Basketball: Kingi piles on points in court clash

By Cameron Leslie

Welcome to the new year, said Whangaruru's Te Aniwa Kingi, as she stamped her mark on the court with a match-high 33 points.

Kingi's table-topping Whangaruru Tukaiaia team comfortably disposed of Phoenix Takahiwai in the return of the TTT Classic basketball competition.

Friday night's encounter saw Whangaruru come out on top by 45 points, winning 100-55. Kingi's 33 was supported by Reannon Heteraka-Sadler with 31, while Takahiwai's main contributors were Sue Reed-Thomas with 17 points, and a dozen apiece from Jayde Rackich-Tuhiwai and Kaylah Chapman.

Unfortunately, the Portland Flames had to default to the Muriwhenua women on Saturday.

In the Super 6 competitions, Muriwhenua's Arahi O'Donnell continued his sublime form from before the Christmas break, top-scoring with 22 points. However, O'Donnell's form on his home ground wasn't enough for them to tip over Portland's Blazers, going down 61-43.

Muriwhenua started sharply as they took to the court with energy and enthusiasm, taking the Blazers by surprise as they remained in holiday mode to be down by five at quarter time.

With only two points separating the team at the half, 25-23, the Blazers switched it on in the third and managed to lead by one going into the final quarter.

The Blazers put the heat on and started with a strong five and tight defence, troubling Muriwhenua when they tried to penetrate the key.

Unable to keep up the intensity, Muriwhenua watched the lead increase and the Blazers walk away with the win.

Top scorers for Muriwhenua were Arahi O'Donnell (22) and Atama O'Donnell (9); for the Blazers it was Ray Cameron who did the damage by scoring 20 points with Harlyn Clunie (9) and Herb Smith (9) supporting him.

In the weekend's other Super 6 matches, the Maunu Lights took on Raumanga Royals on Friday with the Royals walking away victors 58-87.

Top scorers for the Royals were Beau Mackey with 32 and Scott McDonald, who went on to score 22. Maunu's top scorers were Chris Flay (15) and Hayden Hill (14).

There were no scores provided for the games between Full Blooded Whangaruru versus City Hawks, and Pipiwai versus Bucks 2.

This week sees the Flames take on Pipiwai at Kensington Stadium on Friday at 6pm, with Full Blooded Whangaruru and the Maunu Lights also at that time.

Saturday sees Kensington Stadium host the Portland Blazers against Raumanga Royals, and Whangaruru Tukaiaia taking on Bucks 2, with both games starting at 2pm.

Kaitaia will host Muriwhenua as they look to down Takahiwai, and the City Hawks are against Muriwhenua.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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