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Scene set for ‘replay’

BASKETBALL.

They can — and must — get to another level.

Green Up beat the Gisborne Boys’ High School Senior A team 61-46 in the 2v3 semifinal of the men’s premier-grade club competition on Friday night.

Green Up, beaten grand finalists in 2020, dominated their hosts at the John McFarlane Memorial Sports Centre early on, but GBHS fought back in the second period and made the third quarter their own.

Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown and Darius Waititi-Leach both gave their Green Up teammate Kahn Grayson support on his most productive night of the year to date. The athletic Grayson led all scorers in the second semi with 21 points (including two field goals and then a long jumpshot for 7-0).

Lanky Luke Wilson produced six points in a gutsy showing for last year’s No.2 team. He matched up with Boys’ High’s William Collier defensively in the second period and made a hellishly tough back-to-the-basket move against Sebastian Wilson for 48-44 in the fourth quarter.

Wilson, Collier and Cody Tarei — Gisborne Boys’ High School’s three 6ft 3in-plus forwards — all worked hard from the moment Wilson won the opening tip. Tarei made a remarkable block on Adam Nepe’s shot-attempt 62 seconds from quartertime. Tuwairua-Brown on the fly down the left sideline hit Nepe with a crosscourt pass and Tarei, recovering on defence, took two steps and “pinned” the ball to the backboard.

Rikki Noble, Luka Russell and their GBHS captain Daley Riri hustled at both ends of the court (6pts apiece), Ngaru Grayson (8pts) had his moments, and Seb Wilson knuckled down for 10. GBHS started slowly in a crunch game. Green Up’s Tuwairua-Brown (11) and Holden Wilson were able to facilitate their own team’s scoring with great skill.

Green Up played with discipline and clear heads and did not allow looseness to creep into their play.

So now the scene is set for a replay of last year’s grand final, SE Systems having beaten City Lights 56-54 in the 1v4 semifinal at the YMCA last Tuesday.

Green Up 61 (Kahn Grayson 21, Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown 11, Darius Waititi-Leach 11) GBHS Senior A 46 (Sebastian Wilson 10, Ngaru Grayson 8) - Q1 Green Up 16-4, HT 28-23, Q3 GBHS 40-33.