Premier Club Basketball Report (26 August 2017)
Club Basketball Report
Written by Bruce Martin and Sharon Erwood
Photo Courtesy Arjan van Hasselt
Lincoln University finished top-of-the-table in the Men’s Premier basketball championship but was made to work hard by Canterbury University as they edged away in the final quarter to win 79-68 in Cowles stadium on Saturday. Hoben trophy winner Pioneer Pacers eliminated Atami from this Saturday’s Quarter-final play-offs. Pioneer’s biggest lead was 51-35 (16 points) and Atami again came back to force overtime but couldn’t sustain their efforts in a very tight extra period. Gators, the defending champion, recorded its second win in the championship round when it beat a weakened Wolverines 81-62, with another inspirational performance from Canterbury Ram Marques Whippy, again being dominant at both ends of the court and was one assist off a triple double with 14points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.
This leaves Lincoln to face Wolverines (1 v 6) for the top semi-final spot. The University of Canterbury will face Pioneer (2 v 5) and Checkers will play Gators (3 v 4), the winners probably playing each other while the top seeded qualifier, more than likely Lincoln University, will play the highest seeded loser, most likely the loser of the Gators/Checkers encounter unless there is an upset.
The game between the two Universities saw the current first and second placed teams play out a hard-fought game, in which eventually Lincoln University prevailed. Both teams were tied at the end of the first quarter 17-17. It was UC who had the lead at half time (34-28) and at the end of the third quarter, as they were in command at 52-49. LU’s huge 30-16 final quarter included 13pts for James Cawthorn and 12 for Ben Bowie, and was too much for Canterbury. Cawthorn topped the sheet with 27 and Bowie finished with a powerful double-double of 20 points and an incredible 26 rebounds taken at both ends of the court. Josh Petermann had 21, Tony Tolovae 18 points and 12 rebounds, and 16 from Paul Stephenson led the strong Canterbury challenge.
Lincoln’s coach James Lissaman reports that “UC made us pay whenever we had a miscommunication on defence, finding players wide-open at the rim for easy baskets. We locked in considerably in the final quarter, going on a 15-2 run to jump ahead of UC by nine points.”
In a must win game for both teams between Pioneer and Atami with the loser likely to drop to last spot and the wooden spoon and elimination. Pioneer held the lead for the majority of the game but Atami never went away. Just when it looked like Pioneer had the game in hand, Aled Jones hit a three on the buzzer to force overtime. Atami playmaker Zacc Dwan had fouled out in regular time and with Dan Pau'u (19, 9R) and Patrick Rodger (15, 10R) both sitting on four fouls, gave Pioneer the ascendency and win in overtime. Derek Albertson added 18 points and seven rebounds for Atami while Mike Townsend returned to form with 29 points (8R) and Oli Davies (23) for Pioneer.
The Wolverines vs Gators encounter lacked intensity and at times skill with both these teams assured of making the playoffs. Gators were never really threatened by the depleted Wolves and their very thin bench of one. Jordan Duggan added a useful 27points and seven rebounds for Gators while Wolverines Taylor Britt 18, Carl Isitt (16, 7R) and Mike Kinley 11 were restricted by Gators.
Pioneer faced a below strength defending champion Lincoln University, and upset them 67-44 in a Women’s Premier championship encounter, gaining a share of the table with North Canterbury, which had a comfortable 79-25 win over Canterbury University.
Lincoln’s coach Joshua Thompson reports that “Pioneer came out strong and we couldn’t get it back from there. They used their size to advantage with us missing Wildcats Connie Poletti and Fran Edmondson, while Tessa Morrison has returned to her American College and Courtney Hamblin has gone North. They were just too good on the day and losing Tessa Burry to a knee injury early was a blow to our title defence leading into the playoffs.”
Driven by a strong display from American and Canterbury Wildcat Darcy Rose (20) Halswell powered away to overwhelm Gators 64-42. This left both Halswell and Gators on 11 points with Halswell taking fourth place and a quarter against Lincoln that had dropped to third after two successive loses.
North Canterbury became top seed and will meet Wolverines in the 1 v 6 Quarter-Final this Saturday after Wolverines loss last week to Canterbury University was overturned by forfeit after the students played an ineligible player. Junior Tall-Ferns Charlotte Whittaker (17) and Esra McGoldrick (12) led the North Canterbury effort with strong support from teenager Connie Taylor (11) and Wildcat Hayley Gray with 12points. Olivia Clark (16), Bianca Aguiar (13) and Rosanna Katene with 13 points drove Pioneers’ efforts while Caitlin Grice was the best for Lincoln with 17 points.
MEN’S PREMIER CHAMPIONSHIP:
Gators 81 (Jordan Duggan 27, 7R; Marques Whippy 14, 14R, 9A; Oliver Carran 10) Wolverines 62 (Taylor Britt 18; Carl Isitt 16, 7R; Mike Kinley 11). HT: 40-28
Pioneer Pacers 80 (Mike Townsend 29, 8R; Oli Davies 23) Atami 76 (Dan Pau’u 19, 9R; Derek Albertsen 18, 7R; Patrick Roger 15, 10R). HT: 38-27
Lincoln University 79 (James Cawthorn 27; Ben Bowie 20, 26R; Ben Williams 16, 6A; Josiah Williams 14) University of Canterbury 68 (Josh Petermann 21; Tony Tolovae 18, 12R; Paul Stephenson 16). HT: UC 34-28
Final Championship Points and placings: Lincoln University 12, 1st, UC 10, 2nd, Checkers 10, 3rd, Gators 8 (+17), 4th, Pioneer 8 (-2) 5th, Wolverines 8 (-15) 6th, Atami 7, 7th (Eliminated).
Quarter-finals this Saturday: Lincoln University v Wolverines; University of Canterbury v Pioneer; Checkers v Gators.
WOMEN’S PREMIER CHAMPIONSHIP:
Pioneer Pacers 67 (Olivia Clark 16; Bianca Aguiar 13; Rosanna Katene 13; Sammy Irvine 10) Lincoln University 44 (Caitlin Grice 17; Bailey McDougall 12). HT: 39-16
North Canterbury 79 (Charlotte Whittaker 17; Esra McGoldrick 12; Hayley Gray 12; Connie Taylor 11) University of Canterbury 25 (Kaitlyn Stringer 8). HT: 39-12
Halswell 64 (Darcy Rose 20; Alida Pohatu-Barnes 14) Gators 42 (Lauryn Hippolite 10). HT: 26-16
Final championship Points and placings: North Canterbury 13, 1st; Pioneer 13, 2nd; Lincoln University 12, 3rd; Halswell 11, 4th; Gators 11, 5th; Wolverines 9, 6th; UC 7, 7th.
Quarter-finals this Saturday: North Canterbury v Wolverines; Pioneer v Gators; Lincoln University v Halswell.