Town & Rongotai Shoot Ahead In Pohlen Cup
When it took Wellington College a third of the first quarter to score their first field goal against St Pats Town, there was a distinct impression it would be a tough night for the reigning champions. However a 99-66 thrashing a fortnight shy of the semi-finals is surely a genuine surprise. It took Wellington College four and half minutes to convert a solitary free throw. Town’s intensity on defense was the telling difference between the two sides. As a spectacle it was a game often interrupted by whistle, but essentially Town bullied Wellington into submission.
Town raced out to an 11-2 lead in the first quarter with Josh Hori finding range early with two neat jumpers. Kaleb McDonald hit a late triple for Wellington, but Town’s advantage remained nine points at the end of the first quarter. The closest Wellington got was 26-23 midway through the second-quarter. Haven Dixon bustled to the hoop, converting a two and free throw, before McDonald again found range from beyond the arc. Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones sparked another Town run and the halftime score was 41-32. Wellington appeared to be hanging in at 47-40, but a 9-0 flurry by Town effectively extinguished Wellington’s challenge as the score blew out.
Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones was outstanding at both ends of the floor for Town and ended with a game high 32 points. Filimone Waqabaca 20, Umuumu Kaufusi 13 and Joshua Hori 10 were the other players to reach double figures for the victors. For Wellington College, captain Haven Dixon tried to inspire and finished with 24 points, Tim Kent Royds bagged 12 points and Kaleb McDonald 11.
On the court next door a mammoth display by Ezekiel Stallworth wasn’t enough to earn Scots College victory against Rongotai College. Stallworth scored a game high 34 points as Scots led for much of the match, but were overhauled 83-76. Scots led by as many as 14 points, but Rongotai’s speed and superior shooting in the dying stages was the telling difference. Jaylin To’o 20, Ben Robertson 17, Finn McClure 12 and Klein Salmon 10 were the leading scorers for Rongotai.
This Friday, Rongotai and Town clash in a top of the table meeting while Wellington and Scots will be looking to bounce back strongly.
The Sharp Cup girls competition has the exact same match-ups in the next round. Leaders Hutt Valley High School (8-1) and Queen Margaret College (8-1) will collide while Wellington East take on Wellington Girls. On Friday night Queen Margaret edged Wellington East 58-53 (Wgtn East: Phoenix Patea 19, Carre Fitisemanu 14; QMC: Paris Lokotui 32, Grace Hunter 15) and Hutt Valley High School topped Wellington Girls 91-53 (HVHS: Jenna-Rose Mafua 29, Leah Mafua 17, Jasmine Troke 17, Jordan Rangitawa 15; Wgtn Girls’: Lawrin Tipene 18).
Article courtesy of College Sport Media
Photo courtesy of Wareham Sports Media