Basketball action back from break

Up-tempo school teams could find a winning edge.

Up-tempo school teams could find a winning edge.

HELD FAST: Darius Waititi-Leach keeps the ball from Gisborne Boys’ High School Wolf-pack players. Waititi-Leach is an experienced player in the Lytton High School team. Picture by Paul Rickard

Basketball makes the place shake.

After a two-week break, men’s A grade action in the Gisborne club league returns to the YMCA tonight.

At 5.45pm, Gisborne Boys’ High School Black and SE Systems will open Week 7, GBHS Red v City Lights tips at 6.45pm and Old School tangle with the Filthy Dozen at 7.45pm.

In the B Grade competition at the John McFarlane Memorial Sports Centre, Boys’ High Wolf-pack are pitted against Campion College at 5.45pm, Old Surfers face Lytton High School from 6.45pm and GBHS Blue against the Gizzy Gilas at 7.45pm.

GBHS head coach Dwayne Tamatea, whose Gisborne-under 15 girls team was placed 13th of 20 teams at the Aon National Tournament on Saturday, will be wanting to see both Black and Red play up-tempo basketball.

Traditionally, teams take at least the first quarter to get their “legs” back after a fortnight off. That might be what GBHS Black will need to take advantage of SE Systems.

A young school team that runs is good to watch, and Tamati Horua has led Black by superb example. Horua scored 14 points against the Filthy Dozen and 12 against City Lights. Teammate Daley Riri rattled up 15 at the expense of Old School before the break.

Once upon a time, especially against the league’s top teams, schools played weak defence and refused to take the charge, turned the ball over and lost by 50 points . . . but not any more.

Now when school teams lose, they lose the hard way — they go down fighting. SE Systems won the first meeting with Black in May 45-43 after Boys’ High had led throughout the match.

SE guard Keenan Ruru-Poharama played a great hand for 11 points. Karlyle Te Maari (GBHS) played equally well for 12.

“They’ve got players who could trip us up,” said SES captain Adrian Sparks.

“Hopefully we’re cohesive and come away with a win.”

GBHS Red, who won the 2018 championship as GBHS Black, began this season with a 76-37 win against Systems and will tonight take on Scott Muncaster’s City Lights.

Muncaster has good reason to be happy with where his team is. They won their last outing 52-42 against SES, and Muncaster himself scored 25 points — including six three-point shots.

“They’re a good little team. We beat them in the pre-season,” said Muncaster of Red, whose crew won a nail-biter against them 72-67 in Week 2.

“The key will be to slow down their fast break and get back on defence.”

GBHS guards Holden Wilson (17 points) and Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown (10) played well in that five-point loss.

GBHS will be without Isaiah Lemaua (ankle) and Sam Veitch (knee) due to injury. Boys’ High captain Max Scott and his outfit know what their loss means.

“Without Isaiah and Sam we’re down in size and athleticism. We’ll have to make jump-shots,” said 18-year-old Scott who, with Wilson and Tuwairua-Brown, is capable from the perimeter.

City Lights is a tougher opponent these days than they were when, as Bullrush, they did not so much run the floor as skim its surface, while occasionally pulling up to sink the opposition with three-pointers. Another win against Red tonight would give Muncaster’s CL a real edge.

Old School are coming off a 71-43 win against GBHS Black. Rongomai Smith scored 21, Tom Tindale 20 and William Locquaed 14.

All three skilful veterans will match up well with the Filthy Dozen, who have in their posse the likes of Dale Hailey and Wi Brown. Willie Brown was in brilliant form prior to the break and the Dozen were within nine points (53-62) of Red on July 1. Jimmy Wilson (12), Wi Brown (11) and Dom Wilson (11) proved how dangerous they were for the umpteenth time in the last 20-plus years. They are willing to and capable of fighting fire with fire at the rim.

Siaki Tui is a powerful and physical defensive rebounder. Ryan Walters of City Lights proved a month ago that even in these more enlightened times, a rugged battle with Old School around the basket makes for as juicy a clash as 5Bs v Campion of the Aldo Furci-Richard Reeves era in the late ’90s.

At the Sports Centre, Game 1 promises thrills and spills. The Ray Noble-coached GBHS Wolf-pack, who beat Lytton High School 45-42 in Week 6, faces Campion College. Campion beat Flaxmere College 42-24 at the Havelock North High School Invitational Tournament in the Term 3 holidays. Their captain Orlando Pedraza scored in double-figures in all four games away.

“We’ve beaten the Wolf-pack before but we’re not underestimating them,” said Campion head coach Shane McClutchie.

“It’s about the basics and consistency.”

Campion were too good for the Wolf-pack 68-33 on Opening Night but since then the Pack has beaten GBHS Blue, the Gizzy Gilas and were only five points away from Old Surfers. Oscar Ruston, formerly of Campion, has produced a 10-point game for the Wolf-pack and Rikki Noble is a promising guard.

Campion has the edge in size, unless player-coach Noble himself takes the floor. With Nelson Brown and Tamati Barr on the improve, they may look to get the ball to them early and often.

During the late ’90s, uncompromising hard play was the norm between Old Surfers and Lytton A, even Lytton B. LHS almost always won, but the standing order — “no one gets a basket unchecked” — made them games played with a passion.

LHS in 2019 are led by assistant principal Tim Dagger, with Ben Greaves and Darius Waititi-Leach among their experienced players. The Surfers’ Mercy Bristow scored 22 points in their last game, a 66-42 win over GBHS Blue.

He and Mark Atkins have been two of the veterans’ best so far this season. Atkins was magnificent on Saturday afternoon at second-five for Lee Brothers Shield-winning rugby champions OBM. Konnor Gibson (16 v GBHS Blue) is benefiting as a result of his teammates’ knowledge of the game, and so Lytton must play a quick brand of basketball. Youngsters such as Ryan Anderson, who have come on in the last three months, must get out running. They cannot afford to let Surfers find Bristow on the move or allow the taller team to dictate terms in the half-court.

GBHS Blue went down 66-42 to Old Surfers a fortnight ago but Luka Russell scored eight points, Codey Tarei six points. If the Blue Team produces five of these modest contributions, they could beat the Gizzy Gilas.

Talented Ngaru Grayson scored 17 points in the 41-35 loss to Lytton in Week 2: a strong effort from the Boys’ High youngsters.

The biggest team score the Gilas have put up in 2019 is 56 points. Blue don’t have to score 57 points to win tonight. What they must do is stop the opposition scoring 40-45. The lower the score, the better their chances. A young team cannot score 50 or 60 points against adult opposition under most circumstances.

Ray Salvation heads up the individual scorers’ game-high list for the Gilas, with 18 points in the 65-56 loss to Lytton. Ralph Heria also scored 10 points in that end-to-end battle.

Good refereeing will be as important in this game at GBHS as it will be at the YMCA between Old School and the Filthy Dozen. The standard from the officials in both men’s and ladies’ leagues has been high to date, with player behaviour a credit to all 12 men’s teams, and all six women’s teams.

Basketball makes the place shake.

After a two-week break, men’s A grade action in the Gisborne club league returns to the YMCA tonight.

At 5.45pm, Gisborne Boys’ High School Black and SE Systems will open Week 7, GBHS Red v City Lights tips at 6.45pm and Old School tangle with the Filthy Dozen at 7.45pm.

In the B Grade competition at the John McFarlane Memorial Sports Centre, Boys’ High Wolf-pack are pitted against Campion College at 5.45pm, Old Surfers face Lytton High School from 6.45pm and GBHS Blue against the Gizzy Gilas at 7.45pm.

GBHS head coach Dwayne Tamatea, whose Gisborne-under 15 girls team was placed 13th of 20 teams at the Aon National Tournament on Saturday, will be wanting to see both Black and Red play up-tempo basketball.

Traditionally, teams take at least the first quarter to get their “legs” back after a fortnight off. That might be what GBHS Black will need to take advantage of SE Systems.

A young school team that runs is good to watch, and Tamati Horua has led Black by superb example. Horua scored 14 points against the Filthy Dozen and 12 against City Lights. Teammate Daley Riri rattled up 15 at the expense of Old School before the break.

Once upon a time, especially against the league’s top teams, schools played weak defence and refused to take the charge, turned the ball over and lost by 50 points . . . but not any more.

Now when school teams lose, they lose the hard way — they go down fighting. SE Systems won the first meeting with Black in May 45-43 after Boys’ High had led throughout the match.

SE guard Keenan Ruru-Poharama played a great hand for 11 points. Karlyle Te Maari (GBHS) played equally well for 12.

“They’ve got players who could trip us up,” said SES captain Adrian Sparks.

“Hopefully we’re cohesive and come away with a win.”

GBHS Red, who won the 2018 championship as GBHS Black, began this season with a 76-37 win against Systems and will tonight take on Scott Muncaster’s City Lights.

Muncaster has good reason to be happy with where his team is. They won their last outing 52-42 against SES, and Muncaster himself scored 25 points — including six three-point shots.

“They’re a good little team. We beat them in the pre-season,” said Muncaster of Red, whose crew won a nail-biter against them 72-67 in Week 2.

“The key will be to slow down their fast break and get back on defence.”

GBHS guards Holden Wilson (17 points) and Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown (10) played well in that five-point loss.

GBHS will be without Isaiah Lemaua (ankle) and Sam Veitch (knee) due to injury. Boys’ High captain Max Scott and his outfit know what their loss means.

“Without Isaiah and Sam we’re down in size and athleticism. We’ll have to make jump-shots,” said 18-year-old Scott who, with Wilson and Tuwairua-Brown, is capable from the perimeter.

City Lights is a tougher opponent these days than they were when, as Bullrush, they did not so much run the floor as skim its surface, while occasionally pulling up to sink the opposition with three-pointers. Another win against Red tonight would give Muncaster’s CL a real edge.

Old School are coming off a 71-43 win against GBHS Black. Rongomai Smith scored 21, Tom Tindale 20 and William Locquaed 14.

All three skilful veterans will match up well with the Filthy Dozen, who have in their posse the likes of Dale Hailey and Wi Brown. Willie Brown was in brilliant form prior to the break and the Dozen were within nine points (53-62) of Red on July 1. Jimmy Wilson (12), Wi Brown (11) and Dom Wilson (11) proved how dangerous they were for the umpteenth time in the last 20-plus years. They are willing to and capable of fighting fire with fire at the rim.

Siaki Tui is a powerful and physical defensive rebounder. Ryan Walters of City Lights proved a month ago that even in these more enlightened times, a rugged battle with Old School around the basket makes for as juicy a clash as 5Bs v Campion of the Aldo Furci-Richard Reeves era in the late ’90s.

At the Sports Centre, Game 1 promises thrills and spills. The Ray Noble-coached GBHS Wolf-pack, who beat Lytton High School 45-42 in Week 6, faces Campion College. Campion beat Flaxmere College 42-24 at the Havelock North High School Invitational Tournament in the Term 3 holidays. Their captain Orlando Pedraza scored in double-figures in all four games away.

“We’ve beaten the Wolf-pack before but we’re not underestimating them,” said Campion head coach Shane McClutchie.

“It’s about the basics and consistency.”

Campion were too good for the Wolf-pack 68-33 on Opening Night but since then the Pack has beaten GBHS Blue, the Gizzy Gilas and were only five points away from Old Surfers. Oscar Ruston, formerly of Campion, has produced a 10-point game for the Wolf-pack and Rikki Noble is a promising guard.

Campion has the edge in size, unless player-coach Noble himself takes the floor. With Nelson Brown and Tamati Barr on the improve, they may look to get the ball to them early and often.

During the late ’90s, uncompromising hard play was the norm between Old Surfers and Lytton A, even Lytton B. LHS almost always won, but the standing order — “no one gets a basket unchecked” — made them games played with a passion.

LHS in 2019 are led by assistant principal Tim Dagger, with Ben Greaves and Darius Waititi-Leach among their experienced players. The Surfers’ Mercy Bristow scored 22 points in their last game, a 66-42 win over GBHS Blue.

He and Mark Atkins have been two of the veterans’ best so far this season. Atkins was magnificent on Saturday afternoon at second-five for Lee Brothers Shield-winning rugby champions OBM. Konnor Gibson (16 v GBHS Blue) is benefiting as a result of his teammates’ knowledge of the game, and so Lytton must play a quick brand of basketball. Youngsters such as Ryan Anderson, who have come on in the last three months, must get out running. They cannot afford to let Surfers find Bristow on the move or allow the taller team to dictate terms in the half-court.

GBHS Blue went down 66-42 to Old Surfers a fortnight ago but Luka Russell scored eight points, Codey Tarei six points. If the Blue Team produces five of these modest contributions, they could beat the Gizzy Gilas.

Talented Ngaru Grayson scored 17 points in the 41-35 loss to Lytton in Week 2: a strong effort from the Boys’ High youngsters.

The biggest team score the Gilas have put up in 2019 is 56 points. Blue don’t have to score 57 points to win tonight. What they must do is stop the opposition scoring 40-45. The lower the score, the better their chances. A young team cannot score 50 or 60 points against adult opposition under most circumstances.

Ray Salvation heads up the individual scorers’ game-high list for the Gilas, with 18 points in the 65-56 loss to Lytton. Ralph Heria also scored 10 points in that end-to-end battle.

Good refereeing will be as important in this game at GBHS as it will be at the YMCA between Old School and the Filthy Dozen. The standard from the officials in both men’s and ladies’ leagues has been high to date, with player behaviour a credit to all 12 men’s teams, and all six women’s teams.

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