An extended day of the 3x3 basketball has seen the finalists of the Secondary Schools 3x3 Championships decided earlier than expected.
Rescheduling of the draw meant 237 games were played over an 11-hour span, with play concluding at 8:30pm.
The senior boy’s elite grade will have a new champion in 2019, as St Kents fell to Rotorua Boys High School in their quarterfinal in what was an arm wrestle up until late in the contest. Winners of pool A and B Westlake and Rosmini both cruised to victory in their fixtures, while runners-up in pool A St John’s topped Northcote in a back and forth affair.
St Peter’s, Cambridge have kept their hopes of a back-to-back title with a 15-5 victory over Westlake Girls. Tall Fern Charlisse Leger-Walker was her usual self in contributing on both ends of the floor, but the win ultimately came off the back of a collective effort. If St Peter’s can replicate their play from tonight’s game they will be a tough beat.
That result set up an all Waikato final, as Hamilton Girls beat St Mary’s in a low scoring bout. The largely defensive-minded affair had most of its play come in the early stages, with Hamilton eventually prevailing 8-5.
Rotorua Boys would find themselves in another arm wrestle when facing off with Westlake Boys in their semi-finals. Westlake started the game off hot, with big man Sam Mennenga stroking it from deep. Rotorua would surge late with a pair of deuces to get the game within striking distance, but Westlake would do just enough to see the game out 17-16.
This would set up another local derby, as Rosmini had a come from behind victory over St John’s after their game went to overtime. Rosmini had the chance to finish the game in regulation with a pair of free throws after time had expired, but misses on both shots sent the game to the extra period. St Johns then had their on chance to progress to the final from the charity stripe, but just like Rosmini they would fall short by only converting one of the two. Rosmini would follow the miss with an And-1 and send their fans into hysteria as they marched into the championship game.
St Thomas and Hastings Boys play for the junior boy’s elite crown in what shapes to be a very tight contest. Both progressed through the playoffs rather easily and both will be full of confidence for the big dance tomorrow afternoon.
The junior girl’s elite final will be played between Westlake Girls and Tai Wananga after both made easy work of their semi-finals.
The draw for tomorrow’s games can be found here.
Play resumes at 1pm tomorrow, with the elite finals timed for a 4pm tip-off. Mai FM will be on-site with a lockbox challenge as well as providing hydration stations for all players and spectators.