After four fierce days of basketball action in Palmerston North, the Secondary Schools A Champions have been found for 2023 – with Opunake High School claiming the girl’s title and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata earning the boy’s trophy. Thank you to Basketball Manawatu and Fly Palmy Arena for helping to host this incredible event!
A Girls Grand Final: Opunake High School 59, Aquinas College 45
In the A Girls Grand Final, Opunake High School triumphed 59-45 over Aquinas College (Tauranga) to win the girl’s title. The low-scoring game saw Opunake claim the win despite shooting just 18% from the field (18-99); Aquinas not much better at 24% (18-74). As a result both teams racked up the rebounds (72 vs 70), but Opunake’s defence was the difference-maker on the night – forcing Aquinas into 18 miscues while turning the ball over only six times themselves.
Opunake opened the game with a 14-0 run, holding Aquinas scoreless for the first seven minutes of the game and taking a 19-5 lead into the second period. Aquinas fought back in the second and third periods, outscoring 31-29 over this stretch to be 12 points down (36-48) in the final frame. Both teams shot poorly in the fourth, with Opunake able to claim the win.
Opunake was led by Bethany Cook’s 16 points, but it was Arna Bright’s 14 point, 19 rebound, 5 assist effort that deservedly won her MVP honours – her second in 2023 after picking up MVP at the AON U17 Nationals in July. Paige Taylor also added 8 points and 19 rebounds of her own, including 7 offensive boards.
For Aquinas, Mariah Hano scored 13 points while Shaydene Macdonald racked up 9 points and 15 rebounds.
Box score: http://bbnz.link/bps5d
A Boys Grand Final: Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata 90, Aquinas College 68
In the A Boys Grand Final, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata (TKKM o Ruamata) stormed home to a 90-68 win versus Aquinas College (Tauranga) to claim the boy’s title.
TKKM o Ruamata’s shooting was the x-factor on the night, as they shot 50% from the field while scoring 70 of their points in the paint; while Aquinas was held to just 33% shooting including a 7-34 effort (20%) from beyond the arc.
After Aquinas took a narrow 15-14 lead after one, TKKM o Ruamata came out strong in the second period as they outscored their opponents 29-19. They continued to stretch out the lead in the second half, earning the title with a comfortable 22-point win.
The game saw a fierce battle between TKKM o Ruamata’s Waikaharoa Pakaurangi (28 points, 14 rebounds & 6 assists) and Aquina’s CJ Flavell (32 points & 18 rebounds); both players on court for the full 40 minutes. In addition to Pakaurangi’s MVP-earning efforts, Benji Holst scored 26 points and earned 6 steals for TKKM o Ruamata, while Jeremiah Raroa chipped in with 15 points and 9 rebounds.
For Aquinas, Flavell’s monster effort was supported by 14 points and 6 rebounds from Michael Wade, with Ky-Mani Kaumoana registering a double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Box score: http://bbnz.link/zoasz
Most Valuable Players
Girls – Anya Bright, Opunake High School
Boys – Waikaharoa Pakaurangi – Te Kura Kaupapa o Ruamata
Tournament Teams – Girls
Zeta Barber – Stratford High School
Kahurangi Skudder – Manukura
Te Paea Ma’u – Nga Taiatea
Waiheke Rio – Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Koutu
Waikimihia Douglas-Karauna – Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Koutu
Sophie Rogers – Aquinas College
Emma Rogers – Aquinas College
Paige Taylor – Opunake High School
Bethany Cook – Opunake High School
Arna Bright – Opunake High School
Tournament Teams – Boys
Hawaiki Leach – Te Kura o te Koutu
Mai Te Rangi Arahanga – Hato Paora College
Toma Gabel-Te’evale – Nga Taiatea
Nikora Kavanagh – Dunstan High School
Jaree Summerfield – Opunake High School
Hikaia Lambert – MANUKURA
Ky-Mani Kaumoana – Aquinas College
CJ Flavell – Aquinas College
Benji Holst – Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata
Waikaharoa Pakaurangi – Te Kura Kaupapa o Ruamata