Challenge repelled

GOING HIGH: SE Systems’ Thomas Kepa goes to the basket under pressure from 9ers captain Marquand Samuels. Systems won 77-35. Picture by Paul Rickard

THEY might have slipped up, but they didn’t.

Defending champions City Lights last night sent the clearest signal yet that taking their crown will take an extraordinary effort.

They withstood a hard-nosed challenge from Pure Sound, defeating them 46-41 in Game 4 of Week 4 of Gisborne men’s club basketball

In other games, the Dragons beat East Coast 63-46, Old School beat Campion College 71-20 and SE Systems had their first win this season, 77-35 against the 9ers.

City Lights, the Dragons and Old School all sit atop the 10-team table with nine points. Systems and Campion have five, Pure Sound have four, Gisborne Boys’ High School and East Coast have threes, the 9ers have two and Lytton High School have one point.

“They hit their shots against our zone defence — but when we got defensive stops, we also made lay-ups,” said City Lights captain Scott Muncaster, who led all scorers in Game 4 with 14 points.

“Carl Riini was probably our best, I’d say — he ran all night long.”

Riini (12pts) punished the “Pound” for turning the ball over three times and he is undoubtedly one of the league’s can’t-catch-me players in the open court, as he proved when scoring for 11-5, and 24-24. He also shot only the third airball of Week 4 from the free-throw line 28 seconds before halftime in a see-saw affair.

City Lights went into the second period 11-5 up, then Pure Sound led 19-17 at the break and 33-29 at three-quartertime. In the last 10 minutes, the lead changed three times.

Despite having his shot blocked by City Lights’ Ryan Walters just before halftime, Stefan Pisheif played his best game of the league to date and stepped up in the absence of fellow Pure Sound big man Dale Hailey. He made the second quarter his own, in terms of rebounding, and gave the assist to Jason Tuapawa (10pts) for a three-point shot for a 33-29 lead.

Pure Sound’s Jimmy Wilson (11pts) hit three three-pointers and when on any night he shoots well, the man who won the 2009 grand final 50-48 at the buzzer for Purp and Yellow against Bladez is doubly dangerous. His teammate Wi Brown (5pts), City Lights’ Dom Wilson (4pts) and Riini all made three-point plays.

Pound captain Billy Maxwell, who had an outstanding game at point guard, gave the assist of Week 4 for 5-2. He took a three-point shot, claimed the long rebound off that miss and speared a “no-look pass” into Tuapawa, who was open to the right beneath the hoop.

“Jim (Wilson) shot the ball well,” Maxwell said.

“And Chad (Rose) was good but I’ve been playing with him for 25 years. Nothing changes.”

Rose hustled promising guard Zade Donner (4pts) for the turnover and 33-29 — 20 seconds later, the veteran hit one of his trademark shots: a pull-up jumper on the right baseline for 35-29.

Competitive though the league is, it’s OK to laugh.

The gag of 2017 to date came four and a half minutes into the third period of Game 3 last night — the Dragons eventually beating East Coast 63-46 — when 6ft 8in Jasper Wills lined up next to Coast captain Brandon Paul, as foul-shots were being taken.

Paul — who as the defensive player, was on the hashmark closest to the backboard — looked down to find a stooped Wills untying his (Paul’s) shoelace, with Dragons guard Whetu Haworth about to take his second free throw.

Sharpshooter Te Angi Te Hau (11pts) hit three long jump shots and Wills (10pts) was again good value close to the basket, but the Dragons’ best was left-hander Herewaka Katipa. The former Gisborne Boys’ High School guard, 17, is now in Year 12 at Fairfield College in Hamilton and led their scorers with 21 points.

The Dragons controlled events 20-8, 40-27, 49-39 but opposing captain Brandon Paul and the Coast pushed them hard throughout. Paul’s 17-point tally included three three-pointers — the second of which closed the scoring at three-quartertime, the last of which ended the game.

Howarth excelled for 19 points. He is quick, skilful and courageous, willing to take knocks on his way to the rim.

The distinction of the jump shot with the best form belonged, however, to guard Jesse Torrey, whose 25-foot effort closed the first half on a high note.

“That was a hard game — up-tempo and physical,” Paul said.

The influence of Keenan Ruru-Poharama (7pts) and Bronson Te Hau for the Dragons went beyond statistics last night. Their ability to run the game and organise players is of a high order, with the lively guard David Rameka (6pts) also taking the ball to the basket strongly.

“Jasper, Angi (Te Hau) and Te Ahi (Te Hau-Otene) were strong inside tonight,” Dragons captain Bronson Te Hau said.

“The Coast shot the ball well, but we have good offensive options, too.”

Colossal — that was the size of the task facing Campion against Old School in the opening game last night. To their credit, they gave it their all.

Old School won 71-20 on the back of a 23-point performance from the veterans’ giant Thomas Tindale, Rikki Kernohan’s dynamic 14-point showing and two three-pointers in eight points for captain Reggie Namana.

“We wanted to up the ante tonight, run some plays, mix in some pressure defence,” said Namana, who made a scoop-shot to beat the full-time buzzer.

“That was our aim because we think it’ll help these school teams — especially when they go away to tournaments out of town. Campion were good out there — they were energetic.”

Campion’s Konnor Gibson and Tahran Ward did all they could against Tindale at close quarters but, like big man Baden Shortland in the late 1990s, his footwork and experience make him difficult to contain.

Namana and Tindale both found Kernohan to score backdoor lay-ups early in the game and, although Old School were without TK Moeke and Rongomai Smith (Smith in particular was superb in Week 3), last night marked the return of tall leftie Gary Harding (6pts), who retains his ability to finish at the rim and hit the open jump shot.

Campion trailed 17-7, 38-13, 47-15. If they didn’t already know, they learned a hard lesson — sometimes, size will out.

Campion captain Patrick Murphy knows his team can do better: “If our big guys keep playing, I’d love them to be able to emulate Reg (Namana) — his ball-handling. Stopping Tom (Tindale) from getting the ball was what we had to do, and they just played great defence as well; we couldn’t break it.”

Both Murphy and Gibson scored three points while point guard Orlando Pedraza scored two field goals for the College. He avoided Tindale in zigzagging inside to score his second basket for 64-20.

Congratulations to SE Systems. In 2017, they are committed to getting young players into the game and on the court, be they Gisborne-based or otherwise.

In Game 2, Adrian Sparks’s crew claimed their first win of the season, 77-35 against the 9ers.

It was Systems’ night and they started off quickly, Thomas Kepa playing with great urgency to score their first two field goals. He scored 12 points before quartertime in a 16-point effort — he was sensational.

Adam Tapsell, who first played at the YMCA in 1988, a year before the advent of the Rising Suns, reeled back the years to score 20 points and give a glimpse of the solid fundamentals that made the Gisborne Boys’ High School teams of his era capable of making the national secondary schools’ boys’ tournament . . . the “leaner” for 6-2, the turnaround jump shot, three straight baskets in the fourth quarter.

Sparks (12pts) scored three straight baskets himself in the third period and left-hander Max Scott (11pts) played with confidence, making a finger-roll before halftime and hitting a three-pointer towards the end of the game.

“Adam was the star,” Sparks said.

“We love the 9ers, but tonight was our night.”

SES were 22-10, 43-18 and 59-27 leaders in Game 2, with forward Tamanui Hill (12pts) and hard-driving Wayne Bartram (6pts) competing hard for the 9ers. Skilful guard Hoera Mohi — a real talent — may not have scored until the fourth quarter but he has the ability to penetrate and to hustle.

Jesse Fleming hit two jumpshots in the first quarter and what is striking about his play is his composure on the floor. Many first-year players, even at club-ball level, fling the ball at the hoop when taking shots but Fleming is composed and in control when he releases the jumper.

“The boys are becoming more comfortable on the court,” 9ers captain Marquand Samuels said.

“The skills and speed of the game are awesome, and for us it’s starting to come together.”

THEY might have slipped up, but they didn’t.

Defending champions City Lights last night sent the clearest signal yet that taking their crown will take an extraordinary effort.

They withstood a hard-nosed challenge from Pure Sound, defeating them 46-41 in Game 4 of Week 4 of Gisborne men’s club basketball

In other games, the Dragons beat East Coast 63-46, Old School beat Campion College 71-20 and SE Systems had their first win this season, 77-35 against the 9ers.

City Lights, the Dragons and Old School all sit atop the 10-team table with nine points. Systems and Campion have five, Pure Sound have four, Gisborne Boys’ High School and East Coast have threes, the 9ers have two and Lytton High School have one point.

“They hit their shots against our zone defence — but when we got defensive stops, we also made lay-ups,” said City Lights captain Scott Muncaster, who led all scorers in Game 4 with 14 points.

“Carl Riini was probably our best, I’d say — he ran all night long.”

Riini (12pts) punished the “Pound” for turning the ball over three times and he is undoubtedly one of the league’s can’t-catch-me players in the open court, as he proved when scoring for 11-5, and 24-24. He also shot only the third airball of Week 4 from the free-throw line 28 seconds before halftime in a see-saw affair.

City Lights went into the second period 11-5 up, then Pure Sound led 19-17 at the break and 33-29 at three-quartertime. In the last 10 minutes, the lead changed three times.

Despite having his shot blocked by City Lights’ Ryan Walters just before halftime, Stefan Pisheif played his best game of the league to date and stepped up in the absence of fellow Pure Sound big man Dale Hailey. He made the second quarter his own, in terms of rebounding, and gave the assist to Jason Tuapawa (10pts) for a three-point shot for a 33-29 lead.

Pure Sound’s Jimmy Wilson (11pts) hit three three-pointers and when on any night he shoots well, the man who won the 2009 grand final 50-48 at the buzzer for Purp and Yellow against Bladez is doubly dangerous. His teammate Wi Brown (5pts), City Lights’ Dom Wilson (4pts) and Riini all made three-point plays.

Pound captain Billy Maxwell, who had an outstanding game at point guard, gave the assist of Week 4 for 5-2. He took a three-point shot, claimed the long rebound off that miss and speared a “no-look pass” into Tuapawa, who was open to the right beneath the hoop.

“Jim (Wilson) shot the ball well,” Maxwell said.

“And Chad (Rose) was good but I’ve been playing with him for 25 years. Nothing changes.”

Rose hustled promising guard Zade Donner (4pts) for the turnover and 33-29 — 20 seconds later, the veteran hit one of his trademark shots: a pull-up jumper on the right baseline for 35-29.

Competitive though the league is, it’s OK to laugh.

The gag of 2017 to date came four and a half minutes into the third period of Game 3 last night — the Dragons eventually beating East Coast 63-46 — when 6ft 8in Jasper Wills lined up next to Coast captain Brandon Paul, as foul-shots were being taken.

Paul — who as the defensive player, was on the hashmark closest to the backboard — looked down to find a stooped Wills untying his (Paul’s) shoelace, with Dragons guard Whetu Haworth about to take his second free throw.

Sharpshooter Te Angi Te Hau (11pts) hit three long jump shots and Wills (10pts) was again good value close to the basket, but the Dragons’ best was left-hander Herewaka Katipa. The former Gisborne Boys’ High School guard, 17, is now in Year 12 at Fairfield College in Hamilton and led their scorers with 21 points.

The Dragons controlled events 20-8, 40-27, 49-39 but opposing captain Brandon Paul and the Coast pushed them hard throughout. Paul’s 17-point tally included three three-pointers — the second of which closed the scoring at three-quartertime, the last of which ended the game.

Howarth excelled for 19 points. He is quick, skilful and courageous, willing to take knocks on his way to the rim.

The distinction of the jump shot with the best form belonged, however, to guard Jesse Torrey, whose 25-foot effort closed the first half on a high note.

“That was a hard game — up-tempo and physical,” Paul said.

The influence of Keenan Ruru-Poharama (7pts) and Bronson Te Hau for the Dragons went beyond statistics last night. Their ability to run the game and organise players is of a high order, with the lively guard David Rameka (6pts) also taking the ball to the basket strongly.

“Jasper, Angi (Te Hau) and Te Ahi (Te Hau-Otene) were strong inside tonight,” Dragons captain Bronson Te Hau said.

“The Coast shot the ball well, but we have good offensive options, too.”

Colossal — that was the size of the task facing Campion against Old School in the opening game last night. To their credit, they gave it their all.

Old School won 71-20 on the back of a 23-point performance from the veterans’ giant Thomas Tindale, Rikki Kernohan’s dynamic 14-point showing and two three-pointers in eight points for captain Reggie Namana.

“We wanted to up the ante tonight, run some plays, mix in some pressure defence,” said Namana, who made a scoop-shot to beat the full-time buzzer.

“That was our aim because we think it’ll help these school teams — especially when they go away to tournaments out of town. Campion were good out there — they were energetic.”

Campion’s Konnor Gibson and Tahran Ward did all they could against Tindale at close quarters but, like big man Baden Shortland in the late 1990s, his footwork and experience make him difficult to contain.

Namana and Tindale both found Kernohan to score backdoor lay-ups early in the game and, although Old School were without TK Moeke and Rongomai Smith (Smith in particular was superb in Week 3), last night marked the return of tall leftie Gary Harding (6pts), who retains his ability to finish at the rim and hit the open jump shot.

Campion trailed 17-7, 38-13, 47-15. If they didn’t already know, they learned a hard lesson — sometimes, size will out.

Campion captain Patrick Murphy knows his team can do better: “If our big guys keep playing, I’d love them to be able to emulate Reg (Namana) — his ball-handling. Stopping Tom (Tindale) from getting the ball was what we had to do, and they just played great defence as well; we couldn’t break it.”

Both Murphy and Gibson scored three points while point guard Orlando Pedraza scored two field goals for the College. He avoided Tindale in zigzagging inside to score his second basket for 64-20.

Congratulations to SE Systems. In 2017, they are committed to getting young players into the game and on the court, be they Gisborne-based or otherwise.

In Game 2, Adrian Sparks’s crew claimed their first win of the season, 77-35 against the 9ers.

It was Systems’ night and they started off quickly, Thomas Kepa playing with great urgency to score their first two field goals. He scored 12 points before quartertime in a 16-point effort — he was sensational.

Adam Tapsell, who first played at the YMCA in 1988, a year before the advent of the Rising Suns, reeled back the years to score 20 points and give a glimpse of the solid fundamentals that made the Gisborne Boys’ High School teams of his era capable of making the national secondary schools’ boys’ tournament . . . the “leaner” for 6-2, the turnaround jump shot, three straight baskets in the fourth quarter.

Sparks (12pts) scored three straight baskets himself in the third period and left-hander Max Scott (11pts) played with confidence, making a finger-roll before halftime and hitting a three-pointer towards the end of the game.

“Adam was the star,” Sparks said.

“We love the 9ers, but tonight was our night.”

SES were 22-10, 43-18 and 59-27 leaders in Game 2, with forward Tamanui Hill (12pts) and hard-driving Wayne Bartram (6pts) competing hard for the 9ers. Skilful guard Hoera Mohi — a real talent — may not have scored until the fourth quarter but he has the ability to penetrate and to hustle.

Jesse Fleming hit two jumpshots in the first quarter and what is striking about his play is his composure on the floor. Many first-year players, even at club-ball level, fling the ball at the hoop when taking shots but Fleming is composed and in control when he releases the jumper.

“The boys are becoming more comfortable on the court,” 9ers captain Marquand Samuels said.

“The skills and speed of the game are awesome, and for us it’s starting to come together.”

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