Did someone say Three-peat? Well, that’s exactly what both the St. Andrew’s College Girls and Christ’s College Boys Basketball teams did this year.
McDonald’s Whelan Division I Final: St. Andrew’s College vs Rangiora High School
StAC was back for a third time, but their opponents Rangiora had some experience too. They were back in the Grand Final for the second consecutive year, and didn’t make it easy on the back-to-back to back champions of the Whelan Final though, refusing to go down without a fight.
Sure there were some nerves for this game, as last time they played it came down to the wire. It took a few possessions for both the teams to get points on the board. But once they got going and in the groove of things the game turned into a scoring-fest.
The first quarter ended with StAC up by one with a score of 17 – 16. After the quarter Kavanah Lene came out ready, with a steal and a lay-up contributing to her 15-point game. This helped StAC excel, building a nine-point lead on Rangiora. St. Andrew’s winning that quarter 20 – 12, to go into the halftime break ahead 37-28.
After halftime Rangiora came out ready to play with a quick basket by NZ Rep Ashlyn Rean cutting the lead down to seven points. StAC immediately answered back, with Ophelia Powell (9, 5r, 2b) leading a breakaway, passing to an open Karereatua Williams for an easy transition basket.
Rangiora reduced their deficit to four points with 3:00 left to go in the third quarter, but no matter how well they were doing on offense they weren’t able to stop StAC from getting theirs.
By the start of the last quarter the score was 50-43 to St. Andrew’s. But with four minutes to go in the game St. Andrew’s were too far ahead. They had the game secured, up 20 points.
Although StAC didn’t score for the last 3 minutes of the game, that still wasn’t enough for Rangiora as they were only held to scoring seven more points themselves. Not the big enough push they needed.
Karereatua Williams was named Whelan Finals MVP just filling the stat sheet with 17 points, 20 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks. Leaving no doubt who deserved to be named as the MVP. Two other St. Andrew’s players also reached double digits, helping contribute to a Grand Final victory: Maddie Morrow with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists; and Kavanah Lene with 15 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Congratulations to St. Andrew’s College for winning The Whelan Championship game three years in a row!
McDonald’s Thomson Division I Final: Christ’s College vs St. Thomas of Canterbury College
Had a packed out Cowles Stadium for the Thomson Final. Both sides
Christ’s started off hot with a quick 5-0 start. Truman Heath driving from the half court line for a finger roll lay up, then a fast break 3 pointer by Tom Harrison.
St. Thomas had an answer back with a block by Max Fale, leading into a fast break by Louis Gordon who dished it off to Kobe Nortmore for an and 1.
After the first quarter the score was 21 – 18, anyone’s game. But the second quarter was dominated by Christ’s College, outscoring St. Stomas 28 to 13.
Going into halftime with a 49 – 31 lead over St. Thomas. After that second quarter performance by Christ’s they never looked back and kept a large lead the rest of the game.
When the last shot clock went off Christ’s College became back to back to back Thomson Finals Champions. With a 99 – 81 win against a hard fought St. Thomas team.
Tom Harrison was named Finals MVP with 36 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. He had other teammates helping him in this win, with one of them being Hunter Adam adding 27 points to the board.
Congratulations to Christ’s College on being the 2022 Mcdonald’s Thomson Finals Winner!