Tag: manel ayol

Saints obliterate Bulls in 60-point thrashing

RECORDS were broken left, right and centre in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) last night as top of the table Wellington Saints showed no signs of slowing down with a 60-point shellacking of Franklin Bulls. The Saints surprisingly only one three of the four quarters, and one of those by three points, but the two ones they won at either end were by a combined 58 points on their way to a 125-65 win.

It was easily the biggest win of the season, and the last quarter differential of 35 the most as well, plus the 46 total points in the term. It all started with a dominant 38-15 opening term which set the tone for the night as the title favourites did as they pleased. Surprisingly, the Bulls managed to stem in the bleeding in the middle two terms as they actually won the second quarter, and only lost the third by three points for a total last break differential of 26.

In the past, the team on top has often taken the foot off the pedal in the final term with the game beyond doubt, but Wellington was no ordinary team. The Saints piled on a whopping 46 points to 11 in the most one-sided quarter of the year to run out 125-65 winners in ridiculous fashion. They dropped 29 triples – 87 points alone – as they almost exclusively destroyed the Bulls from long-range.

The stats were unsurprisingly all in the way of the Saints, as they 29 of 53 from beyond the arc a clear record, as they recorded a total field goal percentage of 53 per cent. They only hit 14 shots from inside the arc – three less than the Bulls, but Franklin could only drain six of 28 from beyond the arc at 21 per cent. The mounting pressure to hit long-range jumpers to try and chew into the deficit was evident.

Despite the rebounds being even at 41-apiece, the Saints dominated the assists (30-7), steals (13-6) and had far less turnovers (9-23). This aided them in having more points from turnovers (39-8), more second chance points (17-14) and bench points (50-19) in what was a heavily rotated side during the big win.

Kerwin Roach Jr won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award with 29 points – four of nine from long-range – seven assists and five rebounds. He had plenty of supporters though, as Leon Henry was ridiculous coming off the bench with seven triples – more than the entire Bulls side – for 24 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists. Ken Tuffin had 17 points – draining all five three-point attempts – and two rebound, while Tohi Smith-Milner finished with 15 points –  and also had a perfect four from four from beyond the arc – as well as five rebound and four assists.

Taane Samuel joined in the party with three of seven from long-range to go towards his 12 points, while Rangimarie Dougall-Mita had nine points – three of six from long-range – and two rebounds off the bench in 15 minutes. Ezrah Vaigafa (seven points, seven assists and six rebounds) and Troy McLean (six points, four assists) also picked up more than five points in the record-breaking victory.

For the Bulls, the box score was not as kind, with Isaac Davidson trying his hardest on the way to a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, hitting two of five from long-range, and picking up three of his team’s six steals. Jett Thompson (11 points, six rebounds and three assists) and Manel Ayol (10 points, five rebounds) also reached double-figure points, while Zach Easthope had six points and five rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench for Franklin

Unfortunately for the Bulls, they will need to stew on the result until next season, whilst for the Saints, not only do they have finals action coming up, but they also have another clash tonight, taking on Auckland Huskies on the road.


Picture credit: PhotosportNZ via NZNBL

Giant win over Franklin gifts Nelson breathing room on the ladder

NELSON Giants reigned supreme in their clash against Franklin Bulls claiming a whopping 35-point win, 119-85. It was only the Giants’ sixth win of the season but it was a convincing one as they put the clamps on the seventh placed Bulls.

The intention of the Giants was clear from the opening jumpball of the game with Anzac Rissetto winning it and propelling it down court. Not only were the Giants hungry but they were also daring and willing to back themselves in from down town. Their confidence was sky-high nice and early and while it did not take long for the Bulls to answer the call, Nelson were always able to find a way to surge ahead. They skipped out to an eight-point lead midway through the opening term as they continued to build on that momentum. Things only got better and better for the Giants as the quarter went along with the likes of Nicolas Trathen and Hunter Hale combining to apply scoreboard pressure to blow the Bulls out of the water.

Heading into quarter time up by 14 points it is fair to say the Giants well and truly had the upper hand and did not look like letting up as they immediately added to the total. It was becoming all too much for the Franklin Bulls who simply had no answers in either defence or offence to stop the Giants who were firing on all cylinders. The lead ballooned out to as much as 19 points before the Bulls rallied to somewhat stem the bleeding, however that was only short lived. The third quarter continued much of the same with Nelson able to find easy avenue to the basket time after time while their defensive pressure limited the fluidity for the Bulls. The lead extended out to a whopping 32 points but that was just an indication of what was to come in what was a blistering final term of action. The Giants refused to take their foot off the pedal and managed to increase the lead to a winning total of 35 points.

Statistically speaking the two sides were incredibly close on the rebounding front with 43 and 42 apiece in favour of the Giants while when it came to assists it is no surprise that Nelson also had the upper hand with 22 compared to 13. Turnovers proved to be the main killer with Franklin amassing a whopping 19 while the Giants only coughed up possession four times.

The Giants had no shortage of players putting their hand up to lead the way throughout the clash with Trathen imposing himself. He topscored for the side with 24 points in only 20 minutes out on court. Trathen also managed to register two assists and three rebounds. Hot on his heels in a scoring sense was teammate Hale who slotted 23 points at 45 per cent from the field. He tried his luck from deep sinking three triples from nine attempts while he also reeled in five rebounds. Donte Ingram was among the best out on court for the Giants as he dropped 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds while the work of Samuel Dempster did not go unnoticed as he fell agonisingly short of a triple-double with 15 points, nine assists and 14 rebounds to his name. In his 100th game, Thomas Ingham was the only other player to hit double-digits for the Giants with 10 points.

It was a different story for the Bulls who did not share the same amount of depth but still had a couple of crucial cogs that were able to step up to the plate. Isaac Davidson proved to be a real menace producing 24 points, two assists and three rebounds in the loss. Denhym Brooke was also up there for the Bulls contributing 20 points at an impressive 80 per cent from the field while also accumulating four assists, eight rebounds and three blocks. Jaylen Gerrand and Manel Ayol both plied their trade sinking 15 and 10 points respectively in the loss with the latter also picking up six rebounds.

Photo credit: NZNBL Twitter

NZNBL Round 10: Saturday night

SATURDAY brought a couple of exciting match-ups in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) as the Otago Nuggets and Franklin Bulls notched up wins. It was a close encounter in both matches as the two sides showcased their ability to fight back when down to clinch victory.

Otago Nuggets (94) defeated Hawkes Bay Hawks (88)

The fourth placed Nuggets showcased some real grit and determination against the third placed Hawks in what was an enthralling contest that saw them get over the line. Neither side was willing to give an inch as they engaged in a hard-fought battle filled with plenty of excitement and lead changes. It was level pegging to start the game with both the Nuggets and Hawks heading into quarter time on 11 points each. Thing started to open up in the second quarter as the Nuggets generated some real scoring momentum to create a 10-point buffer. But the Hawks found a way to stay in the hunt reducing the deficit to eight at the main break. Their high tempo continued into the third quarter draining the first six points thanks to back-to-back triples before rounding out the term in style with only one point separating the two sides. It was an action packed final quarter but it was the Nuggets that found their groove as the clock ticked down to steal the win.

Isaiah Moss was the most damaging player out on court for the Nuggets sinking 31 points and while he could have been more accurate from down town, still had an impact with his five triples from 10 attempts. It did not stop there for Moss as he walked away with three assists, nine rebounds and four steals. Gerasimos McKay was firing on all cylinders producing 17 points at 58 per cent from the field while also accumulating six assists, eight rebounds and two steals. Luke Aston and Samuel Timmins also featured highly for the Nuggets with 14 and 12 points respectively, with the latter also amassing six rebounds. Devondrick Walker caused all sorts of havoc for the Hawks piling on 23 points, five rebounds and two assists while Jordan Hunt was the next best for the Hawks with 14 points. Derone Raukawa showcased his class credit to his 13 points and five rebounds in 30 minutes of play while Hyrum Harris also got busy with 11 points at 42 per cent from the field.

Franklin Bulls (101) defeated Taranaki Mountainairs (99)

Only two points separated the Bulls from the Mountainairs as Franklin just scraped over the line. Having already played on Friday night the Mountainairs looked slightly fatigued against a fit and firing Bulls side who did the job to create some more ladder separation. It was a heart in your mouth match as the two sides traded blows with the lead chopping and changing. Taranaki held the lead for a large chunk of the opening half in what was a high scoring affair. Up by 14 points at the main break it was time for Franklin to hit back and put some respectability back on the scoreboard and that they did. They steadily chipped away at the scoreboard as the lead went from 14 to nine and so forth. Although the Mountainairs still managed to find a way to score the Bulls continued to charge ahead. It all came to the final quarter with the Mountainairs staring down a potential second win of the season, but it was not to be as Franklin gelled together to pull off an almighty comeback.

Manel Ayol impressed with his ability to find the rim and apply scoreboard pressure for the Bulls as he piled on 31 points in 35 minutes out on court. He found his mojo off the boards too, with six rebounds and three steals in an all-round dominant performance. Jayeln Gerrand imposed himself for the Bulls with his 20 points at 44 per cent from the field plus his two rebounds as Denhym Brooke also chimed in with a handy double-double credit to his 17 points and 11 rebounds. Isaac Davidson and Jett Thompson did enough to get their side over the line producing 11 and 10 points respectively for the Bulls. When looking at the Airs it is once again hard to deny the influence of Marcel Jones who starred with his whopping 39 points at 57 per cent from the field. Jones also inflicted pain off the boards with his 15 rebounds, 12 of which were defensive. Tai Wynyard continued his form draining another 16 points and six rebounds as teammate Dru-Leo Leusogi-Ape was the next cab off the rank with his 15 points as his 100 per cent accuracy from beyond the arc took centre stage.

Photo credit: NZNBL Twitter

Rams raid Franklin to keep Final Four hopes alive

CANTERBURY Rams have kept their Final Four hopes alive with a crucial 16-point win on the road against Franklin Bulls in last night’s New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) contest. The Bulls were all but out of the race, and the loss put another nail in their finals coffin, but the Rams are very much alive after grabbing their seventh win of the season, and keeping pressure on the fourth placed Otago Nuggets. Winning all four quarters, the Rams proved the clear dominant side, taking home the victory, 87-71.

A low-scoring first term saw the Rams take an early lead in the match, scoring 17 points to 12. They extended on that by three with a higher scoring 26-23 second term to head into the half with an eight-point advantage. Out to a double-digit lead by the final break following another impressive term, the Rams finished off how they started, with a 20-15 final quarter and securing the standout 16-point win at Franklin Pool and Leisure Centre.

Aside from the Bulls leading by seven points midway through the first term, once the Rams hit the front they never surrendered that lead. In fact, midway through the final term it had blown out to 20 points – after the Bulls had cut the deficit to 10 points early in the quarter – before the Bulls managed to reduce it to 16 by the final buzzer.

Canterbury Rams scored at a higher clip from the field (48 to 43 per cent), and hit double the three-pointers in the match (8-4), with the Bulls only scoring at a woeful 15 per cent from long-range. The Rams had two less turnovers (18-20), but the teams shared the points from turnovers (18-18), as well as assists (17-17) and steals (10-10). They did record more second chance points (13-7) and bench points (27-11). Franklin recorded one more rebound (38-37) and four more blocks (5-1) as well as additional points in the paint (48-42).

In an even team performance, Deshon Taylor won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) honours for his 24 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals. He pipped Rams teammate, EJ Singler who had the 18 points, 12 rebounds – eight defensive – and six assists. Also productive were Sam Smith (12 points, three rebounds), the returning Jack Salt (eight points, five rebounds) and Max Darling (eight points, two rebounds and two assists).

For the Bulls, Manel Ayol continued his good form with 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists in an impressive effort, whilst Isaac Davidson played his best game of the season upon return – despite only scoring one of five from long-range – picking up 18 points, six assists and five rebounds. Kyrin Galloway (17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks), Denhym Brooke (five points, six rebounds, three steals, three blocks and two assists) and Joseph Nunag (seven points, two rebounds and two assists) also tried hard.

Both teams have a 48-hour turnaround and have to hit the road, with the Bulls facing Hawkes Bay Hawks, and the Rams taking on Manawatu Jets tomorrow night.

Picture credit: PhotosportNZ via NZNBL

Title contenders claim big wins in one-sided night of action

TITLE contenders Southland Sharks and Wellington Saints have established their top two positions on the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) ladder, with big wins in their respective matches overnight. The top placed Sharks won the first three quarters to take complete control over Franklin Bulls on their way to a 101-69 triumph, whilst the Saints bounced back from a loss to Hawke’s Bay Hawks last start, to win 89-63 in their home clash and retake the second spot Hawke’s Bay had snatched from them.

Southland Sharks did all the damage early, piling on 32 points to 15, leaving the visiting Bulls on the back foot from the start, then added 21-15 in the second term to lead by 23 points at the main break. Needing a spark in the second half, the Bulls could not find it until the final term – which they won by two points – as the Sharks added another 29 points to 18 in the third, leading to the eventual 32-point victory, 101-69.

The Sharks won every statistic in the book, from field goal shooting percentage (47 to 36 per cent), rebounds (52-41), assists (20-17) and steals (13-6). They had seven less turnovers (15-22) and therefore more points from turnovers (25-18), and also had more points in the paint (46-32), second chance points (22-7) and bench points (33-22).

Josh Cunningham piled on 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in the win, as he grabbed the Most Valuable Player (MVP) from the match. Not far behind him was Courtney Belger (13 points, six assists and four steals) who also impressed, while Brayden Inger had the 18 points – four of eight from long-range – and six rebounds. Alonzo Burton (11 points, four rebounds) and Sione Helu (10 points, three assists and two rebounds) also hit double-figure points, while Toby Gillooly came close to a double-double of nine points and nine rebounds.

For the Bulls, Manel Ayol was the star with 17 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, with a couple of fellow recent additions since the completion of the ANBL season also holding their own. Isaac Davidson (11 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Kyrin Galloway (eight points, 12 rebounds and two steals) both tried hard, whilst the Bulls’ old firm – being there since the start of the season – in Denhym Brooke (nine points, five rebounds and three blocks) also worked well in tandem.

Wellington Saints had an equally comprehensive win over Taranaki Mountainairs in a top-against-bottom clash at TSB Bank Arena. The Saints won every quarter in the match, starting off strongly to race to a 47-28 lead at the main break, then won the second half by seven points to claim a 26-point victory, 89-63.

The Saints were the more accurate of the sides (45 to 40 per cent field goal accuracy), also knocking down 11 three-pointers to six. They had more rebounds (48-28), assists (15-10) and steals (12-6), with the Airs winning the blocks (4-1). Wellington finished with more points in the paint (44-28), second chance points (14-7), points from turnovers (24-15) and bench points (34-20) in a real dominant effort.

It was incredibly difficult for judges to select an MVP from the match with seven players earning between six and three votes. In the end, captain Dion Prewster got the nod in the Saints’ winning performance, finishing with 10 points, four rebounds and four assists. Tohi Smith-Milner (15 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists), Kerwin Roach Jr (13 points, five assists and three rebounds), Leon Henry (13 points, 11 rebounds and two steals) and Ezrah Vaigafa (11 points, six rebounds) all picked up votes in an even team performance. Ken Tuffin was another one who contributed strongly with 13 points and six rebounds.

Tai Wynyard tried his hardest for the Airs with 15 points, four rebounds and two steals, grabbing MVP votes in the heavy loss with Baxter Fenwick (10 points, two rebound) Marcel Jones had a quieter night, only shooting two of nine from the field on his way to 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Francis Mulvihill (seven points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals) was the other player who did his best in the loss.

Both the losers will have to regroup themselves for matches today as Franklin Bulls and Taranaki Mountainairs both hit the road to take on Otago Nuggets and Canterbury Rams respectively. The Wellington Saints take on Nelson Giants next Friday night, with Southland Sharks hosting Auckland Huskies on the Saturday night.

Picture credit: PhotosportNZ via NZNBL

2021 NZNBL Round 8 preview: Top three clash among mid-table battles to open weekend of action

IT is getting towards the pointy end of the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) season, and there is plenty on the line in Round 8 of the competition. Some mid-table clashes, a top three battle and some last chances for lower sides in a weekend that is sure to promise plenty of excitement.

Thursday, June 17 @ 7:30pm
Eventfinda Stadium

A mid-table clash between two sides with five wins takes place tonight in a standalone clash in Auckland. The Auckland Huskies (5-6) are hosting the Canterbury Rams (5-5), in what is literally a ladder-defining clash. It will be the Huskies’ only Round 8 outing this weekend, with the Rams suiting up again on Sunday evening to take on the Taranaki Mountainairs. At home the Huskies are an even 3-3 while the Rams have not been that great on the road, recording a 1-3 record to-date. Chris Johnson (21.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 blocks) has been the standout player for the Huskies, but now Tom Vodanovich is back from ANBL duties, putting up 22 points, five rebounds and two assists coming off the bench last match. The Rams American duo of EJ Singler (166 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals) and Deshon Taylor (22.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.8 steals) can do it all.

Friday, June 18 @ 7:30pm
Trafalgar Centre

Next up in one of two Friday night clashes is another mid-table showdown between the fourth placed Otago Nuggets (6-5) and sixth placed Nelson Giants (5-6). Much like the previous match, it is certainly a ladder-defining match with the reigning premier Nuggets able to create some separation on the mid-table logjam, whilst the Giants can keep in touch with those top sides by bringing home the points. At home the Nuggets are 2-3, whilst the Giants are 2-4 on the road. Nelson is playing its only game for Round 8, while Otago will host Franklin Bulls on Sunday. Sam Timmins is in ripping form this season, racking up a triple-double last week and now averaging 18.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals. He has teamed up well with Isaiah Moss (18.9 points, 5.5 rebounds) and Geremy McKay (12.5 points, 6.1 rebounds) this season for the Nuggets. Speaking of red hot form, Hunter Hale continues to shoot the lights out with an average of 27.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.7 steals. Donte Ingram (18.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 steals) has been the other key scorer for Nelson.

Friday, June 18 @ 7:30pm
Pettigrew Green Arena

The match of the round is likely to be between two top three sides as the Hawkes Bay Hawks (7-3) host the Wellington Saints (8-1). The third placed Hawks are yet to lose at home, and have strung together three straight wins to be sitting comfortably, while Wellington Saints have won their past two since dropping their first game to Southland Sharks a couple of weeks again. Wellington has only hit the road three times for a 2-1 record, but have proven hard to beat this season. Dion Prewster (21.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.7 steals), Kerwin Roach Jr (17.3 points. 6.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.9 steals), Tohi Smith-Milner (11.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals) and Taane Samuel (14.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists) have all been outstanding and contributed to the Saints’ phenomenal season. The Hawks have had their huge depth for support as well, with Ethan Rusbatch (20.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals), Devondrick Walker (17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.7 steals), Hyrum Harris (13.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals) and Jonathan Janssen (13.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks) set to lock horns with those Saints talents.

Saturday, June 19 @ 7:30pm
ILT Stadium

Tipping off the weekend for one of two Saturday night clashes, the Southland Sharks (9-3) host the Franklin Bulls (4-7). After looking in serious trouble the past couple of weeks due to the injury toll starting to mount, the Bulls finally broke through for a win last start, and will be hoping to back that up with consecutive victories. They are 2-3 when on the road in season 2021, whilst the Sharks are yet to lose at home from four games and are on a seven-game hot streak since losing three consecutive games what seems an eternity ago. Dom Kelman-Poto has been outstanding with 17.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game, while Courtney Belger (13.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 steals) and Josh Cunningham (11.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists) have also been impressive. For the Bulls, injuries to Josh Selby and Zane Waterman have really hurt them in particular, as the two key scorers have been replaced by Kyrin Galloway (23.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.5 blocks) in the past two games, and Manel Ayol (19 points, 11 rebounds and three assists) last match, with Denhym Brooke (11.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks) one of the few key features all season.

Saturday, June 19 @ 7:30pm
TSB Bank Arena

Bottom of the table Taranaki Mountainairs have a mammoth task when entering Round 8, having to topple the second placed Wellington Saints on the road. The Airs (1-9) have sunk to six consecutive losses, and are yet to win away (0-4), whilst the Saints have a perfect 6-0 record when at home. The main hope for the Airs will be the fatigue for the Saints having played the night before. Marcel Jones has been the shining light this season, averaging 23.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks, whilst Carlin Davison (8.0 points. 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals) has impacted off the bench, and Haize Walker (9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists) steadfast in all 10 matches.

Sunday, June 20 @ 3:00pm
Fly Palmy Arena

The third placed Hawks come in for their second game of the round, as the last match featuring a team playing its first game in the Manawatu Jets. Hosting the Hawks at Fly Palmy Arena, the ninth placed Jets must win to keep their finals hopes alive, sitting near the bottom with a 3-8 record, and only 2-2 at home. The Hawks are 2-3 on the road, which could give the Jets confidence of causing an upset. The American trio of Daishon Knight (23.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.9 steals), DeAndre Daniels (16.7 points. 9.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks) and Shane Temara (15.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists) have all been superb despite the Jets’ disappointing season thus far.

Sunday, June 20 @ 5:00pm
Edgar Centre

Sunday, June 20 @ 5:00pm
Cowles Stadium


Picture credit: PhotosportNZ via NZNBL

Hawks go outright third with win over Nuggets, as Bulls pounce in Battle of the North

HAWKES Bay Hawks have sent a message to the rest of the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) competition, posting a huge 30-point win over Otago Nuggets to go outright third over their opponents on the 2021 table. Meanwhile in the other NZNBL clash last night, Franklin Bulls snapped their recent poor form to grind out a hard-fought win over Auckland Huskies thanks to a dominant second term.

In the one-sided contest at Pettigrew Green Arena, Hawkes Bay Hawks won every quarter on their way to the commanding 30-point triumph. Taking control from the opening tip-off, they lead by five points at quarter time and blew it out to 16 by the main break courtesy of a 32-21 second quarter. They kept the foot down in the second half to win the third and fourth quarters by six and eight points respectively, as they raced away to secure the 103-73 triumph.

Hawkes Bay dominated all the stats, winning the field goal shooting percentage comfortably (49 to 39 per cent), and it was their long-range bombs (19 from 37 at 51 per cent completed to 10 from 31 at 32 per cent) that really created separation on their opponents. They were in control of the rebounds (47-38), assists (23-16), points in the paint (34-30), second chance points (16-7), points from turnovers (14-11) and bench points (25-22), whilst the teams broke even in steals (eight apiece) and blocks (three apiece).

Ethan Rusbatch was a clear best-on for the Hawks, putting up a massive 36 points at 57 per cent accuracy, but it was his long-range shooting that was a delight. Rusbatch nailed nine of 15 from beyond the arc in a remarkable shooting display, whilst also picking up four rebounds and four steals for his troubles. Rhys Vague (25 points, eight rebounds and five assists) was also remarkable from beyond the arc, hitting seven of eight rom long-range, and nine from 10 from the field overall. Jonathan Janssen (11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks), Derone Raukawa (nine points, seven assists and three rebounds) and Devondrick Walker (four points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals) all contributed in different ways.

For the Nuggets, Isaiah Moss had a team-high 16 points, as well as seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, shooting four of his team’s 10 triples. Sam Timmins backed up his triple-double performance from last game with a solid overall outing, picking up 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks. Gerasimos McKay (11 points, nine rebounds and two assists) and Luke Aston (eight points, three rebounds) were also solid in the loss.

The other match was much closer, with Franklin Bulls able to come back from a six-point quarter time deficit to win the game against Auckland Huskies in a low-scoring 78-70 contest. The Bulls put on 22 points to nine in a huge second term to grab the lead by seven points at half-time, and then in an even second half, the Bulls only added the one more point than their opponents to secure the eight-point victory and the latest bragging rights in the Battle of the North.

In an even game, the statistics were split, with both teams shooting at a low percentage (35 to 32 per cent in the Bulls’ favour), with 11 triples to seven helping the winners out. They won the rebounds (63-50), steals (8-7) and second chance points (14-7) with less fouls (10-15). The Huskies had more assists (17-16), blocks (6-4), points in the paint (40-36), points from turnovers (18-12) and bench points (29-11) in the loss.

Kyrin Galloway won Most Valuable Player (MVP) honours after 25 points, 15 rebounds – 13 defensive – four assists and two blocks, scoring five of nine from three-point range. New Australian import Manel Ayol provided great support with 19 points, 11 rebounds and three steals on debut, while Denhym Brooks had the 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Isaac Davidson managed seven points, 10 rebounds and two assists, while Nicolas Fee had five points, four rebounds and four assists) coming off the bench.

Chris Johnson continued his terrific season for the Huskies with another double-double effort of 23 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and two assists. This time he had support from fellow big man Tom Vodanovich who returned from the ANBL for 22 points, four rebounds and two assists on the night. Takiula Fahrensohn (nine points, three rebounds and two steals) and Dontae Nance (seven points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals) were both solid from the start, while Justin Bibbs chipped in with six points, eight rebounds and three assists in defeat.

Auckland Huskies are first up in the next set of fixtures with a Thursday night home clash against Canterbury Rams. Otago Nuggets travel to Nelson Giants and Hawkes Bay Hawks host Wellington Saints on Friday night, while the Franklin Bulls lock horns with Southland Sharks on Saturday night.

Picture credit: PhotosportNZ via NZNBL

NBL1 Central wrap: Round 9

ROUND 9 of the National Basketball League (NBL)1 Central delivered the goods with plenty of close contests and a couple of blowouts in both the men’s and women’s leagues making for an enthralling round of action.


Norwood Flames (71) defeated by North Adelaide Rockets (89)

North Adelaide Rockets got the job done against the Norwood Flames to claim a convincing 18-point win. Norwood got the jump on the Rockets early establishing a three point lead before things tightened up in the second term with both sides shooting 27 points apiece. Half-time proved to be a godsend for North Adelaide as they came out firing in the third term piling on 24 points while keeping Norwood to 14 and that level of control continued into the final quarter limiting the home side to a mere 10 points. All in all the Rockets added 45 points to the Flames’ 24 which proved to be the main difference between winning and losing.

Four players hit the double-digit mark for Norwood with CJ Turnage topping the table in his 36 minutes out on court. Turnage finished with 17 points but lacked accuracy sitting at a mere 27 per cent from the field and failed to register a single triple from his eight attempts. But he did manage six rebounds, four assists and a block. Teammate Daniel Webber was a solid contributor with his 16 points and three rebounds as Matt Lycett chimed in with 13 points of his own. Cameron Huefner finished with 10 points to his name and just fell short of a double-double with nine rebounds and two assists. For the winners, Tobias Dowdell made his presence felt with a game-high 28 points at 58 per cent while also reeling in nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. Verle Williams was the next best with his 23 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals while Manel Ayol chimed in with a handy 16 points. Jack Purchase was the other key cog for North Adelaide recording a double-double sinking 15 points and 12 rebounds.


Norwood Flames (62) defeated by North Adelaide Rockets (97)

The Rockets made light work of the Flames running out 35-point victors credit to a fast start. The Flames worked their way back into the contest in the second term with some increased offensive pressure but the half-time break did not do them any favours as the visitors came out with a real pep in their step and point to prove.

Alex Wilson had a game to remember for the Flames sinking 28 points at 30 per cent from the field and showcased her skill from range with five triples. She also dragged in 10 rebounds and three steals. Genna Anderson was the next best with 10 points and seven rebounds. Rockets star Jess Good was unstoppable with her 31 points and 16 rebounds as teammate Sam Defrancesco injected herself in the thick of things with 25 points and seven rebounds. Courtney Hansen also played a strong cameo role with her 14 points in her 20 minutes on court converting at 70 per cent from the field.


South Adelaide Panthers (71) defeated by Central District Lions (68)

Only three points separated the two sides at the final buzzer with South Adelaide pipping the Lions at the post. It was an enthralling battle with Central District holding sway in the first half before South Adelaide hit back in the second half to outscore their opponents and really clamp down their offensive prowess. The Panthers kept the Lions to 23 points for the entire second half while adding 39 points to their own total.

It was a one man show with Owen Hulland doing the heavy lifting for South Adelaide producing 32 points and 12 rebounds in an all-round strong showing. Alex Mudronja was the other main facilitator for the Panthers sinking 21 points and picking up three assists and three rebounds. For Central Districts the combination between Lual Ding, David Humphries and Shaquille Maharaj kept them in the game. Ding managed 26 points and seven rebounds while both Humphries and Maharaj slotted 18 apiece.


South Adelaide Panthers (127) defeated Central District Lions (54)

It was a complete and utter white wash with the Panthers producing a scintillating win over Central District Lions. South Adelaide made all running in the first quarter producing a 28 points to 11 term. That momentum continued into the second quarter as the Panthers controlled the proceedings and continued their merry way. The best quarter was the last with South Adelaide attacking the rim and showing no mercy with a whopping 43 point term to seal the deal.

It was an absolute demolition job by Olivia Thompson who walked away with a staggering 51 points converting at 72 per cent from the field. Thompson not only impacted off the scoreboard but so two on the rebounding front with 13 to her name along with seven steals. She received plenty of help from the likes of Ashley Spencer who produced 31 points including three triples. Looking at the Central Districts and it was a very different affair with Rebecca Wells the only player to reach double figures thanks to her ten points while she also reeled in five rebounds and recorded one assist. Erin Boyd was the next best with nine points at 25 per cent field from the field while she also managed seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.


Southern Tigers (73) defeated Forestville Eagles (89)

Forestville notched up another win, this time defeating Southern Tigers by 16 points. The Eagles got off to a fast start establishing a 10 point lead and did not look like relinquishing the lead winning every quarter bar the second where they both scored 24 points apiece. The third term helped to further solidify their standings.

There were plenty of contributors for the Tigers with six players reaching double-digits with Cameron Coleman topping the charts with 20 points and eight rebounds. Daniel Smith got busy with his 12 points while Koop McCalop was hot on his tail with 11 points. Three players in Nick Wurm, Machar Machar and Christian Artacho all managed 10 points each with Wurm also registering seven assists and Machar securing seven rebounds. Gregory Mays was influential for the Eagles producing 31 points at 60 per cent from the field to accompany his 10 rebounds while Michael Harris also lent a helping hand with his 21 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Brine also made an impact draining 18 points and picking up five rebounds along the way.


Southern Tigers (71) defeated Forestville Eagles (70)

The battle between those Southern Tigers in Forestville Eagles went right down to the wire as only one point separated the two at the final buzzer with the Tigers getting the win. Southern Tigers got off to a strong start producing for 24 points while keeping the Forestville Eagles to 14 but the table slowly started to turn in the second as Forestville gained momentum. Things tightened up in the second half of the game with neither side able to really gain much separation but the early work from the Tigers gifted them the win.

Teige Morrell was the focal point for the Tigers dropping 23 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Morgan Yaeger was also influential producing 15 points at 40 per cent from the field to accompany her six rebounds all of which were defensive. Both Denelle Fawcett and Gemma Thacker chimed in with 11 and 10 points respectively to get their side over the line. Brooke Basham topscored for Forestville draining 25 points as Samantha Simons got busy with her 12 points and five rebounds.


West Adelaide Bearcats (87) defeated by Sturt Sabres (92)

It was another close contest, this time between West Adelaide and Sturt with the former getting the chocolates in a tight finish. The Sabres flew out of the blocks in the first quarter draining 31 points and while the scoring petered off in the second and third they did enough in the fourth to hold onto their lead and collect the win.

Bryan Michaels was the most influential when it came to scoreboard pain thanks to his 27 points while Earnest Ross was also up there thanks to his 24 points, five steals and 15 rebounds with 13 of them defensive. Fabian Johnson contributed a handy 16 points while Lachie Hunter was the sole other double-digits scorer for the Bearcats. Sam Daly was strong for the Sabres sinking 26 points while also amassing eight rebounds and six assists. Joel Spear did not disappoint with his 22 points, 11 rebounds and three assists as teammate Keanu Rasmussen got down to business drilling home 16 points.


West Adelaide Bearcats (64) defeated by Sturt Sabres (88)

Sturt Sabres got the chocolates over West Adelaide claiming a 24 point win. It was a relatively even to start the game with only two points separating the two sides at quarter time before Sturt put the foot down In this in the second term to claim the ascendancy. From there on they controlled the play and steadily built on their lead.

Jennie Rintala was a force to be reckoned with for West Adelaide coming up big with 20 points and 12 rebounds while Jasmin Fejo was handy with her 15 points at 50 per cent from the field. Jade Johnson had a day out for the Sabres draining a game-high 25 points along with four rebounds and five steals as teammate Nicola Matthews was effective with her 17 points and eight rebounds.


Eastern Mavericks (78) defeated Woodville Warriors (124)

It was a one-sided affair as the Woodville Warriors trounced Eastern Mavericks to claim a resounding 46 point win. The Warriors flew out of the gates credit to their 29 points to 18 start and that only got better as they added 36 points and 35 points in the second and third term respectively. The Mavericks may have won the last quarter but the damage was already done with the Warriors comprehensive winners.

William Wise hit was prominent nailing 28 points for the Mavericks as teammate Callan Prider recorded 11 points and four rebounds  in the loss. Owen Raneberg was strong off the boards with seven rebounds. There was no shortage of points scorers for the Warriors as five players hit double figures and two of them in Devon McGee and James Boonstoppel slotting 25 and 22 points apiece. Julian Jacobs was also instrumental in the win knocking back 18 points and 12 assists as he guided his side to a convincing win.


Eastern Mavericks (76) defeated Woodville Warriors (50)

The Mavericks managed to secure a 26-point win over Woodville Warriors. Woodville got out to a three-point lead before the Mavericks struck back in the second quarter to not only level the scores but so steal the lead and the momentum. It was a disappointing third term for Woodville as they only managed a mere three points, while the Mavericks piled on a whopping 20 to set up a block poster final term and the win.

Rachel Hines tried her hardest leading the Mavericks with 18 points and seven rebounds. She was ably assisted by Georgia Thomson who produced 14 points, three rebounds and four assists in her 23 minutes out on court. Mollie McKendrick was crafty registering a triple-double for her efforts with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists. Serena Waters was lethal with ball in hand top-scoring with 20 points as Kahli Harmer finished with seven points to her name.

Photo credit: LukeJMedia / BaselineLuke

NBL1 Central wrap: Round 8

NATIONAL Basketball League (NBL)1 Central resumed over the weekend, with plenty of games going down to the wire in both the men’s and women’s divisions to give fans some entertaining action.

Forestville Eagles v West Adelaide Bearcats


Round 8 of the NBL1 Central division kicked off with a thriller, as the Forestville Eagles stole a one-point win over the West Adelaide Bearcats at Wayville Sports Centre on Saturday night. Eagle Samantha Simons was fouled on a three-point attempt with just two seconds to go, and the star nailed all three to steal a victory and take the team’s winning streak to five. Simons was far and away the best performer on the court, finishing the game with 31 points and 10 rebounds, while Jennie Rintala was outstanding for the Bearcats, pouring in 27 points and 15 rebounds.


In another classic, the Eagles have escaped Wayville Sports Centre with a three-point victory over the Bearcats on Saturday night. The match was back and forth all game, eventually going to overtime thanks to a three-pointer from Bearcat Earnest Ross, and in overtime, it was the Eagles who made the most of their chances. Forrestville’s Michael Harris had the game sealing play with a steal and basket with two seconds to go. Harris finished the game with 25 points and 12 rebounds in a strong outing and was only bested by teammate Gregory Mays (31 points and 11 rebounds). Ross was huge for the Bearcats, nearly singlehandedly dragging his side over the line with 32 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists and four steals.

Sturt Sabres v South Adelaide Panthers


The Sturt Sabres proved too strong in their clash with the South Adelaide Panthers, running away with a 14-point win at Springbank Secondary College on Saturday night. The game was up for grabs right up until the final quarter, where the Sabres were able to put the foot down and secure their seventh win of the season to maintain second position on the ladder. For the Sabres, Kylee Smith was instrumental, finishing with 25 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and four steals. For the Panthers, Olivia Thompson was typically impressive with 20 points and eight rebounds.


The Sturt Sabres continue to remain the competition benchmark, taking down the Panthers by 20 points at Springbank Secondary College on Saturday night for their eighth win from eight games. The Panthers never looked close to the ladder-leaders, and the Sabres look like they will prove tough to slow down as the season progresses, having nearly played and defeated every side. For the Sabres, Keanu Rasmussen surprised everyone to score 31 points (9/10 from the field, 5/6 from three) and prove the Sabres have plenty of options to score.

Woodville Warriors v Southern Tigers


The Southern Tigers delivered a dominant display, taking down the Woodville Warriors by 44 points at St Clair Recreation Centre on Saturday night. The Tigers have been the team to beat this year, and this performance only echoes this, with the Tigers led by an unbelievable performance from Teige Morrell. Morell finished the match with a whopping 37 points and 22 rebounds and was clearly the most dominant performer on the court, and the Warriors simply couldn’t contain her. The Tigers will take some stopping this year and if they keep up performances of this level, they might keep this undefeated streak rolling.


The Southern Tigers delivered a four-quarter performance as they took down the Woodville Warriors by 23 points at St Clair Recreation Centre on Saturday night. The Tigers won all four quarters and the Warriors were never given a chance to conjure a comeback as the Tigers cruised to their sixth win of the year. For the victors, Cameron Coleman’s 23-point performance was telling, with the Tiger delivering efficient shooting and also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out six assists.

Central Districts Lions v Norwood Flames


The Central Districts Lions have continued to struggle, falling to the Norwood Flames by 54 points at the STARplex on Saturday night. The Flames were able to do as they please, consistently finding open looks and knocking down shot after shot. For the Flames, Alex Wilson led the charge, dominating the entire game to finish with 35 points and knocking down seven three-pointers on efficient shooting. For the Lions, April Rummery Lamb continued her solid scoring run to end the game with 23 points.


The Norwood Flames did enough to claim their fourth win of the year, taking down the Central Districts Lions by 10 points at the STARplex on Saturday night. The Flames delivered strong first and third terms that were crucial in securing a lead that the Lions would not eventually overcome. For the Flames, CJ Turnage was the main source of scoring for his side, pouring in 28 points and pulling down seven rebounds, while Lual Diing (16 points) battled hard for the Lions.

North Adelaide Rockets v Eastern Mavericks


The North Adelaide Rockets have found themselves back on the winner’s list, taking down the Eastern Mavericks by 21 points at The Lights Community and Sports Centre on Saturday night. A monstrous first term set up the victory, where the Rockets outscore their opponents 30-9, and the Mavericks simply couldn’t recover. For the Rockets, Sam Defrancesco led the way with 23 points, 13 rebounds and five steals in a solid all-around performance.


The North Adelaide Rockets did enough to survive a strong comeback from the Eastern Mavericks, taking home a four-point victory at The Lights Community and Sports Centre on Saturday night. The Mavericks gave it their all in the final term, outscoring their opponents to try and steal an unlikely win, but fell agonisingly short. For the Rockets, Manel Ayol led the way on both ends of the court, finishing with 24 points and 13 rebounds.

Picture credit: Kelly Barnes/AllStar Photos