The NZ U15 Boys team have cruised to a 125-54 win over hosts Guam overnight, riding a 45-point second quarter to register their second win at the FIBA U15 Oceania Championships.
Although the Kiwis were again plagued by poor shooting – hitting 5/28 from outside at a 19% clip – they were dominant inside, hitting 77% of their two pointer and registering an overwhelming 98 points in the paint. As they had done against Samoa the previous night, New Zealand also controlling the boards with a 64-39 advantage, generated a healthy 46 points off of turnovers alongside 33 fast break points – evidence of their strong running game in action.
Merrick Rillstone again led the way with a 22 point, 11 rebound, 4 assist & 4 steal stat-line, while Hayden Jones, Liam Van Der Heyden and Lachlan Crate scored 14 apiece. Troy Plumtree had a double-double with 12 & 11, while Dov Silberstein tallied 13 points & 4 steals – six players reaching double figures in scoring for NZ.
Coach Haddleton made a trio of changes to his starting line-up for this game, bringing in James Matthews, Jameer Reed and Van Der Hayden in place of Silberstein, Goodman and Cate.
The game was a back-and-forth affair in the first few minutes as both teams were content to feel each other out; Van Der Heyden scoring 4 of the Kiwi’s first 8 points to provide a spark inside. New Zealand extended the lead to 14-4 on a thunderous dunk by Goodman, part of a 10-0 run that helped to give the Kiwis a 20-11 lead heading into the break.
New Zealand exploded in the second quarter to widen the lead over their Oceanic rivals; hitting 21-27 shots in the period to ring up 45 points against 18 for Guam – Rillstone and Silberstein doing the most damage with 10 and 8 points respectively. The Kiwis took a 65-29 lead into halftime, despite shooting just 2-12 from downtown.
New Zealand continued their domination in the second half, starting with an 8-0 run in the third that saw Goodman make a pair of impressive blocks. Jones – relatively quiet up to this point – also caught fire in the third period; his 10 points coming off of a pair of triples and a driving dunk. And Plumtree provided constant energy with his inside play and work on the works, his efforts rewarding him with a double-double before the fourth quarter had begun.
New Zealand cracked the 100-point mark midway through the final period on an inside move by Van Der Heyden, with some improved outside shooting from Guam preventing the final deficit – 71 points – from getting any bigger.
Both the NZ U15 Boys and Girls teams face their toughest test tomorrow when they take on Australia; the Girls at 3.15pm NZT and the Boys at 7.45 NZT. Watch it live at nz.basketball/tv
New Zealand 125 – Rillstone 22 PTS & 11 REB & 4 STL | Jones 14 PTS & 9 REB | Crate 14 PTS | Van Der Hayden 14 PTS & 6 REB | Silberstein 13 PTS & 4 STL | Plumtree 12 PTS & 11 REB | Goodman 8 PTS & 5 REB & 3 BLK | Lepou 9 PTS | Cate 6 PTS | Dallow 5 PTS | Reed 4 PTS | Matthews 4 PTS
Guam 54 – Michael Jr Mike Bork 12 PTS | Noah Hernandez 10 PTS | Collin Rillamas 6 PTS
Quarter scores: 20-11, 65-29, 91-39, 125-54
Full box score: http://bbnz.link/lt65z