Hoben and Patron Finals Recap
Trophy Finals Basketball by Bruce Martin
Pioneer Pacers grabbed a last second basket to claim the Alan Hoben trophy in the Canterbury Basketball inter-club final to pip a strong challenging Lincoln University 76-73 in Cowles stadium on Saturday. It was the defending Trophy champion’s third title in four seasons. Defending champion Lincoln University took out the Women’s Premier Patron’s trophy final with a last minute 60-56 win over North Canterbury and, like Pioneer, it was their third trophy in four seasons.
Both Pioneer and Lincoln University were missing key players in the Hoben Trophy Final (Oli Davis, Sam Evans - Pioneer and Panashe Nyashanu, Lincoln). Despite being undersized and battling foul trouble, Lincoln managed to cobble together enough frontline minutes to hang with the much bigger Pioneer forwards. Lincoln started off strong and took an early first quarter lead 22-17. Every time that Pioneer looked to take the ascendancy the Lincoln boys came back. Marty Davison, Ariel Mepana and Mike Townsend were key for Pioneer and were well supported by Harley Campbell, Dan Mulder and Elliot Noble. For LU, Ben Bowie was their strongest player again and Josiah Williams (younger brother of Ben) had one of his best games of the season.
Pioneer rallied hard to come back to take the lead 36-33 at half-time. The game tossed and turned through the 3rd and 4th quarter with teams trading baskets. Pioneer were holding a narrow six-point lead with two minutes remaining and a flurry of baskets by Lincoln down the stretch tied the game up with two seconds to go 73-73. Pioneer advanced the ball on a timeout, ran an out of bounds play and passed the ball to former Filipino professional Mepana who made a baseline drive, making the basket just as time expired to win Pioneer the Hoben trophy.
Mepana had a field day shooting 26 points (11-16) while Townsend scored 14 and master play-maker Davison with 13 points and six assists. For the students Bowie (17, 12R) and Ben Williams (17, 9R, 6A) were standouts with support from Cawthorn 15 and Josiah Williams 14.
University of Canterbury captured third placing, holding off a late challenge from Atami to win 75-71 with Paul Stephenson (31) in fine touch for the students.
For the second time this season the Wolverines/Checkers game went into overtime and like the round robin game, Wolverines prevailed. This time it was Sam Smith that dominated with Shou Nisbet having his best game of the season pulling down boards. Wolverines led Checkers 11-7 at quarter-time, Checkers grabbed the half time lead at 29-27 in the fifth-place play-off. With Smith (29 pts, 10R) finishing the moves for Wolverines and Jordyn Kauta (19, 9R), Wade Parata (19, 14R) and Bede Marsters (12, 12R, 5A) answering the call for Checkers, the led was to change many times and levelled 64-64 at full time. Wolves outpointed Checkers in the extra time 15-7 to win the encounter 79-71.
In the Women’s Patron’s trophy final, both Lincoln University and North Canterbury were devoid of their top players as the Wildcats were away to Dunedin where they thrashed Otago 70-42 to remain top of the WBC. In addition to the Wildcats being away, Charlotte Whittaker was restricted to limited time for NC, but still scored 13 points while managing her shin splints prior going to Guam with the NZ U18 Women’s basketball team in July.
Although the average NC age was far less than the students, key players to step up were Connie Taylor (9) and Helen Mathews (11) while the former Tactix player Gemma Hazeldine was tightly marked and restricted to nine points.
LU was powered by Tessa Stewart-Morrison, home on leave from her Southern New Hampshire University, scoring 16 points with Bailey McDougall adding 11.
Lincoln lead the first two quarters 25/21 but NC took the lead early in the second spell and was ahead 46-38 by the third break, as their changing defences stifled Lincoln’s offence for the first three quarters. Lincoln hit the front 52-50 middle of the fourth through the hustling efforts of Tessa and Maja Burry. An exhausted NC levelled 52-52 and 55-55 but was unable to break the students defences, Lincoln taking the trophy in the final minute.
Gators beat Pioneer for third placing, University of Canterbury beat Halswell 51-36 for fifth while Minties scored their first win of the season edging Wolverines 39-35 in the wooden spoon encounter.
Men’s Premier Grade Hoben Trophy Final:
Pioneer Pacers 76 (Arial Mepana 26, Mike Townsend 14, 8R, Marty Davison 13, 8R, 6A)
Lincoln University 73 (Ben Bowie 17, 12R, Ben Williams 17, 9R, 6A, James Cawthorne 15, Josiah Williams 14). HT: 36-33.
Play-off 3rd: University of Canterbury 75 (Paul Stephenson 31, Josh Petermann 11, 8R, Nathan Campbell 10, 8R) Atami 71 (Patrick Roger 23, 7R, Derek Albertson 18, Ben Hall 16, 7R). HT: 41-39.
Play-off 5th: Wolverines 79 (Sam Smith 29, 10R, Mike Kinley 15, Taylor Britt 10) Checkers 71 (Jordan Kauta 19, 9R, Wade Parata 19, 14R, Jon Martin 13, Bede Marsters 12, 12R, 5A) in extra-time. HT. Checkers 29-27. FT 64-64. ET: Wolves 79-71.
Bye: Gators 7th.
Women’s Premier Grade Patron’s Trophy Final:
Lincoln University 60 (Tessa Stewart-Morrison 16, Bailey McDougall 11) North Canterbury 56 (Charlotte Whittaker 13, Helen Mathews 11). HT: 25-21.
Play-off 3rd: Gators 63 (Megan Ellis 24, Tsubasa Nisbet 11, Lauryn Hippolite 10) Pioneer 49 (Polly Hill 18, Ros Katene 15). HT: 26-23.
Play-off 5th: University of Canterbury 51 (Emily Hickman 16, Kaitlyn Stringer 13) Halswell 36 (Jess Baker 12). HT: 28-19.
Play-off 7th: Minties 39 (Sarah Mason 13, Johanna Bates 11) Wolverines 35 (Kendall Hastie 9). HT: 21-17.