Westlake, Hamilton champs
Tall Black Tai Webster led Westlake BHS to the NZ Secondary Schools Championships boys “AA” title, thwarting Rosmini College’s attempt to defend the crown it won last year.
The North Shore rivals were evenly poised after the opening quarter, with Rosmini ahead by three points early in the second. But an eight-point run gave Westlake momentum to a 43-35 halftime lead and the advantage reached 18 early in the final period.
Webster, who made his national senior debut this year, led all scorers with 24 points. Jake Seymour had 21 points and Josh Howe 10 point/13 rebounds, as Westlake dominated their rivals on the boards, grabbing 20 offensive rebounds.
Forward Jack Salt also had 14 rebounds.
For Rosmini, Derone Raukawa scored 22 points, while fellow guard Matt Lacey had 20 points/eight rebounds/six assists.
Earlier, Hamilton GHS overwhelmed Mt Albert Grammar 26-8 in the third quarter to seize the girls “AA” title with a 74-56 victory.
MAGS led 32-30 at halftime, but lost control of the contest after the break, when Hamilton rattled off 16 straight points. Shemaiah Parai led all scorers with 17 points and Jaylen Hawea had 15.
Idaho Purcell also scored 15 for Mt Albert.
Hawea was later named Most Valuable Player, joining team-mates Parai and Junior Tall Fern Chelseah Savage in the tournament team.
NZ Secondary Schools Championships
Final - Westlake Boys 88 (Tai Webster 24, Jake Seymour 21, Jaylen Gerrand 10) Rosmini 74 (Derone Raukawa 24, Matthew Lacey 20, Tohi Smith-Milner 15)
HT 43-35 (24-15)
Q3 69-54 (26-19)
FT 88-74 (19-20)
Officials - Matt Bathurst (referee), Marty Davison (umpire)
Tournament Team - Tohi Smith-Milner (Rosmini), Ashton McQueen (Tauranga), Tai Webster (Westlake), Nico Buckrell (Hutt Valley), Logan Poloai (Westlake), Lachlan Campion (Nayland), Jackson Stubbins (Hutt Valley), Steven Robertson (Rosmini), Jordan Harries (New Plymouth), Jack Salt (Westlake)
MVP - Tai Webster (Westlake)
Final – Mt Albert Grammar High School 56 (Kezeiah Lewis 18, Idaho-Maree Purcell 15, Kerryn Poto 9) Hamilton Girls High School 74 (Jaylen Hawea 23, Shemaiah Parai 20, Ves Wilkinson 12)
HT 32- 30 (23-15)
Q3 40-56 (8-26)
FT 56-74 (16-18)
Officials - Gareth Teahan (referee), Sam Pan (umpire)
Tournament Team - Camece Salmon (Wellington), Breana Jones (Fraser), Wuanyei Ah-Hing (Auckland), Brooke Blair (Rangitoto), Pennina Davidson (Rangitoto), Kezeiah Lewis (Mt Albert), Deena Franklin (Westlake), Chelseah Savage (Hamilton), Jaylen-Rose Hawea (Hamilton), Shemaiah Parai (Hamilton)
MVP - Jaylen-Rose Hawea (Hamilton)