GBHS see their plan through
It's one thing to have a plan, but quite another to see it through against quality opposition.
Yet that is exactly what the Keenan Ruru-Poharama-coached Gisborne Boys' High School did to beat premier-grade veterans The Raiders 63-60 in the 4v5 quarterfinal at the YMCA last night.
Defending champions SE Systems beat the gutsy Massive Marauders 74-41 in the 3v6 clash and City Lights, 62-61 victors, closed out the late game superbly against 2020 grand finalists Green Up.
Week 13 at the John McFarlane Memorial Sports Centre, GBHS, saw the 4v5, 3v6 men's open B Grade quarterfinals decided by 36 and 19 points respectively in a big nod to the experience of Hustlers and Old Surfers.
Jesse Fowley (19 points) and Fraser Robb (15pts) were inspirational as Hustlers beat Hawaiiki Hou 65-29 while the Surfers — Will Jones scored 10 and three of his teammates were good for eight points apiece — sank the Gizzy Gilas 60-41.
Hustlers captain Kaea Swann was justifiably rapt with his team's performance: “Everyone was a little bit stiff; it was fun to be back after the break, though. It was a good game.”
The 1v2 “friendly” fixture between competition leaders The Bibs and The Shed was not played.
City Lights captain Scott Muncaster knows the psychological value of a win against Green Up: a third meeting between the teams may only be a fortnight away.
“We blew the cobwebs out and got back into the groove,” Muncaster said.
“Those Green Up boys go hard but our man Paora Dewes never missed a beat. He made some tough finishes, and his free-throw 4.34 seconds from time won us that game.”
Dewes (18pts) was sensational in City Lights' win in Game 3 last night, from the moment he opened the scoring off a lob-pass from teammate Keenan Ruru-Poharama — left side of the floor — to complete an alley-oop play. While that play owed all to timing and athleticism, hitting the first of two foul-shots at game's end spoke to his nerve.
City Lights veteran Carl Riini scored 19 points without breaking a sweat and Muncaster, having decided early on that his jumpshot would not fall, took the ball to the hoop for 12.
Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown was, as he usually is, phenomenal for 26 points in service of Green Up. Holden Wilson (17pts) and Adam Nepe both hit long jumpers for Green Up but Lights played with remarkable fluency considering the three-week lay-off.
Ruru-Poharama's call to make GBHS play full-court pressure defence against the Raiders in quarterfinal No.1 was the best coaching decision of Week 13.
The Raiders are a powerful team, and in Willie Brown (23pts) they are led by one of the Gisborne Basketball Association's club ball patriots, and all teams have at least one — a guy who carries the offensive load when there's a need. The Raiders fought hard.
Sebastian Wilson led Gisborne Boys' High scorers with 21 points, including three three-pointers and the only dunk-shot of the night. The magic moment came with two minutes and 59 seconds left to play in the fourth period: Cody Tarei lobbed the ball up from the right side of the ring and Wilson hammered the leather home with two hands on the alley-oop play for 60-49.
Such things are a rarity here, perhaps the most memorable being a huge finish by Pure Sound titan Jason Tichborne against Lytton High School B in 1998.
SE's 33 point-win against the Massive Marauders produced rollicking fare of the first order: Adam Harford, Marauders captain, not only led his outfit's scoring with 16 points, but in his Orca slide-like dive for a loose ball in the second period (the MMs were 25-14 down at the time), made both the comic and hustle play of the night.
Systems' William Hocquard tied with Tuwairua-Brown on 26 points as the premier grade's leading individual scorer in Week 13 and did so in every conceivable way, from up and under the backboard, to tough turnaround jumpshots and end-to-end lay-ups.
Ethan Ngarangione-Pearson hit four three-point shots in his 20-point haul for SES, including a buzzer-beater from 25 feet to the hoop. Ngarangione-Pearson and Cliff Blumfield did a fine job with their whistles on Game 1 at the YMCA but Reg Namana made the refereeing call of Week 13.
As lead official, his ruling of the reach-in foul on Paora Dewes, with 4.34 seconds remaining in Game 3, was one that can so often — wrongly — be let slip: a bad miss. Namana has always been watchful and even-handed.
Men's Premier Grade, YMCA —
4v5: Raiders 60 (Willie Brown 23, Wi Brown 16, Jason Tuapawa 9) Gisborne Boys' High School A 63 (Sebastian Wilson 21, William Collier 19, Ngaru Grayson 6) - Q1 Raiders 16-10, HT GBHS 28-27, Q3 46-41.
3v6: SE Systems 74 (William Hocquard 26, Ethan Ngarangione-Pearson 20, Rongomai Smith 12) Massive Marauders 41 (Adam Harford 16, Stefan Pishief 12) - Q1 SE Systems 19-9, HT 28-23, Q3 54-33.
1v2 non-competition fixture: Green Up 61 (Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown 26, Holden Wilson 17) City Lights 62 (Carl Riini 19, Paora Dewes 18, Scott Muncaster 12) - Q1 City Lights 24-16, HT 32-28, Q3 50-44.
Men's Open B Grade, John McFarlane Memorial Sports Centre —
4v5: Hustlers 65 (Jesse Fowley 19, Fraser Robb 15, Caleb Swann 10) Hawaiiki Hou 29 (Jayden Brown 8, Hamuera Hauiti 8, Bailey Barbarich 5) - Q1 Hustlers 21-6, HT 31-13, Q3 48-24.
3v6: Old Surfers 60 (Will Jones 10, Ben Payne 8, Matt Mackle 8, Konnor Gibson 8) Gizzy Gilas 41 (Raphael Heria 7, Manny Boriga 6) - Q1 Old Surfers 11-5, HT 36-15, Q3 48-30.
1v2 non-competition fixture: The Bibs v The Shed — not played.