QMC Sharp When it Counts

Story courtesy of College Sport Media

Queen Margaret College (QMC) successfully defended the Sharp Cup Basketball Premiership with an 83-76 triumph over St Mary’s College at the ASB Centre on Friday night.

Tia Pavihi and Holly Morgan finished first and third respectively in the season points scoring charts, and both girls delivered big shifts in the decider. Pavihi scored a game-high 30 points while Morgan added 24 points to help arrest a halftime deficit.

Four of the QMC girls were involved in the Premier Netball final on Monday night where St Mary’s College beat QMC.

Between other sporting commitments, representative basketball duty, and of course education that leaves QMC little time to practice.

“Before games we literally don’t know who’s going to turn up,” Tia laughed.

“It’s been a bit dysfunctional off the court this year but when we are on court we have a really good vibe and lots of basketball experience. We’ve had a number of younger players step up.”

One of those players is Charlotte Horner who hit a massive corner triple late in the fourth quarter when QMC was only marginally ahead.

“It’s only her first year playing the sport. She’s not a natural but honestly she’s the reason we turn up every Friday. She’s got a great attitude, works hard, and really inspires the girls,” Tia said.

It is worth noting QMC accounted for half of the Wellington Under-17 representative team in 2021, and Wellington Saints legend Troy McLean does support the team in a coaching capacity on match days.

It doesn’t take much to fire QMC up for a match against St Mary’s. Pavihi dropped 36 points on St Mary’s when QMC beat them 84-61 on July 1. The final proved to be a much tougher affair.

“St Mary’s go crazy whenever any of their teams are in finals,” Tia said.

“I wasn’t surprised it was close but we noticed they didn’t sub a lot of their players, and we’re a very fit team. We backed ourselves to last.”

“They were really physical in the netball on Monday night,” Holly added.

“Their crowd was really loud and I think the pressure got to us. We were motivated to put things right.”

Holy and Tia have a strong chemistry, complementing each other on court. Holly described Tia as a “slashing point guard who’s really good at getting to the rim, shooting free-throws and three’s. Tia praised Holly for her “screen setting” and “great outside shooting.”

Against Kapiti College earlier this year the pair went berserk. Holly scored 45 points and Tia 43 in a crushing win. In fact QMC won all nine games in the round-robin, outscoring opponents, 866-383.

There is no respite for Holly or Tia. Both girls are involved with the QMC netball team at the Lower North Island tournament in Napier this week.