Premier Club Basketball Report (2 September 2017)

Club Basketball Quarter-finals

Written by Bruce Martin and Sharon Erwood

Photo Courtesy Graeme Campbell


Two mighty upsets turned the Men’s Premier club basketball championship almost on its head when two upsets occurred during quarter-final play.

First up saw Hoben Trophy winner Pioneer Pacers facing elimination in the 2 v 5 Quarter, upsetting UC with an action packed second half to demolish University 90-55 after a narrow 41-35 lead at the break. 

This was followed by a do or die performance from Wolverines which had been struggling in recent weeks to sneak past top seed Lincoln University after several lead changes in a hectic last few minutes to win 82-79.

In the 3 v 4 Quarter Checkers made no race of its game against defending champion Gators who were badly missing the dominant play of Ram Marques Whippy and the injured Angus McWilliam. Checkers lead throughout to win comfortably 82-67 but Gators did close the gap a little in the final quarter.

This leaves Checkers as top qualifier and a date with highest seeded loser Lincoln in one semi-final while Pioneer and Wolverines meet in the other on September 16. As LU have members away in China for the World FISU 3 x 3 championships, Lincoln are seeking a deferment.

The last time Pioneer and University met the students won by 15 pts mainly due to a top performance by Tony Tolovae. However, Tolovae, an NBL and ANBL player, was slow out of the blocks after arriving late. Pioneer went into the game as the underdogs given their fifth placing on the ladder and played with more intensity. Varsity started out the better of the two teams, leading at the end of the first quarter 19-17. Pioneer then began to take control, ahead 41-35 at half time and two massive quarters in the second half. For Pioneer, Oli Davies had 20 first half points and finished with a game high 30 pts and six assists while Marty Davison showed his true class with 18pts, 14 rebounds and five assists. Nick Erwood (15) and Mike Townsend (13 and 10 points) cleaned up the rest of the boards. Jesse Campbell came off the Pioneer bench and chipped in with a handy 13 points for his best game of the season. Varsity, the number two seed had no answers with only Paul Stephenson (20, 14R) and Josh Peterman (13) reaching double figures.

A third quarter comeback by sixth place Wolverines helped them score the upset of the day against top seed Lincoln University. The lively Taylor Britt with 30pts, 5 assists and 11 rebounds again led wolverines. He was well supported inside by Kieran Ball (10) and youngsters Amosa Faitaua-Nanai and Carl Issit who both chipped in with 12 points at critical times. Lincoln had plenty of chances to end Wolverine's season but missed easy baskets at critical times. Lincoln's regular stars of James Cawthorn (24), Ben Bowie (16, 14R), Ben Williams (14) and Josiah Williams (10) fell just short, handing Wolverines a semi-final spot. Wolverines outshot Lincoln 7-4 from the three-point range and got 17-6 with points from their bench players.

In what should have been the closest game of the day with the third and fourth placed teams facing off but without Whippy, Gators were left with a huge gap at both ends of the court and were never really in the game. Man-of-the-match Nat Connell (22pts and 15rebs) along with big man Bede Marsters (20p, 15R) ensured that Gators never had a chance. Cam Chalmers (10p, 9R) and Jordan Duggan (11p, 10R) fought hard but at no time did Checkers relinquish the lead and booked a semi-final spot against Lincoln University.

North Canterbury cruised to a comfortable win over sixth seed Wolverines 88-39 in the Women’s Premier Championship quarter-final encounter to become top qualifier for Semi-finals on Saturday 16 September. Defending champion Lincoln University, badly missing three key players, struggled against a determined Halswell, trailing at half time but managed to sneak home 65-60 in the 3 v 4 Quarter-final while Pioneer over-powered Gators 75-51 in the 2 v 5 quarter.

This leaves North Canterbury to meet Halswell and Lincoln clash with Pioneer in the semis.

Canterbury Wildcat Connie Poletti (24) featured for Lincoln with support from Caitlin Grice (15) while Wildcat Darcy Rose (18) led the Halswell challenge with Jess Baker and Bailey Chamberlain in strong supporting roles. Junior Tall-ferns Esra McGoldrick (25) and Charlotte Whittaker (14) fed from a feast of ball from Wildcat Terina Wanoa (20) while Ash Fane was her usual busy self. Letitia Mullaly worked hard for her 16 points for Wolverines with energetic support from Jess Ling.

Pioneer had too much height for Gators, American and Canterbury Wildcat Ashley Gayle along with Olivia Clark dominated the boards while Wildcat Rosanna Katene (15) drove the offensive thrust for Pioneer while Tsubasa Nisbet (21) replied for Gators.


Men’s Premier Championship Quarter-finals:   

1 v 6: Wolverines 82 (Taylor Britt 30, 11R, 5A; Carl Isitt 12; Kieran Ball 10, 9R) Lincoln University 79 (James Cawthorn 24; Ben Bowie 16, 14R; Ben Williams 14; Josiah Williams 10).  HT: Lincoln 42-32.

2 v 5: Pioneer Pacers 90 (Oli Davies 30 6R; Marty Davison 18, 14R, 5A; Mike Townsend 10, 13R) University of Canterbury 55 (Paul Stephenson 20, 14R; Josh Petermann 13, 9R). HT: 41-35.

3 v 4: Checkers 82 (Nat Connell 22, 15R; Bede Marsters 20, 15R; Wade Parata 10, 8R) Gators 67 (Blair Kircher 12; Cam Calmers 10, 9R; Jordan Duggan 11, 10R). HT: 36-24.

Semi-Final Matchups: Checkers v Lincoln University; Pioneer v Wolverines.


Women’s Premier Championship Quarter-finals:

1 v 6: North Canterbury 88 (Esra McGoldrick 25; Terina Wanoa 20; Charlotte Whittaker 14; Ash Fane 11) Wolverines 39 (Letitia Mullaly 16).

2 v 5: Lincoln University 65 (Connie Poletti 24; Caitlin Grice 15) Halswell 60 (Darcy Rose 18’; Jess Baker 12; Bailey Chamberlain 11).

3 v 4: Pioneer Pacers 75 (Ashley Gayle 20; Rosanna Katene 15; Sammy Irvine 10) Gators 51 (Tsubasa Nisbet 21).

Semi-Final Matchups: North Canterbury v Halswell; Lincoln University v Pioneer.


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