Boys team defends basketball title
Teams play to place in tournament
The Stratford High School boys and girls A basketball teams travelled to Palmerston North in October to attend the Schick New Zealand A Secondary Schools Basketball National Championship Tournament.
The A schools division is for co-ed schools with a role of 600 or less, which the boys won last year and had the goal of defending their national title.
After finishing third in the North Island qualifying tournament the Stratford High Girls Team went on to beat Te Kuiti, Te Wharekura o Mauao (Mt Maunganui) and Buller High School before meeting the other unbeaten team Te Aroha.
Stratford lost this game to finish second in their pool which meant playing the strong local team, Manukura, and then Te Aroha again in the third and fourth playoff.
The girls finished fourth nationally.
The boys team, after gaining the top qualifying spot from North Island games, went through their pool unbeaten with wins over Rangiora New Life School, Tai Wananga (Palmerston North), Te Aroha College and Manukura. They then beat Nga¯ Taiatea Wharekura (Hamilton) in their semi-final to set up a rematch with Te Aroha in the final. The boys played a great game in front of families and friends who supported the team and beat Te Aroha 97-75 to defend their National Championship title.
Congratulations to Willem Ratu, Cameron Trethewey and Morgan Trott who all made the boys tournament team, with Morgan Trott named Most Valuable Player for the tournament. Fletcher Jennings also had a great tournament and was unlucky not to be named in this selection. Congratulations also to Rhiannon Utton and Holly Ratu, a talented year 10 student, who were named in the girls’ tournament team.
These achievements are a culmination of a lot of hard work and commitment by our students over their years at Stratford High School. While the school loses a number of year 13 students, coach Willie Banks is very enthusiastic about developing more students to join those who remain. The school is also working with Willie and Sam Mako on a plan to link in with feeder primary schools to develop up and coming basketballers.
Thanks to Willie, and his wife Lee, for the time they have dedicated to the boys, along with Shay Haira and Trent Adam who this year combined to coach the girls A team. Without their passion and commitment to the game, and our students, the school could not achieve such results
The boys have been nominated in the upcoming Daily News Sports Awards Junior Sports Team of the Year category, with Willie Banks also nominated in the Coach of the Year category.
Everyone involved with basketball thank the 13 students and acknowledge their talent and achievements. They have provided great entertainment over the past five years and we wish them well for the future. The school also looks forward to developing and continuing the development of basketball.
Going for a goal.
The Stratford High School Team