Young guns make the most of opportunity
Muriwhenua called up their youngsters for their match against Bucks on Saturday in Whangarei for Te Tai Tokerau women's basketball competition.
While they couldn't make it two in a row against their Whangarei rivals, they gained some valuable experience for the future in the 71-55 defeat.
The team was hit by a number of senior players taking time off for functions such as weddings and funerals.
The development players came to the rescue, with up and comers, Ruakura Mane-Chapman and Michaela Riwai making the most of their court time. Both players were impressive, with Riwai taking the most of her opportunities, scoring 16 points - one short of Waimarie Halkyard's top score of 17.
Nicola Murray struggled to secure points with "put backs"and cutting in to the basket, while Viv Nankerville showed she hasn't lost any of her skills by assaulting the Buck's defence with some hard running opportunities.
Freda Riwai made a welcome return to the side and her precise vision for the running guards was a feature of the team's play.
Bucks' shooting and rebounding skills proved to be the difference between the two teams with Jaycin Tini, the star for the winning side.
Tini top scored with 31 points and Keziah Lewis was no slouch either as she wracked up 20 points.
The Auckland-based duo was unstoppable and played big roles in securing the win for the Bucks.
Pipiwai defaulted to the unbeaten Whangaruru Tukaiaia while in the other match Portland Flames defeated Phoenix Takahiwai 72-36.
With Jeannie Cameron and Sophy Tua running the show, Portland soon had a comfortable cushion as they sent in the younger players to run layup after layup.
Jaimee-lee Tito's court vision and Leylannie Cameron-Tana penetrating the Takahiwai defence to score 26 points for the team.
In the men's matches Muriwhenua's were light on numbers for their encounter with Maunu Lights. It was a slow start to the game for the visitors, with Muriwhenua having the bare five players to use but they all put in a gutsy effort to match the Lights shot for shot until halfway through the fourth quarter.
They trailed by just three points 34-37 at the half-time break but with the final quarter blow out the Whangarei side finished 83-70 ahead.
The O'Donnell brothers Atama and Arahi top scored for Muriwhenua with 21 and 22 points respectively.
Ethan Penney was a live wire for the Lights running the lanes well to score 26 points for Maunu with Hayden Hill and Ruel Gare supporting him with 17 points each.
Whangaruru continued their unbeaten march at the top of the division.
Keeghan Sadler played another outstanding game scoring 29 points with Manessah Hetaraka-Sadler scoring 22 points as Whangaruru strangled the Raumanga Royals with their tough full court press in the 103-76 win.
Scotty McDonald played a strong inside game with 22 points for the Royals.
In the other match Portland Blazers got over a slow start to beat City Hawks 112-80.