Same as it ever was …
Last year’s finalists – Otago Oceana Goldrush and Nelson Sparks – showed they’ll be tough to beat again, booking semifinal spots at the Women’s Basketball Championship playoffs in Dunedin today.
Goldrush entered the tournament fearing the worst, but took advantage of their home floor to edge previous champions Harbour Breeze 52-49 in the morning and former form horses Hutt Valley 65-63 in the evening to top Section A. After leading most of the game, they trailed Hutt by a point with six seconds remaining, but got their noses back in front with a basket from Soraya Jensen and held on until the end.
Meanwhile, in Section B, Nelson overwhelmed Taranaki Trojans 81-47 behind Jelena Vucinic’s 16 points in their early outing and then outlasted Waitakere West Auckland 61-54, with Jess Bygate amassing 15 points and nine rebounds.
Otago and Nelson now await the winners of tomorrow morning’s crossovers, which see Harbour face Taranaki and Waitakere against Hutt.
In the plate division, Waikato Wizards and Canterbury Wildcats were both 2-0 at the end of the day.
Women’s Basketball Championship
Edgar Centre, Dunedin
Thursday, August 23
Harbour Breeze 49 (Rebecca Van Kuyk 14, Brooke Blair 13) Otago Oceana Goldrush 52 (Julia Main 15, Soraya Jensen 12)
Box Score – Otago v Harbour
Nelson Sparks 81 (Jelena Vucinic 16, Jaime Campbell 12, Lisa Book 11) Taranaki Trojans 47 (Terai Sadler 15, Hannah Flemming 10)
Box Score – Nelson v Taranaki
Waikato Wizards 68 (Natasha Lenden 25, Miriam Slatter 10) Palmerston North Storm 33 (Bridgette Lawn 8)
Box Score – Waikato v Palmerston North
Rotorua Lady Vols 48 (Aroha Jennings 28, Makayla Daysh 13) Canterbury Wildcats 54 (Pipi Connell 13, Courtney Hamblin 12, Rosanna Katene 11)
Box Score – Rotorua v Canterbury
Waitakere West Auckland Rangers 64 (Penina Davidson 17) Taranaki Trojans 48 (Terai Sadler 15)
Box Score – Waitakere v Taranaki
Kelvin Hotel Southland Pearls 50 (Morgan Hunter 15, Elise Cassidy 14, Te Huinga Selby-Rickett 13) Waikato Wizards 84 (Rhiah Spooner-Knight 23, Leanne Walker 15, Natasha Lenden 13)
Box Score – Southland v Waikato
Canterbury Wildcats 74 (Courtney Hamblin 20, Hayley Gray 17) Palmerston North Storm 53 (Bardo Tuhaka-Ensing 14, Bridgette Lawn 10)
Box Score – Canterbury v Palmerston North
Otago Oceana Goldrush 65 (Janet Main 17, Soraya Jensen 13, Samara Gallaher 12) Hutt Valley Flyers 63 (Joanna Judge 12, Jacinta Beckley 11, Bulou Tuisue 10)
Box Score – Otago V Hutt Valley
Waitakere West Auckland Rangers 54 (Penina Davidson 19, Te Oramae Solomon 10) Nelson Sparks 61 (Jess Bygate 15, Kat Jones 13, Nicky Rampton 13)
Box Score – Waitakere v Nelson
Rotorua Lady Vols 53 (Aroha Jennings 25) Kelvin Hotel Southland Pearls 68 (Morgan Hunter 22, Elise Cassidy 13, Te Huinga Selby-Rickett 12)
Box Score – Rotorua v Southland