Wildcats Off to WBC Finals

The Women’s Basketball championship finals weekend begins Thursday 5 July at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin with host side Otago Gold Rush top seed.

Women’s Basketball Championship Report – written by BBNZ and Bruce Martin

The Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats have recently been boosted by the return of Tessa Boagni after her four-year stint at California State University, Northridge, and the defending champions are keen to reverse the defeat they suffered at the hands of the Gold Rush last month.

Canterbury meets Auckland 12.30pm on Thursday and Otago Gold Rush at 7.30pm that same day.

Canterbury’s final pool game is against Tauranga City on Friday at 12.30pm with Semi-finals tipping off that night.

Other key Wildcat players include Wolverines’ Tessa Stewart- Morrison, Shea Crotty and Connie Poletti both representing the Lincoln University Club.


The Gold Rush needed some help from Power Chill Waikato Country Cannons to claim the title. The Cannons defeat of the Wizards in the Waikato derby meant three teams had an identical 5-2 record at the top of the table.

After crunching the numbers Gold Rush topped the table on points with a win against Waikato teams, and will be full of confidence ahead of the WBC Finals Weekend they host.

Double defending champion, the Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats, bounced back from successive defeats to beat Taranaki Thunder 79-60 at Cowles Stadium.

The Wildcats opened up a 27-11 first quarter advantage, propelled to that lead on the back of threes from Tessa Morrison (17 points), Shea Crotty, Terina Wanoa and Laken Wairau.

Lyndi Laborn (21 points/13 rebounds) and Isabelle Cook (15 points/10 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles and the duo led a Thunder revival in the second quarter – Wildcats 42-30 ahead at half-time.

A balanced scoring effort from the Wildcats, including six points and seven rebounds from returning Tall Fern Tessa Boagni ensured a fourth win of the campaign for the defending champions.

Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats 79 (Tessa Stewart- Morrison 17, Shea Crotty 13, Connie Poletti 11, Darcy Rose 9) Taranaki Thunder 60 (L Laborn 21, I Cook 15, R Samia 9)


The Canterbury Wildcats Coach Lori McDaniel says that the team “is looking forward to Finals’ weekend in Dunedin. Several current Tall Ferns will be playing, which is great for the game and provides a high level of competition. It also makes our path to the Grand Final more challenging as more teams are bringing in college players and Tall Ferns to strengthen their sides.  After a good win against Taranaki, the Wildcats are looking to clean up a few things on offence before our first game and continue integrating our own Tall Fern Tessa Boagni”.


The Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats team list is; Tessa Stewart- Morrison, Shea Crotty, Connie Poletti, Darcy Rose, Samantha Duggan, Ajiah Pepe, Helen Mathews, Lauryn Hippolite, Tessa Boagni, Terina Wanoa, Laken Wairau, Sapphire Wairau.

The team is Head Coached by Lori McDaniel, assisted by Gina Farmer and Joshua Thompson.

Some games will be available via Live stream on July 6 from 10:30am and July 7 from 9am via Basketball NZ  on Facebook and nz.basketball/tv


WBC Standings

1 Otago Gold Rush (5-2)

2 Power Chill Waikato Country Cannons (5-2)

3 Waikato Wizards (5-2)

4 Auckland Dream (4-3)

5 Alloyfold Wildcats (4-3)

6 Harbour Breeze (3-4)

7 Taranaki Thunder (2-5)

8 Tauranga City Coasters (0-7)

other headlines: