Canterbury Big Winners At Foot Locker U20 Nationals In Rangiora

It was a double win for Canterbury at the Foot Locker U20 Nationals this past weekend, with both the Canterbury men’s and women’s teams claiming gold in a thrilling set of finals – thanks to MVP efforts from Tama Isaac and Hana Lacey-Rameka.

Hosted by North Canterbury Basketball Association, 25 teams and 267 athletes descended on MainPower Stadium in Rangiora from Friday 31 May for the U20 Nationals. With 79 games played over the four days – culminating in the men’s and women’s grand final on Monday in front of a packed Canterbury crowd – the basketball action was non-stop.

And with Foot Locker on board for the first time as Naming Rights Partner, there was a positive vibe on and off the court from everyone in attendance; Foot Locker providing extra value with daily half-court shot competitions and the first-ever Defensive Player of the Tournament awards handed out – Ezrah Eagle and Evie Leeson receiving $200 Foot Locker vouchers for their defensive efforts.

Let’s check out a recap of the Men’s and Women’s Finals, as well as the tournament award winners:


Women’s Final: Canterbury 68, Tauranga 61

After a tight win over Waikato in their semi-final, Canterbury earned the right to face Tauranga in the Grand Final round. In a game that saw scores tied at 61-all with two minutes remaining, Canterbury went on a late 7-0 run to put the game away late. Canterbury did most of their damage at the line, shooting 21-35 from the charity stripe while also enjoying a 61-49 rebounding advantage over Tauranga.

Canterbury was led by captain Kavanah Lene’s 19 points and 8 rebounds; Lene hitting a huge triple with less than a minute left to help secure the win. MVP Hana Lacey-Rameka added 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Ashlyn Rean added a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double and Ivy Brown tallied 10 and 9.

Tauranga was paced by Anika Hyland’s 19 points, with Sophie Rogers and Mariana Monga adding 10 each; Monga also pulling down 10 rebounds. Olivia Lassey chipped in with 8 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in an all-around effort.

Box score:


Tournament Awards – Women

MVP – Hana Lacey-Rameka, Canterbury Basketball Association

Foot Locker Defensive Player of the Tournament – Evie Leeson, Canterbury Basketball Association

All-Star Five:

Bailey Flavell, Harbour Basketball Association

Hana Lacey-Rameka, Canterbury Basketball Association

Olivia Lassey, Tauranga City Basketball Council

Ashlyn Rean, Canterbury Basketball Association

Temepara Walker, Waikato Basketball Council


Men’s Final: Canterbury A 98, Waikato 80

After dispatching North Harbour in the semi-final round, Canterbury continued their unbeaten run throughout the tournament to take the Men’s title; leading the game from start to finish, while taking advantage of Waikato’s 23 turnovers to register 12 steals and 15 fastbreak points on the night.

MVP Tama Isaac (24 points, 5 steals) was dominant in the game’s final minutes to widen the margin to 18, with Canterbury also relying on solid efforts from Louie Gordon (26 points, 5-11 from downtown) and Hugo Gonzalez (16 points and 9 rebounds). Mitch Corkery added 9 and Seb Wilson with 8 points and 9 rebounds.

Waikato was led by Nicholas Hayward and his 17 points and 6 rebounds; Kobe Reed with 16 points (on 6-8 shooting) and 7 assists, Mahnaya Heke adding 13. Cody Swarbrick and Carter Hamlin each registered 8 points.

Box score:


Tournament Awards – Men

MVP – Tama Isaac, Canterbury Basketball Association

Foot Locker Defensive Player of the Tournament – Ezrah Eagle, Basketball Hawkes Bay

All-Star Five:

Nick Davidson, Nelson Basketball Association

Hugo Gonzalez, Canterbury Basketball Association

Nicholas Hayward, Waikato Basketball Council

Tama Isaac, Canterbury Basketball Association

Chris Wyllie, Harbour Basketball Association