The ‘A’ champions were crowned on Day 4 at the 2022 Basketball New Zealand Secondary Schools National Championships in Palmerston North on Thursday with Opunake High School taking out the Boys title and Ngā Taiātea Wharekura the Girls championship.
An impressive shooting display from Ngā Taiātea Wharekura (NTW) carried the Hamilton school to its first ‘A’ Girls Championship defeating Tauranga’s Aquinas College 75-49.
NTW shot a blistering 52% (11/21) from the three-point arc – the outstanding Ripeka Edwards making 5 from 11 from deep in a game high 35 points.
Piri Lewis opened the scoring as Ngā Taiātea Wharekura scored the first 12 points of the contest – Aquinas head coach Mike Rogers needing a timeout just four minutes into the game.
Emma Rogers opened the Aquinas account on the restart to trigger a 7-0 run before Anue Tuaupiki landed a three in response. Te Paea Ma’u’s baseline jumper beat the quarter-time buzzer – NTW off to a flyer ahead 23-8 at the quarter mark.
Tuaupiki landed her second triple after an inside make from Aquinas forward Isabella Gillard.
Piri Lewis then landed an arching three to stretch the NTW lead beyond twenty points and that was still the margin at half-time – Aquinas trailing 45-23.
Edwards made the last score of the half and led all scorers at the interval with 15 points.
The two teams went basket for basket in the third quarter and although Sophie Rogers closed the scoring for the period with an NBA range three it was NTW in control with a 59-34 lead.
The impressive Edwards took her tally beyond 30 points as NTW controlled the closing stages.
Also runners-up in 2014 Aquinas will have to wait a while longer for its first championship – Recently named to the New Zealand U15 team, Emma Rogers (23 points) was outstanding in a losing cause.
Ngā Taiātea Wharekura 78 – R Edwards 35, P Lewis 19, A Tuaupiki 9, T Ohia 6
Aquinas 49 – E Rogers 23, S Macdonald 9, I Gillard 6
Officials – Kirsty Howaston and Leo Shaw
3rd/4th play-off result:
Opunake Girls High 73 – B Cook 28, A Bright 24, P Taylor 8, J Symes 8
Manukura 47 – P Donaldson 16, B Jones 7, M Bell 6, L Harrison 6
Officials – Mia Daly and Natalie Whiteley
‘A’ Girls Tournament Team
Arna Bright – Opunake High School
Bethany Cook – Opunake High School
Emma Rogers – Aquinas College
Josey Hansen – Paeroa College
Kaitlyn McIntosh – Manukura
Legacy Harrison – Manukura
Pirikitearoha Lewis – Ngā Taiātea Wharekura
Sophie Rogers – Aquinas College
Waiheke Rio – Te Kura O Te Koutu
Ripeka Edwards – Ngā Taiātea Wharekura
MVP – Ripeka Edwards – Ngā Taiātea Wharekura
Opunake High School survived a stirring fourth quarter fight back from Ngā Taiātea Wharekura (NTW) to win an exciting Boys ‘A’ championship game 82-74.
Trailing by 20 points at the start of the fourth NTW signalled they still meant business unleashing a 12-2 run to close within 6 points (69-63) with 4:30 to play to the delight of the supporting “Orange Army”.
Jaree Summerfield made it a 9 point game Komai Winikerei dragging it back to 7 points only for Cameron Quinnell, with 2:45 to play, to add a free throw to a made bucket – 75-66 the lead.
With 1:29 left Winikerei made a brace of free-throws (75-68) and Maioro Greensill a triple as an unlikely comeback win remained on the cards.
However it would be Opunake’s MVP’s Harry Gibson and Quinnell that would seal the deal to close out a far from comfortable 8-point win .
Both teams were previous winners of the Boys ‘A’ title – NTW in 2009 and Opunake at the most recent championship in 2019 and it was the Taranaki school off to the better start scoring the first 12 points before Arahi Marsh sunk a triple.
Marsh landed another trey but there were slim pickings for NTW as Opunake rounded out the first period with a 26-9 lead – Cameron Quinnell with 11 of those points.
Tama Te Ahorangi Darlington sunk a corner three before Opunake point guard CJ Abad made a conventional And-1 for his three points – Opunake ahead by 20 points courtesy of a Gibson floater.
The response from NTW was immediate scoring the next six points before Quinnell (18 points and 9 rebounds in the half) nailed a corner three ahead of the interval. Opunake 43-24 to the good at half-time.
Gibson and Quinnell scores were countered by Arahi Marsh and Komai Winikerei in a fast paced start to the third period – the difference twenty points (56-36) midway through the spell.
A Kaharau Reti jump shot put a dent in that lead but not for long as Gibson scored the next 4 points.
The third closed with a bunch of threes – Gibson and Quinnell for Opunake, Maioro Greensill and Darlington for NTW who trailed 67-47 ahead of an exciting, frantic final ten minutes.
Ngā Taiātea Wharekura 74 – T Louis 20, M Greensill 19, K Winikerei 14, T Darlington 11, T Gabel-Te’evale 8/9rebs
Opunake 82 – C Quinnell 34/17rebs, H Gibson 20/12rebs, L Kidd 11, J Summerfield 9
Officials – Ethan Ngaraione and Codey Montgomerie
3rd/4th play-off result:
Manukura 64 – H Lambert 17, N Bell 13, T Mohi 11, D Blake-Kaiwai 7
Hato Paora 49 – M Arahanga 15, T Hosking 12, W Poutu 11, O Mihaere 7
Officials – Ben McLauchlan and Blake Rosanowski
‘A’ Boys Tournament Team
Harris Taylor – Aquinas College
Ngataiawa Pirini – Te Aroha College
Devon Blake-Kaiwai – Manukura
Mai Te Rangi Arahanga – Hato Paora College
Hawaiki Leach – Te Kura O Te Koutu
Arahi Marsh – Ngā Taiātea Wharekura
Maioro Greensill – Ngā Taiātea Wharekura
Jaree Summerfield – Opunake HS
Harry Gibson – Opunake HS
Cameron Quinnell – Opunake HS
MVP – Cameron Quinnell – Opunake HS
Preliminary Quarter Final Results:
Saint Kentigern College 85 Westlake Boys High School 84
Mt Albert Grammar School 102 Wellington College 73
Waimea College 102 Hamilton Boys High School 85
Auckland Grammar School 79 Rangitoto College 69
Quarter Final Results:
Rotorua Boys High School 81 Auckland Grammar School 70
Rosmini College 94 Waimea College 56
Christ’s College 86 Mt Albert Grammar School 64
New Plymouth Boys High 71 St Kentigern College 70
Rotorua Boys High School v Christ’s College
Rosmini College v New Plymouth Boys High School
St Peter’s School, Cambridge 73 Waimea College 59
Whangarei Girls High School 69 Napier Girls High School 40
Tauranga Girls College 76 Mt Albert Grammar School 69
Takapuna Grammar School 77 Hamilton Girls High School 83
Quarter Final Results:
Westlake Girls High School 83 St Peter’s School, Cambridge 47
Hastings Girls High School 69 Tauranga Girls College 97
Rotorua Girls High School 68 Whangarei Girls High School 75
St Andrews College 88 Hamilton Girls High School 56
St Andrews College v Tauranga Girls College
Whangarei Girls High v Westlake Girls High
Jeff Hawes – teacher, alumnus, bus driver, head coach, mentor and former player.
The Greymouth High School boys team travelled to Nationals by minibus with head coach Hawes at the wheel.
A former pupil and member of the school basketball team, Hawes is now in his first year as a Digital Tech teacher and enjoying giving back to the school he was proud to have previously represented.
Ngā Taiātea Wharekura with a roll of barely 200 pupils and only a small hall to practice in deserve great credit for their achievements in the ‘A’ Championships.