Wellington, Harbour Prevail
Led by NBA prospect Steve Adams, Wellington needed overtime to overcome Harbour’s challenge 84-81 in the men’s final at the NZ U21 Championships.
Wellington led for most of the contest and enjoyed a seven-point lead at halftime, but their rivals gradually pegged back their advantage over the second half. Harbour locked the scores at 74-74 after regulation time, but couldn’t continue that momentum into the extra period.
Adams led his team with 24 points and would earn MVP honours, but Harbour guard Tai Webster topped all scorers with 29 points.
In the women’s final, Hope Thompson led Harbour to a 78-72 win over hometown favourites Porirua. They rode a 24-12 third quarter to overcome a six-point halftime deficit.
Harbour forward Deena Franklin was later named Most Valuable Player.
NZ U21 Championships
Te Rauparaha, Porirua
Harbour 78 (Hope Thompson 18, Morgan Roberts 12, Jaycin Tini 10, Brooke Blair 10) Porirua 72 (Josie Stockill 22, Corbyn Parata 16, Laykin Bishop-Paenga 13)
HT 34-40 (16-25)
Q3 58-52 (24-12)
FT 78-72 (20-20)
Officials – Nick Naylor, James Campion & Jilly Harris
Gabriella Adams (Rotorua), Stella Beck (Hutt Valley), Laykin Bishop-Paenga(Porirua), Brooke Blair (Harbour), Deena Franklin(Harbour), Jaylen-Rose Hawea (Waikato), Milomilo Nanai Hutt Valley), Josie Stockill (Porirua), Shanice Swain (Porirua), Hope Thompson (Harbour)
Most Valuable Player
Deena Franklin (Harbour)
Wellington 84 (Steven Adams 24, Joseph Webb 20, Kiki Kiriau 11) Harbour 81 (Tai Webster 29, Stefan Mandic 14, Sherif Hassan 11)
HT 42-35 (18-12)
Q3 55-52 (13-17)
FT 74-74 (19-22)
OT 84-81 (10-7)
Officials – Shane Nikora, Miguel Gallardo & Gareth Teahan
Steve Adams (Wellington), Issac Fotu (Harbour), Victor Groom (Wellington), Michael Karena (Waitakere West), Dyson King-Hawea (Waikato), Kiki Kiriau (Wellington), Stefan Mandic (Harbour), Jordan Ngatai (Porirua), Ethan Rusbatch (Canterbury), Harris Stephen (Hutt Valley)
Most Valuable Player
Steve Adams (Wellington)
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