The ‘AA’ Boys and ‘AA’ Girls champions were crowned at the 2019 Schick Secondary Schools National Championships in Palmerston North on Saturday.
St Peter’s School, Cambridge claimed their fourth ‘AA Girls title in five years with a 78-66 victory against Waikato neighbours Hamilton Girls’ High School. In the Boys’ Final, St Kentigern College won their first ‘AA’ Schick Championship with a decisive 77-51 win against defending champions Rosmini College.
Hamilton was left to rue a poor opening quarter after losing 78-66 to St Peter’s in the Girls’ ‘A’ Final, a sentiment echoed by victorious coach Leanne Walker.
“We always knew Hamilton could make threes and if we hadn’t had such a good start it could have been a totally different game, they are gutsy, and they never give up.
“We had to dig real deep and keep plugging away.”
In the end, it was Tournament MVP Charlisse Leger-Walker that was the difference-maker. The Tall Ferns guard amassed 30 points, 19 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals to lead her side to consecutive titles and a fourth championship in five years.
That good start referred to by Walker came about as Ella Bradley and Waiata Jennings scored two baskets apiece in the opening three minutes, as St Peter’s scored 17 unanswered points.
Riva Walker-Pitman finally broke the Hamilton duck, but St Peter’s were riding pretty only halfway through the opening period.
Georjah Riley-Huaki and Quaye Walker-Eketone added to the Hamilton points tally, although they were facing an uphill task trailing 22-7 at quarter time.
The second quarter was a far more even affair as Hamilton fought their way back into contention.
Walker-Pitman scored six of the first eight points of the period, as Hamilton started the second frame in a much more promising fashion. Leger-Walker and Jayze’lee Waihi knocked down threes for St Peter’s, but Hamilton was well in the contest, trailing 32-22. When Sydney Neale and Walker-Pitman made scores, Walker looked to cut the momentum by calling a timeout.
Neale and Koha Lewis countered scores from Alana Paewai and Leger-Walker, who led all scorers with 15 points at the break. St Peter’s were ahead 43-29 after an entertaining first half.
Lewis and Keyani Leith made a brace of baskets for Hamilton, but Leger-Walker, Jennings and Dominique Stephens stretched the St Peter’s lead to twenty points midway through the third period.
Walker-Eketone and Reese Anderson scored from deep and although Leger-Walker and Paewai countered St Peter’s were being made to work to maintain their advantage – ahead 65-48 with ten minutes to play.
Consecutive threes from Reese Anderson raised the hopes of the Hamilton supporters and when Lewis and Walker-Pitman found the basket on successive plays Hamilton was within ten points (71-61) with 5:40 to play.
Anderson kept the Hamilton hopes alive with her fourth three of the game but Leger-Walker demonstrated her class by making key plays in the closing moments as St Peter’s retained their crown.
Walker reflected on the performance of her daughter who claimed the Tournament MVP title for an astonishing fourth consecutive year.
“I don’t often talk about her but Charlisse played awesome out there. She held our team together, finished inside shots, took good options and kept things ticking over.
“Ella Bradley, playing with an injured finger, was really gutsy and Kaylah Waihi diving on the loose ball towards the end epitomised the effort. I’m really proud of the team.
“Even though Girls’ High exposed us a little bit, defence is the key – it’s our ability to wear teams down. We are in good shape, we are pretty fit and it’s defence we hang our hats on,” reflected Walker.
St Peter’s 78 – C Leger-Walker 30/19r/6a, A Paewai 11, E Bradley 11, W Jennings 10, J Waihi 10
Hamilton Girls’ 66 – R Walker-Pitman 18, Q Walker-Eketone 15/8r, R Anderson 14, K Lewis 11
Officials – Apai Apai, Reagan Astley, Toni-Lee Hunswick-Smith
‘AA’ Girls 3rd/4th play-off
St Mary’s College, Ponsonby won the first ‘Battle of the Bridge’ to claim bronze, their best-ever finish at the Schick Championships. Beaten 70-64, Westlake Girls’ High School had to settle for fourth spot, one place lower than what they achieved in 2018.
St Mary’s forward Jazz Kailahi-Fulu had the personal satisfaction of finishing third-highest scorer at the tournament, averaging 23.8 points per game. Kailahi-Fulu and Emme Shearer were both named to the Girls’ Tournament Team.
St Mary’s College, Ponsonby 70 – J Kailahi-Fulu 19, T Tevaga 12, S Te Nana-Williams 11, Z Kailahi-Fulu 9, K Leslie 6
Westlake Girls’ High School 64 – J Moors 15, E Shearer 13, E Pugh 10, P Manolas 7, J Maddix 7
Schick ‘AA’ Girls Tournament Team
Waiata Jennings – St Peter’s School, Cambridge
Koha Lewis – Hamilton Girls’ High School
Jazz Kailahi-Fulu – St Mary’s College, Ponsonby
Paris Lokotui – Queen Margaret College, Wellington
Riva Walker-Pitman – Hamilton Girls High School
Emme Shearer – Westlake Girls’ High School
Isabelle Cook – Sacred Heart Girls’ College, New Plymouth
Rochelle Fourie – Manukura
Ella Bradley – St Peter’s School, Cambridge
‘AA’ Girls Schick MVP: Charlisse Leger-Walker – St Peter’s School, Cambridge
‘AA’ Boys Final
The powerful presence of Shalom Broughton proved to be the difference as St Kentigern College defeated Rosmini College 77-51 for their maiden ‘AA’ title.
The power forward put together a colossal performance, corralling 23 rebounds in addition to 24 points and 6 assists. He was ably supported by Levick Kerr (19 points and 8 rebounds), the pair were key in St Kent’s dominating the boards 62-31.
St Kentigern Head Coach Aaron Young was in awe of Broughton’s performance.
“Shalom was a man on a mission, an unbelievable kid and I’m so happy for him.
“What an effort at this tournament, he wasn’t 100% going into this one but he gave it everything.”
In a sign of things to come, Broughton made the opening basket of the game and when he got to the free-throw line at the mid-point of the first quarter St Kentigern were 11-4 to the good and Rosmini Coach Matt Lacey needed a timeout.
Reihana Maxwell-Topia scored five points for Rosmini but Levick Kerr and Broughton added to their tally, as St Kentigern took a 21-11 lead going into the first break.
Reimar Cruz, a spark off the bench all week for Rosmini, scored from beyond the arc but Martin Gan and Kazlo Evans answered in kind as St Kent’s buffer stretched out to 13.
Thomas Morgan and Maxwell-Topia put points on the board for Rosmini before Alex McNaught and Elliot Watson scored in transition. The St Kent’s ‘Saints’ ahead of the Rosmini ‘Saints’ 37-20 at half-time.
Maxwell-Topia scored six points in the first five minutes after the interval to reduce the deficit to 12 points and when Taine Murray made a triple it was Young that needed a timeout with his team’s lead reduced to just six points (40-34).
A Cruz three made the Rosmini run 13-0, but Broughton brought relief for the vociferous St Kent’s supporters with an inside basket.
Kerr scored the last points of the quarter to give St Kent’s a 45-39 lead entering the final 10 minutes.
Kerr, Broughton, McNaught and Evans gave St Kent’s a 14-4 start to the fourth quarter and the Doug Harford Trophy appeared to be heading across the Harbour Bridge.
Back-to-back baskets from Jayden Boucher stalled the St Kent’s progress, but another Broughton power play put St Kent’s ahead 67-47 with under four minutes to play.
St Kent’s piled on 18 points in the final three minutes – a put-back dunk from Broughton, named Tournament MVP, put an exclamation mark on proceedings, as St Kent’s claimed a first Schick Championship.
“I’m just so proud of our group,” said Young.
“From day one they have committed to everything I had planned for them this year. I told them we are going to become national champions but I don’t know if they really believed that but as the season went on they committed to that goal.
“I’m so proud of the work we put in and so proud of the work they put in and I’m so happy for the players, it’s all about them, it’s special.”
St Kentigern College 77 – S Broughton 24/23r/6a, L Kerr 19/8r, A McNaught 14, K Evans 11
Rosmini College 51 – J Boucher 16, R Maxwell-Topia 15, R Cruz 10, T Murray 6
Officials – Sherhon Martin, Hamish Dale, Brad Clive
‘AA’ Boys 3rd/4th play-off:
Despite losing 71-53, Cashmere High School can reflect on a successful campaign as their fourth-placed finish is the best result at Schick Nationals in the school’s history. For Mt Albert Grammar, third place matches the effort of the 2017 team. Guard Sataan Tawera was the only survivor from the previous bronze medal-winning team.
Forward Nate Wilson was named to the Tournament Team after averaging 16 points per game. Cashmere centre Thomas Webley had the satisfaction of finishing the leading scorer at the tournament, averaging a colossal 31 points per game and a place in the Tournament Team.
Mt Albert Grammar School 71 – N Wilson 19, S Tawera 15, D Stephens 8, T Coker-Grey 8, J Leger 8
Cashmere High School 53 – L Williams 14, W Russ-Hofmans 8, T Webley 8, F Barclay 6, O Tilaia 6
Schick ‘AA’ Boys Tournament Team
Levick Kerr– St Kentigern College
Nate Wilson – Mt Albert Grammar School
Thomas Webley – Cashmere High School
Alex McNaught – St Kentigern College
Sam Mennenga – Westlake Boys’ High School
Zach Riley – Rangitoto College
Clifton Bush III – Napier Boys’ High School
Taine Murray – Rosmini College
Reihana Maxwell-Topia – Rosmini College
‘AA Boys Schick MVP: Shalom Broughton – St Kentigern College
The draw, pools and future live stream timings can be found here.
Results from today’s fixtures will be updated after each round and can be found at the link below.
‘A’ Tournament Dates: September 30 – October 3 – click here
‘AA’ Tournament Dates: September 30 – October 5 – click here
- $5 Adults per day (18 years and older)
- $3 Child per day (all children 14 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult)
- $15 Family per day (two adults and two children)
- FREE 5 years and under
- $20 Adult weekly pass
- $15 Child weekly pass
- $52 Family weekly pass (two adults and two children)