Success on Day 2 for U19 Men and U17 Women
New Plymouth Men struggled against a big Counties Manukau team giving up too many rebounds in their first game of the day at the BBNZ U19 National Tournament being held in Tauranga over Queens Birthday weekend. While taking a lead early in the game, once this was forfeited it was a game of catch up from that point on and New Plymouth never recovered going down 60-73.
Their hope of a top eight position disappeared with the Counties loss and the team had to regroup and focus on achieving at best a 9th spot in the tourney.
Pictured left: Phil Nicholas hussles for the loose ball in their game against Counties-Manukau
They next came up against the Tauranga team coached by former New Plymouth BP Bear Steve Campbell who now resides in the Bay. The lead changed a few times and at one point New Plymouth trailed by 12. Phil Nicholas played out of his skin picking up loose balls, driving to the hoop and taking it to the Tauranga D. Aled Jones was consistent delivering the occasional three when required and was unstoppable when driving to the hoop. Lachie Fenwick was in the zone nailing a number of fifteen footers and threes keeping the lid on the Tauranga offense as they fought hard to break through.
Tauranga point guard Derone Raukawa, who picked up 52 points against Nelson yesterday, proved hard to contain again today going 30 plus for his team. Despite losing starter Lewis Ormond due to shoulder injury, in the end Raukawas contribution wasn’t enough and New Plymouth’s came out ahead 83-78. Coach Brendon Baxter commented “It showed good character to get a win against a tough home side and a gutting loss this morning”.
New Plymouth now play Canterbury and North Canterbury on Sunday and Monday to determine 9th to 12th rankings.
New Plymouth U17 Women, playing in the BBNZ U17 Nationals in North Harbour, also achieved a win today taking out Harbour B 66-45. Harbour, an association with 3000 plus players and home to the Breakers franchise, consistently field teams in the top four spots across all age groups. This left New Plymouth 3rd in their pool and playing for a spot in the bottom eight of the tourney.