On brink of history
Did we start the fire?
That may be something the Dwayne Tamatea-coached Gisborne Boys’ High School basketball team ask themselves if they win just one of their two games today.
Last night they won the highest-scoring major victory in the school’s history — the biggest turnaround against the same opponent in a season — since the sport was first played at Gisborne Boys’ High School, or Gisborne High School before 1956.
Fittingly, captain Max Scott scored Boys’ High’s last point in a 104-100 overtime win against Super 8 titans Tauranga Boys’ College at the Zone 2 premierships in Rotorua.
Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown scored a stunning 44 points, while Ofa Tauatevalu (15pts), Sam Veitch (13pts), Holden Wilson (11pts) and Scott (10pts) were the other big contributors.
Gisborne Boys’ High — who trailed Tauranga 23-29, 45-54, 76-77 — forced overtime when Tauatevalu (with 10 seconds remaining in regulation time) scored off Veitch’s free-throw attempt to tie the scores 91-all.
Tauranga had beaten Gisborne 108-70 after Gisborne’s 85-82 win against Palmerston North in the Super 8 tournament opener.
Last night’s win — together with the 101-71 win against Trident High School yesterday morning — meant Tamatea’s outfit emerged from round-robin play at the top of Pool C.
If Gisborne were to beat the second-placed team in Pool A — St Peter’s School of Cambridge — in Game 5, GBHS will have qualified for the national championship finals . . . and booked themselves a Zone 2 semifinal against Hamilton Boys’ High or Mount Maunganui College of Pool B tonight at 5.45pm.
If GBHS were to lose Game 5 and the Mount lost to Hamilton, Gisborne would play Mount Maunganui at 7.30pm.
Scott rated last night’s epic the toughest game of the season — a season in which, for the first time, Gisborne Boys’ High have won three games against Super 8 teams: Palmerston North, Hastings and Tauranga.
Head coach Tamatea described last night’s match-up as “a great game of basketball”.
“We showed mental toughness and composure down the home stretch,” he said.
“Max controlled the tempo really well, Tyrese scored for us, the big boys rebounded well — Ofa was awesome — and Khian came up with a put-back in OT. One more win and we make history.”