The two teams clash in the final round robin game on August 18th to see which side books the final ticket to the Quarter-final play-offs on August 25th. If Wolverines can do another Houdini escape it would need to win by more than five points to edge ahead of Pioneer on points for and against, Pioneer having won the first-round encounter 84-79.
Miles Toyota Premier Women’s League
Wolverines vs Pioneer
Wolverines produced another huge upset in the Women’s Premier league with a solid 59-33 win over a short-handed Pioneer Pacers. Wolverines maintained a pretty tight defence and shot after shot by Pioneer rimed out or bounced clear on many occasions.
The Burry sisters, Tessa (11) and Maja (10) led a challenge for Pioneer but all too often Wolverines tight defence took control. Pioneer had only one sub and appeared to be pacing the game. Bianca de Aguiar had some moments for Pioneer but her finishing efforts fell short. Wildcat Lauren Hippolite was one of the key Pioneer players missing from the action.
The whole Wolverines team put their top effort into the game, tiring Pioneer. Letitia Mullaly 13, Tessa Stewart-Morrison 12 and Kendal Hastie 10 leading the wolfpack scoring. By quarter-time Wolves were ahead 17-12, up 38-15 by the turnaround and 46-21 at the third break, eventually rounding out the game 59-33.
Lincoln University vs Minties
With first placed already locked up the LU women’s team was looking to bounce back from their upset loss last week. After a slow start form both teams LU managed to find its groove late in the first quarter.
Lincoln University turned excellent teamwork into a strong 78-36 win with five players reaching double figures and work horse Connie Poletti easing back. Other LU players to feature were Sophie Schrader 13, Sammy Irvine 13, Shea Crotty 11, Megan Ellis 11 making the team a force to be reckoned with, just as the play-offs are looming. LU led Minties 35-13 at half-time while Sarah Mason managed 10 points for Minties.
LU kept up the defence once again after the break with Minties not finding any open looks. The floodgates really started to open for LU with forward Connie Poletti having another dominant game on both ends with 14 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists.
North Canterbury vs the University of Canterbury
North Canterbury bounced back after last week’s two losses and comfortably beat the University of Canterbury 85-44. NC was reinforced by the return of Esra McGoldrick who slotted 27 points while others to score were Ashlee Fane 16, Renee Tuhikarama 13, Caoimhe Colgan 12 and Taneisha Nutira 12 much to the delight of coach Wade Parata.
NC raced to a 29-18 first quarter lead and extended to 51-31 by half-time and pulled away steadily from there. Lily Nicol 13, Beth O’Connor 12, Ashlee Rigter 11 were the contributors for the students.
Wolverines have a standings advantage over University but when they clash on August 18th in the last round robin game Wolverines will need to win, or else UC will snatch the final playoff spot from them.
Miles Toyota Premier Men’s League
Lincoln University 97 (Sam Smith 31; Ben Bowie 17; Jayden Chan 12; James Levings 11; Ben Williams 11) Pioneer Pacers 70 (Adrian Taylor 18; Nick Erwood 11; Oli Davies 10; Dan Mulder 10). HT: 47-28
University 88 (Tony Tolovae 19; Josh Petermann 17; Paul Stephenson 16; Konrad Tota 15) Atami 71 (Zacc Dwan 20; Derek Albertsen 17; Joel Jeffrey 13; Aled Jones 11). HT: 52-26
Gators 103 (Matt Mischewski 28; Cam Chalmers 27; Jozef Knottenbelt 14; Connor McLaughlin 10) Checkers 80 (Joshua Lowe 18; Sam Riley 17; Joe Cook-Green 12). HT: 49-34,
Miles Toyota Premier Men’s League placings with games played in parenthesis: University 20 (11), Lincoln University 18 (12), Gators 18 (11), Checkers 16 (11), Atami 16 (11), Pioneer 15 (11), Wolverines 14 (11).
Miles Toyota Premier Women’s League
North Canterbury 85 (Esra McGoldrick 27; Ashlee Fane 16; Renee Tuhikarama 13; Caoimhe Colgan 12; Taneisha Nutira 12) University of Canterbury 44 (Lily Nicol 13; Beth O’Connor 12; Ashlee Rigter 11). HT: 51-31
Lincoln University 78 (Connie Poletti 14, 15R, 7A; Sophie Schrader 13; Sammy Irvine 13; Shea Crotty 11, 5A; Megan Ellis 11) Minties 36 (Sarah Mason 10). HT: 35-13
Wolverines 59 (Letitia Mullaly 13; Tessa Stewart-Morrison 12; Kendal Hastie 10) Pioneer Pacers 33 (Tessa Burry 11; Maja Burry 10). HT: 38-15
Miles Toyota Premier Women’s League placings with games played in parenthesis: Lincoln University 22 (12), North Canterbury 19 (11), Minties 17 (11), Pioneer 17 (11), Halswell 15 (11), Wolverines 14 (11), University 13 (11).
Men’s Under 23
University maintained their unbeaten record in the MU23 competition but were soundly tested by middle of the table Wolverines due to an outstanding 30-point game from Amosa Faitaua-Nanai.
Four time defending champion Lincoln University Bulls maintained third place after powering away from second placed Gators Green to a comfortable 90-53 win through the efforts of Ben Hall (21) and Ben Bowie (17) after leading 35-20 at the break.
Atami, Checkers or Wolverines are all still candidates for the fourth and final semi-final spot on September 1st.
Lincoln University Bulls 90 (Ben Hall 21; Ben Bowie 17; Edward Leofo 15) Gators Green 53 (Matt Mischewski 18; Tom Crutchley 10). HT: 35-20
Checkers 82 (Joe Cook-Green 17; Ben Harris 16; Sam Riley 14; Joshua Lowe 14) Atami 41 (Tuha Tuimaka 8). HT: 36-17
Atami Spartans 80 (Mona Faitaua-Nanai 24; Wiremu Waka 12; Blake Cunninghame 11) Pioneer Pacers 52 (Isaiah McLeod 17; Paul Viteetarm 14). HT: 52-27
University 73 (Josh Petermann 16; Paul Stephenson 12; Simon Reeves 11) Wolverines 63 (Amosa Faitaua-Nanai 30; Ben Hussey 10). HT: 35-29
Men’s U23 placings with games played in parenthesis: University 26 (13), Gators Green 24 (14), Lincoln Univ Bulls 22 (13), Atami 22 (14), Wolverines 21 (14), Checkers 20 (13), Pioneer-Cashmere 19 (13), Atami Spartans 17 (13), Pioneer Pacers 15 (14).