Sharing the Load – Scots College Win Pohlen Cup

Story courtesy of College Sport Media 

Scots College won the senior boys Pohlen Cup basketball Premiership for the first time with a 103-96 victory over Mana College in the final.

A seesaw contest of high quality saw Scots flip a seven-point deficit in the third quarter to topple Mana for the fourth time this season. Tafara Gapare scored 43 points in a dominant individual display, but a diversion away from individual accolades to a more team-oriented game has been essential in the success.

Fergus Kisby-Macleod doesn’t boast the prolific numbers of Gapare but the third year senior holds a key leadership role in the roster.

“I’m a role player, not a big scorer, more of a defensive player in the back court,” Kisby-Macleod said.

“My biggest role in the team is leadership. We’ve got some players who struggle with pressure so my job is to support them and offer constructive criticism. I do it quietly and admit my mistakes too.

“I believe we’ve had more talent in the past but the team culture was better this year. Guys were more open to change. Shooting was shared around a lot more. There were times where I didn’t get in the starting five, but that didn’t matter as much.”

Kenny McFadden requires little introduction to basketball fans. The legendary Wellington Saints centre and major influence on Steven Adams NBA career is Director of Basketball in Strathmore.

“Kenny is a special guy. He really upped the ante with training this season and taught us little happens without hard work. We were training four times a week, morning and night. He doesn’t say much, he doesn’t have it,”  Kisby-Macleod acclaimed.

Scots were close to untouchable in the early rounds of the Pohlen Trophy but a season ending injury to Rufus Rusholme-Cobb, averaging 37 points a game, was potentially disastrous. Kisby-Macleod instead saw a silver-lining.

“I think we became a better team without Rufus. Obviously we hoped to have him for the whole season, but when he was gone we all had to step up more.”

Mana stepped up in the final with Nathaniel Salmon 32 points and Kawharu Hippolite 27 points to the fore. Kisby-Macleod described the contest as the “best game of basketball” he’s played.

“We got off to a good start and led by seven points after the first quarter. They started to bring it back and then we hit a rough patch shooting. By the third quarter I was worried when we were down but we just had to stick to our systems and hit some shots which we did.”

Mana’s swift transition wasn’t enough for sleek Scots. Troy Nickel was Scots next most productive scorer with 17 points.

In summer Kisby-Macleod is in the First XI cricket team. He was selected as an off spin bowler but has matured into a fine opening batsman with a highest score of 83. Scots was third in the Premier Youth Grade last season and Kisby-Macleod is convinced that with the same work ethic as the basketball team, Scots can add more silverware to their cabinet.