Cometh the hour, cometh the men

DO OR DIE: Uawa’s Reggie Namana is confronted by City Lights’ David Glendenning in the A-Grade men’s semifinals of Gisborne club basketball at the YMCA. Pictures by Paul Rickard
Cairo-Rule Reihana blocks the path of Jason Tuapawa. Uawa won 73-62 and face Gisborne Boys’ High Black in the final.

Unexpected indeed.

Uawa produced the big game performance they needed to beat defending champions City Lights 73-62 in their Gisborne Basketball Association A-Grade 1 v 4 semifinal at the YMCA.

They face Gisborne Boys’ High Black in the final after the students beat the experienced Filthy Dozen 74-66 in their 2 v 3 knockout also at the Y.

A great night of club playoffs opened with Boys’ High Red 43-28 victors in a hard-fought battle with East Coast to claim fifth spot in the B-Grade.

At the nearby John McFarlane Memorial Sports Centre, Young and the Useless won their B-Grade semi against Campion College 69-56; Lytton High School beat the High Flyers by default in the other B-Grade semi; and SE Systems got the better of Dragons 64-49 in the A-Grade play-off for fifth.

All men’s and women’s finals are on Saturday at the YMCA. The A-Grade men’s grand final between GBHS Black and Uawa is at 6.30pm; the women’s’ final is at 5pm; and the B-Grade men’s final between the Young and the Useless and Lytton tips off at 3.30pm.

GBHS Black 74 Filthy Dozen 66

It was the toughest game a Gisborne Boys’ High School team have played in 20 years.

Not since they beat Lytton High School 60-55 in the first round of the 1998 season have they had to dig so deep when it mattered most.

GBHS Black beat the Filthy Dozen with a Herculean effort in all aspects of the game, the clincher being guard Holden Wilson’s three-point shooting.

The 16 year-old hit 10 “treys” in a 32-point-blitz.

In the first and fourth quarters, he twice hit three consecutive long jumpshots. In the third period, he hit two three-pointers, made a difficult right-hand lay-up and then landed another three-pointer.

Forward Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown racked up 23 points, including his second long-jumper to finish the game, while Sam Veitch and captain Max Scott hit a three-pointer each in their seven-point tallies.

“Tonight we were composed,” said 18-year-old Scott, whose team led 16-14, 34-32, and 57-46 through the periods.

“We kept the tempo up, applied pressure defence in the second and third periods, but not only that, Tyrese went from guard to forward against the Filthy Dozen and Holden showcased just what he can do.”

Veitch and Westrupp — as required in Ofa Tauatevalu’s absence — challenged and blocked numerous Dozen attempts. Defensive rebounding, particularly from this pair was one of the keys to victory.

Other contributions included Jorje Tofilau saving the ball inbounds on four occasions

For the Dozen, Willie Brown was superb for 25 points, including five three-pointers and a sublime lay-up after taking the ball through the key.

Levi Tamihana made three straight treys at the start of the second period.

Dom Wilson (13) hit one brilliant jumpshot and was a constant threat.

But this was the students’ night, which Filthy Dozen captain Siaki Tui acknowledged.

“Boys’ High’s outside shooting was unreal. That’s the best, most well-balanced and structured I’ve seen them since Ryan’s team (player-coach Ryan Walters’ 2008 club championship-winning unit, the only college crew ever to win the grand final).”

Uawa 73 City Lights 62

It wasn’t a stellar performance.

More like a rough diamond.

Toughness and determination got Uawa past City Lights 73-62.

Rising Suns great Reg Namana’s 32 point-game was backed up by Amorysia McLean (17) and Quentin Solomon (10) for Uawa, who held sway 16-11, 36-23, 60-43.

City Lights missed the likes of talented guard Carl Riini and were outnumbered in players nine to seven — the same superiority CL enjoyed in last year’s grand final 81-55 bath of an understrength Old School.

Gutsy competitors like Ryan Walters defined their club’s character on that occasion and he fought hard again last night. Walters put up 15 points and Pila Lolohea 10, while captain Scott Muncaster was the beaten champions’ chief contributor with an outstanding 30.

“They played their best game of the season — fun and physical,” said Muncaster of Uawa. “We just couldn’t buy a basket and that was it; a taste of our own medicine in that we couldn’t shoot and everyone on their team decided to knock threes down.”

Solomon was one of those. His three-pointers for 31-19 and 68-48 pushed Uawa’s lead out to plus-10 and 20 — big psychological barriers for a team in arrears.

Both sides made tough plays including Muncaster over Matariki Kaa on the right baseline to make it 8-16 in the first period and Namana driving the ball at Muncaster to put his side 43-31 ahead in the third quarter . . . clean but incredibly physical stuff.

“It was a good team effort,” said Namana. “Everyone stood up by playing defence and scoring at some stage in the game. We shot the ball from the perimeter extremely well. Usually they do that so it was good to give it to them.”

GBHS Red 43 East Coast 28

They earned it the hard way.

Gisborne Boys’ High School Red’s 43-28 win over East Coast in the B-Grade play-off for fifth was one of which they ought to be pretty proud.

Though they held the whip-hand 10-5, 19-13 and 29-20, the Coast’s Drae Calles is the type of player with the all-round ability to not just win games but to induce panic with frenzied defence.

For Red, Isaiah Lemaua (12), Zorik Peneha (10) and Adam Nepe (10) made double figures while the Coast’s most prolific were Calles (15), including four three-pointers, and Hayden Kiri (9).

In the third quarter, Nepe held Kiri at the top of the key only for Kiri to find Calles slashing unguarded to the basket — a hilarious defensive miss by whoever was meant to keep tabs on him.

The outstanding play of the fourth quarter was Lemaua’s splitting drive to the hoop. His two field goals in the period bespoke athletic ability and urgency.

GBHS Red undoubtedly included players with A-Grade potential.

Those who make the cut in 2019 could well have a chance to be part of another Boys’ High run at making the national championships. This year’s team finished only one place away.

Young and the Useless 69

Campion College 56

Everyone knows there’s no substitute for it.

With Young and the Useless having experience-plus over the Orlando Pedraza-led Campion College, the younger team fell back on their chief attributes — speed and movement.

YAU won the B Grade semi 69-56 despite captain Pedraza’s 20 points, which included a three-point play in both of the first two periods.

Young and the Useless led 17-15, 38-28 but Campion roared to three-quartertime to draw level 50-all.

Pedraza made a trey, Tana Ward (8pts) hit two of the same and Tana’s older brother Tahran (9) took the fight to the basket for six hard-earned points in the period.

Fraser Robb (9) hit three-pointers to close Campion’s scoring at halftime and open their account in a fourth quarter in which he was their only scorer.

Stefan Pishief (21) led all scorers for YAU, with Ray Noble’s 19 including a three-point play on halftime.

His son, Rikki Noble (8), and Anton Riri, whose six fourth-quarter points included a three-point play, also showed good game sense.

Forward Quentin Harvey’s physical approach offensively and defensively set the tone in terms of intensity for YAU, whose focus was to shut down Pedraza and Ward.

Campion’s pressure defence in the third period created turnover opportunities that brought them back into the game, and the consensus of the YAU veterans was that experience got the older team home.

SE Systems 64 Dragons 49

What a game from Konnor Gibson.

The six-foot seven-inch 18-year-old scored 22 points, his SE Systems captain Adrian Sparks put up 17 and Jackson Leach was good for 15 as Systems beat Dragons 64-49 in the A-Grade play-off for fifth.

Systems’ newest addition, Felix Sparks, scored four points on debut.

Dragons took a 15-13 lead by virtue of Angi Te Hau’s three consecutive treys to open his team’s scoring. He scored 20 points in all, with teammate Ahi Te Hau-Otene (14) acting as muscle at close range.

Te Hau-Otene has played solidly this season. It is a shame that while the standard of Conference Basketball League play is entirely different to club ball, that he and other consistent performers at the local level don’t have the opportunity to at least train and experience the Rising Suns environment.

Unexpected indeed.

Uawa produced the big game performance they needed to beat defending champions City Lights 73-62 in their Gisborne Basketball Association A-Grade 1 v 4 semifinal at the YMCA.

They face Gisborne Boys’ High Black in the final after the students beat the experienced Filthy Dozen 74-66 in their 2 v 3 knockout also at the Y.

A great night of club playoffs opened with Boys’ High Red 43-28 victors in a hard-fought battle with East Coast to claim fifth spot in the B-Grade.

At the nearby John McFarlane Memorial Sports Centre, Young and the Useless won their B-Grade semi against Campion College 69-56; Lytton High School beat the High Flyers by default in the other B-Grade semi; and SE Systems got the better of Dragons 64-49 in the A-Grade play-off for fifth.

All men’s and women’s finals are on Saturday at the YMCA. The A-Grade men’s grand final between GBHS Black and Uawa is at 6.30pm; the women’s’ final is at 5pm; and the B-Grade men’s final between the Young and the Useless and Lytton tips off at 3.30pm.

GBHS Black 74 Filthy Dozen 66

It was the toughest game a Gisborne Boys’ High School team have played in 20 years.

Not since they beat Lytton High School 60-55 in the first round of the 1998 season have they had to dig so deep when it mattered most.

GBHS Black beat the Filthy Dozen with a Herculean effort in all aspects of the game, the clincher being guard Holden Wilson’s three-point shooting.

The 16 year-old hit 10 “treys” in a 32-point-blitz.

In the first and fourth quarters, he twice hit three consecutive long jumpshots. In the third period, he hit two three-pointers, made a difficult right-hand lay-up and then landed another three-pointer.

Forward Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown racked up 23 points, including his second long-jumper to finish the game, while Sam Veitch and captain Max Scott hit a three-pointer each in their seven-point tallies.

“Tonight we were composed,” said 18-year-old Scott, whose team led 16-14, 34-32, and 57-46 through the periods.

“We kept the tempo up, applied pressure defence in the second and third periods, but not only that, Tyrese went from guard to forward against the Filthy Dozen and Holden showcased just what he can do.”

Veitch and Westrupp — as required in Ofa Tauatevalu’s absence — challenged and blocked numerous Dozen attempts. Defensive rebounding, particularly from this pair was one of the keys to victory.

Other contributions included Jorje Tofilau saving the ball inbounds on four occasions

For the Dozen, Willie Brown was superb for 25 points, including five three-pointers and a sublime lay-up after taking the ball through the key.

Levi Tamihana made three straight treys at the start of the second period.

Dom Wilson (13) hit one brilliant jumpshot and was a constant threat.

But this was the students’ night, which Filthy Dozen captain Siaki Tui acknowledged.

“Boys’ High’s outside shooting was unreal. That’s the best, most well-balanced and structured I’ve seen them since Ryan’s team (player-coach Ryan Walters’ 2008 club championship-winning unit, the only college crew ever to win the grand final).”

Uawa 73 City Lights 62

It wasn’t a stellar performance.

More like a rough diamond.

Toughness and determination got Uawa past City Lights 73-62.

Rising Suns great Reg Namana’s 32 point-game was backed up by Amorysia McLean (17) and Quentin Solomon (10) for Uawa, who held sway 16-11, 36-23, 60-43.

City Lights missed the likes of talented guard Carl Riini and were outnumbered in players nine to seven — the same superiority CL enjoyed in last year’s grand final 81-55 bath of an understrength Old School.

Gutsy competitors like Ryan Walters defined their club’s character on that occasion and he fought hard again last night. Walters put up 15 points and Pila Lolohea 10, while captain Scott Muncaster was the beaten champions’ chief contributor with an outstanding 30.

“They played their best game of the season — fun and physical,” said Muncaster of Uawa. “We just couldn’t buy a basket and that was it; a taste of our own medicine in that we couldn’t shoot and everyone on their team decided to knock threes down.”

Solomon was one of those. His three-pointers for 31-19 and 68-48 pushed Uawa’s lead out to plus-10 and 20 — big psychological barriers for a team in arrears.

Both sides made tough plays including Muncaster over Matariki Kaa on the right baseline to make it 8-16 in the first period and Namana driving the ball at Muncaster to put his side 43-31 ahead in the third quarter . . . clean but incredibly physical stuff.

“It was a good team effort,” said Namana. “Everyone stood up by playing defence and scoring at some stage in the game. We shot the ball from the perimeter extremely well. Usually they do that so it was good to give it to them.”

GBHS Red 43 East Coast 28

They earned it the hard way.

Gisborne Boys’ High School Red’s 43-28 win over East Coast in the B-Grade play-off for fifth was one of which they ought to be pretty proud.

Though they held the whip-hand 10-5, 19-13 and 29-20, the Coast’s Drae Calles is the type of player with the all-round ability to not just win games but to induce panic with frenzied defence.

For Red, Isaiah Lemaua (12), Zorik Peneha (10) and Adam Nepe (10) made double figures while the Coast’s most prolific were Calles (15), including four three-pointers, and Hayden Kiri (9).

In the third quarter, Nepe held Kiri at the top of the key only for Kiri to find Calles slashing unguarded to the basket — a hilarious defensive miss by whoever was meant to keep tabs on him.

The outstanding play of the fourth quarter was Lemaua’s splitting drive to the hoop. His two field goals in the period bespoke athletic ability and urgency.

GBHS Red undoubtedly included players with A-Grade potential.

Those who make the cut in 2019 could well have a chance to be part of another Boys’ High run at making the national championships. This year’s team finished only one place away.

Young and the Useless 69

Campion College 56

Everyone knows there’s no substitute for it.

With Young and the Useless having experience-plus over the Orlando Pedraza-led Campion College, the younger team fell back on their chief attributes — speed and movement.

YAU won the B Grade semi 69-56 despite captain Pedraza’s 20 points, which included a three-point play in both of the first two periods.

Young and the Useless led 17-15, 38-28 but Campion roared to three-quartertime to draw level 50-all.

Pedraza made a trey, Tana Ward (8pts) hit two of the same and Tana’s older brother Tahran (9) took the fight to the basket for six hard-earned points in the period.

Fraser Robb (9) hit three-pointers to close Campion’s scoring at halftime and open their account in a fourth quarter in which he was their only scorer.

Stefan Pishief (21) led all scorers for YAU, with Ray Noble’s 19 including a three-point play on halftime.

His son, Rikki Noble (8), and Anton Riri, whose six fourth-quarter points included a three-point play, also showed good game sense.

Forward Quentin Harvey’s physical approach offensively and defensively set the tone in terms of intensity for YAU, whose focus was to shut down Pedraza and Ward.

Campion’s pressure defence in the third period created turnover opportunities that brought them back into the game, and the consensus of the YAU veterans was that experience got the older team home.

SE Systems 64 Dragons 49

What a game from Konnor Gibson.

The six-foot seven-inch 18-year-old scored 22 points, his SE Systems captain Adrian Sparks put up 17 and Jackson Leach was good for 15 as Systems beat Dragons 64-49 in the A-Grade play-off for fifth.

Systems’ newest addition, Felix Sparks, scored four points on debut.

Dragons took a 15-13 lead by virtue of Angi Te Hau’s three consecutive treys to open his team’s scoring. He scored 20 points in all, with teammate Ahi Te Hau-Otene (14) acting as muscle at close range.

Te Hau-Otene has played solidly this season. It is a shame that while the standard of Conference Basketball League play is entirely different to club ball, that he and other consistent performers at the local level don’t have the opportunity to at least train and experience the Rising Suns environment.

Women’s semifinals

Lytton High School 74 (M Hutana 21, J Waititi-Leach 16, K Swannell 16) Campion College 66 (P Sparks 24, A Spring 15, L Bennett 8).

Ngati Porou 87 (T Weir 39, B McMenamin 23) Rebels 55 (K Olsen-Baker 28, T Olsen 11).

Playoff for fifth: Revolution Fitness New Zealand 38 (R Stewart 16, L Akroyd 10) Paikea Nation 28 (M Mackey 12, N Mackey 8).

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