NC clinch maiden premier ti­tle

Northern Outlook - - LOCAL - BRUCE MARTIN

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

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