The Central-Eastern Auckland girls basketball semi-final was held last week. After a good season which included pleasing development, we qualified fourth and took the last semi-final spot in the central-eastern division. During the season we had registered good wins over the both the second and third qualifiers but frustratingly we also had losses against two of the teams who would end up missing out on finals completely. This saw us travelling away to Edgewater College this evening to face the top qualifiers in the division.
Full of belief, our girls started really well with Jade Te Hira (Year 12, Middlemore) registering the first two buckets of the game by the way of long range three-pointers. Our lead was then extended further by Eva Todd (Year 13, Middlemore) who came off the bench to score under the hoop from some good off-ball movement. Edgewater fought back late in the half, but we continued to play solid defence. Well led by captain Leala Willman (Year 13, Marion Bruce) in a physical game that saw Janaye Burns (Year 13, Middlemore) and Tessa McLeod (Year 13, Middlemore) needing to play big under the hoop at both ends in order to secure much needed rebounds. At half time we had a small but handy lead. Our bench had made contributions with Bella Hobson (Year 11, Middlemore) and Niki Smith (Year 12, Middlemore) both asked to play big minutes.
We knew Edgewater would come out stronger in the second half and that we had, well and truly, awoken this undefeated side. Our defence continued to hold throughout the third quarter but missed opportunities at the offensive end allowed Edgewater to draw level with 10 minutes to go. A finger injury to Hannah Gray (Year 12, Taylor) saw her pulled from the game and both Samantha Johnson (Year 12, Marion Bruce) and Tina Sveicere (Year 13, Middlemore) were asked to play important minutes down the final stretch. We had done well to stick to our structure and control the pace of the game until this point. From here the game opened up with both sides playing more freely and openly, end to end basketball. Unfortunately, this style of play was always going to suit Edgewater as the bigger side. We stayed in the game until the end, but Edgewater used their time-outs and sub’s well to manage the clock taking the win and progressing to next week’s final.
Final score 14 -22.
We will play off for third place this week as we wrap-up what has been an enjoyable season. Thanks to all those who have supported the team at our home games this year.
Rob Paterson, Coach