The Harbour Basketball Association has dominated the Under 17 Aon Nationals, with both of their Under 17 boys and girls teams winning their respective Grand Finals in Wellington this evening.
2017 Under 17 Aon Nationals Girls’ Grand Final: Auckland Counties-Manukau vs Harbour
An offensively perfect four minute stretch for Harbour near the start of the game saw them jump out to a twenty point lead thanks to a 17-0 run, as Bronwyn Davidson’s team scored on eight straight possessions. The second quarter wasn’t much better for Auckland Counties-Manukau (ACM), with the Harbour lead sticking at a basket or two either side of 20 points, thanks to their balanced attack, where six different players scored in the quarter – led by Rikki Fiatau’s five points.
ACM started to fight back in the third, getting Harbour’s lead down to 13 on two occasions. Unfortunately for any hopes of a close finish, it seemed every ACM mini-run was immediately answered by Harbour, as they entered the final quarter up sixteen points 73-57.
Jordyn Maddix and Tayla Dalton kept the Harbour score ticking over in the fourth, as they combined for 16 points thanks to five layups, and six points from behind the arc. Monekah Va’ai managed to snag four of her seven steals in the quarter for ACM, but they could only get these extra possessions converted into four points, with Harbour never really feeling threatened.
Harbour’s depth ended up being one of their key advantages, as eight players had at least 15 minutes of time on the court, while ACM only had six players in total to see time on the court.
Harbour, 91: T. Dalton 18 points; J. Maddix 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals; R. Fiatau 15 points, 9 rebounds; P. Delamere 7 points, 11 rebounds
Auckland Counties-Manukau, 76: S. Pupuke-Robati 27 points, 17 rebounds; M. Va’ai 17 points, 7 steals; J. Manase; S. Herewini 10 points.
The U17 Aon Nationals Girls' Tournament team:
1. Jada Manase – Auckland Counties
2. Isabelle Cook – Taranaki
3. Sharne Pupuke-Robati – Auckland Counties
4. Jordyn Maddix – Harbour
5. Riva Walker-Pitman – Waikato
6. Lenilia Moananu – Wellington
7. Helen Mathews – Canterbury
8. Paris Lokotui – Wellington
9. Rochelle Fourie – Manawatu
10.Tayla Dalton – Harbour
The U17s Aon Nationals Girls’ MVP:
Tayla Dalton – Harbour
2017 Under 17 Aon Nationals Boys’ Grand Final: Harbour A vs Manawatu
The scoreboard ticked over quickly during this Grand Final, although not quite at the same rate that was in last night’s semi-final, as it took well into the second half before Harbour began to hit at a consistent clip from behind the arc. Instead it was their prowess on the offensive glass that kept them ahead of Manawatu, who were using the three point shot themselves to keep pressure on the Habour team, as both Kopere Tanoa and Tre Wihongi hit three threes in the first half each.
Despite only making 1 of 15 three pointer attempts in the first half, grabbing offensive rebounds on almost half of their missed shots (14/30) saw Harbour enter the half time break with a slim 56-51 lead. In spite of the extra possessions Harbour was gaining, this wasn’t the biggest issue for Manawatu. Instead three fouls on last night’s hero Jake McKinlay in the second quarter were a much bigger problem, as he entered the break with a solid line of 11 and eight. Harbour’s Mitchell Dance was a touch ahead with 21 and 12 himself.
Manawatu kept fighting in the third quarter, with a big three by Wihongi cutting an eleven point Harbour lead down to five (70-65). This was as close as they would get, as Dance scored eight points in a 13-0 Harbour run. Harbour’s 2-3 zone defence started confounding the Manawatu offence, and was coupled with Harbour finally starting to hit shots from behind the arc at a clip they were more accustomed to in the final quarter (3/7, with Ethan Mandeno hitting two of these). This saw Harbour quickly pull away to complete the double championship with their female counterparts.
Harbour A, 102: M. Dance 39 points, 19 rebounds; J. Thornton 18 points, 13 rebounds; E. Mandeno 16 points
Manawatu, 77: K. Tanoa 23 points, 7 assists; T. Wihongi 14 points; J. McKinlay 13 points, 12 rebounds; X. Mason 10 points; S. Brown 10 points
The U17 Aon Nationals Boys' Tournament team:
1. Kainoa Lepou – Waikato
2. Kopere Tanoa – Manawatu
3. Shalom Broughton – Tauranga
4. Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones – Wellington
5. Louis Oskam – Waitaha Canterbury A
6. Jared Thornton – Harbour A
7. Havin Dixon – Wellington
8. Jaga Mete-Smith – Waitakere West
9. Jake McKinley – Manawatu
10. Mitchell Dance – Harbour A
The U17s Aon Nationals Boys' MVP: