Town End Rongotai’s Run In Pohlen Cup Basketball
St Pat’s Town have jumped to the top of the Pohlen Cup, defeating Rongotai College 96-81 in the top of the table clash at the ASB Sports Centre on Friday night.
Town reversed two previous defeats to Rongotai to extend their unbeaten run to four games in the championship proper. An absorbing tussle dramatically turned in the space of sixty seconds in the last quarter. Down 56-40, Rongotai closed the gap to 79-77 with 5:40 remaining. Spurred on by a small and rowdy crowd, Town then produced three spectacular buckets to extend their advantage to double digits which a short while later triggered an outburst from Rongotai coach Chris Tupu resulting in a technical foul and the extinguishing of Rongotai’s victory prospects.
Town guard Jacob Paese was effective driving in the key all night, but scooping the ball between his legs and powering through a double-team to make it 81-76 was his most inspirational play. Town followed Paese’s muscle by twice finding range from three-point land. Umu Kaufusi drained an instant catch and shoot from the left side before Josh Hori passed behind his back to Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones who connected with a sweet release.
Initially Rongotai burst out to a 12-4 lead with Jayden Puroku on target early. Town rallied with a 13-4 run and led by one at the end of the first quarter. Rongotai went ice cold at the start of the second quarter, falling behind 40-25. Town had six different scorers in period two as their collective hustle suppressed Rongotai’s frantic offensive, earning a 52-40 advantage at the main interval. Ben Robertson sparked Rongotai’s third quarter resurgence, nailing two triples to reduce the margin to ten. Later Ezrah Vaigafa emulated Robertson’s sharp-shooting to set the stage for an exciting finish.
Town’s hustle was a pivotal factor in their triumph, out rebounding Rongotai and quickly erasing the initial deficit incurred.
St Pat’s Town: 4. Junior Waqubaca, 5. Nico O”Connor, 6. Jordan Perez, 7. Josh Hori, 8. Kobe Lolesio, 9. Umu Kaufusi, 10. James Fitzgerald, 11. Jacob Paese, 12. Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones, 13. Thomas Murphy, 14. Jayden Kini, 15. Jeremiah Savali
Rongotai College: 10. Finn McClure, 21. Ezrah Vaigafa, 31. Jaylin To’o, 32. Ben Robertson, 23. Jayden Puroku, 22. Te Hoera Sullivan, 24. Evyatar Tabor, 30. Zion Upton-Mahan, 34. Adam Rybinski
In the other matches there were one-sided victories for Onslow College over St Pat’s Silverstream (75-55), Wellington College over Aotea College (108-64) and Scots College over Hutt Valley High School (99-70).
Pohlen Cup points table after four rounds: St Pat’s Town 8; Rongotai College 6; Scots College 6; St Pat’s Silverstream 4;Wellington College 4; Onslow College 2; HVHS 2; Aotea College 0.
In round four of the Senior Girls’ Sharp Cup competition, HVHS beat Queen Margaret College 90-48, St Oran’s College beat St Mary’s 67-43, Wellington East Girls’ College beat WRM Te Rito 89-3 and Wellington Girls’ College defeated Aotea College 100-33.
Sharp Cup points table after four rounds: HVHS 8; Wellington Girls’ 6; Queen Margaret 6; WEGC 6; St Oran’s College 4; St Mary’s College 2; Aotea College 0; WRM Te Rito 0.
Article courtesy of College Sport Media
Photo courtesy of Wareham Sports Media