The NZ U15 Girls team have registered a dominant 99-51 quarter-finals win over hosts Guam today, ensuring they move onto the Friday semi-finals at the FIBA U15 Oceania Championships.
The win saw six Kiwis hit double figures, led by Sophia Hickey’s 15 points & 13 rebounds, alongside 15 points from Emma Rogers on 7/8 shooting. Pahlyss Hokianga-Heather flirted with a quadruple double (10 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 7 steals) in only 18 minutes of action, while Graecyn Parahi had 14, Zenthia Stowers 13, and Keija May Miringaorangi with 10 points, 5 assists and 6 steals.
The Kiwis rode an impressive 60-point first half en-route to victory, with 44 of those points scored in the paint and 16 on fast break points. Overall, New Zealand held Guam to 24% shooting while forcing a massive 39 turnovers – thanks to 30 steals from the Kiwi girls – while outrebounding the hosts 66-47.
For Guam, Sazzanei Quintanilla had 22 points – hitting 5/10 from downtown – while Jia Peters had 9 points and 8 rebounds; Arriah Arceo tallied 7 points and 7 rebounds.
The first quarter saw Guam score first; the Kiwis responding with a thrilling 14-0 run that included a triple from Flavell and a pair of buckets from Parahi. NZ’s defense was in full effect, as they swarmed Guam on multiple possessions, even forcing an eight second violation with their relentless pressure. After Guam hit a pair of threes, the Kiwi went on a 7-0 run to end the period; Hickey with 5 points and 6 rebounds, Stowers racking up 5 of her own and Hokianga-Heather already with 7 assists and 6 steals.
The golden run continued for New Zealand in the second quarter with a 36-point effort, despite Guam continuing to shoot well from outside. The period saw Rogers step up with 10 points on 5-5 shooting, while Hokianga-Heather’s quadruple double watch had started before the end of the half; Pahlyss already with a 7/7/8/7 stat-line. By end of the half, New Zealand had registered 21 steals and forced 29 Guam turnovers, in arguably the girl’s best defensive showing of the tournament to date.
With Hokianga-Heather sitting for the majority of the second half, the Kiwi’s fell back to earth in the third; poor shooting (8/23 from the field) and turnovers (7) in the period stalling their earlier momentum.
After a Stowers layup to open the fourth, Guam embarked on a surprising 7-0 run to reduce the gap to 40 – the Kiwis going scoreless for nearly five minutes during this stretch before a Hickey layup restored order. An 8-0 run by NZ, led by 5 straight from Douglas-Karauna, saw the Kiwis hold on for the impressive 99-51 win.
The NZ U15 Girls will next face Samoa on Friday at 6.45pm NZT, with the NZ U15 Boys following at 11.15pm NZT. Watch it on nz.basketball/tv
New Zealand 99 – Hickey 15 PTS & 13 REB | Rogers 15 PTS | Parahi 14 PTS | Stowers 13 PTS | Hokianga-Heather 10 PTS & 7 REB & 8 AST & 7 STL | Miringaorangi 10 PTS & 5 REB & 6 STL | | Flavell 9 PTS & 6 REB | Nelson 9 PTS | Douglas–Karauna 4 PTS & 8 REB | Manson 9 REB
Guam 51 – Quintanilla 22 PTS | Peters 9 PTS & 8 REB | Arceo 7 PTS & 7 REB
Quarter scores: 24-8, 60-24, 82-39, 99-51.
Full box score: http://bbnz.link/2kqev