NC clinch maiden premier title
North Canterbury raced away with the Canterbury Basketball Women’s Premier championship title after humbling defending champion Lincoln University 80-36 at Cowles Stadium on Saturday. A strong second half guided North Canterbury to their first title since joining the competition in 2015, with coach Wade Parata proud of his team’s effort.
‘‘We had finals nerves in the first quarter as we missed a lot of easy shots but maintained our defensive intensity, which was our trademark all year,’’ Parata said.
He said the team wanted to put up a big effort for their teammate, Terina Wanoa, who had to sit out the final game in what was the hardest basketball decision Parata has had to make. Wanoa sat out with a niggling injury, and as the fourth Canterbury Wildcat in the team. The rules stipulated NC could only field three rep players.
Hayley Gray led with her usual court strength, and strong performances came from Charlotte Whittaker and Esra McGoldrick. Whittaker dominated the boards with 20 points and 17 rebounds while McGoldrick was chosen MVP with her all-around perfermance providing 12 points and 10 rebounds. Taneisha Nutira slotted five triples in the second spell and finished with 21 points while Helen Matthews, selected in the NZ U17 squad that will travel to India in October, showed her potential with some strong allround play. The experienced Gemma Hazeldine and Ash Fane also played their part.
NC had been pipped by LU in the first round Patron’s Trophy final 60-56 but Lincoln, who lost key players in the second half of the season, couldn’t match NC on finals day.
After a low scoring first quarter (8-4) NC pulled ahead to lead 30-14 at half-time and then outscored LU 50-22 in the second half.
In the boy’s U17 final, Rangiora HS were no match for Cashmere Gold, going down 42-82. Blake Cunninghame (12) and Noa Price (10) led the scoring but the rest were shut out of the game by the taller Cashmere side. Coach Sam Watkins said his side had ‘‘little left in the tank’’ after their huge efforts in the semi-final but finished with their heads held high.
In the Junior All Stars Y5/6 finals, the NC Tar Heels boys came up short 34-40 against Bishopdale YMCA and the girls also went down to Bishopdale YMCA 30-38.
North Canterbury celebrate winning the women’s premier championship basketball final