There were just two games in week eight of the Women’s Basketball Championship (WBC) and both were local derbies.
On Saturday Waikato Country Cannons entertained Waikato Wizards and further north Auckland Lady Rangers visited Harbour Breeze on Sunday.
In Te Awamutu the WBC’s leading scorer Charlisse Leger-Walker, averaging 20.3 points per game, emphasised her enormous potential by scoring a game high 24 points as the Waikato Wizards edged their country neighbours 69-65.
The Waikato Cannons shaded the first quarter 16-15 but completely lost their scoring touch in the second to trail 29-23 at half-time. Kelcy Ballantyne and Alyssa Hirwani scored 8 points apiece for the Waikato Wizards in the half - Breana Jones firing for the Waikato Cannons with 9 points.
The third period was a much more free flowing affair as the two teams scored a combined fourty five points. Donna Fermanis landed 10 points in the period for the hosts but Leger-Walker and Hirawani shared 14 points for the Waikato Wizards who led 52-46 at three-quarter time.
Veshae Asaua-Wilkinson and Fermanis kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Waikato Cannons in the fourth but Stirling Walker-Pitman and Leger-Walker ensured an eighth straight win for the Waikato Wizards.
The victory takes the Waikato Wizards to second on the WBC ladder and a guaranteed top two regular season finish.
Waikato Wizards 69 (Leger-Walker 24, Hirawani 15, Walker-Pitman 12, Ballantyne 8)
Waikato Country Cannons 65 (Fermanis 20, Jones 13, Elkington 10, Asaua-Wilkinson 9)
At the Breakers stadium on the North Shore, Harbour Breeze kept their top six aspirations on track with a 77-49 victory against Auckland Lady Rangers.
The first quarter had been shaded by Harbour 19-15 with Zara Jillings, playing her first game of the season, scoring 7 points for the home team.
Stevee Theyers landed a three early in the second period but at the mid point of the quarter Auckland trailed 25-18.
Katie Diakhaby pushed the Harbour lead into double figures – her inside combination with Deena Franklin troubling the Auckland defence.
Jillings led all scorers at the interval with 12 points – Harbour ahead 38-22.
A couple of Gabriella Fotu baskets stretched the Harbour lead to 20 points before Milomilo Nanai replied for Auckland.
Sarah Kinred made a couple of inside baskets for Auckland although 7 straight points from Georgia Agnew stretched the Harbour advantage further.
Nanai and Theyers ended the third quarter scoring but Harbour held all the aces with a 58-39 lead.
Back to back threes from Anna Lacey and Georgia Perrott-Hunt opened Harbour’s account in the fourth. Another trey from Jillings and the advantage was 72-45 with six minutes to play.
Olivia Bell demonstrated some deft inside touches as Harbour cruised to a fourth consecutive win.
Harbour Breeze 77 (Jillings 17, Diakhaby 13, Agnew 12, Franklin 10)
Auckland Lady Rangers 49 (Nanai 13, Povey 8, Theyers 6, Wieczorek 6)
8-1 Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats
8-1 Waikato Wizards
8-2 Waikato Country Cannons
6-2 Site Weld Otago Goldrush
5-4 Taranaki Thunder
5-4 Capital Swish
4-4 Harbour Breeze
2-7 Auckland Lady Rangers
2-7 Tauranga City Coasters
1-8 Rotorua Lady Vols
0-9 Te Tai Tokerau Phoenix
To check out the draw, stats, livestreamed games click here.
Joe Wallace, Basketball New Zealand Communications Manager
M: 021 246 4814. E: firstname.lastname@example.org