Waikato Girls and North Harbour Boys have won the 2021 AON Under 15 National Championships at Pulman Arena in South Auckland tonight.
Paced by a game high 24 points from Elise Gilbert, Waikato Girl’s defeated Harbour 77-46, while Troy Supple’s 19 points were key as Harbour defeated Hawkes Bay 81-58.
Having won their previous five games at the tournament by an average 50 points, Waikato stamped their authority on the Grand Final proceedings by dominating the first half to lead Harbour 39-18.
Harbour forward Rebecca Moors scored the opening 10 points for her team, but Elise Gilbert was quickly into scoring mode as Waikato forged a 13-10 lead.
Kodee Williams-Sefo knocked down a corner three, but Waikato began to assert their authority with a 17-3 run. Tanika Leger-Walker, Kaelani Albert-Neha and Olivia Lassey were all prominent as Waikato stretched their advantage to 21 points at half-time.
Draun Forbes and Kharylle Ruiz made buckets for Harbour but they were slim pickings as Waikato stretched their lead towards the 30 mark towards the end of the third period.
Lassey, Albert -Neha, Leger-Walker and Gilbert were all in good form as Waikato continued their recent dominance of the Girl’s U15 Tournament. They have only missed the final twice in the past 10 years – this their fourth championship in that period.
The final was something of a Leger-Walker family affair. In addition to Tanika being named Tournament MVP, mum Leanne was the Waikato head coach and older sisters Krystal and Charlisse provided insightful commentary for the livestream.
Grand Final Result:
Waikato 77 – Gilbert 24, Albert-Neha 16, Lassey 11/10r, Leger-Walker 10/5a, Nelson 6
Harbour 46 – Moors 20/11r, Williams-Sefo 10, Ruiz 9, Forbes 4
Grand Final Referees: Dardys Green and Brandon Shadbolt
3rd/4th Play-off Result:
Hawkes Bay 79 – P Hokianga 22, T Charlotte 8, S Clarke-Lloyd 8, G Parahi 8
Wellington 62 – T Pavihi 13, R Tawera 11, M Katene 9, T Onesemo 8 B Temehani-Tongia 7
Semi-Final Results (played Friday):
Wellington 59 – T Pavihi 13, T Mareko 12, T Onesemo 12, B Temehani-Tongia 7
Harbour 76 – R Moors 20, A Pateman 18, D Forbes 15, K Williams-Sefo 13
Waikato 93 – K Albert-Neha 28, E Gilbert 14, A Davidson 12, T Leger-Walker 11, O Lassey 8
Hawkes Bay 38 – S Sadler 11, P Hokianga 7, T Tuhi 6, S Lena-Rewi 5
Girl’s Tournament Team:
Kaleani Albert-Neha (Waikato)
Elise Gilbert (Waikato)
Hannah Jagger (North Canterbury)
Tanika Leger-Walker (Waikato)
Tatiana Mareko (Wellington)
Rebecca Moors (Harbour)
Amy Pateman (Harbour)
Kaihaua Poupou Poasa (Rotorua)
Sophie Rogers (Tauranga)
Storey Sadler (Hawkes Bay)
Kiama Tahere (Northland)
Most Valuable Player: Tanika Leger-Walker (Waikato)
Built around the interior presence of Hadi Alshami and Julius Halaifonua, plus the shooting prowess of Tournament MVP Troy Supple (19 points), Harbour deservedly claimed the boys’ U15 title with an 81-58 win against Hawkes Bay.
Harbour made the better start out to an early 14-4 lead courtesy of 8 points from forward Alshami with triples from Bartosz Jackowski and Jameer Reed pushing the advantage out to 28-12 at quarter time.
Southpaw shooter Tyrese Ngarangione-Wicks and Ezrah Eagle dropped successive threes as Hawke’s Bay made an ideal start to the second quarter and close the deficit to single digits.
With Zoram Smiler making an impact and Eagle scoring on the last possession of the first half Hawke’s Bay only trailed by three points (39-36) at the main break.
Shifting momentum back in their favour, Harbour enjoyed the better of the third thanks to Troy Supple’s 8 points, but there was all to play for in the final ten minutes with the maroons ahead 61-49.
Harbour clinched the silverware with a dominant fourth quarter performance against a Hawkes Bay team that were competitive until the final whistle.
Grand Final Result:
Hawkes Bay 58 – E Eagle 18, Z Smiler 14, C Tarei 6, K Treacher 6
Harbour 81 – T Supple 19, H Alshami 16, J Reed 13, J Wylie 7, B Jackowski 7
Grand Final Referees: Ethan Pearson and Austin James
3rd/4th Play-off Result:
Waikato 106 – M Rillstone 24, K Albert 19, K Villiami 14, T Te’Evale-Gabel 12, O Wilson 6
Hutt Valley 82 – T Banya 21, E Paenga 14, T Iti 13, R Neilsen 12, I Karehana 6
Boy’s Semi-Final Results:
Harbour 72 – J Reed 15, H Alshami 13, B Jackowski 11, J Wyllie 10, T Supple 9
Hutt Valley 59 – J Sargent 15, I Zaballa 10, R Neilson 9, T Banya 7
Waikato 78 – M Rillstone 20, K Albert 13, M Heke 11, T Strother 9, H Neal8 7
Hawkes Bay 82 – K Treacher 26, E Eagle 12, T Ngarangione-Wicks 11, R Manihera-Dankwa 10, Z Smiler 9
Boy’s Tournament Team:
Hadi Alshami (Harbour)
Taku Banya (Hutt Valley)
Oscar Goodman (Taranaki)
Julius Halaifonua (Harbour)
Hayden Jones (Nelson)
Kaleb Mackay (Waikato B)
Xanda Marsters (Rotorua)
Merrick Rillstone (Waikato)
Troy Supple (Harbour)
Kahuranaki Treacher (Hawkes Bay)
Mania-Ariki Wharepapa (Canterbury)
Most Valuable Player – Troy Supple (Harbour)